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Ziggy587
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Castlevania II: Simon's Quest (NES) Cheat Sheet (UPDATED)

by Ziggy587 Sat Nov 14, 2020 11:00 pm

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Introduction
This game is notorious and requires no introduction. I love everything about this game, with the exception of not being able to figure out where to go or what to do. So I decided to make a cheat sheet for myself so I can actually enjoy the game.

Similar to the cheat sheet that I made for The Legend of Zelda (found here), this is a condensed walkthrough for Castlevania II: Simon's Quest. This style of guide does not hold your hand, and only gives you the major steps of the game in bullet point fashion. That's why I call it a cheat sheet and don't consider it an actual walkthrough.

This post contains a text-based version of the cheat sheet. See the next post for a graphical version.

Hack #1 (Pretty Much Required)
Title: Castlevania II English Re-translation (+Map)
Link: https://bisqwit.iki.fi/cv2fin/ (Alt Link: http://www.romhacking.net/hacks/1032/ )
Description: This hack adds many improvements to the game. The most notable are a re-translation, an in-game map, and SRAM save functionality. There are many other improvements, too many to list here.
This guide uses location and item names from this re-translation patch, which are sometimes slightly different than the names found in the official version of the game. They are close enough that you shouldn't be confused.
Moreover, this guide assumes you can find locations using the in-game map that this hack provides. If you are not using this hack, then it will be exceedingly difficult to find certain locations if it is your first time playing the game. If that is the case, then I recommend this world map. Alternatively, this world map also works well.

Hack #2 (Optional, but recommended)
Title: Castlevania II False Floor & Breakable Block Replacer
Link: http://www.romhacking.net/hacks/5361/
Description: Simon’s Quest has many false floors and breakable walls (as well as the occasional breakable floor and false wall) that have NO visual clues. This hack fixes the problem, and it is compatible with the above bisqwit hack (go to the bisqwit website and download the English version 2.12.0.1 with default options, apply the bisqwit patch and then apply the bisqwit compatible version of this patch). Without this hack, you will have to throw Holy Water everywhere to check for false and breakable blocks. Dracula’s Eye and Nail can help with this (see below) but I find the game much more enjoyable with this patch applied. The below checklist will not tell you the location of breakable walls, it assumes you can spot them by using this patch or find them on your own.

Hack #3 (Optional)
Title: Castlevania II: Game Over Penalty Reduction
Link: http://www.romhacking.net/hacks/4135/
Description: This hack makes it so that your hearts are only cut in half when you die, instead of resetting to 0. It is said to be compatible with the bisqwit hack, but I do not know if it is also compatible with the Block Replacer hack. Personally, I do not use this patch. But I thought I would point it out since it is also compatible with the bisqwit patch.


Cheat Sheet
• In the starting town of Jova, purchase the White Crystal for 50 hearts, Holy Water for 50 hearts, and a Thorn Whip for 100 hearts.

• Travel to the Town of Veros. Purchase the Dagger for 50 hearts and the Chain Whip for 150 hearts.

• [BERKELEY MANSION] Equip the White Crystal to see the moving platforms. Acquire Dracula’s Rib.

• Travel to Dabi’s Path and acquire the Sacred Flame.

• Travel to the Town of Aljiba. Trade the White Crystal for the Blue Crystal. Purchase Garlic for 50 hearts and Laurels for 50 hearts.

• Travel to Camilla Cemetery. Use Garlic toward the left side of the screen to make an NPC appear who will give you the Silver Knife.

• Travel to the Lake of Yuba. Equip the Blue Crystal and kneel for a few seconds, a new path will be revealed that leads to Rover Mansion.

• [ROVER MANSION] Acquire Dracula’s Heart.

• Travel to the Ferryman at Dead River (left from the starting Town of Jova). Equip Dracula’s Heart and the Ferryman will take you Brahm’s Mansion.

• [BRAHM’S MANSION] Defeat Death to acquire the Gold Knife. Acquire Dracula’s Eye.

• From Braham’s Mansion, head left past the floating platforms. You will arrive at a dead end with an NPC who will give you the Diamond.

