Castlevania, known in Japan as Akumajou Dracula (悪魔城ドラキュラ Akumajō Dorakyura, officially translated Devil’s Castle Dracula), is an action-platformer video game developed and published by Konami for the Family Computer Disk System video game console in Japan in September 1986. It was ported to cartridge format and released in North America for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) in May 1987 followed by a European release in 1988.
One of the original “hard games” for the NES, Castlevania is a brutal, punishing game featuring tons of precise jumping, annoying enemies, and bosses that will have you smashing your controller in frustration (Death!), yet always come back for more because in the end, you know that it was you that didn’t perform well enough and lost the game, unlike many “hard” games these days where the game throws every single thing at you to the point of being completely and nearly unfair and relies on luck or pinpoint accuracy to get through the game, something termed “artificial difficulty” with modern gaming.
None of that existed in Castlevania. Every point of the game is doable with no cheapness, no luck, no anything. You see the escapes and dodges and jumps you need to do at all times, but it’s all up to the execution of these things that makes all the difference, something modern gaming needs to learn from old gaming.
That said, I never beat Castlevania. The Death boss continues to be a sore spot and punishes me for my bad mistakes every single time I reach it. One day, Death. One day.