Table of Contents
Welcome to Castlevania!
As the game starts, you will see our hero, Simon Belmont, approach the legendary castle. He'll turn and look up at the castle while bats fly in the background and a cloud floats over the moon. Can you feel the foreboding!?
Now Playing: "Vampire Killer"
This beginning screen has no monsters, as the game is letting you get used to its controls and upgrade system. Note we have 300 Seconds to complete this level, more than enough time. We also start out with 5 Hearts and 3 Lives. I (BK) also want to point out the song playing: "Vampire Killer". This song is basically Castlevania personified. It's just that good, and went on to become a series staple!
Move forwards and whip the first candle for 5 Hearts, and the next two candles in a row contain a Whip Upgrade. This will upgrade your whip from a Leather Whip to a Chain Whip, and a Chain Whip to a Morning Star respectively. This powers up your whip as high as it will go, which puts us in a good position right off the bat!
The next candle has another 5 Hearts and the candle after that will give you the Dagger Sub-Weapon. It's pretty standard for a Sub-Weapon, as it just sends a dagger flying straight ahead. Great for range, not for power. Note that to use any of the Sub-Weapons in the game, you must hold the UP directional button and press attack. The game's first HIDDEN ITEM is nearby as well! Before you enter the doorway here, note that you can jump past it (jump before your foot hits the black portion of the doorway... it can be tricky) to make a Flashing Money Bag appear behind you (it is worth 1,000 Points). Grab it and enter the doorway now to enter the Castle Foyer proper!
Here we'll be bombarded by Zombie Enemies. These foes don't stop coming no matter what, so don't stick around to kill them. We will note that they are worth 100 Points each and sometimes drop the Watch Sub-Weapon (which takes 5 Hearts to use). They also will do two damage to you if they hit you (just so you know, everything here does two damage to you if they hit you).
The candle behind you has a 400 Point Money Bag. The upcoming 10 candles, as you make your way forward in the foyer, will either have a Single Heart or a 100 Point Money Bag in them. Go forward killing the Zombies as they show up and collecting the hearts and money until you see the stairs.
Here you'll meet a new enemy: the Black Leopard. This thing is much faster than the Zombies but you can generally duck and whip to kill it. This one in particular you can walk past the stairs and it is guaranteed to jump past you, so turn around, duck, and whip it before it surprises you from behind.
The candle under the stairs has a 700 Point Money Bag, so if you care about points go ahead and grab it. Also, a quick note about stairs: Simon (or rather, this game) are very, um... rigid. You can't jump off of stairs. You can't jump onto stairs. Once you are on them you can only really go up or down, and if you get hit you won't take any knockback but you will suffer damage. We just want to make sure you know what to expect here, especially since later games are a bit more forgiving with stairs.
Head up the stairs (the first candle is a single heart/money bag) and at the top of the second set of stairs is a Fire Bomb Sub-Weapon. One of the better ones in the game so grab it if you want. Up ahead is another Black Leopard, so be ready to kill it (you can duck and whip it before it launches). Grab the candle for 5 Hearts and let the next Black Leopard jump down. The candle here is a small heart, but if you drop off the left side you can get a candle for a 700 Point Money Bag.
Head right now for a small heart candle and stop! You can find a hidden item nearby! Jump up and hit the last block of the platform above you to force a Flashing Money Bag to drop (worth 1,000 Points!).
Continue to the right now, whipping candles and Zombies at will. Every other candle in this stage is a smaller heart candle (minus the last one). As you go forwards you can see a staircase going up. There's nothing more on the lower floor (read the note below really quick!), so head up and hit the final candle for a "Cross" item (called a "Rosary") in other games that will immediately kill all enemies on screen. Grab it and head through the door to head to the next stage.
NOTE: If you wish, you can use sub-weapons and the lower level area down below to kill 2–3 enemies in a row. As the Basics section up above points out, you get bonus points for multiple kills with a sub-weapon, and these Zombies at this area are prime targets for multiple kills. You can very easily gain an extra life right here (30,000 Points) if you wished.
We'll have to face a new enemy on this screen: the Vampire Bat. These things just fly past the screen in a wave pattern that's based on your position, so you have to essentially line them up to kill them. Not too hard, but they'll deal 2 damage if they hit you.
