For the month of October, we are highlighting the top villains in gaming. Andrew, Jeff, and Jeremie have teamed up to take all those guys you love to hate, and rank them. We will reveal them to you in a countdown, starting with #31 and ending with #1 on Halloween. Check us out each day of the month to see where your favorite villains rank!
First Appearance: Castlevania (NES)
Most Noteworthy Appearance: Castlevania 3: Dracula’s Curse
My first nightmare involving a video game was thanks to Konami’s Castlevania for the NES. As Simon Belmont, I battled my way through Count Dracula’s castle and battled monsters, such as Frankenstein, Queen Medusa, and the Grim Reaper. But when all was said and done, I had to face the man literally upstairs - Count Dracula.
Now you’re probably saying, “Come on, Jeff. You’re talking about an 8-bit game. How could that be scary?” Consider the fact that I was a kid with an active imagination and that the final boss of the game wanted to kill me and suck my blood, and suddenly, it’s all coming together.
The final boss fight against Dracula is difficult and offers a surprise that was one of the first of its kind. You’ve got to be fast on your feet and constantly dodging his attacks - getting in some well-timed headshots on him. Once you deplete his last bar of health, you breathe a sigh of relief. You did it. You beat Dracula. But hold the celebration, because he comes back to life in Demon Form, more aggressive than before. It didn’t seem fair, at the time, to toss in a twist like that, but it makes sense now. Now we expect that to happen in nearly every final boss we face in a video game.
Perhaps another reason Dracula is such a good villain is that he has set up quite an elaborate castle to keep you from disturbing him. Ghouls, Panthers, Fish/Human hyrids, Skeletons, and so many other creatures await you in this labyrinth. So, in a sense, Dracula has been hard at work and has assembled the A-Team of horrific monsters.
Count Dracula really needs no introduction. His name is synonymous with vampires, yet he has really gone and put in the extra effort to make himself a formidable and unforgettable foe. Time and time again, he would show up as the boss of nearly every game of the Castlevania series. If he wasn’t the boss, his presence was still felt. He offered nightmarish challenges and gave me nightmares in the real world. That’s quite an accomplishment.