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Saturday, 4th November 2023

Metroidvania: half Metroid, half Castlevania


Metroidvania is a subgenre of action-adventure video games that combines elements from two popular game series: "Metroid" and "Castlevania" The name "Metroidvania" itself is a portmanteau of these two titles. This subgenre is characterized by several key gameplay and design features: exploration, non-linear progression, upgrades and abilities, storytelling and boss battles. 

Metroid is an action-adventure game developed and published by Nintendo. The first installment in the Metroid series, it was originally released in Japan for the Family Computer Disk System in August 1986. Set on the planet Zebes, the story follows Samus Aran as she attempts to retrieve the parasitic Metroid organisms that were stolen by Space Pirates.

Castlevania is a platform game developed and published by Konami for the Family Computer Disk System video game console in Japan in September 1986. Players control Simon Belmont, descendant of a legendary vampire hunter, who enters the castle of Count Dracula to destroy him when he suddenly reappears 100 years after Simon's ancestor vanquished him.

Both the Metroid and Castlevania series served as influential templates for the Metroidvania subgenre, with "Metroid" games focusing more on sci-fi and alien worlds, and "Castlevania" games having a gothic, vampire-hunting theme.

These games are characterized by several key gameplay features:

  • Nonlinear exploration
  • Character progression
  • Environmental puzzles
  • Exploration and discovery of hidden areas
  • Save points
  • Boss battles

While Metroidvania games draw inspiration from the Metroid and Castlevania series, many other games outside of these franchises have adopted the genre's elements and created their own unique experiences.

Find out more about Castlevania