Hi Tom.

I do remember hereing some history of Elizabeth Bathory before which tallies with this, ---- pluss i've read one or two vampire stories which go along these lines.

It strikes me very much like the tale of Jack the ripper, ---- good fiction, even if the facts are a trifle dodgy.
My suggestion of the chain however was purely a gameplay one.

In many platformers, there was a hidden or special ending the player could get if he/she found and collected a number of items throughout the entire game. One of the most well known examples of this were the Chaos emeralds in the Sonic the hedgehog games for the Sega MEga drive, ---- though many others exist.

I do remember reading that future castlevania games used some, though they are not games I've played.

While this was certainly more a feature of 16 bit era games than those on the Snes, it was I think a wlecome one, ---- and not one it'd be too difficult or out of keeping to add to an arcade platformer without changing it too much.

say the chain which bound the countess was broken allowing her to escape, and the player had to get a certain fragment of it each level.

this could either be used to give an easier last boss fight against the countess, ---- say by binding her feet to make her attack slower, ---- much as collecting the circuite plates for Beat hidden in the levels of Mega man 5 or 6 for the Nes game Mega man the powerful beat bird to summon which would attack things very effectively (including Wily's last form).

Alternatively, if all fragments of chain were gathered the player might get an extra special ending, ---- detail how the countess could be bound forever, ---- rather than one in which the countess was said to be probably returning.

Sonic did this with the chaos emeralds, ---- having two different endings concerning the defeat of Doctor robotnik.

Of course, if you want to keep the game far closer to original castlevania, and this type of thing would be going far more down the path of a more advanced game which you might be less enthusiastic about making, ---- fair enough, ---- and as I said earlier, even the fact or vertical movement and a really nice back story would be enough to make an engaging and interesting audio game of a type we've not had before even without special endings and the like.

Remember, my playing experience is far more with the 16 bit era than the 8 bit era, thus I see things like unlockable endings, multiple and multi angle attacking weapons with variable useage meaters as a more common and standard element in side scrollers than you might.

Beware the grue!


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