• Travel to the Town of Aldra. An NPC will trade the Blue Crystal for a Red Crystal.

• Travel to Strigoi Cemetery. At the dead end, use garlic to make an NPC appear who will give you the Silk Bag.

• Travel to the Town of Ondol. Purchase the Morning Star whip for 200 hearts.

• From the Town of Ondol, travel left to the dead-end at Deborah Cliff. Equip the Red Crystal and kneel up against the wall for a few seconds. You will warp to Bathory Mansion.

• [BATHORY MANSION] Acquire Dracula’s Nail.

• From Bathory Mansion, head left to the Lake of Uta. Equip the Red Crystal and kneel for a few seconds to reveal a path forward. Continue down to Uta Cavern where an NPC will upgrade the Morning Star to the Flame Whip.

• [LARUBA MANSION] – You can get to Laruba Mansion by following the path under Lake of Uta (Uta Cavern). Defeat Carmilla to acquire the Rosary. Acquire Dracula’s Ring.

• Travel to the Town of Doina (from Bathory Mansion, go right), then on to the Town of Yomi, then on to Castlevania.


General Tips
This guide is not meant to be a complete walkthrough or offer strategies of any kind. Still, here are some tips…

• At all locations in the game, use Holy Water on breakable walls. This reveals hidden items and new paths. Most merchants are hidden behind breakable walls or floors.
• Talk to all NPCs. They will give you clues and trade or sell you items.
• Whenever you pass through a town, heal at the Church and stock up on Laurels when needed (not all towns have a Church or a merchant that sells Laurels).
• At each mansion there is an NPC that will sell you an Oak Stake. You need to use the Oak Stake on the Orb in each mansion in order to acquire a mandatory item.
• The Sacred Flame can be cheesed to defeat Death and Dracula very easily. The Gold Knife can be cheesed to defeat Carmilla very easily.
• The day and night cycle has a few effects. During the night, you cannot find NPCs in towns or go into buildings (including the Church) and enemies have more health. Each day/night cycle counts as one in-game day. There are three endings based on how many days it takes you to defeat Dracula. If you take 15 or more days, you get the bad ending. If you take between 8 and 14 days, you get the normal ending. And if you take 7 or less days then you get the best ending. But don’t worry too much, the endings seem to be a jumbled mess anyway.
• Time does not pass when you are inside of a building in a town, inside of a mansion or viewing the pause and map screens. Times passes when you are outside, including outside in a town. Since time does not pass when you are inside of a mansion, that makes it a good place to level up or farm for hearts.
• There is nothing stopping you from going to the Town of Ondol early in the game and purchasing the Morning Star Whip for 200 hearts. The path to the Town of Ondol is harder in the early game, but the reward is a more powerful primary weapon. However, doing so will cost you some in-game days which affects which ending you get. If you wish to get the Morning Star early, I recommend to first get Dracula’s Rib, the Sacred Flame and some Laurels to make the trek there easier.
• The mansions are easy to navigate, but if you are having trouble there are great maps that can be found on Game FAQs.
• If you are not using the bisqwit hack, I find this world map to be the easiest to follow. Alternatively, this world map also works well.


Items and Weapons
ITEMS

Hearts – Hearts are dropped by common enemies when you defeat them. Picking up a heart increases your heart count (currency, can be found in the menu) and experience. A small heart gives you 2 hearts and 1 experience point. A half heart gives you 4 hearts and 3 experience points. And a large heart gives you 6 hearts and 5 experience points.

Crystals – Crystals can be equipped to give Simon new abilities.
White Crystal - The White Crystal must be purchased in the starting Town of Jova for 50 hearts and equipping it gives Simon the ability to see moving platforms that are otherwise invisible.
Blue Crystal - The White Crystal can be traded for the Blue Crystal in the Town of Aljiba. At the Lake of Yuba, Simon must equip the Blue Crystal and kneel for several seconds to reveal the path forward.
Red Crystal – The Blue Crystal can be traded for the Red Crystal in the Town of Aldra. Simon must equip the Red Crystal at Deborah’s Cliff and kneel up against the wall for several seconds to be warped to Bathory Mansion. The Red Crystal is also used to travel under the Lake of Uta, exactly how the Blue Crystal is used at the Lake of Yuba.

