A fan-made game called Castlevania: Seal of the Eclipse has been revealed as an in-development project -- and it looks as good as (if not better than) the original NES games it pays homage to.
It's been a slow time for Castlevania fans. The spiritual successor Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night hasn't had much in the way of updates lately due to "major technical issues" over the last year, although a sequel is in the works. On the official side of things, the best we've gotten is the release of the Castlevania Advance Collection -- outside of that, the best Konami has managed is porting games to mobile and marking some hard times for the series from the official publisher is releasing Castlevania NFTs for its anniversary.
The Castlevania fandom, however, doesn't seem content to let the franchise sit idle. A fan-developed project called Castlevania: Seal of the Eclipse is in the works -- and it's looking pretty darn good. Check out the trailer (via Reddit):
Castlevania: Seal of the Eclipse Looks Cool, But Can It Survive?
Castlevania: Seal of the Eclipse puts players in the shoes of Julius Belmont and several other playable allies, somewhat in the style of Castlevania 3. That's where the similarities end, though; this new fan game is set in 1999, a very different time period from your typical Castlevania game.
The gameplay emulates the NES-era graphics and gameplay pretty solidly while also adding some new mechanics. However, there's one big bugbear in the room: the name.
As I've said in the past, announcing a fan game in advance rarely works out well unless the developer is really cool. Konami does appear to have a policy of allowing non-commercial fan games. However, it has shut down projects in the past such as a fan-made remake of Metal Gear Solid.
The developers, for their part, addressed the elephant in the room in the description for the trailer:
Obligatory disclaimer due to professional courtesy as well as not to even allow the potential for any current or future confusion about officiality or anything of the like: This is a fan-developed work and all assets and production thereof are not endorsed by or otherwise affiliated with Konami.
The developer also took to the comments to explain things further.
"Assuming we're ignorant of risk is a misjudgment of our intelligence," read a pinned YouTube comment from the uploader. "A conscious decision was made based on all the information we have, and we chose to make it anyway. "Hiding" isn't as effective as some might think it is, and is a gross underestimation of any given company's online awareness."
"You're all free to disagree with the decision and even think it's foolish, that IS your right and prerogative, but please don't make the mistake of thinking we just put this up carelessly without a thought as to what MAY happen."
There's no telling when (or if) this fan project will come out, but I certainly hope it does. I loved the original Castlevania games and this seems like an interesting spin on the same classic gameplay. You can learn more about the game in this forum post on a Castlevania fansite.
What do you think of Castlevania: Seal of the Eclipse? What's your favorite fan game? Let us know in the comments below!