The three Castlevania games on NES are some of gaming’s most beloved classics, and we could have gotten even more if it weren’t for those blasted turtles.
This strange piece of info comes from a series of Tweets posted by a former Konami developer who worked with Hitoshi Akamatsu, the creator of Castlevania. According to him, Konami was earning so much revenue from their Ninja Turtles games that they started prioritizing the turtles over everything else, killing the chances for more Castlevania games on the NES/Famicom.
During the Famicom era at Konami, the overseas sales for Turtles was Konami’s highest seller, and because of that, the Turtles development team was prioritized above everything else. The Castlevania team (and others like it which didn’t make a lot of money) had to survive on the scraps. There was a possibility for further Castlevania sequels on the Famicom, but it got pushed out by the popularity of Ninja Turtles.
In fact, one of Akamatsu’s goals for Castlevania III (Akumajo Densetsu) was apparently to outperform the Ninja Turtles games, which had so much of Konami’s attention that his own projects were living off scraps.
Akumajo Densetsu represents the zenith of quality in both music and gameplay for the Famicom. I asked Akamatsu about why it was so good, and he said it was all done in an attempt to outdo the Ninja Turtles games.
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