Awesome concept and game! Have you thought about the possibility of turning this into a rom that could be played on actual NES hardware? I am sure that would be a larger undertaking, but it would be neat.
Simon Quest's Transylvania Adventure
A downloadable game for Windows
Simon Quest's Transylvania Adventure is a parody/homage to NES ClassicVania and other NES titles from the era.
The titular hero, Simon Quest, has just arrived in Transylvania only to discover his vampire hunting rival, Stan Helsing, has already slain the evil Count Dracula. In order to reclaim the glory that should be his, he journeys across Wallachia to gather what he needs to resurrect the dark count piece by piece and kick his ass himself!
Special thanks to:
Jordan Chewning (@Jordizzle) for coming up with this game with me and doing amazing art
Jonathan Holmes (@NonTrotski) for his support and amazing promotional/box art featured on this page
Tobias (@MisterFoxInc) for doing some QA and finding bugs
As always, if you want to help support development of this project, feel free to donate when you download, or visit my Ko-Fi!
Otherwise, I just appreciate you checking this project out!
DEMO 2: MANSION DEMO NOTES
What is this?
It's been a while since the proof of concept demo. I haven't released anything playable using the updated engine, and it's safe to say I'm well out of the proof of concept stage.
On a technical level, while a lot appears very similar, under the hood everything is practically overhauled/rewritten.
On a surface level, this is the remade 1st mansion (that is also playable in the Proof of Concept demo in a much lesser state) with an alternate B path. It's not 100% finished, and I'm still playing around with what feels right, however for this demo it serves its purpose.
It's important to remember that this is a work in progress, and doesn't necessarily reflect the final product.
I've tweaked the birds to make them track toward the back of the player and increased the delay for when they fly at you. I've also implemented a new system that gives them a separate hitbox and damagebox, so you can hit them much easier. There's also a new toggle to turn birds off in the dipswitches.
What is the purpose?
I want to show the new tiles, updated features, and the first couple of bosses to the game. I don't intend to release demos often, but having a first mansion demo makes sense.
Alternatively, not many people made it to the first mansion of the game in the proof of concept demo. I find that for demos, it's probably best to not include the non-linear exploration aspects of the game, and instead focus them entirely on the linear segments. This will also allow me to keep the element of surprise on the final product for people who've played the demos.
What is included?
A slice of the experience, starting you out at the first mansion
A list of "dipswitches" that let you play around with subweapons and other equipment
X Input devices supported- just plug them in before you start the demo.
Music and Sound test, similar to a lot of NES titles.
Fun bonus subweapons like the Shuriken, Hammer, and Tomahawk.
Most of the bugs I've found are low priority. I'm not really releasing this for bug testing, as the game is continuously growing and developing, however if you experience any of these, please know I am aware.
Pausing makes shadowy areas become darker
Raft appears choppy moving with Simon (I really suck at moving platforms and they're very slightly out of sync)
Enemy Crab's claws are meant to always push you toward the platforms, however on a rare occasion you'll get knocked back opposite your facing direction. Probably not going to focus much on this!
Changing the settings.ini file doesn't work across all machines. For example, changing the language file setting worked on some test machines, but not my own. If it does work however, you should be able to change your button mapping on controllers.
Frequently Mentioned/Asked Things
Q: Where can I follow development?
A: I post updates pretty regularly on Twitter! twitter.com/programancer
Q: It's too hard!
A: Given the nature of the genre, it's going to be difficult! It's not unfair however- enemy patterns can be learned easily, and if you keep a decent momentum you should be fine.
Q: The music sucks!
A: Sorry, I'm not a composer! I'll try to get better though.
Q: Can I work on this with you/give you assets
A: I'm not looking to expand my team at the moment. Right now it's just myself and sometimes Jordizzle- less hands in the jar = better cookies.
Q: Won't Konami sue?
A: Konami doesn't own any of the content in this game. The game is a parody & homage to a variety of works, and the main character's name is "Simon Quest" - No B*lmonts here!
There is controller support, however if you're using a keyboard this is the layout:
A = Start
S = Select
D = A
F = B
Up, Down, Left, Right = Dpad
Click download now to get access to the following files:
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unfortunately I wouldn’t be able to convert the game to an NES rom just because it breaks so many NES rules, buuut I have thought about making a companion piece somewhere down the road that would be an NES rom 🤔
My feedback so far. I like the look and feel of this game, I am a big fan of the original Castlevania games, but fell off after the Super Nintendo version.
