Castlevania 2 Review: Castlevania II Simon’s Quest

by | NES

Castlevania 2: Simon’s Quest was originally released in North America on the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1987. It’s the sequel to the first great 8-bit game in the Castlevania game series, which brings back Simon Belmont as the protagonist who must destroy Dracula’s curse. We break down the key elements of this excellent retro game in this Castlevania Simons quest review.

Game Story – Castlevania 2 Simon’s Quest

Set in Transylvania, Simon must find and destroy Dracula, an evil vampire who’s cursed the land. The game is notable for its non-linearity and includes for the first time RPG elements such as experience points. Plus, Simon can explore the world in any order he chooses.


Simon Belmont returns in Castlevania Simons Quest, armed with a variety of special weapons to help him in his quest to destroy Dracula. His primary weapon is the vampire killer whip, which he can use to damage enemies from a distance. The new whip has various power ups that allow increased damage. Simon can find and collect items throughout the game, such as the cross, holy water, and the oak stake, which can help him in his fight against Dracula.

Game Levels

The level design in Simon’s Quest is varied with plenty of platforming. One level is in Dracula’s castle, while others take place in the countryside or in a dark forest. The levels are designed to be suspenseful and atmospheric, and they provide a challenging experience for players. 

In addition, the new areas are non-linear, so players can explore them in any order they choose, making this the first Castlevania to do so. The day-night cycle changes certain aspects of the game and certain NPCs could only be accessed at night for example. The famous line “what a horrible night for a curse” is uttered in this game when night falls and monsters are stronger.


The music in Castlevania 2: Simon’s Quest is one of its standout features. It was composed by Kenichi Matsubara, and it creates an eerie and suspenseful atmosphere that enhances the gameplay. The music often changes to reflect the current situation, and it helps to create a tense and exciting experience for players. One of the most famous music tracks Bloody Tears plays as the player journey’s through the game. The soundtrack has been praised by critics and fans alike, and it is considered to be one of the video game soundtracks ever made.


In Castlevania 2: Simon’s Quest, players must face off against a variety of bosses to progress through the game. These bosses provide a challenging experience and require quick reflexes and strategic thinking to defeat. To defeat the curse plaguing the land, Simon must collect Dracula’s body parts which got scattered in the conclusion of the original game. A few body parts can be used in gameplay such as Dracula’s rib for a shield. 

The most iconic boss fight in Castlevania 2 is Count Dracula himself who was the primary antagonist in the previous game. There are two other boss characters you can encounter, one is Grim Reaper and Camilla. Boss battles in this game were simple in regards to attack patterns, the difficulty lies in the stiff movement of the player’s character which can lead to some deaths at times.


The most iconic enemies in Castlevania 2 include werewolves, vampires, and zombies. These enemies are all based on classic horror movie monsters, and they provide a challenging and exciting experience for players, particularly at nighttime. In addition, there are many other enemies that players will encounter, such as bats, snakes, and ghosts.

Challenge and Game Length

Simon’s Quest level of difficulty is not hard for experienced players since the enemies roam in simple patterns. The true challenge is in navigating the game which has no quest markers and the hints from NPCs are legendary in how cryptic they are. 

Another challenge is getting a good ending, yes, this game has different endings based on how long it took to beat the game. The game’s day-night cycle actually serves a purpose and functions as a timer, which affects which ending the player may get. To get the best ending, the game must be completed within 7 game days. 

When the game originally was released, having a Nintendo Power magazine guide was crucial to navigating the game. Without a guide, a player often would find themself running into constant dead ends.


Castlevania 2: Simon’s Quest is a challenging and exciting game that offers a unique experience for players. It is perfect for fans of the Castlevania series of video games, as it provides a more in-depth experience than the first game. 

The game is also perfect for gamers who are looking for a challenging NES experience. It’s non-linear, so players can explore the world in any order they choose. Symphony of the Night for the PS1 was another game that was beloved for its nonlinear gameplay that began here in this game. The Adventure of Link also featured nonlinear gameplay and came out in the same year. 

In addition, the music is one of the best features of the game, and it creates an eerie and suspenseful atmosphere that enhances the gameplay.

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