I've had the pleasure of playing through Castlevania a few times in the last week or so, and I've determined it to be absolutely classic. From the classic opening sequence to the incredibly difficult final levels, it's a masterwork of 8-bit gaming. It's incredible to me that this game came out so early in the NES life cycle, yet it has some of the best graphics on the system. Ripped tapestries, fallen balustrades, eerie turrets stabbing the sky in the background... and that's just the scenery. The enemies are many and varied, as well - knights, zombies, mummies, medusa heads, midgets, fishmen, eagles, skeletal dragons, and more - all waiting to be demolished by your whip. The whip itself is nice - with two levels of powerup it becomes your most lethal weapon. The various secondary weapons are nice - dagger, holy water, boomerang, axe, and time-stopping watch - but the best choice is clear. The axe is good for the first boss, the huge bat, and the boomerang is useful on level two, but the holy water is unsurpassed in power. It freezes or destroys enemies it toches and burns them for extra hits while you reload. With the triple powerup you're unstoppable. The music is pretty hot, though I usually have it muted with my own stuff on. You can find the first themesong here. I've been playing it on emulator, and I've been weaning myself from the quicksave. I've been doing the same thing with Megaman 2: start by undoing every mistake, then only the grievous ones, then only save at the beginning of a screen, then level... I'm slowly beginning to get my old NES skills back. You need them in this game, but the secret is to go slowly but surely, and look before you leap. You can beat the game like that - or you could, if Dracula weren't so freaking hard.