Can't get a really good pic of my wife's TV where the NES is hooked up, so I'll post what I got.
476,050. Stage 24. I died in the area where the moving platforms and medusa heads are. I needed the 4,000 point treasure to get another life, and just as I jumped the gap to make it show up, I got bumped into a hole.
Vampire bat: Pound him with the axe, hit him with holy water as he's touching a platform, jump to either of the platforms and wail on him with crosses or knives, or stop time and whip away. He is easy. I've killed him with everything but the cross.
Medusa: Also easy. go to the left side of the screen and hit either up or down and keep attacking. Hit down if you want to save hearts.
Mummies: OK, here is where my strategy turns very different from most, and it will remain that way throughout the game. Use the cross or the knife--they are fundamentally the same weapon although the knife is much weaker. Drop in, skip the knife (second candlestick from left) if you have a cross, then drop to the floor between the mummies. Hit Up and start attacking. It does not matter which way you are facing. When you get hit, move into the corner and face the center, then just keep wailing until either you run out of hearts or you run out of targets. If you run out of hearts, hit down and keep attacking until you run out of enemies. I can usually end this battle with a cross in two to six seconds.
Frankenstein and Igor: Once again, the dagger is what you need. The first time you face them, make sure to hold up
on the d pad the whole time you are attacking. Dodge the fireballs like you would dive bombing aliens in Galaga, and hope Igor doesn't decide to hover right on your sprite. You'll probably die the first time, but no worry. When you respawn, hit the leftmost candlestick first and a double shot will drop out. Leave it for a second then hit the next candlestick to make the dagger drop out. You probably see where I'm going here by now. Grab the dagger then quickly grab the double shot.
Go to the first bone dragon and stand there where your whip will barely reach it. Keep whipping at a tad slower pace than the fastest, and you should be able to wipe out all the fireballs and the bone dragon. There is a pot roast in the brick the bone dragon was anchored to. Get it only if you have more than points of damage done to you. If you need to come back for it, kneel to the right of the bone dragon and attack it as above, then get the pot roast when its gone. Killing the second bone dragon is similar, but you mst kneel to the left of it while attacking. It is all in the timing.
Now go attack Frankie and Igor, making sure to dodge those fireballs. Use the kinfe as much as possible that way if you die, the double shot will re appear.
BTW, if you can make it this far with a cross, skip the knife at first. I played this battle with a cross and a triple shot, and it was over in about four seconds.
Death: WARNING: This version of Death has been ranked among the toughest bosses in any video game. This will
take a lot of practice and patience. I may take you hundreds of tries to defeat him. there is also a bit of luck involved. Even I can't always kill him on the first try, although he is easy for me to beat now.
Once again, use the cross. To prepare, kill the bone statue at the beginning of the area with your whip. Now move left, knock out the candles and the red skeleton. Grab the cross and go almost all the way upstairs, but when you attack the next bone statue, wait until the red skeleton is nearby. From this point until you get the triple shot, attack only with the cross. Attack the statue when the skeleton stands up. On the third hit, you''l kill both for a 1,000 point bonus. Go upstairs and hit the candlestick to your left. A double shot should drop out. If not, lure the red skeletons together and throw the cross so it strikes both skeletons, then both of the candlesticks. A double shot should drop out here if it didn't earlier. Either way, once both red skeletons are close together and you have the double shot, use the cross to knock them down five times in a row, then go upstairs. Knock out the candlestick furthest to the right, then the next one that's furthest to the right. You should have to face right, jump, attack, face left, then attack. A triple shot will drop out of the left candlestick. Now go downstairs, then back up, knocking these two candlesticks down and grabbing hearts until you have about 50 hearts or so.
At this point, if you aren't participating in the HSC, go downstairs and lure as many red skeletons together as you can, then drop them repeatedly with the cross. When you die, repeat all this again, and keep doing so until you roll the score. You stop getting extra lives based on points when the score rolls, so be aware of this. There are, however, 1up treasures hidden in the second castle.
Oh, yeah, in this section, the top right wall in the white area has a pot roast in it. Remember, don't get it unless you have at least six points of damage. It is not worth coming back for if you take damage in the Hall of Death.
Once you've got the hearts you need, go up to the Hall of Death, knock out the two candlesticks like you have been doing, then face left, hit Up, and start attacking the Axe Knight with your cross. do not worry about the medusa heads as they usually fly into the path of the cross. Don't worry about any other candles, either, but do watch out because many times the clock or dagger will be dropped and you do not
want either of those. you can recover your cross if that happens, but it is a pain to get back to the candle where it's located.
