Friday, February 23, 2018

Walkthrough: Castlevania II - Simon's Quest

It's a game notorious for its difficulty. A game people today declare impossible to finish without a guide due to "bad game design." A game full of nonsense advice and hints given by characters in game that will leave players scratching their head more than solving riddles.

I am, of course, referring to Castlevania II: Simon's Quest. It's time for a new walkthrough.

Castlevania II: Simon's Quest was released in late 1988 by Konami. It has a reputation of being extremely vague and challenging, but it's actually not that tough. Like my guide for Zelda II: The Adventure of Link before this, with this guide I aim to cut down on the ambiguous nature of the game and help people enjoy it as much as I do. It is my favorite Castlevania game on the NES, you know.

By now you've probably seen the Angry Video Game Nerd review of the game where he put it on blast. It was the first video he did as the character. If that video is your only experience with the game, then I urge you to actually give it a shot yourself. And do so with this guide! I do feel people criticize this game a lot because of that video and go in with the impression that the game is bad when it's actually not.

With all that being said, let's get ready to step into the shadows of the Hell House, friends. It's time to dive into Castlevania II.

Villager Clues:
  • "First thing to do in this town is buy a White Crystal."
  • "A crooked trader is offering bum deals in this town."
  • "A flame is on top of the 6th tree in Denis Woods."
  • "Rumor has it, the ferryman at Dead River loves Garlic."
  • "13 clues will solve Dracula's riddle."
  • "You have a friend in the town of Aldra. Go and see him."
  • "A magic potion will destroy the wall of evil."
  • "Clues to Dracula's riddle are in the town of Veros."
First thing we're actually going to do is exit this town to the right and enter the Jova Woods. You'll encounter Skeletons and Werewolves in this area. We're going to kill enemies until we gather 150 hearts, which will put our total hearts at 200. Hearts in this game are currency. You can check how many you have by pressing start. Once we have 200 hearts, we can make three critical purchases in Jova: The Holy Water, the White Crystal, and the Thorn Whip. You can choose to not buy the Thorn Whip, but I prefer to because I like to be complete. Likewise, you can choose to not buy the White Crystal just yet, but you'll have to backtrack later to get it if you don't go ahead and buy one now.

So a little more about hearts. Hearts serve a dual purpose in this game. Not only are they currency, but they are also your experience. In Castlevania II, simply killing an enemy will not net you any experience points. If the enemy drops a heart and you collect it, that's when you get the experience. At night enemies are stronger, and as a result, they drop more hearts. You can quickly rack up money and experience at night time, but the preferred method of grinding for them is inside mansions.

After no doubt passing through a night cycle, re-enter the town you started in and climb the first staircase you see. There will be a cloaked man standing there who will offer to sell you a White Crystal. You can buy this if you have the 200 hearts, but it's not critical at this point. Enter the open door to his right and talk to the person inside by pressing the B button. They will offer to sell you Holy Water for 50 hearts. Buy this for sure, then exit the room.

Head left past the cloaked figure and jump off of the platform you're on to the one slightly lower. Continue walking until you reach another open door. Inside is someone who will sell you a Thorn Whip for 100 hearts. Buy this as well, then exit the room. The Thorn Whip is more powerful than the Leather Whip you started the game with. It will make the first mansion a little easier if you have it, but it's definitely not necessary. I'll leave it up to you.

If you suffered damage while gathering hearts in the Jova Woods, head to the top of the town and enter the church. If you speak to the person inside you will recover your health. Otherwise, we're done here for now. Exit the town to the right and enter the Jova Woods once again.

Your new Thorn Whip will make short work of the enemies now. Continue through the woods and you'll come to a crumbled bridge. This is the South Bridge, and it connects Jova Woods to Veros Woods. As you cross it, you'll see Skeletons walking on it, but be aware of the Fish Men enemies which will spring from the water and attack. They can easily knock you backwards into the water, and they will shoot fireballs from their mouths if you don't kill them while they're still airborne.