1. I specifically liked the birds, and felt like I should not be offered the option to remove them.
2. I love the limited color palette.
3. The game really feels like the old Castlevania games, like this could have been Castlevania II in an alternate timeline. Well done!
I have a few concerns.
1. It feels almost too similar to the original right in the beginning.
2. I was maybe expecting something more like Castlevania II (since the name evokes that title) and that has a more perpetual world in which you start off in a town.
3. Game mechanics seem good so far, I did notice that I can move past the first boss without fighting him. The big armored guy... (maybe he's not technically a boss?)
4. I plan to play more, but I am a bit concerned about whether saving the game is even possible? Of all the things about Castlevania, that is the one I do not miss!
Hello! Thank you for your post~!
To address concerns first:
The build is just a mansion demo- meaning it's just that slice of the experience showcasing only the Mansion portion of the game. The overall experience is an adventure that has you exploring Transylvania- going to towns/areas and finding what you need to enter the mansions. The demo itself only demonstrates a small portion of the whole experience~ Any additional options (dipswitches for birds for example) offered in the demo are just for demonstration purposes. Progressing in the game goes from an exploration adventure where you talk to NPCs and try to figure out what you need to do, and then when you enter a mansion it becomes more of a traditional action game with a lives system- running out of lives simply takes you to the mansion entrance. It's a hybrid of old and new~ The first mansion's design is intentionally familiar; a bit of a nod. By the time you make it to that point in the game proper, the player will have played probably a half hour of content far removed from standard CV. Plenty of checkpoints, places to explore, and things to do~ Structurally I consider the game similar to something like Link's Awakening in terms of how you progress level to level.
Being able to move past the boss is definitely not intended! I'm pretty sure when I added his intro I forgot to implement the boss boundary activation~ I'll have to look into it. Thank you for catching that!
The game has saving in churches, however there's no reason to have saving enabled in the demo since it's just the mansion~
On my Twitter I post regular videos and updates if you'd like to check it out~ Lots of different stuff to see. Here's a link to my sizzler that shows things that aren't in the demo: https://twitter.com/Programancer/status/1254133716315709449
In the end the goal is to have an experience that feels both fresh and familiar! In the end it should feel like a little bit of Castlevania, Shatterhand, Power Blade, and a whole lot of NES tropes.
2.1 Demo Thoughts:
- Graphics upgrade is very nice! Great use of color pallet!
- weapons options list is good! I guess that is a preview of what weapons the game night have? The Slappy Hand whip conquers all!That was funny!
- Going up stairs is smooth.
- I found it really hard to get my guy to go down stairs. He would eventually do it but finding the sweet spot to get him to latch onto the stair going down was difficult. I was using a Logitech 310 controller if that makes any difference.
That's all I have to give in terms of input. It really does look like you're making a great game overall. Are you guys familiar with The Lecarde Chronicles games by Migami? Those are some other great CastleVania fan games I recommend checking out.
Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed it~ I'll have to check those other games out sometime! I'm trying to develop a bit in a bubble to try to not leech ideas from other indie games coming out soon, but I'm definitely interested in the classicvania revival going on right now~
I actually *just* fixed the stairs issue I think you're referring to! Basically the way stairs are set up is that they're a 24x16 collision box, so if you're on the upper right of a staircase that goes / and you're 1 pixel too far to the right (literally the upper right corner of the step) Simon wouldn't latch on, but would as far as 24 pixels to the left. Same with if you're on the top left of a staircase that goes \. I did some tinkering and managed to get that range extended so Simon tracks under those conditions much better~ When I rewrote the stairs from the first proof of concept demo, it was an absolute nightmare, so it was a tad more difficult to change something like that (it affects jumping onto stairs), but so far I have 0 bugs after applying a fix~
Ok, keep up the great work! I know Migami had some struggle with it in Lecarde Chronicles 1. They opted to use the rope mechanic in the sequel. So it's sounds like you're not alone in that! I don't know if reaching out to Ed Findlay's aka Retrogamer3 could be of any assistance. I think he built his own game engine from the ground up. He did a Vania game of his own. He seems to have the stairs mechanic sorted out. Maybe he'd be happy to help. He's also got his own remake of CV 2 in the works. He's posted a couple videos on YouTube about it. If there's any chance of people being able to help people, I'm all for it. Both you guys are magicians! Thanks so much again for what you're doing.
