Kid Dracula

Game Overview

The transition for many games from Japan to the US could be quite strange. Although marque titles that were guaranteed to be hits were (and are) released near-simultaenously, niche titles often never made it to the US from over the western pond (just look at the sheet number of dating sims and RPGs that are Japan-only for a key example). When the games finally would make it over here, they'd often go through editing and changing to suit our western tastes and desires.

One example of that in the Castlevania series was Castlevania Dracula X: Rondo of Blood, a fantastic title release for the PC Engine CD in Japan. When the game made it over here two years later it was "crippled" to work on the Super Nintendo because the Turbo Graphix (the US version of the PC Engine) had never caught on here. Similarly, Kid Dracula suffered from the translation here. Originally coming out for the Nintendo Entertainment System as Demon Castle Special: I'm Kid Dracula, the game's cutesey graphics and parody humor might have been a hard fit for US tastes, especially for fans looking for the next Castlevania game.

Instead it took a couple of years for Konami to put together a "sequel" (or remake, depending on who you ask) of Kid Dracula for the Game Boy. Coming out on a system loved by a younger audience, the game seems like a better fit for that demographic, but because it was the Game Boy the graphics, sound, and even play-style (due to the limited screen real-estate for the monochrome handheld) had to be toned down and tweaked.

Now we at the Inverted Dungeon call this game a sequel and not just a straight remake since the game itself refers to it as such... and yet, like everything about Kid Dracula it does it with a winking nod. Kid Dracula had his previous adventure fighting Galamoth (villain of the first game), but now Galamoth is back using the exact plan he had before, and Kid Dracula has forgotten all the cool powers and magic he had, so he has to go have another adventure to best his great adversary. It's still a cute, fun adventure, but for those that played the original game, it's more of the same.

As such, for those looking to learn about the Castlevania series and learn about each of the major entries, the second Kid Dracula game is a skipable game -- better to go play I'm Kid Dracula instead. Few of us will ever experience that first taste back in 1993 when this Game Boy entry seemed like a one-off subversive answer to our beloved franchise.