After making your way across the bridge, you'll find yourself in the Veros Woods. Climb the blocks and bypass the lower path. It looks like you can't get down there, but tossing Holy Water into the first two blocks will destroy them and open the path. There's no reason to go down there, though. Once you cross this screen, you'll come to a path choice. Taking the lower path leads to the town of Veros, but continuing straight will soon lead to our destination, the Berkeley Mansion. On the following screen, a Fish Man will jump from the water and land on the two rocks in the water. Cross this screen and you'll be at the entrance to the mansion.

Upon entering the mansion, it will appear impossible to progress. If you have the White Crystal equipped, you will see a blue platform going up and down. Without it, the platform is invisible, but it's still there. If you don't have the crystal, position Simon so he's half on the ground and half over the water and begin jumping. Soon Simon will end up on the invisible platform and can ride it up. Kill the Lance Knight and Skeleton Soldier and continue right until you come to two staircases. Ascend the stairs leading up to the next level.

Follow the path and a Gargoyle will come at you. With your Thorn Whip they are easily defeated. Just past it are staggered blocks leading up. You'll have to do some moderately tricky jumping here to make it to the top. Once you do, destroy the Lance Knight to your left and climb the stairs. At the end of this you'll come to some blocks which are about eye level with Simon. These are false blocks, and you'll fall through them if you try to walk on them. You can toss some Holy Water at them to see that they're not real. When you jump from the platform you're on to the next, you'll have to land on the third block or you'll fall through. Experiment with throwing Holy Water to see exactly where it is if you're not confident. Once you make the jump, proceed right to the next screen. If you do fall, there's a hidden clue to the far right in the wall. Tossing Holy Water into it will reveal a book, which when collected reads, "A symbol of evil will appear when you strike the stake."

Here you'll see a man with a blue cloak walking back and forth. We're going to have to talk to him. Walk right and fall off the ledge (or walk down the stairs if you'd like) and then go down the next set of stairs. Continue left past the Skeleton Soldiers and then climb the staircase. You'll soon come to the cloaked figure who will offer to sell you an Oak Stake for 50 hearts. You should have more than enough hearts to buy this, so buy it. If for some reason you don't, kill Skeleton Soldiers until you have enough. This is also a one time only use item, so don't equip it yet. We don't want to accidentally lose it. There's an additional hint hidden in the wall past him which reads, "Destroy the curse and you'll rule Brahm's Mansion."

Head back to the right down the stairs and then go down the next set of stairs under you. There is another set of stairs leading down to the left, but if you go past it there's another clue in the wall which reads, "A flame flickers inside the ring of fire." Head down the stairs and then go right, but proceed with caution. You'll see two gray pillars in the background. The two blocks at the base of the second pillar are false. You'll notice the roaming skeleton won't walk over them, and that's always a good indicator that something is up with the floor. Use some Holy Water if you'd like, but it's the two blocks at the base of the second gray pillar. Jump the gap and head right and you'll be in a chamber with hanging bodies and a shimmering orb. Equip the Oak Stake and toss it into the orb the same way you toss Holy Water. A bag will be in its place, and when you pick it up, you'll find Dracula's Rib.

Dracula's Rib is probably the most useful of the Dracula items. It acts as a shield which deflects projectiles when you equip it. Go ahead and equip it because there's no reason not to, then head back to the false floor and fall through it this time. Notice I said fall through it and not jump into it. Jumping into it will probably send you into the water. Continue left and ignore the upper path. It's full of false floors and isn't worth bothering with. Climb the stairs to the far left when you reach them and you'll be back at the beginning of the mansion. See why you wouldn't have wanted to fall through that false floor while ago?

Lance Knight
We're about to leave the mansion, but there's one other thing I didn't mention until now. Press the start button and look at your experience. If it doesn't read all zeros, then kill enemies until it reaches 100. This is the point where you'll gain a level. You more than likely already had this happen in the mansion before this point. It happened for me when I killed the first Gargoyle near the beginning. Once you gain a level in an area, the game will shut off experience until you reach the area around the next mansion.

