Originally, the North American release lacked clarity in the exact plot of the game. The marketing suggested that this was a follow-up to Castlevania II starring Simon Belmont whereas the game lacked any mention of who the protagonist was. The Japanese manual however, makes it clear. The game stars Christopher Belmont, taking 100 years before Simon's adventures, fighting Dracula, who was an evil sorcerer in this age.
There was contention in terms of where in the Castlevania timeline. As stated earlier, the game takes place 100 years before the original. However, this conflicts with Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse, in where Trevor C. Belmont, fights Dracula and is the first Belmont to slay him. This meant that Dracula had to be a vampire in The Adventure or Dracula's Curse was incorrect. For a time, the two games were considered alternate interpretations of the same story with wonky reasoning that the C in Trevor's name stood for Christopher and the two were the same. Later, Koji Igarashi definitively separated the two titles in the timeline by stating Trevor preceded Christopher by 115 years.