Castlevania The Arcade
Image: Konami/Video Game Esoterica

Update [Tue 23rd May, 2023 15:05 BST]: Video Game Esoterica has revealed in a new video that members of their Discord have successfully created a work-in-progress demo that transposes the arcade game's whip controls over to a mouse. It will apparently be available soon for free (possibly later today), with the goal being to allow more players to finally experience this rare Castlevania title for themelves.

In the video, Video Game Esoterica claimed that the demo will have the choice to switch between English and Japanese and that it will include the bonus character Little Witch as well as a level select option. Though, unfortunately, as they mention, levels 4 and 5 currently don't load, and level 3 only loads occassionally. These are known issues, however, and are currently being worked on behind-the-scenes.

For more info on this exciting update, you can watch the video below and follow Video Game Esoterica on Twitter:

Original Story [Mon 8th May, 2023 13:30 BST]: If you asked someone to think of a Castlevania arcade game, the chances are their thoughts would immediately go back to 1988's Haunted Castle, but Konami actually produced more than one title in the series that could be played in game centers.

In 2009, it released Castlevania: The Arcade Game, an arcade shoot 'em up, not too dissimilar to Sega's House of the Dead games, that let you play as either a vampire hunter or a lady gunner. The game used a special LED whip controller with two buttons (one for the whip and the other for your sub-weapons) and had you battle waves of monsters and the undead on your way to defeat Dracula. It featured Japanese subtitles, with an English dub, making it easy to follow along with.

For years, the game has been a bit of a rare one to bump into in the wild, but recently a YouTuber called VideoGameEsoterica posted a video explaining that a member of their discord community named Dremcast had managed to dump a copy of the game to their hard drive in order to preserve it. This opens up the possibility for more players to be able to access this forgotten piece of Castlevania history, should cabinets become even more difficult to find in your standard arcade.

In the video, VideoGameEsoterica gave their thoughts on the machine and explained how they managed to get it running on their Windows 10 set-up. However, they claimed that some work stills need to be done in order to get it functioning with keyboard and mouse controls. That means it's not yet playable, with users currently only being able to view the attract screen and dig around in its file to watch the various endings.

VideoGameEsoterica has asked for help from some like-minded people in their community to solve the problem, with the issue believed to be an absent component that goes into the back of the JVS card on Konami's PC-Based hardware. They expect to have a solution to this problem soon.

You can watch Video Game Esoterica's full video below and follow them here for updates:

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