I would also suggest walking back and forth between the Skeleton Soldier and the Lance Knight and accumulating 200 hearts. It sounds like a lot, but these two enemies will frequently drop heart halves which are worth more than the small hearts outside. It won't take you very long to accumulate the suggested amount.

Once we're outside, head left back to the Veros Woods. We're going to now head back to the staircase that led down to the town of Veros, so continue left through the woods until you come to that staircase and descend down it.

Villager Clues:
  • "A rib can shield you from evil."
  • "You look pale, my son. You must rest in the church."
  • "Laurels in your soup enhance its aroma."
  • "Clues to Dracula's riddle are in the town of Alba."
  • "Clues to Dracula's riddle are in Berkeley Mansion."
  • "You've got a friend waiting for you in the town of Aljiba."
Jump the water and enter the first open door. The room appears to be empty, but drop some Holy Water into the far wall to reveal a secret room. Inside is a cloaked figure who will sell you a Dagger for 50 hearts. Buy this weapon, then head back outside.

On the far right of town is another open door. Climb the stairs up to it and enter it. In this room, toss some Holy Water onto the floor and you'll reveal a set of stairs leading down. Clear enough room to enter and descend the two sets of stairs. Another cloaked figure offers to sell you a Chain Whip for 150 hearts. Now you see why I suggested saving up 200 hearts from the mansion.

Exit this town to the left if you didn't buy the White Crystal in Jova at the beginning of the game, otherwise head to the right and enter Dabi's Path. You must have the White Crystal by the point we reach the next town, so go get it if you don't have it yet. Then return to this point.

Dabi's Path is a cave. As soon as you enter the screen, a Ghostly Eyeball will come at you from the top. Defeat it and then head right across the marsh. You'll notice that you're now gaining experience points again. Good to know. Climb the stairs to the right and then climb the next sets of stairs all the way to the top of the screen. Exit the screen to the right.

Continue walking and then fall down the sets of platforms. Toss some Holy Water into the bottom two and then head back all the way to the left. There are two blocks jutting out from the wall here. Use your Holy Water on it to reveal and obtain the Sacred Flame weapon. Walk out of here to the right and enter the Denis Woods.

There are spiders in the trees here which will descend on a thread and shoot webs at you. They are quite annoying but are easily defeated with your Chain Whip. Once you've cleared the air, there's a hidden clue book directly next to the water, just to the right of the stone you jumped over when you entered. It reads, "To replenish earth, kneel by the lake with the Blue Crystal." This is actually a very useful clue book! Proceed through the woods to the right.

It's another screen that looks like the screen by Berkeley Mansion and the town of Veros. Ignore the staircase and go right to the next screen. More spiders will make things troublesome for you, but they're nothing you can't handle. Once you clear this screen, you'll be in the town of Aljiba.

Villager Clues:
  • "Buy some Garlic. It has special powers."
  • "Dracula's eyeball reflects the curse."
  • "Clues to Dracula's riddle are in the Veros Woods."
  • "Clues to Dracula's riddle are in Rover Mansion."
  • "A Laurel will protect you from the poison marsh."
  • "The Dead River waits to be freed from the Curse."
  • "To restore your life, shout in front of the church."
Hop across the water and enter the open door. Again, the room will appear to be empty, but toss some Holy Water onto the floor and it will reveal a secret area. Descend the stairs below and you'll find a cloaked merchant who sells you Garlic for 50 hearts. Go ahead and buy some. Exit the house and walk right. You'll soon come to another open door. The only thing inside is a villager who tells you, "Dracula's eyeball reflects the curse." You can ignore this open door if you'd like and continue to the edge of town where a staircase leads up. At the top is another open door, so go ahead and enter it.

Inside appears to be empty, but the floor can be destroyed with Holy Water. Do so and go down the stairs to find a merchant selling Laurels for 50 hearts. These are good to have, so buy some. Exit the house once you have made your purchase, then climb the stairs to the left of the open door.

