Over the past 35 years, Castlevania has mutated into a multimedia franchise that spans games, comic books and an acclaimed Netflix anime. Now, independent publisher Limited Run Games is preparing to release a chapter in the vampire hunter saga that never made it to the west. For the first time, an English version of the original Castlevania: Rondo of Blood for the TurboGrafx-16 is heading to the US.
Though there's no release date yet, the timing of the announcement is fortuitous. Currently, expert console cloner Analogue is readying the Duo, which relies on field-programmable gate array (FPGA) chips to support every TurboGrafx-16/PC Engine game ever made. While it struggled in the US, the original cartridge-based console was a huge hit in Japan and even spawned a Sega CD-like add-on for games on disc.
Castlevania: Rondo of Blood was released in 1993 for Japan's PC Engine CD, known elsewhere as TurboGrafx-CD. That version of the game never made it out of Japan, but a heavily-revised remake called Dracula X later came to the SNES and also got a 2.5D port to the PSP handheld in 2007. It was also released as part of a PS4 compilation alongside its direct sequel, 1997's Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, which ushered in the series' influential metroidvania style. Unlike that title, Rondo of Blood is a familiar platformer, with a linear stage-based setup that was similar to previous instalments.