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Proto:Super Castlevania IV

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This page details one or more prototype versions of Super Castlevania IV.

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This page or section details content from the July 2020 Nintendo Leak.
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  • Screenshots showing differences between prototype and final versions of levels.
  • Everything else.
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A prototype of Super Castlevania IV with a last file modification date of June 14, 1991 was leaked along with several other prototypes and source code in July 2020. It can be found in NEWS\テープリストア\NEWS_05\NEWS_05.tar.\home\kimura\games.lzh. It's further along than the build shown in this advertisement, but there are still many differences compared to the final release: enemies which use older sprite art and behaviors, a different in-between stage map graphic, early versions of many of the songs, differences in the placement of subweapons and items...


Sound & Music Differences
There's quite a few musical changes, and even different sound effects.

General Differences

  • The game is more difficult in general.
  • Enemies are more numerous, more aggressive, and take more damage.
  • There is no text prologue, and no opening shot of Simon entering the castle grounds.
  • There are missing sound effects everywhere, and many of the sounds already present were later changed.
  • Stage layouts are not wholly different, but there are still some noticeable changes.
  • The player's extra lives count only goes down to 1, instead of 0 in the final game. Accordingly, the player's life count when starting a new game is 5 in the prototype instead of 4 in the final game. (Both versions start the player with 5 lives.)

Stage Select

Early Proto Final
Akumajou Dracula early prototype stage select.png Akumajou Dracula prototype 19910614 stage select.png Super Castlevania IV stage select.png

A stage select menu seen in an early build shown in a promotional VHS tape is still present in this prototype (and even upgraded to add SNES console version infomation) but the programming to access it was deleted. Have the following game enhancer codes active when starting a new game from the title screen to access the menu:

Pro Action Replay (PAR) Game Genie
0094B3F4 E0B8-DDAF
0094B498 B6B8-DFDF

Add the following codes in addition to the above for the ability to access the menu any time the game is paused by pressing Select:

Pro Action Replay (PAR) Game Genie
008671A5 C965-6D0F
00867266 1165-6D6F
00867401 DF65-6FDF
00867500 DD65-6F0F
00867864 1065-64DF
00867966 1165-640F
00867DC2 A465-670F
00867E95 B965-676F

Option Screen

Proto Final (Japan)
SCastlevaniaIVPrototypeOption.png SCastlevaniaIVFinalOptionJ.png

The option screen gets a overhaul, and added a basic Sound Test function for the final version. A new animated fire icon replaced the heart icon - which is already used in the title screen - as the cursor for the option menu.

Name Entry Screen

Proto Final (Japan)
Akumajou Dracula prototype 19910614 name entry.png Akumajou Dracula name entry.png

An early barebones name entry screen is branched over when starting a new game, but can be accessed with Pro Action Replay (PAR) code 0094C800 or Game Genie code DDBA-D4DF.

Password Screen

Proto Final (Japan)
SCastlevaniaIVProtoPassword.png SCastlevaniaIVFinalPasswordJ.png

The password screen is yet to be finalized, and the final version is given a slightly brighter shade rendition. The name entry screen is not accessible by default in this prototype build, instead the player is given the name "KONAMI" which is shown at the bottom of the password screen. The password system is not compatible with the one used in the final game, and may generate password sets even the game itself won't accept if entering one of the inaccessible stages mentioned below and trigger a Game Over.

Inaccessible / Incomplete Stages

Akumajou Dracula prototype 19910614 stage 521 end reset.png

Stage 5, the pathway leading to the castle, is the last fully complete stage. It's also the end of what the developers intended the player to explore in this version as the game is programmed to perform a soft reset when entering the front door shown above. To explore further, have Pro Action Replay (PAR) code 02A9AB80 or Game Genie code 6DCC-04AC active before finishing the stage, or change the byte at offset $0129AB from $D0 to $80 in a hex editor. Alternatively, you can skip directly to Stage 6 by using the stage select or entering the following password:

Super Castlevania IV Prototype Password.png

You can play through part of the game this way, though the stages will lack enemies (besides bosses) and candles starting from Blocks 6-3 and 7-2 respectively. Additionally, every stage from Block 7-1 onward consists of temporary graphics (mostly simple blocks and stairs on a black background). The game will crash after defeating the boss of Block 9; however, the data for Blocks A and B are still in the game, as are all of the bosses besides Dracula.

Stage A Clock Tower

Stage A-1-1

Stage A-1-1 in this prototype (room ID $37) is an area that's completely missing from the final game. You can use the stage select, Pro Action Replay (PAR) code 7E008637 or the password below to access it:


This room is massive, but consists only of a long, straight platform, a massive staircase, and a bunch of empty space and garbage data. It also reuses tiles from Block 1-2. Most obvious of all, however, is the column scroll effects in play here, which give the illusion of a massive, round, tower-like room.

Image short-looped for dramatic effect (but the corridor IS pretty long!)

It seems the original idea was for a spiral climb around the exterior of the clock tower before entering inside, which matches up with the map in the final game:

Akumajou Dracula stage A map.png

The final game simply starts the player inside the clock tower instead (Stage A-2-1 in this prototype) as Stage A-1-1:

A-2-1 Proto A-1-1 Final (Japan)
SCastlevaniaIVPrototype - BlockA-2.png SCastlevaniaIVFinal - BlockA-2.png

It's worth noting that in the final game a long set of stairs descends from the ceiling after defeating the giant bat boss in Stage 9-2-5 as shown below, and this short cutscene may serve as the replacement for the deleted area. It's not yet known if this cutscene exists in the prototype because the game crashes after defeating the boss. If the stage ends right after the red crystal is collected, it would support this idea.

Akumajou Dracula stage 925 stairs.png

Placeholder Terrain

An example of the placeholder graphics in Block A-2 (A-1 in the final game).

Simple graphics for complex plans.

As mentioned above, Block 7-1 onward uses temporary graphics for its terrain:

  • The solid blocks are, well, solid blocks and make up much of the terrain. Bits-and-pieces of blocks are also used, where appropriate, to elevate spikes or make half-sized dips in the terrain.
  • The pipe-looking 8x8 graphics are stairs and are occasionally placed over the blocks to allow upward/downward passage.
  • The 8x8 "dust particle" makes up pools of "quicksand" (muck, loose treasure) in Blocks 8 and 9.
  • The slopes are used as placeholders for piles of treasure in Block 9 and also make up the stone hands of the ruined clock tower of Block A.
  • Lastly, the little 8x8 circle is, quite simply, instant death. However, their use in this prototype is unusual. The graphic appears where special platform types will go in future builds, such as suction holes in Block 9-2 or the collapsing stairs in Block B-2.

ROM Header

While the ROM header claims itself as "SUPER CASTLEVANIA", the title screen and system font use their Japanese counterparts.