Top 30 NES Soundtracks #19: Castlevania
By Bucky Friday, 12 Jun 2009

#19 – Castlevania (33 Votes)
#19 Castlevania

Developer, Publisher: Konami Year: 1986 (JP), 1987 (US), 1989 (EU) AKA: Akumajou Dracula

The Castlevania series has always been held in high regards for its soundtracks. This precedent was set from the franchise’s earliest title, coming in at #19 on our list.The first level music, Vampire Killer, is nothing short of an icon. It serves as a representative for classic NES music, alongside the most popular and recognized video game music of the era. Each stage offers a unique track, with a score a little under 14 minutes in length (assuming all the looping songs play twice).

Even as a fan and dedicated listener, I’ve never been able to put my finger on the style of this music. Some will swear that the Castlevania music is “sooo metal \m/“, while others may cite a strong classical influence. I’m not sure that it’s really any one thing at its core, but rather, a hodgepodge of pop-funk/ neo-classical rock and whoever knows what else. It’s a mix of styles blended into one: Castlevania.

The original release, Akumajou Dracula for the FDS, had one small difference. It offered a name entry screen with a short loop which I believe is officially titled “Underground”. The name entry screen was cut for the US version of Castlevania we’re all probably familiar with, although interestingly enough, the music was still left

within the rom data. In other words, the tune was inaccessible via gameplay, but hidden within the data of the cartridge. A remixed and expanded version appeared in Harmony

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of Dissonance as Name Entry 2K2.

The music was composed by Kinuyo Yamashita. As an original member of Club Kukeiha, she composed for multiple Konami soundtracks including Arumana no Kiseki and Parodious. She became a freelance composer in 1989 and worked outside of Konami, on other titles such as the Powerblade series from Taito, and Mega Man X3 from Capcom.

Enjoy a variety of tracks on youtube here.

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