The first candle here is a nice 5 Heart candle, while the next two to the right are single heart candles. Before we go on though, we want to introduce a special addition to this guide that you likely won't find in any other: speed-running tips. These are completely optional tips that can make your run through the game a little faster, but are really only for veterans of the series. We are going to put them in boxes like you see below, so feel free to use or ignore them as you wish!
Speedrun Tip 01!
If you move towards the right edge of the lower platform, you can get a bat to fly towards you from the right. By jumping towards it and letting it hit you, you can damage-boost to the right and get on top of the big blocks that block the way to the right. This lets you skip the "sewer" section down below completely!
There is another secret nearby though! Go down the stairs and hit the right wall here to uncover the Pork Chop item. This mysterious wall meat will restore 6 Health to you, so it is worth grabbing if you need it. Head to the left now and get the candle over here for a 700 Point Money Bag before heading down the stairs.
This new area is fairly dangerous, as there are pits here that you can fall into and die. We also get a new enemy here: the "Fish Man" who jump up from the water and can shoot fireballs at you. You need to be especially careful of knockback here so you don't get hit into the pits.
From the start, hit the candle to the far right for a 700 Point Money Bag (on your way to it, two Fish Men will undoubtedly jump up). The next two are small heart items, but the one of the very edge here is another 700 Point Money Bag. You can get it if you edge close to the edge, but be careful!
Jump the gaps to the right. The next candle has a Watch Sub-Weapon in it. Jump the second gap and whip whatever pops up to stay safe. The candles here are small candles, but the far-right one has a 5 Heart in it. Before you go up, there's another hidden item nearby! You can drop to the far right and destroy the upper block here. That lets you drop down below, where you can kneel down and a Flashing Money Bag will show up up above. Quickly fight your way there to pick it up (it will disappear after awhile) for 1,000 Points, then head up the stairs.
We're past the big block on the left now. Get the small heart candle here and go up the stairs. To the left is a 5 Heart Candle, and to the right is a Cross item (destroy all monsters) and another small candle for you. Continue through the door to the next stage!
Here we are, the final stage of the first level. There's nothing but Zombie enemies in here from the start to the boss at the end, so head forward. The first two candles are small heart items, but note there was a candle underneath you to the left too. Head right first and nab the third candle in this area for an Invisibility Potion. This potion makes you invulnerable to attacks, so you could just rush straight forward if you wish, or you can drop off the ledge to the left for that lower candle that has 5 Hearts in it.
Either way, you want to head right towards the stairs. There's two candles nearby: one under the platform with a small heart and one by the stairs with the Axe Sub-Weapon. This is by far the best Sub-Weapon for the upcoming fight, so make sure you grab it!
Continue on to the right now, as Zombies spawn towards you. The next two candles are small heart candles, while the higher-up one is a 5 Heart candle. The next two after that are small candles again, but as you head to the right you should see the GIANT BAT at the top of the stage. It's time for a proper boss fight!
– BOSS: Phantom Bat –
Strategy: This boss is fairly easy, given that it is the Level 1 boss after all! Plus, if you picked up the Axe Sub-Weapon and have a ton of hearts, you should do quite well as each Axe hits the boss for 2 Damage. You can also grab the candle to the far right for 5 Hearts and be sure to break the right block where the stairs start for our first "Double Shot" item, which lets you throw TWO Sub-Weapons.
That Double Shot alone makes this a very easy fight. Just spam your Axe attack to take this beast down.
For its part, the Phantom Bat will move back and forth and occasionally dive down at you. He mainly dives while moving, but he can also go straight down if you are underneath him. Depending on how far he goes, you can often duck to remain safe.
The Phantom Bat also has a rare fire attack that he uses at range. This is a simple fireball shot, much like the Fish Man attack, but if you spam your Axe Sub-Weapon like we recommend you probably won't even see this attack. We will note that any attack that the Phantom Bat lands will deal 2 Damage to you.
All in all the Phantom Bat is just an annoyance to Simon on his quest to destroy Dracula, so take it down and continue on to the next level.
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