Garlic - Garlic can be purchased in towns for 50 hearts (2 pieces). You can only carry a max of 4 pieces until you acquire the Silk Bag. Garlic can be used as a sub weapon, although it is very weak. Garlic is used to make an NPC appear in two specific locations.

Laurel – Laurels can be purchased in towns for 50 hearts (2 pieces). You can only carry a max of 4 pieces until you acquire the Silk Bag. Using a Laurel makes Simon invulnerable for 10 seconds, which is most useful for crossing the damaging swamps.

Silk Bag – The Silk Bag will increase the amount of Garlic and Laurels Simon can carry from 4 each to 8 each. The Silk Bag can be found in Strigoi Cemetery, you must drop Garlic to make an NPC appear that will give you the Silk Bag.

Oak Stake – At the end of each mansion is an orb that contains one of Dracula’s parts. You need an Oak Stake to break the orb in order to collect the item. Oak Stakes can only be purchased from an NPC inside of mansion, there is one per mansion. You can only carry one Oak Stake at a time; however, you can purchase an Oak Stake from the same mansion more than once.

Rosary – This item is acquired by defeating Carmilla in the Laruba Mansion. It is required in order to get back into Castlevania.

Clue Books – There are 13 Clue Books scattered across Transylvania that can be found by breaking walls. If Dracula’s Eye is equipped, Simon can locate the Clue Books without having to first break a block.

Dracula’s Parts – There are 5 parts of Dracula scattered across Transylvania, one in each mansion. All 5 must be collected in order to defeat Dracula and lift the curse placed on Simon.
Dracula’s Rib – Found in the Berkeley Mansion. Equipping it will give Simon a shield that can be used to block projectiles.
Dracula’s Heart – Found in the Rover Mansion. Equipping it will make the Ferryman take you to an alternative location.
Dracula’s Eye – Found in the Braham Mansion. Equipping it will allow Simon to locate items hidden in breakable blocks.
Dracula’s Nail – Found in the Bodley Mansion. Equipping it will allow Simon to break blocks with his whip that could otherwise only be broken with Holy Water.
Dracula’s Ring – Found in the Laruba Mansion. Awards Simon no special abilities, but it is required to resurrect Dracula.

WEAPONS

Whips – The whip is Simon’s main attack. There are 5 in the game.
Leather Whip – This is the whip that Simon starts with.
Thorn Whip – Stronger than the Leather Whip. Can be purchased in the starting Town of Jova for 100 hearts.
Chain Whip – Stronger than the Thorn Whip. Can be purchased in the Town of Veros for 150 hearts.
Morning Star – Stronger than the Chain Whip. Can be purchased in the Town of Oldon for 200 hearts.
Flame Whip – Strongest whip in the game. If you posses the Morning Star, an NPC in Uta Cavern will give you the Flame Whip.

Sub Weapons – There are 6 sub weapons found in the game. You only must acquire each of them once, they can then be equipped at any time from the menu. Some can be used an unlimited amount of times, while others cost hearts to use.
Holy Water – Holy Water can be purchased in the starting Town of Jova for 50 hearts. It can be used as a sub weapon as well as to break certain blocks. You can also use it to check for false floors, if you are not using the conspicuous block patch.
Sacred Flame – Can be found in a breakable wall in Dabi’s Path. Similar to but better than Holy Water when used as a sub weapon. Although it cannot break blocks, it can be used to check for false floors, but this is not advised as it costs 1 heart per use.
Dagger – The Dagger can be purchased in the Town of Jova for 50 hearts.
Silver Knife – Can be found in the Camilla Cemetery (drop Garlic to make an NPC appear). It is stronger than the Dagger but uses 1 heart each use.
Gold Knife – Can be acquired from defeating Death in Braham’s Mansion. It is stronger than the Silver Knife but uses 2 hearts each use.
Diamond – Is given to Simon by an NPC at the dead-end past Braham’s Mansion.


