Thursday, February 25, 2010

25 Years of Vampire Killer

Vampire Killer, the first stage theme from the original Castlevania, is one of the most enduring pieces of video game music in its entire history. I do always admired that Konami was well aware of how much the community loved its soundtracks, and each successive sequel has usually had some kind of remixed versions of older songs. It sorta started around Castlevania III, which reused Vampire Killer titled as "Deja Vu" in the castle halls, while Super Castlevania IV started the tradition of the Holy Trinity of Castlevania Music - Vampire Killer, Bloody Tears, and Beginning - from the first three games, respectively.

So, I went through all of the versions of Vampire Killer and spliced segments from each into a full length song. It loops around three times before fading and I think has about 25 different pieces of music. I didn't include every single remix, but most of them are accounted for. I think it sounds pretty good, except the version from Circle of the Moon REALLY sounds out of place. I probably should've used another segment, but I didn't feel like going back and re-editing it. If nothing else, it shows how odd that version sounds compared to the rest. It's (very) loosely in chronological order, which gets wonkier as it goes on and on.


  1. That was totally awesome. I don't think the Circle of the Moon version sounds too out of place, especially since you included other crazy remixes(like from Chronicles). Well done editing.

  2. I love Vampire Killer to pieces, but for me, my favorite Castlevania music (and favorite video game music OF ALL TIME) will always be "Opposing Bloodlines" from Castlevania Dracula X, and ONLY the SNES version (The CD version's synths are weak, and the Chronicles version is only OK). Just hearing that funk guitar over the synth string swell makes me nostalgic, and don't forget all the cool SID-esque arppegios the strings do in the middle of the song! IMO there has never been a more rousing segue into a loop point of a SNES song than that synthpad sliding down the keyboard twice and then the synth bass going BOWBOW BOW BOWBOWBOW. Plus, by both composition and sample choice, the song OOZES Konami flavor. Whenever someone mentions Konami music, "SNES Opposing Bloodlines" is what I think of. Then again I'm in the weird camp who LIKED SCD:X for SNES, so YMMV.

    But VK is my second favorite song. I like the sort of Siegfried and Roy vibe they gave it in SNES Dracula X.

  3. This is fantastically awesome.

    What's the game/remix from about 1:16 to 1:20?

    For that matter, do you have a list of the order of the tracks you used? There's other stuff I couldn't identify, but that one section is the one I'm most curious about.

  4. Great video! :) It's wierd how the NES ones blend together, and to a lesser extent the 16 bit ones, at least in my opinion. One of the best video game themes, but I wish Konami could be a bit more subtle about the homages (like how that one SPOILER fight in SotN had the Beginning theme remixed in a very wierd way).

  5. The 1:16-1:20 is from Dracula Perfect Selection, that one album with all of the silly rapping. The rendition of Vampire Killer sounds good, though.

    The order:
    CV1 NES
    VK MSX
    CV3 US
    CV3 JP
    Dracula X SNES
    Dracula X PCE
    X68000 Roland SC-55
    X68000 FM
    X68000 Chron PS
    SotN Saturn
    Circle of the Moon
    Harmony of Dissonance
    Dawn of Sorrow
    Castlevania Legends
    Dracula X PSP
    Dracula Battle
    Dracula New Classic
    Dracula Perfect
    Castlevania Rebirth
    Lament of Innocence