Castlevania II: Simon's Quest | What a horrible night to have a curse

Amazing VGM: Monster Dance (Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest)

Simon’s Quest was an interesting game. There were a lot of unique ideas present at the time and it laid the groundwork for what Koonami would later perfect with Symphony of the Night. Yet there are also a lot of shortcoming present. I’m not here to talk about those though, we’ve all seen the AVGN video after all. Instead I would like to focus on its presentation, and by that I mean the track listed in the title of this article… you did notice that right?

The track you are hearing is what plays whenever nighttime falls and you see that text box that reads “WHAT A HORRIBLE NIGHT TO HAVE A CURSE.” The intro to this track is highly ominous and fits that vibe perfectly. It signifies the now present danger of nighttime when the monsters not only grow stronger but are also roaming the city streets. Speaking of which, it is a nice touch that this still plays in towns at night while the regular town theme only plays during the day time.

As for the track itself, it’s flat out head bang worthy. The track is a bit short lasting only 30 seconds before looping, but it is still wicked. Of note is the percussion that almost sound like real drums. The music of Castlevania II is something that was notably advanced for NES standards. Granted it is dwarfed by sound quality of Castlvania III’s Japanese soundtrack, but those of us outside of Japan actually got to hear the former’s firsthand.

What I really like about this track is how it is simultaneously intimidating yet actiony, in contrast to the more upbeat “Bloody Tears” that plays during the day time. Everything else is solid as well. The melody is addicting and catchy and the arrangement is spot on. Unfortunately it’s hard to really go into why seeing as how I can’t find the right word to differentiate the different types of synth used in place of instruments. So instead I will just make a proposition.

Picture this: Simon’s Quest, except as a survival horror title. Simon’s Quest already had a few elements of it with the in game timer and the monsters growing stronger at night. Not to mention the whole premise of needing to clear a bunch of dungeons as a deadly curse slowly overtakes your body. Imagine if a Castlevania game was made with a similar premise to this. Unfortunately it won’t happen since Koonami is more interested in Pachislots than games, but it would be pretty cool wouldn’t it? Brings a whole new meaning to “WHAT A HORRIBLE NIGHT TO HAVE A CURSE.”

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