Asstlevania- Confessions of a man mad enough to sit in his fucking pants and play videogames.

It’s a quiet day in Pigeon Towers, so I’m at a bit of a loose end as to what to do with myself. Noel is out hunting elk, Andi is in a self induced coma until Duke Nukem Forever comes out, new boy Jimmy is schmoozing with Seth Putnam and Paul is accepting numerous backhanders from the Dillinger Escape Plan (dirty bastard) for decent reviews. So what’s dear old Defence Minister Mishkin going to do eh? Eh?

I’ll tell you what he’s going to do. He’s going to sit and play numerous Castlevania games back to back in his fucking pants.

There are a few reasons why I’m doing this. Andi did the very same thing many moons ago with the Megaman series. The mad bastard. Part of me always thought that’d be quite an excellent way to waste what little time we have on this plane of existence. Why go out and climb mountains and swim in the sea when you can beat the shit out of fictional beasties eh? Siiigh. The other more notable reason though is to commemorate the release of Castlevania: Lords of Shadow, the best Castlevania game in aaaaaaages. Rather than do another Metroidvania (that’d sell about 8 copies), they’ve upped the budget, got Hideo Kojima on board (expect lots of Medieval Codec conversations) and drafted in some hefty voice talent in the shape of Captain Jean Luc Picard and Begbie from Trainspotting.

Naturally, it’s the perfect excuse for me to plonk myself in front of a TV, use my Wii for something other than Dragon’s Den (god, the things I would do to Meaden) on the iPlayer, and forego any human contact for the day as I direct a little fictional man around a little fictional castle. Dear God I hate myself.

I’m going to try blundering my way through Castlevania, Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest, Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse, Super Castlevania IV, Castlevania: Rondo Of Blood and maaaaybe Castlevania 64. I won’t go through any of the post Symphony Of The Night stuff, because that would take 8 years to do, and we’ll all be dead by then. Probably. Also rather than be a new games journalist fanny I’m just going to write it all down in some diary form. Think Bridget Jones if she liked hardcore Japanese computer games instead of obsessing over the size of her pants.

So without further ado, let the eh, madness, begin.

CASTLEVANIA

4.03pm: Try to turn on Wii. Realise Wii isn’t plugged in. Say a cuss word.

4.04pm: Plug Wii in. Weep as I see the effects of it’s fried GPU. Green pixels are everywhere. It’s like the Matrix for overgrown manchildren. So yeah, it’s basically like the Matrix.

4.05pm: Boot up the first Castlevania which I bought on the virtual console ages ago one rainy day in Scotland after a relentlessly miserable day working at Primark. I’ve no idea why I piddled my hard earned money on it. I didn’t have any clue about emulators in those days. I was an idiot. I still am really.

4:06pm: Right, here we go. My little man Simon Belmont is storming the castle. I’m beating the crap out of zombies left right and centre. Christ this is easy. At this rate I’ll have finished… wait. I just got messed up by this little jumping wanker. Uuuuurgh.

4:12pm: Still stuck on the first level. Lost all my lives and have had to start again. How the piss did people tolerate this kind of stuff in the mid 80s? My little man is walking through the castle like he has a massive dump in his trousers at about 3mph, and he can’t use his whip diagonally, which is no good when you’ve got shit flying at you from all angles. Stupid bloody game.

4:14pm: Hooray! Finally at the boss. It’s a big bat. That I can’t hit because I can’t whip diagonally and I’ve only got stupid knives to chuck at him. Ffffffffffrg. I still beat him though. Hahaha stupid bat.

4:17pm: The second level is even more of a ballache than the first. I have skeletons to deal with now. And little flying bats that are basically impossible to hit. One of the little buggers took 3/4s of my health. What is a boy to do eh.

4:21pm: Aaaaarghstupidfuckinggameaaaaarghaaaarghfuckingbatsaaaaaaaaargh

4:23pm: Tried to jump over a platform and got knocked off by a bat. Normally I wouldn’t complain about getting knocked off (haha lol etc etc) but this has happened 4 times. I cannot be scuttered with the original Castlevania anymore.

