In this Installment of “Hidden Gems,” we’ll look at the Mondo double LP album Castlevania: Dracula X Rondo of Blood and Dracula XX.
Disc 1 contains the music from the holy grail of the Castlevania franchise Dracula X Rondo of Blood, the only Castlevania game not released outside of Japan until the PSP release of Castlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles in 2007. Disc 2 contains music from Rondo’s SNES port Castlevania: Dracula XX. Rondo’s vinyl comes in a splattered blue while XX comes in a red splattered vinyl.
The cover for the double lp album is fantastic. On the Rondo side, you see Richter Belmont ready to take on Dracula’s castle while being surrounded by skeletons. The XX side features the first boss of XX: the Giant Bat. The gatefold interior displays both Richter and Maria from Rondo together but upside down with Richter on the XX labels while Maria is on the Rondo labels.
The music on both albums are similar in composition but are different on how they are played: Rondo’s music came from Red Book Audio and the onboard sound chip from the PC Engine CD while XX’s music uses the SNES sound system. Even though Rondo’s music comes out clear, some of the titles, such as the famous “Vampire Killer,” feels cheap and forced to be action-like compared to previous versions where “Vampire Killer” retains the spookiness. But this doesn’t mean that the music as a whole is forced. The music fits well in the game’s levels.
This is an excellent addition to the Castlevania fan. The artwork by Oliver Barrett is superb, and the vinyl designs are awesome. You definitely get two albums for the price of one when compared to other double album releases such as Castlevania III or even Symphony of the Night.
This Mondo release is in stock at the Mondo website so don’t hesitate to buy it (if you have a record player that is).