Still working on Castlevania. I had expected to be writing a post right now saying how shitty it was that the game ended so early...etc. I got the "bad ending" the day after I started the game. As soon as I saw the credits (which, might I add, cannot be skipped), I was like, "WHAT!?"
Thankfully, after a little more exploration on my part, I found that contrary to what I had expected, the game was only about half done. I'm starting to see what little things in the game made it so famous.
First of all, there's the inverted castle idea. I think that's BRILLIANT. Think about it -- you have limited disc space, and only room for so many sprites and levels...how do you make the game longer? I KNOW! TURN THE ENTIRE DAMNED CASTLE UPSIDE DOWN!
After beating the castle one way, you have to beat it upside down (which creates different areas and a whole lot more jumping) with much harder enemies. What a great idea!
Next, they really got to work with the "Familiars." Basically, these are dudes that fly around you and have special abilities (the Skull latches on to people and makes them explode, the Fairy can use items for you...etc). The ability to level them up, in addition to discovering them, really adds a level of depth.
Finally, there are things in the game where the purpose is JUST TO SCREW WITH YOU. That's it. There's one room that has a confession boot: if you sit in the chair, the ghost of a priest will come in, close the cloth on the door, and stab you with a series of spears. If you sit in the priests' chair, a female ghost will come in and complain to you.
I've explored about 120% of the castle, and I still haven't even played through it as Richter yet. Hooray for replay value!