On the top level of the town, walk left until you find a man who looks different from any other person you've seen so far. He's clad in gray and white, and he will exchange his Blue Crystal for your white one when you speak to him. The Blue Crystal is necessary to continue the game, and you don't need the white one anymore, so don't panic when he automatically takes it. Once you have your new Blue Crystal, head out of town to the right and you'll be in the Camilla Cemetery.

First thing to do when you get in the cemetery is drop some Garlic. When you do, a man will appear before you and give you a Silver Dagger. There is literally nothing left to do here, so go back left through Aljiba and re-enter the Aljiba Woods. Walk through them until you reach the descending staircase I told you to ignore earlier and walk down it. You'll be in another cave. This is the Lower Road, and it leads to our destination: Yuba Lake. Make your way through the cave, taking the upper path when you're given the option to. The bottom one has some unnecessary platforming that we're not going to worry about until we come back through here.

Leave the cave and you'll find yourself beside an impassable lake. Equip the Blue Crystal and hold down for about five seconds. The screen will shift down and you can now enter the water. Follow the path to the next screen.

You'll immediately be set upon by a Lance Knight and Skeleton Soldiers. There is a staircase which leads up, but there is absolutely nothing up there. It winds around and is a complete waste of your time. There's not even a clue book up there. Instead, go right until you come to what appears to be a wall. This is actually a false wall. Throw some Holy Water at it and it will go right through. Jump through this wall and continue on to the next screen.

Mind the Skeleton Soldiers and the water here, then go right. You'll soon find a staircase, but for now go past it and jump up onto the platform over the water. A block will be automatically moving across it, so careful it doesn't push you off into the water. If you hop up on it you can take an upper path which has a clue book hidden in the wall at the end which reads, "Destroy the curse with Dracula's heart." If you go this way, be aware that the floors underneath the grated windows are all false, and if you take a tumble through them you'll land on a bed of spikes.

At the end of the lower path is a merchant selling an Oak Stake for 50 hearts. Buy this, and again, be careful not to accidentally use it. Head back to the staircase I said to ignore and climb up it and the two sets of stairs that follow it. Climb up yet another set of stairs and then get ready for some potentially tricky platforming. Failing won't hurt you, though. It will just test your patience.

Skeleton Soldier
Once you reach the top you'll see that you're actually under the water. On the far right of this walkway is a hidden clue book which reads, "Garlic in the graveyard summons a stranger." We already knew that, though. Go down the nearby stairs and it's a straight shot to the orb which contains Dracula's Heart.

Unlike the previous mansion, there's no quick way out of here. Begin making your trek back outside. Before you leave, however, did you gain a level yet? Simon will gain another level when his experience reaches 150, and you should hit that number inside this mansion. Once you do, go ahead and leave.

Now that we have Dracula's Heart, we get to go all the way back to the first area of the game. We didn't go left at all from the first town, so that's now our destination. From outside the mansion, head left and climb back out of the lake. Unfortunately on the next screen we can't take the top path again. Cross the water using the moving platforms and continue walking left out of this cave. From here I'm going to assume you know how to make it back to the first town. All you need to do is keep going left and you'll eventually make it there.

Two Headed Lizard
Before you head left into the Belasco Marsh, equip Dracula's Rib. You'll be immediately attacked by a two headed creature that shoots quick fireballs at you. With the rib equipped, however, you'll be able to easily deflect them. Once you make it past them, you'll be attacked by a wolf, which is another new enemy. Just after that is a poison marsh which will drain Simon's health in no time. Use a Laurel and traverse the poison pit as fast as you can. You might not make it across the marsh before the Laurel runs out, but that's okay.

On the next screen, you'll encounter the Ferryman. If you speak to him normally he'll take you to the other side where the town of Aldra lies. However, right now you need to equip Dracula's Heart before speaking to him. He will instead take you to a different location. Stand by the Ferryman and watch out for Fish Men enemies which will jump from the water as he takes you across it. You'll have to jump from the boat to land when you reach the other side, because the Ferryman doesn't have time to stop the boat, apparently. Once you reach the next screen, you'll see a familiar sight: A new mansion.

