Picture this: you are Christopher Belmont, Simon’s ancestor from 1oo years prior to the events of the original Castlevania , and basically a Conan the Barbarian look-alike. It is 1591 AD, five years prior to the birth of René Descartes (nothing to do with Castlevania II: Belmont’s Revenge , really, but his evil daemon/evil genius concept is fun), and you’re trekking your way through the spacious 4-shades-of-gray halls of Cloud Castle, the airy—yet (oddly) fully enclosed—home of Angel Mummy*, one of ol’ Dracula’s dusty, dual-skulled lackeys. Trusty Vampire Killer whip in hand, you have endured unholy horrors like flaming knights and knife-throwing lizard-men, survived spiked ceiling and deadly mechanized pulleys, all in the quest to save your bewitched son Soleiyu…but now you’re tired, hungry, and in need of some HP-replenishing nourishment. So what do you do? You search your environment, maybe break some chunks of walls (or ceilings) in a ravenous rage, and lo and behold: a giant, steaming roast turkey leg rests in a dusty crevice in the wall—and on a platter, no less—awaiting its final journey down the gullet of some lucky traveler. nom nom nom~ And my, is it some delicious fowl.
Some have described the miraculous morsel as dusty and disgusting, having lain hidden in some wall for some incalculable number of years, but i beg to differ. Far from being foul, the food item replenishes our hero Christopher’s health by more than 50%. These aren’t the fortress walls of some nameless, country-bumpkin of a lord; these are the walls of Dracula’s Castle—or at least that of one of his underlings. Could the mystical masonry not contain some culinary magic, then? Considering how a pot roast or a Thanksgiving turkey can take hours upon hours to baste and roast even in contemporary times, or such cooking traditions like Kālua pig, could it not be possible that the brick & mortar, perhaps enchanted by the Count himself, have sealed in the dish’s flavors and savory juices over the eons, eventually producing a most succulent roasted bird. Apparently, our whip-wielding hero has no qualms about this; he consumes the wall-born fowl in an instant, platter and all, and it leaves him revitalized and ready to whip him some more Punaguchi and their fell brethren.
Now fast-forward about 17 years (or some 3oo-odd years, if going by in-series chronology), and let’s take a look at some of the HP-replenishing items in one of the (relatively) more recent 2D Castlevania games: Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia (released 2oo8 on the Nintendo DS in NA regions). While traversing the various environments of Dracula’s minions’ then-current haunting grounds, one encounters the likes of self-levitating witches that drop tasty chocolate souffle and shambling zombies that drop…rotten meat. What, you think witches can’t enjoy souffle? And the less said about the rotten meat the better. Occasionally, one finds a bottle of milk in a crummy old chest somewhere. Not powdered milk. Milk. And this was before dairy pasteurization was a common practice, too. I’d imagine that both yogurt and condensed milk would have superior shelf-life compared to the standard 2%-variety, but perhaps the bottle is is enchanted, hermetically sealed, or both.
One might even happen across the occasional exotic food like a cup of Darjeeling tea…tucked away in some monster chest. Now, what use for tea might an undead knight have, you ask? Consider this: there’s Cookie Monster in contemporary children’s entertainment (edutainment?), a monster who loves cookies. So would it really be a stretch to picture a monster who, after a night of terrorizing the local villagers, enjoys returning to its humble abode and sitting down to a nice, steaming chasha of chai with its fellow creatures of darkness? In the form of dried Camellia sinensis leaves, the tea would likely have a decent shelf-life (or chest-life, if you prefer). But, at the end of the day, nothing else will quite satisfy your castle-hopping hunger pangs like a nice, fresh-out-of-the-brick platter of wall-Chicken.
* When I’d first played Castlevania II: Belmont’s Revenge eons ago at the tender tween age of 12, with it being one of the very first three games that i’d ever owned (alongside Super Mario Land and the GameBoy pack-in Tetris), the dichotomous concept of the name “Angel Mummy” sounded both grotesque and wickedly awesome to me.
Mastication is good! For a fine, year-old recipe on how to cook your very own, real life wall-embedded fowl, go visit Daniella Zelli’s Gourmet Gaming; for a somewhat different (and less carnivorous) perspective on food & nerdery from yet a different spot on the globe, check out Put-Putt’s Blog. If you’d like to sink your teeth into some fun vids of the aforementioned gameBoy game, check out ShadowSumac’s Castlevania Video Marathon: Castlevania 2: Belmont’s Revenge (One life run) on youTube, where said player’s skill shows apparently little need for the oh-so-delicious mortar-encrusted meat~ (and to see some of that chicken-excavating in action, skip forward to 11:37 here ) >[:)