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Transcript of 2009 AVGN Episode Castlevania (Part 1)

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("Super Castlevania IV" Opening Theme plays)

The Nerd: Time for Halloween again. Now this time, I'm giving myself a break. And I'm going back to one of my favorite video game franchises: Castlevania. It never stops. The same way Dracula keeps getting resurrected. I keep finding these games just creeping into my subconscious. The same way the Belmont family has to keep putting evil back in its place. I'm cursed to keep doing game reviews, and constantly mentioning Castlevania.

(scene shows footage from his old reviews mentioning "Castlevania")

The Nerd: I talk about it all the fucking time. So, what the Hell, let me just get it all out. This is gonna be a big-ass Castlevania marathon, with my own perspective. This is Castlevania, how I remember it. It's the Nintendo age. I'm sitting on my ass playing Super Mario Bros., when my cousin comes over and says: "You wanna play Castlevania?" Instantly, it triggered images of Dracula in my mind, and of all the frightening horrors that lurk in the dark. We pop that evil son-of-a-bitch in the Nintendo, and BAM!

(Scene shows the beginning of the game, "Castlevania." Next scene shows the Nerd hiding beneath his blanket, that he's holding, in horror)

The Nerd: (whispers in horror) Oh, shit.

(Scene shows montages of the game and the Nerd is excited about the game)

The Nerd: What can you say? It's side-scrolling 2D action at its finest. Now keep in mind, NES was in its early years, so I was still getting used to games that consisted of more than one screen. When I got to the giant bat, I thought it was Dracula, but no, just the first level boss. I still had a whole game ahead of me.

The Nerd: Not only is it a culmination of our classic gaming sensibilities, but of all the horror clichés. We have mummies, hunchbacks, and the Frankenstein monsters straight out of the Universal movies. It also reminds me of the Hammer Horror Films with all of its Gothic scenery, and it draws from Greek mythology too, like the Medusa. Even the Grim Reaper makes an appearance. Death himself takes orders from Dracula. (Happily) This game is simply a masterpiece. I love it.

(Scene shows Simon Belmont whipping the air, or trying to hit a projectile from the Dragon Skull Cannon, and getting hit by the Dragon Skull Cannon's projectile. Simon falls off to his death after getting hit. The Nerd's smile fades away. He grabs his bottle of Rolling Rock and drinks it.)

The Nerd: (angrily) Well, I never said it would be easy.

(Scene shows a montage of Simon Belmont getting killed by enemies)

The Nerd: I am prepared to talk about the more frustrating aspects of the game. But first, I want to discuss the more quirky moments. Just those funny fantasy video game elements that are usually taken for granted.

The Nerd: One thing I never understood, after you defeat a boss, an orb comes down and you have to touch it. What's the point? Couldn't the next level just start right away? Why do I have to touch an orb? And besides, what the fuck is an orb, anyway? Just a glowing ball?

The Nerd: Another thing I wanna know is, who is the architect for this castle? All these blocks and staircases have no rhyme or reason.

The Nerd: How about all these candles? They're everywhere. But to Simon Belmont, that's common. You see a candle, you whip it, and hearts come out. If I were to whip a fucking candle, would hearts come out? I'd like to know. (The Nerd whips two candles, and notices a burning Nintendo Power magazine set alight by one of the candles) Oh, shit! (The Nerd stomps on the magazine to try to put the fire out)

The Nerd: In most games, hearts replenish your health. But in Castlevania, they're basically ammunition for whatever weapon you're holding. In the second game, the hearts are currency. So, in a nutshell, the hearts in Castlevania games are anything but health.

The Nerd: The only thing that replenishes your health are food that Simon conveniently finds in the walls. I always thought it was a roasted turkey or a carved ham right out of a Tom & Jerry cartoon. However, the instruction manual says that it's a pork chop. OK, well, that's a pretty big pork chop. Who cooked it anyway, and hid it in the fucking wall? And if you were Simon Belmont, would you eat an old pork chop that you found in a wall? It must be fucking dirty. I do have to say, that would be convenient if all I had to do was whip the wall when I was hungry...this wall would break, and if there was a fucking pork chop in this wall, I would so eat it!

The Nerd: Now, let's talk about the difficulty. I don't think anyone would deny this is one of the hardest games ever made, and it's all because of one simple problem. When Simon gets hit, he jumps back. You could have full health, but just because there's a pit behind you, you're dead. It's a severe handicap that fucks up the entire game, and the rest of the series.

