Castlevania: Simon’s Destiny is a treat of a Doom mod

castlevania

Skeleton Appreciation Month has been, gone and shuffled back off to its grave, but I figure we can afford to extend the spooky festivities just a little while longer, especially with gems like this having snuck out in the final hours of October.

Castlevania: Simon’s Destiny was released on Halloween day, and is a genuinely impressive fan-game, remaking the entirety of the original NES game in first-person perspective, all built on the open-source (and increasingly flexible) GZDoom engine. Well worth a play, if you feel you could do with a little more Dracula in your life.

While relatively short (six levels, mirroring the NES original), an immense amount of love and attention has been poured into Simon’s Destiny. Every environment, monster and boss from the original game is present and correct, and one detail I found especially charming was the difficulty settings – named after phases of the moon – are reflected in-game with the skybox displaying your choice every time you look to the sky.


Don’t worry about the trailer looking a bit dark. Something went a bit awry encoding it.

As with the NES original, Simon’s Destiny is no walk in the park. Unless you don’t mind dying and retrying (all part of the experience, really), I very highly recommend saving regularly. Also, don’t go picking Blood Moon difficulty until your second playthrough – you are absolutely not prepared for the heaps of new monster types that mode adds. Even on the lower settings, enemies are highly damaging and health pickups are few and far between, often hidden in strange places. Remember: Wall-meat is the best meat.

In case you were worried: The horrible, sadistic sine-wave-flying medusa heads are present and correct and placed in such a way to ruin every jump you ever hope to make across a perilous chasm. Yes, you’ll have to do some first-person platforming (this is a Castlevania remake, after all), but the targets to land on are all generously sized. The real challenge is not getting knocked off by horrible bone-lobbing skeletons once you’re on a ledge. It’s a remarkably authentic adaptation.

Those who keep up with the Doom modding scene might recognise the name Andrea Gori, aka Batandy. His past creations include the Doom: The Golden Souls series, which mash up classic Doom demon-slaying violence and the whimsical charms of Super Mario 64. It would seem that he’s developed a little bit of a thing for re-envisioning console classics in first-person, and I can’t wait to see The Golden Souls 2 complete.

You can get Castlevania: Simon’s Destiny on the ZDoom forums here. While not bundled with the engine, all you need to do is download a recent version of GZDoom – no purchase necessary.

3 Comments

  1. Det. Bullock says:

    I saw a Cinemassacre stream of this some time ago, I didn’t think much of it.

    • Jalan says:

      Saw similar (another person streaming it). It’s impressive in terms of conversion mods (especially since soooo many get lazy and the end results either sit unfinished or are just ugly to behold) but that’s about it.

      I hope he does reconsider Simon’s Quest at some point when he has the time to devote to it though. Whether it’d be better than this or even better than the original game itself, I feel as though if any of the “original” three Castlevania games needed attention, it’s that one (and not simply because it’s the target of ire between multi-million view talking heads on YouTube or people who think it’s a terrible Castlevania game in general). And ultimately, as we all know at this point, Konami would rather ram pachinko machines and other unwanted junk down their longtime fans throats than actually devote any amount of time to making an actual video game said fans would play and enjoy.

  2. Ghostwise says:

    you are absolutely not prepared for the heaps of new monster types that mode adds.

    Illidan, leave this body, the power of Christ compels you !

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