This mansion actually has a boss in it. Castlevania II isn't big on bosses, so this is a bit of an oddity. Not that you'll have difficulty with it, but still. Don't be afraid.

Proceed across the spike pits, being careful not to fall into them. They'll make short work of you if you do. You'll come to a staircase at the end of the hallway. Climb it, as well as the two staircases directly above it. Head left, dispatching the Lance Knight. You'll see that it takes more than one hit to kill them this time. Watch out for the Slimes that are jumping around just past the knight, too. You'll soon come to a staircase to climb, so climb up it along with the staircase above it.

Walk to the right and defeat the Skeleton Soldiers and climb the stairs just past them, then climb the stairs directly above those. This place is really heavy on the stairs, so I'm sorry if I keep repeating myself. If you want you can head all the way to the left to find a hidden hint book in the wall which reads, "Place the Laurels in a Silk Bag to bring them to life." It's probably not worth your time going to collect this book.

So instead of doing that, go to the right and you'll end up in a big open room with two Gargoyles in it. Climb down the stairs and watch out for the Lance Knight at the base. There's a hidden hint book to the right of all the spikes in the pit which reads, "Wait for a soul with a Red Crystal on Deborah Cliff."

On the next screen you'll see the cloaked merchant walking back and forth on a small platform. Head over to him and buy an Oak Stake from him for 50 hearts, then head down. You can fall straight down if you want, but I wouldn't recommend it as there's a Lance Knight directly where you'll land. After that, continue climbing down stairs until you get to the bottom level. Go right and you'll be in a room with three Bats hanging from the ceiling. Kill them, then prepare for a boss fight.

It's Death! The Grim Reaper! One of the toughest bosses in the Castlevania series! Equip your Sacred Flame and toss it underneath Death and it will lock him into position much like the Holy Water did in the original game. Time your tosses of the Sacred Flame under him and they will prevent him from moving. You can whip him while this is happening to maybe get in another hit or two. Soon, very soon, Death will be defeated and the Golden Knife will descend from the center of the room. This weapon is amazing.

Once you have defeated Death, continue into the next room and use your Oak Stake on the orb to receive Dracula's Eyeball. This item lets you see hidden hint books, which might be useful if you weren't reading this guide and having me tell you what all the hint books say.

Exit the room, then simply walk underneath Death. You don't have to fight him again. Backtrack all the way to the top hallway of the mansion. Walk back and forth between the Lance Knight and the Gargoyle accumulating hearts to not only replenish the hearts you used against Death, but to get to 200 experience points to gain a level. It shouldn't take too long. After you gain your level, continue backtracking through the mansion and then leave.

Now that we're done here and we're outside the mansion, head left. You'll come to some blocks floating in the water. To make the jumps between them, you must jump from them as they're rising. If you don't, you won't be able to make the jump between them. Once you clear them and are safely on the other side, exit to the next screen.

This is the Jam Wasteland, and it's full of bad enemies. You've got Eagles flying around the top of the screen and a Mummy in front of you the moment you enter the screen. You'll soon be attacked by a Ghost Pirate, followed by Man-Eating Plants and Medusa Heads. Like I said, this area is full of bad enemies. They don't take much to defeat, thankfully.

At the end of the Jam Wastes is a cloaked figure that will give you a Diamond. The Diamond is a pretty crap weapon that ricochets around the screen when thrown, but we're going for a complete game, right? Get your Diamond, then head back right all the way to the Ferryman. Make sure Dracula's Heart is unequipped before speaking to him.

Ride the boat to the right, but when it reaches the shore, don't jump off. Stay on the boat and have him take you back left again. Since you don't have Dracula's Heart equipped he'll take you to a different place than he did before. Exit the boat when it reaches the shore on the left, then proceed left to the town of Aldra.