Dodge medusa heads until the second Axe Knight shows up, then kill it the same way you did the first. Move to the right until you see a high short platform followed by a long lower one. Knock out the two rightmost candles here, then move the the extreme left of the long platform. The music will change by now, and you must
make the jump to the small platform on the upper left. It is not easy without practice. Knock out the candle quickly and move to the right edge. When the scythes first appear, move back to the left edge of the screen, face right, and start throwing crosses. You will miss a lot, and you will take some damage. Death should come into range of the crosses, take anywhere from 40% to 100% damage, then move away. If he doesn't move back into range within a few seconds, chase him down, whipping away the scythes and/or dodging them.
Remember, practice and patience are key here.
Dracula: What weapon do we use? You guessed it--the cross! Here I do things the hard way. I use a mix of the cross and the morningstar in this battle. The morningstar is primarily used for attack, and the cross for defense. Sure I could whip fireballs away, but you will see why I choose to knock them out with the cross instead.
Start by getting the cross from a nearby candle. Drop down to the next platform, walk to the second candle from the right, face right, jump and throw the cross. Run left. The cross will knock out many candlesticks in a row. Don't worry about the items that drop. Go downstairs, back upstairs, rinse and repeat until a double shot drops out. If it's one of the two candles left of the coffin, ignore it. Although you can knock these out and still exit the room, you cannot actually get to the items they drop and still exit.
Keep this up until you have a triple shot, then start knocking out the candles with your morningstar. Keep going up and down and collecting hearts until you have about 40 hearts. Now the fun begins.
Go all the way left as far as you can. The screen will stop scrolling. A holy water is in the leftmost candlestick, and it's prized for its ability to freeze Dracula's second form. Personally, I think it's completely worthless, since it only freezes Dracula while it's actually in contact with him. You could get maybe two hits in during this time, and in that same time I'm getting six
hits with the cross.
If you want the Holy Water, do not knock that candle out until Dracula changes forms. This means no attacking him when he's on the left side of the screen, and no throwing crosses in the air. Drat.
I usually knock the candle out ASAP and let the holy water vanish.
Anyway. When Dracula's head rises all the way up and his cape begins to appear, get just close enough that the tip of your morningstar can hit his head. Jump and throw a cross. Jump again and throw another cross. Jump a third time and smack him with your morningstar. Wait for him to open his cape, then jump and smack him with the morningstar again. you can get up to four hits if you are fast.
At this point, you can start throwing crosses like a madman. Jump first, then throw. They will score you some extra hits, but it can really throw your timing off.
Each time Dracula appears, plan to jump. What he does depends on when you jump.
1. If you jump when his cape first turns solid, he will throw the fireballs horizontally just before you land. you can knock the middle and maybe the lower one out, then duck the top one. The timing here is very precise, though. Swing too soon and the fireballs will not have appeared yet. Swing too late and it's ouch!
2. If you wait a split second but not long enough for Dracula to open his cape, he will throw the fireballs diagonally. You can duck under them safely.
3. If you wait until he opens his cape, he will throw the fireballs horizontally and they will pass under you. Swing the whip too late, though, and he'll be invincible again when it connects. this is the safest but slowest way to attack him.
If you're fast, you can jump and strike twice before he launches the fireballs. Jump as in the first situation above, then again as in the third. If you have crosses flying, you can get in four hits for each time he appears.
What I do, though, is attack with crosses only when he first appears, then use the third idea above. that's if he appears close to me or on top of me. I move to the end of my morningstar, then attack as described. If he shows up far away, I turn to face him then throw a cross without jumping. This wipes out the fireballs, and since they are considered enemies, points are scored. Further, since it takes but one cross to wipe out two or all three of them, usually a 1,000 point bonus is scored, and sometimes the 2,000 point bonus is added to that!
When Dracula has one hit point left, stop attacking and defend until he appears in a corner. Attack him then. You don't want his second form to appear in the middle of the screen.
Once he transforms, run to the opposite side of the screen, and start jumping up and throwing your crosses. You may have to knock out some fireballs at ground level with the cross or the morningstar. It helps if you have hilf to full life when you face this boss. If you have full life, you don't even have to defend yourself. When Dracula gets literally on top of you, let him touch you then while you're invincible after the hit, run right through him and to the other side of the screen, then do this whole thing over again. He will die on the way back.
Now go back to stage one and see how it's possible to battle the vampire bat with a cross!