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Monday, April 12, 2021

Footage Of Canceled Castlevania Game Shows Up On YouTube

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Video footage of a canceled Castlevania game has emerged in the wild for the first time. An anonymous collector posted a YouTube video that exhibits what appears to be a pre-E3 demo for Castlevania Resurrection, a Dreamcast entry in the series that never actually came out.

The footage shows a handful of different areas that the player accesses from a debug menu, all of which are very much in the decrepit castle milieu that the series is known for. It’s difficult to tell exactly how the demo plays because the player is controlling it with one hand, presumably holding the camera with their other. However, it very much resembles the early 3D games in the series, particularly Castlevania (N64).

The Dreamcast game Castlevania: Resurrection was canceled back in 2000. It was intended to be a sequel to the Game Boy entry Castlevania Legends, which would have continued the story of that game’s protagonist Sonia Belmont. What we know of Castlevania: Resurrection is based almost entirely on interviews with Greg Orduyan, the art director for the canned game.

Orduyan said in an interview with a Castlevania fan site that Resurrection was shaping up well, but the project was shelved due to tension between Konami’s American and Japanese development teams, as well as the commercial failure of the Dreamcast.

“The game was canceled the same day that Sony announced the PS2,” Orduyan said. “The reality is, Sony was very secretive about the PS2. Then they said ‘OK, this is a definite date we’re releasing the PS2.’ This did not affect just Castlevania, it affected every single DC game Konami was developing worldwide.”

Orduyan also references a demo that the team developed that “everyone loved.” It’s unclear if the demo shown in the YouTube video is the same one, but it seems likely. Regardless, Castlevania fans are calling on the anonymous collector to dump the demo for posterity, especially due to the bit rot that can affect sensitive physical media like game CDs. The Castlevania game franchise has been on hold since 2014’s Lords of Shadow 2, but the Netflix show is still scheduled for a fourth season that will release some point in the future.

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