Back in 2011, Konami (sort of) celebrated the 25th Anniversary of the Castlevania series of video games. Those of you *cough* old enough to remember it or perhaps those of you who dabble in the delights of retro gaming or have played the latest efforts courtesy of MercurySteam will know what the series entails. Those who don't...well, go and play them. In short, the Belmont clan have been kicking Dracula's pale backside for over 25 years now. Ouch.
However the 'true' celebration of the texture, the art, the music and the sheer playability of the Castlevania games was initiated by the fans. One group of fans in particular. Led by team leader Alexandre 'Chernabogue' Mourey and his sterling array of fellow musicians, they channelled their passion for the franchise into a downloadable fan album; Vampire Variations - showcasing some of the best and memorable video game music composition of the last 25 years - expertly re-arranged.
Well, this Halloween Chernabogue and his crew are back for another bite. This time taking advantage of the 20th anniversary of one of the most popular games in the series; Chi no Rondo, or Rondo of Blood to us not in Japan. The original soundtrack to the game was released the year after the game's release; in 1994 as a double album paired with the next game in the series; Vampire Killer, or Bloodlines to those in America, whilst in Europe it was 'tastefully' renamed The New Generation. To avoid any mention of blood, obviously. In a game about vampires. Pfft.
Vampire Variations Volume II is a re-arrangement of that classic double album in the style of the former VV album. And, as the aforementioned games are two of my favourite in the entire series I can gleefully say that I am very proud to be part of this project.
I have provided illustrations that will accompany the final product when it is released to the masses this Halloween as a download. More updates will undoubtedly be announced as the weeks peel away, and all the art will be blogged here as soon as it is released and the final product revealed.
In the meantime there are 2 teaser trailers to get your teeth into (I'll stop soon, I promise) in which you'll see snippets of early sketches for the project, along with the official teaser art (two examples being above). You can check for updates on VV2 at its official website here.