DGC Ep 168: Super Castlevania IV (part one)

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we turn to 1991's Super Castlevania IV, due to the series having its anniversary this year. We talk about quite a lot of stuff, including its arcade nature but also its nods to the home market, its tone and setting ,how it teaches stuff, an a host of other topics. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
The first two stages

Podcast breakdown:
0:42 Castlevania Discussion
46:32 Break
47:11 Feedback

Issues covered: games in 1991, the arcade nature of this title, Metroidvania, arcade elements, common approaches to design, making Simon feel heavier and different, remaking Castlevania, the different approaches of other Castlevania games, playing something so old school, learning skills along the way, learning timing, using layers in Mode 7, exploring with some depth, jumping levels and stair climbing, the cool thing you can do with the new hardware, the multiple uses of the whip, powering up the whip, discovering that you can whip the background, teaching moments, enemy design, cursing the bobbing medusa heads, ramping the difficulty on enemies, mixing up enemies by plussing them up, putting all the enemies in the manual, possible sales technique, multi-phase bosses, patterns to detect in their movement, using sprites to lengthen out a spine, fighting the boss mid-level, seeing the boss's health level throughout the level, balancing difficulty, JRPGs, your weapons of choice, using hearts as ammo, the original name Dracula Satanic Castle, satanic panic of the 80s in the US, the animated series, talking about the many entries, the many places this series has gone, a Singing Review, uses for players guides, prodding you to think, developers working with players guides, getting Mew and Mewtwo in Pokemon, Japanese development.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Link to the Past, Super Mario World, Sonic the Hedgehog, Final Fantasy IV (/II), Civilization 1, Megaman 4, Monkey Island 2, Metroid 2: Samus Returns, Streetfighter 2, Another World/Out of this World, Super Ghouls 'n' Ghosts, Neverwinter Nights, Road Rash, Tecmo Bowl, Konami, Silent Hill, Metal Gear Solid, Contra, Frogger, Pro Evo, Dance Dance Revolution, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, GameBoy Advance/Nintendo DS, Bionic Commando, Indiana Jones, Dungeons and Dragons, Bram Stoker, Netflix, Warren Ellis, Hideo Kojima, Platinum Studios, SNES Classic, MJVogt85, Paranoid Android, Radiohead, Moby, Magnus Carlsson, MYST, Riven, John from Cincinnati, The Wizard and the Princess, Space Quest, King's Quest, Baldur's Gate, Fallout, Obduction, Infocom, Sierra, Robyn Miller, Rand Miller, David Wingrove, Dark Horse, The Witcher, Starfighter, Jedi Starfighter, Republic Commando, Fallout 3, Skyrim, The 2nd Quest, Disney, Imagineering, Jonathan Ackley, Chris Pavis, Rob Huebner, The Journeyman Project, Presto Studios, UbiSoft, ScummVM, ResidualVM, Gothic Chocobo, irreverentQ, Pokemon Sword & Shield, Unreal Engine, The Pokemon Company, Game Freak, Lightning Returns.

Next time:
The next three stages

Myst and Disney

https://twitch.tv/brettdouville, @timlongojr, and @devgameclub