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Ziggy587
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Re: Castlevania II: Simon's Quest (NES) Cheat Sheet

by Ziggy587 Sun Nov 15, 2020 12:15 pm

Graphical version:




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Re: Castlevania II: Simon's Quest (NES) Cheat Sheet

by Anapan Mon Nov 16, 2020 2:19 am

One time I tried to commission a FDS improvement patch on Romhacking forums and was almost banned. I was accused of hijacking the suggestion thread with money offering. I still have not gotten far with CV2 because i want to experience the proper soundtrack but need a Quality of Life mod.
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Ziggy587
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Re: Castlevania II: Simon's Quest (NES) Cheat Sheet

by Ziggy587 Mon Nov 16, 2020 10:31 am

Graphical versions of the cheat sheet and items has been added to the second post.


Anapan wrote:One time I tried to commission a FDS improvement patch on Romhacking forums and was almost banned. I was accused of hijacking the suggestion thread with money offering. I still have not gotten far with CV2 because i want to experience the proper soundtrack but need a Quality of Life mod.


The NES cartridge version of the game actually has better audio than the FDS version. I highly recommend using the bisqwit mod with the in-game map. The re-translation makes it so that the clues are actually useful, and false clues were removed. So it's actually possible to figure out what to do by just using what you get in the game. But if you get stuck, then just take a peek at my cheat sheet!
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Re: Castlevania II: Simon's Quest (NES) Cheat Sheet

by marurun Mon Nov 16, 2020 10:43 am

Ziggy587 wrote:The NES cartridge version of the game actually has better audio than the FDS version.


Agreed. The extra FDS channel wasn't used very well by Konami, and in this particular title it often sounds off-pitch, and the regular NES channels that accompany it are also relatively basic. The delay bringing Castlevania II to the US resulted in a rather significant overhaul of the quality of the music, and it's part of why the US release was so lauded for its soundtrack.
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Ziggy587
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Re: Castlevania II: Simon's Quest (NES) Cheat Sheet

by Ziggy587 Mon Nov 16, 2020 11:43 am

marurun wrote:
Ziggy587 wrote:The NES cartridge version of the game actually has better audio than the FDS version.


Agreed. The extra FDS channel wasn't used very well by Konami, and in this particular title it often sounds off-pitch, and the regular NES channels that accompany it are also relatively basic. The delay bringing Castlevania II to the US resulted in a rather significant overhaul of the quality of the music, and it's part of why the US release was so lauded for its soundtrack.


I've read that it was space limitations of the FDS. Porting the game to cartridge game them a little more space, which they used to spruce up the music.
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Re: Castlevania II: Simon's Quest (NES) Cheat Sheet (UPDATED

by PresidentLeever Mon Nov 16, 2020 11:51 am

It does sound slightly off pitch at times even on real hardware, as well as the wavetable channel being too loud in the mix, which is kind of odd for konami.

Anyway there are some good hacks for the NES version, like the one by bisqwit that adds the manual map to it and better overall hints (not like the other one that outright tells you what to do). It's still a mediocre game though. I remember seeing a WIP hack that added bosses and/or changed existing ones, can't remember what it was called.
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Re: Castlevania II: Simon's Quest (NES) Cheat Sheet (UPDATED

by marurun Mon Nov 16, 2020 11:59 am

One complaint about the FDS release is you can enter a new screen after a long loading break only for an enemy to knock you right back into the loading break. Gotta be honest, the US release is just hands-down better than the JPN FDS release.
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Re: Castlevania II: Simon's Quest (NES) Cheat Sheet (UPDATED

by Anapan Thu Nov 19, 2020 1:49 am

Forgot to mention - this is a cool guide. I wish I'd known these things when I struggled through it previously. I eventually used the Nintendo Power guide.
I have already played through the original twice - once via the nintendo power players guide and again in the late 90s when I marathoned through every Castlevania to see what the whole series was in preparation to build a PC entry all would love. I really just wanted to experience the FDS version without dying more than I had previously. I now have an everdrive N8 pro, and a donor NES for a full proper multi-upgrade. I think this will allow save states and full properly emulated famicom audio with a hidden potentiometer. I can DJ it myself.
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