When Konami releases its Castlevania Collection on May 16, it will include eight classic games from the venerable series, including one that has never been released before outside Japan: Kid Dracula, a comical action game in which you play as a pint-sized version of the vampire king.
Released in 1990 for the Famicom (NES) in Japan, Kid Dracula is Castlevania but funny, with goofy versions of classic characters and familiar settings. A Game Boy version of the game did come to the West (and it’s quite rare and expensive now), but the original NES version never came here, even though the series was quite popular.
Castlevania Collection will rectify that, and even better, the game will actually be translated into English. Check out where it says “Normal, Level 1" on the screen above. That reads「ノーマル １ ステージ」in the original Japanese version.
The game uses a good amount of text between its main stages, so having it in English will be awesome. Even though ROM hackers and fan translators have localised hundreds and hundreds of Japanese classic games into English and other languages, it’s still exceedingly rare and exciting to see a publisher do an official translation of an old game.
And, uh, while they’re hacking around in the ROM, they’re probably gonna want to change the design of the boss character above. Just saying. (Japanese players would see this character as a “spooky ghost with a manji symbol on its hat.” Maybe not so much in the West.)
Other games in the collection, which will be released for Switch, Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC, include Castlevanias 1, 2, 3 (NES) and 4 (SNES); Castlevania: Bloodlines (Genesis); and the first two Castlevania games for Game Boy, Adventure and Belmont’s Revenge.
This week, Konami released a similar collection known as Konami Arcade Classics for the same platforms, which also includes a Castlevania game — the arcade version, known as Haunted Castle. And in “early winter”, it will release a Contra collection along the same lines.