The Nerd: Then there's certain enemies that just piss the shit out of me. There's hunchbacks which jump all over the place. I used to think they were monkeys. And then, of course, there's those enemies that just fly across the screen. Like the Medusa heads. And the bats.

The Nerd: The hardest part in the entire game, besides Dracula, is the hall right before the Grim Reaper. You have Medusa heads coming at you from both directions, and two knights throwing axes at two different altitudes. I mean, look at the pattern going on here. Anything that hits you drains a quarter of your health, so that means four hits and you're dead. Oh, but the knights, the knights take nine hits. NINE FUCKING HITS! You can't even concentrate on attacking them because you're too busy dodging Medusas. But you can't dodge the Medusas because you're too busy dodging the axes. But you can't dodge the axes because you're trying to hit the knight. (Shouts) BUT YOU CAN'T HIT THE KNIGHT, BECAUSE THE GAME'S DRIVING YOU FUCKING CRAZY! It's like a test. It's a test... to the shit.

The Nerd: When you get to Dracula, don't even bother fighting him until you stock up on hearts. Go back down the steps, come back up, and all the candles are back. Rinse and repeat. This is extremely tedious, and nobody feels like doing it, but if you want to stand any chance against Dracula, you're gonna have to.

The Nerd: Dracula may not seem so bad at first, especially after you send his fucking head to the moon. But then... (Exclaims) Oh, my God. What in the unholy name of ass is this fuckness?

(looks at the script and fuckness is displayed as an invalid word)

The Nerd: Oh, wait, that's not a word? Well, it should be. So you fight the evil Cookie Monster, your health is never replenished, so this whole thing is like an endurance round. If you took one single hit on Dracula, I say your chances against the Cookie Monster are up a rat's ass.

(Scene shows Simon battling the second form of Dracula, with Simon almost losing, but just barely winning with four units of life left)

The Nerd: Yeah, it took me 20 years, but I finally got this game beat. (puts controller down beside him and grunts victoriously) YOUR MOTHER!!!

The Nerd: And you still gotta get the orb? Oh, you're gonna replenish my health right after I beat the game? Thank you so much.

The Nerd: Dracula's castle crumbles and then come the credits. (watching the credits and notices a funny name)

The Nerd: Hmm...Trans Fisher? It reminds me of Terence Fisher, the director of many of the Hammer Horror Films. That's a funny coincidence. Oh, wait? Vram Stoker? Like Bram Stoker, the author of Dracula? Wha-- Christopher Bee? Is it a joke? I don't get it. Are they saying Christopher Lee is like a bee? (Bee with a face like Christopher Lee's comes buzzing by) No, it can't mean that. This is probably just a series of strangely coincidental typos.

(The Nerd notices another name)

The Nerd: Belo Lugosi? Boris Karloffice? They're just fucking around. Love Chaney, Jr.? Mix Schrecks? Green Stranger? Is this supposed to be funny? Like just to take a celebrity's name and change it around? That's like if I took the name "Stephen Spielberg" and called him "Stephen Jeelberg". Like, that's not funny, that's kindergarten level! No, kindergarten students don't find that funny! Aliens don't find that funny!

The Nerd: Well, anyway, that's Castlevania for you. Good game, but holy fuck, is it hard. Now, as promised, we're gonna plow through the rest of 'em, all the old-school Castlevania games. The ones that I grew up with.

(A box that says "WHAT A HORRIBLE NIGHT TO HAVE A CURSE." covers the Nerd's head. The box disappears a few seconds later, and a day-to-night transition is shown. The music changes and the Nerd's room looks darker than before. The Nerd notices the "Castlevania II: Simon's Quest.")

The Nerd: Not that one. Next on our list, is Castlevania III, which in many ways is the true follow-up--

(Music plays again, and the cartridge is shown again)

The Nerd: No! I already reviewed that game! So, anyway--

(Music and cartridge again)

The Nerd: No.

(Music and cartridge again)

The Nerd: Stop.

(Music and cartridge again)

The Nerd: Stop.

(Music and cartridge again)

The Nerd: (annoyed) STOP!

(Music and cartridge again, and the Nerd looks at Castlevania III, and then back at Castlevania II, and "To Be Continued..." appears.)

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