Angry Video Game Nerd Wiki
Castlevania II: Simon's Quest

Castlevania 2

Hitoshi Akamatsu
Yasuo Kuwahara
N. Tokagushi
Kenichi Matsubara
Satoe Terashima
Kouji Murata
Action-adventure, platforming

Castlevania II: Simon's Quest is a 1987 video game by Konami for the NES. It was the sequel to the original Castlevania game, along next with Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse.


The gameplay departs from the standard platforming genre of the first Castlevania for a game more similar to the nonlinear gameplay of Metroid, with several RPG elements such as a world map which the player is free to explore and revisit. Simon, controlled by the player, can talk with townspeople who will offer him clues or lies. He can also go to merchants who will sell items, either for fighting enemies or for traversing to unreachable areas. In order to pay for them, he must collect hearts, which are dropped by defeated enemies. In addition to the ordinary items in Simon's inventory, he can also purchase new whips in a few locations of the game. He begins with a standard Leather Whip, and can upgrade to stronger ones with each new purchase. Simon's Quest introduces an Experience Rating system, also found in role-playing games, which is increased by collecting hearts. After he finds a sufficient amount, his level and maximum health will increase with his Experience Rating.

The period of time in Simon's Quest can change between daytime and nightfall, which has a prominent effect on the game and Simon's encounters. During the day, the enemies outside of towns in the game are less frequent and weaker. At night time, they appear more often and inflict more damage to Simon's life points, though when defeated, they drop more hearts. The townspeople and merchants in their respective locations are no longer available to talk to during night time, and are replaced by zombies.

Despite the departure from the previous game, there are elements from it that have remained. This includes the Magic Weapons, which are secondary weapons to Simon's whip. Each of them have a different use. Like most games in the series, some of these require the usage of hearts. One of them returning from Castlevania is the Holy Water, a small glass which can disintegrate walls that conceal hidden items. Some Magic Weapons make their first appearance in Simon's Quest, such as the Diamond, which attacks enemies while bouncing off any surrounding walls.

The objective of the game is to travel to the five mansions to find the body parts of Dracula's corpse, and an item known as the Magic Cross. The body parts can be utilized to support Simon in the game. For example, Dracula's Rib can be used as a shield to block any projectile attacks fired from an enemy. Finding all of the required items will allow Simon to clear the blockade in front of Dracula's castle to fight the last boss. After the player defeats Dracula, there are three possible endings based on the time taken to complete the game. The best ending is achieved when the player beats the game in eight game days.


Simon's Quest was the first game in the Castlevania series to depart from linear gameplay, and instead feature a non-linear explorative world, which has been compared to Nintendo's famous Metroid series. The game's exploration system and ideas introduced adventure elements to the series for the first time, and it would heavily influence future titles. The first game that drew inspiration from it was Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. The plot of Simon's Quest would also be directly referenced in later Castlevania games. In the Game Boy Advance entry, Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance, the protagonist recounts when his grandfather Simon had to search for Dracula's body parts. In the game, the player must also find them again.

Simon's Quest was followed by the release of much merchandise. In 1988, Tiger Electronics released a handheld game and an LCD wristwatch based on Simon's Quest. Promotional collector's cards were also available exclusively in Japan. Worlds of Power, a series of books with stories based on Nintendo games, also had a novel about Simon's Quest. It was written by Christopher Howell, and the series was produced by Seth Godin. In 2007, a figurine of Simon's appearance from Simon's Quest was included as a pre-order bonus for Castlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles.

On November 16, 2002, Simon's Quest was a part of Castlevania and Contra: Konami Collector's Series in North America, a PC port of original Konami games. In an exclusive fan interview for the official Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow strategy guide, Koji Igarashi considered the possibility of a compilation of the NES titles.

AVGN Episode[]

The video was originally created as a VHS tape on May 16, 2004 along with Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. It was the first NES video game ever played on the show as well as the first game to be developed by Konami that The Nerd Reviewed. The video was later released 22 months later on April 8, 2006 on YouTube with the following 2 videos being uploaded, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and The Karate Kid. In October 2009, The Nerd re-visited this game five years later as a 4th Halloween special in "Castlevania, Part II".

Some of the complaints The Nerd had the first time he reviewed this game were: 

  • The fact the player must sit through the text box that transitions day to night and vice versa every time it happens (despite the fact players can skip through the text provided by the hidden books that provide tips). 
  • The fact that Simon cannot swim. 
  • The fact that all the hearts are reduced to zero, and the items are too expensive and when Simon dies, he loses all the hearts and must start over. 
  • Lack of bosses in some of the dungeons and only having a few of them. 
  • The game being way too cryptic when compared to its' predecessor (such as having to throw an Oak Stake at an orb after a boss battle and having to kneel in front of a dead end while holding a Red Crystal in order for a tornado to appear and take Simon to the next area). 
  • The citizens don't give any clue to the player. 
  • System of long passwords. 
  • The last level, at Dracula's Castle, is anticlimactic and has no enemies to fight. 
  • The Dracula boss is too easy. 
  • Shitty ending, despite the fact that the game has multiple endings depending on what time you finish the game.

For the transcript, See Transcript of AVGN episode Castlevania II.

A second episode that reviews the game, Castlevania (part 2) was made, and new complaints were made:

  • Translations mistakes
  • Shitty bosses
  • Some parts where the jumps are outrageous and can miss easily.
  • The part at the lake where Simon must have the Blue Crystal in order to go though the water.

But the game has a nostalgic value for the Nerd, that like it graphics and soundtrack.

Castlevania II: Simon's Quest Redaction[]

In the 119th episode of AVGN, "Desert Bus", the Nerd reviewed a hacked version of Simon's Quest called Castlevania II: Simon's Quest Redaction. This was in homage to the 10-year anniversary of the Nerd episodes (as the original game was the first ever reviewed by the Nerd). The Nerd enjoyed this one better, as the text moved a lot quicker (especially during the day to night transitions), clues made sense and were not cryptic when talking to townspeople or finding a hidden book, Dracula's graphics were more improved and he looked more like a vampire than a Grim Reaper. The Nerd is stunned after finding a hidden book which gives him the clue on passing through the dead end by kneeling with the Red Crystal selected. After realizing that the hacked version corrected most of his complaints from the original review, he believes that "the word of the Nerd has been heard". He decides not to retire so that he can keep giving the fans what they need.