Villager Clues:
  • "I want to get to know you better."
  • "Get a Silk Bag from the graveyard duck to live longer."
  • "Clues to Dracula's riddle are in Bodley Mansion."
  • "Hit Deborah Cliff with your head to make a hole."
  • "I'll see you at midnight on the river bank."
  • "Sorry, pal. No time now. Maybe later."
Climb the stairs directly in front of you when you enter Aldra. When you reach the top, take a leap to the left and speak to the gray and white villager who will trade his Red Crystal for your blue one. This is the last crystal in the game, so we'll be good from now on. After that, there's nothing else in this town for now unless you need some Laurels or Garlic. Exit to the left and enter the Sadam Woods.

The Sadam Woods are pretty straightforward. You'll have to deal with some Slimes right when you enter it, and shortly thereafter you'll encounter a Dragon Bones pillar. On the next screen you'll come to a staircase. Avoid Freddie and the Skeleton and head down it. You'll more than likely end up in the marsh below because of the false floors, but you have enough health now that it shouldn't be much of a concern.

Proceed through Storigoi Graveyard, paying attention to the hands coming up from the ground and the Slimes. At the end you'll come to a dead end. Drop some Garlic and a green cloaked figure will appear before you. Speak to him and you'll receive the Silk Bag which increases your maximum capacity for Laurels. We're done here, so head back to the right and climb back up the staircase you came down to get here. If you're low on health, head back through the Sadam Woods to Aldra and visit the church. Otherwise head left after ascending the stairs. You'll soon be in yet another town.

Villager Clues:
  • "Take my daughter, please!!"
  • "Believe in magic and you'll be saved."
  • "Don't make me stay. I'll die."
  • "When I was your age, women loved me."
  • "Dig up the 4th grave in the cemetery for a Diamond."
  • "A man living in darkness can give your whip power."
  • "Don't look into the death star, or you will die."
We're about to get a new whip. We've been using the Chain Whip for quite a while, so it feels good to get an upgrade. The first door you see above you sells Laurels, but you probably don't need any of those at the moment, so ignore this door. Climb the stairs next to the door and head left until you see an open door on a raised platform. Enter it and make your way down to the bottom. The floor is already open for you, so no Holy Water is necessary. At the bottom you'll find a merchant selling a Morning Star Whip for 200 hearts. It's an expensive price tag, but we need it. Buy the Morning Star Whip and then get out of this house.

That's pretty much all there is to do in Oldon, so head out through the left side of town into another section of the Jam Wasteland where Deborah Cliff is.

Now, more Mummies. More Ghost Pirates. More floating platforms. Nothing you haven't dealt with before, and definitely nothing that the Morning Star can't make short work of. Jump the floating platforms the same way you did before, waiting for them to be in the rising motion before leaping from them to the next. When you get to the other side, equip your Red Crystal.

There's a hidden clue book on the lower platform leading to the edge of the cliff which reads, "Dracula's nail may solve the evil mystery."

With the Red Crystal equipped, crouch down in front of the cliff face and wait about five seconds. This is the most notorious secret in the game. A tornado will appear on the right side of the screen and pick you up, taking you through the cliff itself. When it drops you off, you'll be at the entrance to Bodley Mansion.

Bodley Mansion is full of false walls and floors. In fact, in order to obtain the Oak Stake you have to go through a false wall.

Begin your trek through the mansion by ascending four flights of stairs. Skeleton Soldiers and Slimes will come at you at every landing. Before you climb the third set of stairs, there is a false floor on the fifth and sixth block from the top of the stairs, not counting the two blocks I consider to be part of the stairs. If you fall through it you'll just be more irritated than anything, though.

At the top, continue right and take the upper path when you get the option. At the end of the hallway is a false wall you can jump through. Wind around through here and you'll come to a wall you can destroy by tossing Holy Water into it. Once you clear it, continue going right past the hanging bodies. No, this isn't the orb chamber yet, but there's a clue book up top should you choose to climb the stairs up and backtrack to collect it which reads, "The curse has killed the laurel tree." Before continuing, ensure you have 50 hearts for the Oak Stake. If you don't for some reason, collect enough now so you can buy it.

