From Sega Retro
|System(s): Sega Mega Drive|
|Publisher: Electronic Arts|
|Developer: Silicon Beach SoftwareThree-Sixty PacificArtech Studios|
|Number of players: 1|
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Dark Castle is an action game originally developed by Silicon Beach Software for Apple Macintosh computers in 1986. It was subsequently ported to other home computers in 1987 and eventually to the Sega Mega Drive in 1991. Many of the ports, including the Mega Drive version were handled by Three-Sixty Pacific.
Dark Castle is a platform game, in which players traverse through a castle to defeat the "Black Knight". To achieve this, you must complete 14 platforming challenges while finding a magic shield and the power to throw fireballs along the way.
The protagonist (who is unnamed in this version, but is named "Prince Duncan" in other ports) can run, jump and duck, interact with parts of the scenery and throw a limited number of rocks. Players can also pick up elixrs to protect themselves from bat and rat bites, and can replenish their rocks by picking up bags.
The original Macintosh version of Dark Castle uses a combination of the keyboard (for movement) and mouse (for aiming projectiles). This control scheme lost in this Mega Drive port, meaning and are instead used to adjust the throwing angle.
Dark Castle is infamous for having one-hit deaths, as well as having the main character trip up on scenery, leading to a short "dizzy" period where you cannot move and are vulnerable to enemy attacks.
|Black Knight 1|
|Black Knight 2|
|Black Knight 3|
Most versions of Dark Castle were critically panned on release, with the Mega Drive being no exception. Having originally been designed for high resolution monochrome graphics and mouse controls, the move to the Mega Drive, as with other ports, saw the game run in a smaller screen resolution with slower d-pad controls. While most ports add colour, many choose to recycle as many of hte original Macintosh assets as possible, leading to very mixed results, where it can be difficult to see what is happening on-screen.
Dark Castle was quite popular among Macintosh fans, however, gaining sequels such as Beyond Dark Castle and remakes such as Color Dark Castle.
- Producer: Keith Francart
- Product Manager: David Bamberger
- Programming, Music, and Sounds: Artek Digital Productions
- Documentation Layout: Jennie Maruyama
- Quality Assurance: Jonathan Skolnick
- Source: US manual
- Main article: Dark Castle/Magazine articles.
|Sega Retro Average|
|Mega Drive, AU|
ROM dump status
- Sega Power, "January 1992" (UK; 1991-12-05), page 49
- Console XS, "June/July 1992" (UK; 1992-04-23), page 128
- Mean Machines: The Essential Sega Guide, "" (UK; 1993-11-18), page 36
- Gamers, "Februar/März 1992" (DE; 1992-xx-xx), page 48
- Games-X, "10th-16th October 1991" (UK; 1991-10-10), page 33
- Joypad, "Novembre 1991" (FR; 1991-10-1x), page 52
- Joystick, "Novembre 1991" (FR; 1991-1x-xx), page 150
- Sega Mega Drive Advanced Gaming, "January 1993" (UK; 199x-xx-xx), page 91
- Mega, "April 1994" (UK; 1994-03-17), page 62
- Mega Force, "Novembre 1991" (FR; 1991-11-19), page 70
- Mean Machines, "December 1991" (UK; 1991-11-28), page 176
- Mean Machines Sega, "October 1992" (UK; 1992-09-xx), page 138
- Player One, "Novembre 1991" (FR; 1991-xx-xx), page 78
- Sega Pro, "December 1991" (UK; 1991-11-21), page 69
- Sega Pro, "April 1993" (UK; 1993-03-11), page 64
- Video Games, "4/91" (DE; 1991-12-06), page 31