North American box art
Castlevania: Bloodlines, known in Japan as Vampire Killer (バンパイアキラー, Banpaia Kirā) and in Europe and Australia as Castlevania: The New Generation, is a platform game developed and published by Konami for the Sega Genesis. It is the only Castlevania video game released for the Genesis.
The game's storyline concerns a legendary vampire named Elizabeth Bartley, who is Dracula's niece, suddenly appearing in the 20th century. Plotting a sacrificial war in order to bring her uncle back to life, she orchestrates the beginning of World War I. Quincy Morris' son, John, and his best friend Eric Lecarde, vow to take up the fight against evil. Together they manage to prevent Dracula's full resurrection.
As with most early Castlevania games, players proceed through each level, defeating enemies and collecting gems to power special weapons: the axe, boomerang, and holy water. Each stage is sectioned, and has a sub-boss battle in the middle, with a main boss battle at the end. Some items increase the power of the characters' weapons. Some portions of the game split into different paths, depending on which character is chosen. John is able to swing past gaps with his whip, whereas Eric must use a different route by performing high jumps by using his spear.
In 1897, the long war between humanity and Dracula came to an end, as Dracula was laid to eternal rest by Quincy Morris, a distant descendant of the Belmont family. Peace was restored to Europe, until the outbreak of the First World War, which transformed the continent into a dark world filled with massacre and violence. At the beginning of the war, in June 1914 at Sarajevo, the Crown Prince of Austria was assassinated. It was said that a strange beautiful woman was involved, within the shadows. The woman was Elizabeth Bartley, who, in order to revive her uncle, Count Dracula, had conducted an unholy ceremony which caused the war, giving her possession of human souls from Europe.
The game itself takes place in 1917. The characters are John Morris, a distant descendant of the famed Belmont and Morris families who obeyed his fate to fight vampires day and night, and Eric Lecarde, whose girlfriend was transformed into a vampire when Elizabeth was revived. After Drolta Tzuentes resurrected Elizabeth Bartley by using black magic (Drolta is a subservient witch of Elizabeth), they traveled across Europe to conduct the resurrection of Count Dracula. John Morris and Eric Lecarde followed them. Even though the resurrection of Dracula was a success, the vampire hunters defeated him, and his allies.
Development and release
The game was originally released as a side story of the Castlevania series. The packaging artwork for the North American version was created by Tom Dubois, who designed the packaging for many other Konami titles outside Japan.
Castlevania: Bloodlines underwent censorship during localization to PAL regions in Europe and Australia. The word blood was kept out of the title at the time and the title was altered to Castlevania: The New Generation. When the game starts, the blood from the bottom of the title screen was changed to water. Another thing that was changed for the title screen is that the North American and Japanese versions had blood dripping effects from the title to the blood pool, but in the European version, the title screen just faded in through pixelated text and had no blue water dripping effect. The zombies were changed from pink to green to make them less gruesome. In the European version, Eric's spear does not impale him after he dies. There was a rearrangement of enemy placement as well, making the difficulty either easier or harder depending on where in the game the player is.
The game was released in most regions in 1994.
On May 16, 2019, the game was included in the Castlevania Anniversary Collection, released for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Steam and Nintendo Switch, marking the first time that the game has been re-released.
The music of Bloodlines was composed by Michiru Yamane, who scored Castlevania: Symphony of the Night and subsequent handheld Castlevania games. She said she worked under pressure and deadlines.
GamesRadar named Castlevania: Bloodlines the 8th best Genesis game of all time out of a list of 25. Game Informer's Tim Turi praised the level of gore relative to other Castlevania titles at the time. He also called it "one of the most overlooked treasures in the franchise." In a 1997 Castlevania retrospective, GamePro said that while the graphics and sound were not as impressive as those of Super Castlevania IV, it was a strong game by Genesis standards.
- "Computer and Video Games #147 pg. 62". Sega Retro. February 1994. Retrieved 6 October 2016.
- Konami staff. "Castlevania The New Generation". Castlevania web portal. Konami. Retrieved 2 March 2020.
- "GamePro #53 pg. 234". Sega Retro. December 1993. Retrieved 23 March 2016.
- Konami staff. "Castlevania Bloodlines". Castlevania web portal. Konami. Retrieved 2 March 2020. Cite has empty unknown parameter:
- "SegaPro #18 pg. 42". Sega Retro. April 1994. Retrieved 14 August 2016.
- "バンパイアキラー [メガドライブ] / ファミ通.com". www.famitsu.com. Retrieved 2018-07-24.
- Konami staff. "バンパイアキラー VAMPIRE KILLER". 悪魔城ドラキュラ ポータルサイト (in Japanese). Konami. Retrieved 2 March 2020.
- "Page 33, Rondo of Blood Strategy guide book". Archived from the original on 2010-04-05. Retrieved 2010-11-23.
- Gidney, Adam. "Tom Dubois artist page". BOX=ART. Archived from the original on August 2, 2016. Retrieved August 18, 2016.
- Oxford, Nadia (2019-05-21). "The Castlevania Anniversary Collection is Good, but Still Has a Couple of Chipped Fangs". USgamer. Retrieved 2019-06-03.
- Watts, Steve (2019-05-21). "Sega Genesis Mini Announces 10 More Games, Optional 6-Button Controller". GameSpot. Archived from the original on 2019-05-31. Retrieved 2019-06-03.
- "Castlevania: Bloodlines for Genesis – GameRankings". GameRankings. Archived from the original on June 18, 2012. Retrieved November 16, 2013.
- GamesRadar staff (April 17, 2012). "Best Sega Genesis games of all time". GamesRadar. Archived from the original on July 26, 2012. Retrieved February 2, 2013.
- Turi, Tim (2012-04-04). "Ranking The Castlevania Bloodline". Game Informer. Archived from the original on 2013-05-07. Retrieved 2013-12-05.
- "Castlevania Rises from the Grave". GamePro. No. 108. IDG. September 1997. p. 32.
- Parish, Jeremy (March 18, 2018). "Castlevania: Bloodlines, forsaken by Konami, is a masterpiece worth replaying". Polygon. Retrieved March 18, 2018.