Castlevania, known in Japan as Akumajō Dracula, is a gothic horror action-adventure video game series and media franchise about vampire hunters, created and developed by Konami. It has been released on various platforms, from early systems to modern consoles, as well as handheld devices such as mobile phones. The franchise has expanded into other media, including comic books, an animated television series, and several spin-off video games. Castlevania is largely set in the eponymous castle of Count Dracula, the main antagonist of the Belmont clan of vampire hunters. It debuted with 1986’s Castlevania for the Nintendo Family Computer Disk System.
The first entry and the majority of its sequels are side-scrolling action platformers, and were succeeded by the 1997 game, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. Originally released for the PlayStation, it returned to the nonlinear gameplay seen in Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest, which introduced RPG elements and exploration. Several installments later adopted Symphony of the Night’s gameplay, and along with Super Metroid, it has popularized the Metroidvania genre. 2010 saw the release of Castlevania: Lords of Shadow, a 3D action-adventure reboot of the series developed by MercurySteam and Kojima Productions. Castlevania is one of Konami’s most successful and prominent franchises, several of its entries are ranked among the best video games ever made.
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