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Castlevania: Kid Dracula Was (Thankfully) Altered For 1993 Game Boy Release

The "Castlevania" series is known for its creepy monsters and gloomy locations. But there is one "Castlevania" game that breaks that mold with its lighthearted approach to the series. Konami's "Kid Dracula," released on the Famicom in 1990 exclusively to Japan, is a "Castlevania" spinoff that hilarious parodies the series in many ways.

Thankfully for Western audiences, the remake/pseudo-sequel by the same name for the Game Boy was given a wider release, allowing more gamers to check out this unique title. However, Konami made a few changes to the game to appease an international audience — and it was a good thing too. Western audiences would have likely taken one look at the first boss of the Japanese version and wondered why they were face to face with a Ku Klux Klan member sporting a white hood with a swastika imprint.

However, this association was unintentional and understandably changed for international release. And It wasn't the only change made to "Kid Dracula" for its localization. Konami made a few other changes to the game to better suit Western audiences.

It's not what it looks like

When players reach the end of the first stage of "Kid Dracula," they are met with a boss. At first, the boss appears to be a small human-like character in a white hood. But after the enemy is defeated, it cries and runs to safety. After which, a larger, white-cloaked enemy spawns. But this one has a swastika embroidered on its hood. This reveal would make any gamer take a second glance, as the connotations are not good.

But this association was unintentional, as the symbol is actually a manji, a religious symbol in many religions across Asia. But because Western audiences are less likely to be exposed to this symbol's historic use, it has a higher chance of being associated with the Nazis. And the Klan-like cloak doesn't help either. This is why Konami removed the symbol for the game's international version. Additionally, the white hood was rounded out to change the boss's appearance further.

Konami also changed other aspects of the game for its international release. For example, the game had its difficulty increased by buffing enemies and having them respawn upon defeat. The church bell tower from the intro was also removed for the international version. In its place is a regular stone tower. However, the bell can still be heard in both versions.

Even decades later, "Kid Dracula" is still a solid game worth checking out, especially since it may be some time before a new "Castlevania" releases.