After over two decades, a playable build of the canceled “Castlevania” Dreamcast entry is finally revealed to the public. “Castlevania Resurrection” was being developed for Sega’s Dreamcast console by Konami’s North American division. This studio within Konami was responsible for titles such as the PlayStation and Sega Saturn baseball game, “Bottom of the 9th.”
Details are scarce as to the cause of the game’s cancellation, but the most commonly cited factor was creative differences between the North American and Japanese divisions within Konami.
For the uninitiated, “Castlevania” is a game series that revolves around Dracula and his attempts to spread evil through the land of Walachia. Players take on a vampire hunter’s role to venture through his castle, brave the monsters that dwell within, and slay the dark lord to thwart his evil ambitions. Most of the games put players in control of a member of the Belmont clan- a family of monster hunters who has protected the people of Walachia from dark forces such as Dracula for generations.
“Castlevania Resurrection” was to put players in control of Sonia, the only female hunter in the Belmont family. In her debut title, “Castlevania Legends,” it was revealed that she had conceived a child with Dracula’s son, Alucard.
This was intended to be the origin of the Belmont family and their century-long feud with Dracula. However, the lead producer of the franchise, Koji Igarashi, regarded “Legends” as “something of an embarrassment for the series” and had it retconned with his title “Castlevania Lament of Innocence.”
“Resurrection” would have taken place in the 19th century, years after Sonia’s death.
Victor, the currently living Belmont, chooses not to follow his family’s path and becomes a wandering gambler. When Dracula is once again given flesh, it seems as if no one can stop him. It is then that Sonia is mysteriously brought back to life. With Sonia alive and Victor forced to confront his destiny, the two hunters infiltrate Dracula’s castle to destroy him.
The game’s art director, Greg Orduyan, claims that the project was pretty far into development before it was canceled. He claims, “We had a working version of the game that still needed to be optimized, physics to be finalized, and additional art designs.” Orduyan cites “rumors leaked by some people within Konami who had their own agenda” as well as the announcement of Sony’s PlayStation 2 as factors to the game’s cancellation. He also claims that when the game was canceled, “it was sent back to Japan so they could look at it for reference for future 3D Castlevanias.”
According to Polygon, a video of the game’s 1999 E3 build was leaked on YouTube under the title, “Castlevania Resurrection Exists.” The video shows the user controlling Sonia and selecting different areas in the game through a developer menu.
There doesn’t seem to be any collision, as Sonia can touch hazards such as enemies and lava without any damage.
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