Update [Tue 1st Nov, 2022 10:00 GMT]: You can now download the Castlevania: SotN Game.com prototype and play it via emulation.

Original Story [Mon 24th Oct, 2022 14:30 BST]: Castlevania is one of our favourite franchises here at Time Extension, so the news that a new prototype has been discovered has us pretty excited, as you'd expect.

The prototype in question is for the Tiger Game.com, an ill-fated handheld which tried (and failed) to take on the Game Boy a few decades ago. Tiger managed to secure some big-name titles for the system, including Sonic Jam, Resident Evil 2 and Fighters Megamix, and it was working on a scaled-down port of Castlevania: Symphony Of The Night at one point.

Many people previously believed that the Tiger port of SotN didn't get any further than a few mocked-up screenshots, but Super Fighter Team president Brandon Cobb (who also happens to be the webmaster of The End Of The Game.com) has a working prototype which proves it actually got a lot further into development than was once assumed.

Back in 2019, Cobb received a cartridge for the game which came with an authentic printed label. Upon loading it into his Game.com console, he discovered it did... nothing. However, earlier this year he sent the cartridge to Osman Celimli, who repaired the PCB inside and returned the cartridge to life. It turns out that there is a game on it after all.

However, before you get too excited, it's worth noting that Cobb reports that the port isn't a good one. "It's about what you'd expect from a game.com game," he explains. "Laughable music, hideous visibility, and bargain basement gameplay. It would not have been a system saver, folks."

Then, this September, he was able to play the game via emulation thanks to Celimil's efforts. "I tried playing Castlevania yesterday, only to be quickly overwhelmed by its broken controls," he says. "Realizing I'd need to be smashed in order to smash through this game, I picked up a bottle of merlot and returned to the catastrophe this evening."

However, despite the woeful state of the game, Cobb admits he is impressed at just how far along the port is.

"I can tell you this: The game is fairly well along," he explains. "It appears all of the story text is present at least, and I was able to play all the way through to Marble Gallery. This is where I unfortunately seem to be stuck though – at least for the time being – as there doesn't appear to be any way to progress. Further analysis will be required in order to find out just what percentage of the game was actually completed before corporate gave it the axe. But I need a little break first."

Symphony of the Night is considered by many to be the best in the Castlevania series, and was originally released on the PlayStation in 1997, with a Saturn port coming the following year. It has since been re-released on Xbox 360, PSP, PS4 and smartphones.