Descend the stairs (or jump down) and you'll be in a dead end. At least it appears to be a dead end. Actually, the wall on the left is false, and you can jump through it and end up in the black void area of the mansion. This is where you'll find the merchant selling the Oak Stake. Make your purchase, then continue walking left to fall through a false floor. This will put you near the orb chamber.

Go left and descend the stairs, then hang a right. At the end of this hallway is the orb which contains Dracula's Nail. The nail allows you to whip and destroy blocks the same way Holy Water does, so it can be moderately useful. It would be more useful if you didn't get it this late in the game. Once you have claimed the item, head left and climb the second set of stairs you come to, then continue left until you get to a room with water on the floor and an upper path to bypass it. At the far left side of this room is another false wall you can jump through. Once you go through it, kill the Skeleton Soldiers here until you get 250 experience for a level gain. This time it might take a minute.

Once we're outside, go left from the mansion. You'll cross one screen and the moment you get to the other side you'll be standing next to a lake much like you were to get to the second mansion. At that one you had to kneel with the Blue Crystal. At this one, kneel with the Red Crystal and the screen will shift down exactly like it did before. Follow the path down and into the next area, the Uta Lower Road.

Here you'll see an area unlike any you've encountered before. Proceed left using the floating platforms to make your way to the other side. When you reach a wall, use Holy Water (or Dracula's Nail now if you wish) to destroy the wall. Inside the alcove is a purple cloaked merchant who will give you the Flame Whip, which is the final and most powerful whip in the game. He'll only give it to you if you have the Morning Star Whip, though.

Head back to the entrance and make your way up, watching out for the Flying Skulls which will descend upon you. Destroy the fake wall with Holy Water or Dracula's Nail and continue left through the cave. When you reach the other side, you'll be in the Debious Woods.

It's a straight shot to the other side, but Flying Skulls and Fire Men will come at you constantly. You've got another series of jumps across floating platforms in the water to make it across, too. Once you clear the screen, you'll be at the shore of the vast Joma Marsh. Use a Laurel here if you have some, but you should have enough health to make it across without one, especially if you continually jump across it. I suggest equipping Dracula's Rib before making the journey because there are fireball shooting Slimey BarSinisters in the marsh.

Once you're across the marsh, you'll be at the entrance to Laruba Mansion. This is the final mansion in the game, and it has another boss!

This mansion is pretty basic for it being the last one. You might expect it to be super challenging and have a tough as nails boss battle at the end of it, but no.

Walk to the right and defeat the now familiar Skeleton Soldiers and Lance Knights. You'll soon come upon a staircase leading up and to the left. Climb it and follow the path left until you reach yet another staircase. Climb it and then jump to the right platform, ignoring the staircase leading up. Continue going right and take the upper path when you come to the staircase leading down.

On the next screen you'll have a choice of going either up or down. We're going to do both, actually. First, though, head up the stairs and continue to the right until you encounter the merchant selling the Oak Stake for 50 hearts. You should have more than enough to purchase one, so do so. Once you have the stake, backtrack to the entrance of this screen and go down instead.

Navigate your way down and go left through the opening the first chance you get. There will be another merchant walking around down here who will give you eight Laurels for free. What a savings.

Once you get your free gift, proceed right across the spiked pit. Spikes will shoot up from the floor beneath you and try to knock you off, and they might succeed. If they do, you're pretty much a goner, so tread carefully. Also be aware of the Spiders coming down from the ceiling. I guess those Laurels weren't free after all, huh? After that it's a short walk to the right to the boss room.

This is Camilla, and she is nothing. Equip the Golden Knife before you enter. When she appears, wait for her to drop some explosive tears to the floor and dodge the incoming melee. When she's in range, jump and continually let loose a few knives into the mask and she will die in literally seconds. Once she's defeated, the Magic Cross will drop from the ceiling. Claim it, then enter the next room where the orb containing Dracula's Ring rests.

Like Death before, when you walk back across the room, Camilla will reappear. Simply walk through the room and she won't bother you.

