LAWL! Plagiarism.

Castlevania II Box Art
Castlevania II Box Art

I’ve kinda got a thing for oldschool video games. No cutscenes, no fluff, just a rockin’ 8-bit soundtrack and a challenge that needs to be completed. Among my favorite oldschool games is the original Castlevania. It’s a game I grew up with, and which is very dear to my heart. The bat at the end of the first level is the very first video game boss I ever beat, and I’ll never forget how excited I was. Unfortunately I don’t currently have a copy of it, but I do have a 1987 copy of Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest. It’s an odd little game where the player experiences a lot of nights, and a lot of curses.

I pulled it out recently, and noticed something which had not caught my eye before: the background art looked a lot like the original Ravenloft module’s cover. I pulled a picture of the module up to confirm, and it turns out they aren’t just similar. The artist for Simon’s Quest straight-up copied Ravenloft. Check it out:

Castlevania II Closeup

Ravenloft Cover Art

Since this game was released the same year I was, I knew I couldn’t be the first to notice this. The internet didn’t turn up much further information. Of course this was back before the Internet existed. There were no organized droves of fans demanding answers for the plagiarism. But at least TSR seems to have noticed, because when the game was released a little later in Europe its box art looked like this:
Castlevania II Box Art Europe
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