4.24pm: I get a cup of tea, a scotch egg, and I move away from the mic to breathe in.

CASTLEVANIA II: Simon’s Quest

4.27pm: I’m 3 minutes into Simon’s Quest and I’m already bamboozled. Rather than follow the linear progression of the first game, it’s an open ended rpg platformer. This would be all well and good if Simon could whip back and forth with the grace and speed of Alucard in Symphony Of The Night, but alas, he still moves with the dexterity and poise of an ennui stricken diabetic. This will be a long night.

4.29pm: Speaking of long nights, Castlevania II has a bloody dreadful day night mechanism. Every time it becomes night you get a bigass intrusive text block pop up which tells you ‘WHAT A HORRIBLE NIGHT TO HAVE A CURSE.’ It takes about 10 seconds to go through this. And it happens a lot. Hellish. Not only that, but the already annoying monsters you have to fight become even harder to kill. Game designers in the 80s were rubbish.

4.34pm: The monsters are nothing compared to the villagers you have to speak to though. Normally I find Japanese to English translation pretty funny, but not when you need to listen to the dumbell yokels to actually progress. Some of the villagers are helpful, some are outright liars, and some are just plain fucking stupid.

4.50pm: I battle my way through a castle to find one of Dracula’s body parts. That’s the plot of the game you see. Transylvania’s going through some kind of curse and you need to bring Dracula back to kill him again or something, and to do that you need to get his body parts which include his fingernail, his rib bone, his wig, his monocle and…wait for it…snigger … his left bollock (hahaha lol I made a joke about genitalia I am wild). To get said body part though, you need to buy an oak stake in order to penetrate the glowing orb (even in the 80s game designers were putting sexual metaphor and artistic allusion over actual, y’know, fun) that protects it. You need to buy the oak stake from some manny in the castle though, because the game is awkward as all out shit. So I get to the bit with the orb, chuck the stake…

And miss. Meaning I need to traipse back to the wanker in the castle, but I don’t have the money required to buy the stake so I need to kill more beasties again.

I decide I’m not willing to get an aneurysm for the sake of an old child’s computer game, and guess there and then that I’ve probably seen enough of Simon’s Quest. I hate Simon.

CASTLEVANIA III: DRACULA’S CURSE

4.52pm: I boot up Castlevania III and stare at the title screen. I then wonder if it’s all worth it. The Castlevania marathon I mean. Not life in general.

4.53pm: Then I do actually wonder if life in general is worth it. Have a cry.

4.55pm: Castlevania III is more like the original Castlevania again. It means I know where I’m going, but it’s basically fucking impossible to get there anyway. Natural order is resumed.

4.56pm: The little man I control in this one is called Trevor Belmont by the way. I like that. You never get anyone called Trevor in games these days. It’s all Dante, Leon, Garrus or Clive. Stupid modern game developers.

4.57pm: Some skeleton chucks a bone at me and I drop down dead. Again. Stupid Trevor.

4.58pm: I really can’t be arsed anymore. With the Castlevania marathon I mean. Not life in general.

4.59pm: Then I do actually decide I can’t be arsed with life in general. Have a cry.

5.00pm: Turn off Wii.

5.02pm: Lie back on bed to think about what I’ve become.

11.37pm: I wake up and rub the sleep and remnant tears from my eyes. Contemplate maybe making a start on Super Castlevania IV, but opt to watch Down Periscope instead, with Kelsey Grammer, star of TV’s Cheers and Frasier. Also when I say with, I mean he’s in it, not that I watched it with him. Although that would be so excellent. Imagine drinking sherry and watching a terrible comedy with Kelsey Grammer. You could die happy then.

11.38pm: Realise the chances of me dying happy are slim to none. Decide that I want to be immortal.

11.43pm: Get bored of shit 90s navy comedy and fall asleep, ready to get up for work the next day. Please help.

As you can see the proposed Castlevania marathon was a failure. Not only were the games too hard, slow and unplayable, but they rendered me an existential mess. It was less a marathon, and more a light stroll through the Yorkshire Moors, and the Yorkshire Moors were covered in dog shit and syringes.

Excellent music though.

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