Castlevania Legends (1997)

by Christopher
6 minutes read


As a pioneering chapter in the Castlevania saga, Castlevania Legends introduces Sonia Belmont and sets the stage for the epic battle against Dracula. Despite its limitations, it remains a cherished part of the series’ history.


Dive into the origin of the Belmonts’ eternal conflict with Dracula in Castlevania Legends, a classic Game Boy title that blends action, adventure, and horror in a portable format.


“Castlevania Legends” is a classic action-adventure platform game developed by Konami Computer Entertainment Nagoya. Released in 1997, it was the third Castlevania title for the original Game Boy. The game was conceived as a prequel to all other games in the Castlevania series.

The story begins in an unspecified year in the Middle Ages in Transylvania. Sonia Belmont, the first vampire hunter of her clan, develops mystical powers in her 17th year. She ventures out to challenge the first incarnation of Count Dracula. Along her journey, she encounters Alucard, the son of Dracula, who seeks revenge against his father.

The gameplay of “Castlevania Legends” is a side-scrolling platformer. Sonia Belmont, armed with a whip, charges through five stages of Count Dracula’s castle, filled with various enemies and candles containing items. Each stage ends in a mini-boss fight which rewards a “Soul Weapon”, which Sonia can cast, consuming varying amounts of hearts.

The game implements two difficulty levels and password-based save states. If Sonia falls off the screen, or either her life bar or time counter fall to zero, she will lose all of her hearts and one life, and will restart at the last checkpoint with the basic whip. If she loses all of her lives, the player is presented with the game over screen, where they may exit or choose to continue from the last checkpoint of the current stage.

Once per stage, Sonia can activate her inborn ability to enter “Burning Mode”, where she becomes invincible, moves faster, and has more powerful attacks for ten seconds.

The story unfolds as Sonia travels across the Transylvanian countryside to Dracula’s Castle, destroying Dracula’s minions, and eventually defeating the Count himself. After having crossed paths with Sonia, Alucard decides to seal himself away before she would press on to face his father.

After Dracula’s defeat, he swears to Sonia that as long as there is evil in the world, he will be resurrected. In response, she swears her family will always defeat him. The game was designed as the first game in the series timeline, but later declared non-canon1 after the release of “Lament of Innocence”.

Despite its non-canonical status, “Castlevania Legends” remains a significant part of the Castlevania series. Its unique gameplay mechanics and compelling storyline provide a fascinating glimpse into the origins of the Belmont family’s eternal struggle against the forces of darkness.


Sonia Belmont – The game’s protagonist and the first Belmont to battle Dracula. Count Dracula – The eternal antagonist of the Belmont clan, seeking to plunge the world into darkness.


Featuring side-scrolling platformer action, players must use Sonia’s whip and special abilities to defeat enemies and bosses. The game offers a non-linear level design, encouraging exploration to find power-ups and secrets.


Castlevania Legends stands as an important, albeit flawed, piece of the Castlevania lore. It offers a glimpse into the origins of the Belmonts’ struggle against Dracula, providing a unique experience for fans and newcomers alike.

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