Plot. In 1792, people live in an age of peace and harmony, but none notice the looming shadow among them. In the late hour, a group of men who are driven by madness and sold their souls to the devil, gather with a dark priest named Shaft. They sacrifice innocent and beautiful young maidens in order to revive their master, Count Dracula. After a century, the Vampire Lord is revived, and begins his conquest against the humans. He has captured a group of maidens in order to serve him, and join in his unholy cause. Richter Belmont, burdened by his destiny, takes up his ancestral whip, the "Vampire Killer", to battle against the forces of darkness and send Dracula to the eternal damnation once and for all.
Concept. Players guide Richter and Maria through eight levels, where they get to fight enemies, rescue the captured maidens, fight new and recurring bosses as well. In the seventh stage, they have to rescue Annette, otherwise they will face off against her as a vampire. When they rescue her, they fight against a harder boss, Shaft's Ghost.
Design. The game follows the traditional linear sidescrolling gameplay, but it has Anime-like sequences with voice acting, and a motion-comic like scenario during the intro as well. The facial expressions during some serious, funny, and tender moments are very well made for a PC Engine game. Well done Konami! Konami is like the LucasArts of video games.
Music. The music was composed by Masanori Akita, and the Konami Kukeiha Club. The game makes use of a CD in contrast to a HuCard, for better sound quality. The songs from Rondo of Blood such as: "Overture", "Beginning", and "Opus 13", appeared on a pre-order bonus CD for the 2006 Nintendo DS game Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin. The other songs were also rearranged as well.
Rantings. What I do NOT like about this game is how hard Richter's path really is, I mean, he can't double jump, and all he does is jump backwards, when pressing the Jump button twice. Second of all, he can't even run, which is bothersome. For almost two decades, the Medusa Heads continue to bother me, from the pit of my stomach I really cannot stand them. Also, the Ghosts and Harpy monsters are added to my list of the most hated monsters in this game.
Good Aspects. To me, games are not just about graphics, like many noobs today (sorry about that). I really like the scenarios, the gameplay, and the designs of every stage, which makes this game very epic and unique. The super attacks with the sub-weapons were awesome as well, but I did not like the "Grand Cross" attack, because it seemed a little bit corny in a way. Playing as two characters gives this game an excellent credit.
Overall. Castlevania: Rondo of Blood is a great game, and I enjoyed playing it on the Virtual Console. The game has replay value, and fans of the series both old and new will enjoy this game to the max. I give this game a 9 out of 10.