Demon Castle is a Castlevania-style game for PICO-8


An evil sorcerer is trying to summon an ancient demon into the world. You are the only one who can travel to the sorcerer’s castle and prevent him from completing the summoning. Best of luck.


At the title screen, use the arrow keys to select your difficulty, then press the Z or X key to start the game. Use the arrow keys to move, and press up or down to start climbing stairs. Use the Z key to jump and the X key to attack with your whip.

If you prefer, you can use the C and X keys instead of Z and X.


 Heart Crystal When you defeat a level boss, it will leave this behind. Collecting it will increase your maximum health, and end the level.

 Chicken This secret snack can be found hidden in secret walls throughout the game. If you’re lucky enough to find some, your health will be fully restored.

 Crypt Key This old key has been lost for centuries. Where could it be now, and what could it unlock?

 Stone of Sealing If you are unable to stop the sorcerer, these stones will be your best chance to reverse the summoning. You should try to find as many as you can.

About Hard Difficulty

At the title screen, you are given the option to pick either Normal or Hard difficulty. When playing on Hard, you will start the game with less life than on Normal. You will also encounter more enemies in more difficult locations. Finally, when playing on Hard, you will not be given checkpoints throughout a level, so you will need to start the level from the beginning if you lose all your life.

Tips and Advice

  • Sometimes, after you beat a level, you will be given a choice of which way to go next. There are multiple paths through the game, and you can see the path you’ve taken so far on the map.
  • There is no “correct” path through the game, and the game can be fully completed using any path on either difficulty.
  • Be observant. Investigate suspicious-looking areas for hidden items, and more.

About the Code

Due to the size of this game, it was necessary to reduce the size of the code before the game could be released. I used the picotool library to reduce the size of the code, at the cost of readability. However, the original code, before being reduced, can be found on GitHub, here.

This game is also hosted on Lexaloffle BBS here.


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Great vania little gem! 

Great game! It has nice artwork and pleasant movement, I loved it!

I love this game! Bosses are kind of a pushover on normal tho.

Awesome game, I hope it's coming more like this :3


Absolutely loved the art and music. Great game man. Especially those enemy designs 👍

Made a video


Demon Castle takes everything I have trouble with in Castlevania and makes it fun and speedy. I dig it. It's also cool seeing a PICO-8 game with multiple paths rather than strictly point A to point B travel.

Good job, dev. Would whip again.

This was freaking great!! I enjoyed it to the end.

Really cool!


Short and Sweet, i loved it!.

This was amazing! I really enjoyed playing this game and the music was absolute fire. This was such a fun game to play and it really took me back, keep up the good work :D

I don't know if you've heard of Game Development World Championship before (gdwc2019) but it's a competition for indie game developers where they can submit their games and it's free! It's great if you want some more visibility for the game and it only takes a couple of minutes to join :)

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Speedrun in 3:39 (Normal Mode).

Someone beat this.

HAHA, I got 3:19 by the up path


Yesssss managed to beat it in <4 minutes!


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Incredibly simple, took roughly 5 minutes to finish. Fun while it lasted but still felt a little too easy. Perhaps as if the whip was too powerful. Absolutely enjoyable, though! 

Added note: This was my first exposure to a PICO-8 game, so I apologize for my unfamiliarity.

cute, fairly easy and I was wondering what to do with the key. 

I got the key, the 3 orbs and beat it in 5:41 on Hard


It was really enjoyable.

Extremely impressive! Looks great, plays well. I love the whip animation! You fit a ton of features into a Pico-8 Kart -- multiple difficulties, multiple paths, secrets, a variety of enemies, moving platforms, bosses. This looks like it was a ton of work!

My only critique is that I am partial to how deliberate the movement in the original Castlevania is; I don't like that you can move after whipping or control in mid-air after jumping, but those are points of preference and I don't mean for them to be prescriptive.

Otherwise you nailed the look and feel -- I love this!

Fantastic! You really nailed the early Castlevania vibe perfectly.

Wow mate, this is absolutely amazing! Really awesome work! That whip is more satisfying than the NES originals, too!

good game castlevania feel!