If you're looking of a music composer who is a fan of and has their finger firmly on the pulse of the music of the Castlevania series, I recommend Jeffrey Montoya. He did the music for the Migami CastleVania series. He's done remakes of the Konami soundtrack as well as original pieces for the Lecarde Chronicles. I saw in your comments that you don't consider yourself a professional composer, so I'm trying to help with that. I do think the music you've already done is interesting in it's own way. Maybe Jeffrey can work with you. Ok, fan boy out lol. Whatever works best. Thanks again.
You're doing a really great job. The balance of the game - like the crossing between CV1 and CV2 - is probably what it should have been back when they made CV2. But hey, without the flawed original, who would have been inspired to create a game like this one. Wishes of much success with this project. God bless.
Wow, cool game!
I think Simont Quest is a very underrated game, Is my favority castlevania from NES.
I like really view people like too, is really cool which you have added also Richter Movements.
It's really fun to see "Simon" doing the Slide, or Back Somersault, great addition!
Some points I'd like comment to you
1. Have you thinked add translations support? I would like translate the game in Spanish, however is not possible make this properly yet, please add spanish characters in the font, or use one with these :P
áeíóúÁÉÍÓÚñÑ¿¡ , etc
2. Check these hacks, have some nice improvements
2.1 In game map
2.2 Control their x-velocity in mid-air while jumping
3. Please a option to modify the game controls.
Hey there! I actually just added translation support over the past few weeks with Spanish and German in mind~
There’s also a fully featured options menu for a myriad of things including controller/keyboard input~
I have pretty regular updates on progress on my twitter account if you would like to follow progress :) I’m not sure when the next playable demo will be, but the game has come a very long way since this proof of concept demo
Does the game or will the game support fullscreen, 2x, 3x ?
That's been implemented as of last month, however I am waiting to upload a new demo until after I have some more story based content to show
Also, is the slide move really suppose to go that far? It seems ridiculous to slide half way across the screen so fast when the character walks so slow. I'd say tone it down a lot and maybe give a powerup that lets you go farther.
Yes- while the slide is on by default in the demo, it's not part of the normal game. It's intended for a game mode that gives you the "Ninja-Esque Bandanna", which gives you sliding, backflips, etc. There are various gameplay modifiers that change how Simon attacks, moves, jumps, etc and provide a more tongue and cheek experience.
I find your work simply magnificent <3
Stuck at the spirit woods...
I'm pretty sure it's either not working at all, is at least a 6 arrow combo, or is a 5 arrow combo that doesn't end in right. Don't ask me how I know, lol.
Go left from Spirit Woods and you'll exit it. It's a looping room with no current combination to exit (there's nothing past it yet)
Options cannot be chosen via keyboard, it always starts new game and offer saveslot.
From known issues:
Options menu, and Map menu does nothing at the moment.
It's not featured at the moment. Just a placeholder for when it's available. (Part of the issues list on the game page)
Bug: the text in the textboxes remain so that when you talk to a new person, the new text overlays on the old text. Have to close the game entirely to get an old conversation to go away.
Love the game so far. Youve done some great work!
That’s actually a result of the surface issue- not entirely sure why it happens for some people and not others sadly. I had implemented a fix when I originally discovered it, but I’ll keep looking! Thank you
Bug: In the screen just right of town, at night, I fought a skeleton, a bone got thrown at me. I lost the last of my HP during that hit. I clipped somehow through the ground (diagonally hit a corner?), fell through the terrain, then fell forever. The screen then kept scrolling right to the far edge, and stopped at the scroll-to-next-area boundary.
Got a soft lock, and could not activate the UI at all to try to reset myself, had to escape out of the game.
The specific control I was suppose to press to activate the statue wasn't obvious to me, nor was the hitbox. It wouldn't be NES-authentic, but it might be useful to have a "press <xyz>" prompt on some of these things.