So now it's time to head out of here. You'll have to do a bit of climbing right away where the Lance Knight is, so scale this series of platforms and head left at the first opportunity. Once you make it through the area with the Spiders things should look familiar. It's where you dropped down to get the free Laurels. Continue to navigate back up here and backtrack to the entrance of the mansion.

On your way out, fight the two Lance Knights over the entrance until you gain an incredible 300 experience. For reference, I was at 77 experience at this point and it took me six and a half minutes to grind up to 300, so it's not that bad.

You can gain an additional level here, which will max Simon out. You don't have to do this, though. We're getting ready to finish the game and it won't matter one way or another if you level up once more.

Outside the mansion, head right back to the Joma Marsh. You definitely have Laurels this time around, so use them to traverse the poison marsh. It will take three to get across completely unscathed. Continue right through the Debious Woods and Uta Lower Road, coming out in the lake you used the Red Crystal on. Eventually you'll be at the entrance to Bodley Mansion again. This time go to the right.

You're now in a dead looking area called the Wicked Ditch. Mummies, Bird Men, Medusa Heads, and Man-Eating Plants inhabit this area, and with your Flame Whip, none of them will give you any trouble. On the other side of this area is a new town.

Villager Clues:
  • "After Castlevania I warned you not to return."
  • "Get back!!"
  • "You've upset the people. Now get out of town!!"
  • "The cross in Laruba's Mansion must be found."
Friendly folk in Fetra, it would seem. There's really nothing in this town except a church and a Laurel merchant on the right side of town. Moving on.

Another bridge. This is the North Bridge, and it leads to the Dora Woods. The bridge is pretty much the same as you're used to, only this time it has some floating platforms on it. Once you enter the Dora Woods, you're going to want to make sure Dracula's Rib is equipped because these enemies shoot super fast fireballs at you. Just past them is some more marsh you can traverse with a Laurel.

On the next screen you're given a choice. Up to this point you've always ignored the staircase leading down at first and continued on past it. Not this time! Head down the stairs and you'll find the almost completely abandoned town of Ghulash.

Villager Clues:
  • "Let's live here together."
Let's not. Let's get out of this town, actually. That's all that's here. One sad individual. You would be, too, if you lived so close to Dracula.

Exiting Ghulash to the right leads to the Vlad Graveyard (or Vrad Graveyard in-game, but you know what they mean). The Vlad Graveyard is home to Mummies, Eagles, and Ghost Pirates. It's a unique looking area due to the big white tombstones throughout the area. Continue through it and you'll come to a wall. If you've got all of Dracula's body parts and the Magic Cross, you can destroy these blocks with Holy Water or Dracula's Nail. It's a long empty bridge, but on the other side...

Here we go. You've made it this far, so it's time to defeat Dracula and end the curse once and for all.

Proceed through the main floor until you reach the end. The blocks here can be destroyed with Holy Water, so clear a path down to the staircase below and descend it. Follow the linear path until you come to two staircases. Climb the short one leading up and then jump the gap to the other side. Fall down the hole and continue walking the only path you can take. Before the screen changes, equip the Golden Dagger. Final boss time.

When Simon enters the chamber, he will approach the altar and the game will automatically put the bags which contain Dracula's body parts onto it. There will be a burst of flame, and Dracula will appear.

Dracula can be defeated in exactly the same way as Camilla before him. Only this time you can actually start throwing Golden Daggers into before he even appears. In doing this there's a high probability you'll kill him before you even see what he looks like. You can also choose to drop the Sacred Flame onto the pedestal. It has the same effect as the Golden Daggers, but it's not as effective.

If you wish to fight him more fairly, you can use Laurels to give yourself an edge and just whip him to death. He actually poses more of a challenge if you do it this way. In any case, though, you will defeat Dracula and break the curse.

If you finish the game in under 8 in-game days you'll get the best ending. You can check this by pressing start and looking at the timer at the top of the inventory box that pops up. Following this guide will more than likely net you the best ending (it did for me, at least) so sit back, watch the ending, and know that you've just conquered the notoriously cryptic and difficult Castlevania II: Simon's Quest.

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