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Retro Game Club - May ‘19: Castle of Illusion [POLL ADDED FOR JUNE - GET VOTING NOW]

Let’s Play Retro: June’s nominations   

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The poll has been decided and 32 people voted in all, which for a retro thread isn’t too bad over about 3 days. The winner with just under a third of the total votes at 9 is Castle of Illusion, a classic Mickey title many will be familiar with from the days of the Megadrive or indeed the Mastersystem and of course the Gamegear. A quick look indicates it came out as a compilation on the Sega Saturn and on Windows too. I’d also forgotten entirely about that modern remake a few years back. 

 

2213626-genesis_castleofillusion.jpg

 

For me personally, I don’t think I ever did play this, largely down to not owning a MD. The only Mickey Mouse game I’ve played (aside from Kingdom Hearts) is Magical Quest on the SNES and remember enjoying that at the time. 

 

Is this one on any of the modern Sega compilations, PS4 particularly? I just spotted the cover for it as I was seeking out the above artwork. 

 

[Edit]

Poll for next month’s titles have just been added based on suggestions from people here. Only 4 this time but I did give it a few days. Get your vote in now. Poll ends on Saturday 1st June midday. 

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I don't think it has been on any compilations that I can think of from the last few gens. I always preferred the Master System over the Megadrive version. I always felt the controls were tighter and it just felt better. 

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This was the first game I got for my Game Gear back in 1991.

 

I bought it after a review in ACE magazine said it was Mario-like.

 

Once I played it, I found it didn't have much in common with Mario, but was very much like Duck Tails. Certainly it looked gorgeous, and was exactly what was needed to reassure me that forking out a hundred quid for a Game Gear was money well spent.

 

I cleared the first three levels, but didn't get much further.  I don't think I've played it since 1992.  It gave way to Super Monaco GP, which is rubbish - much too fast - and later Wonderboy and Shinobi.

 

Now I own the Master System and Game Gear version again, so I'm on board with this one.  I don't have a Master System console, so it's the wonders of the Master Gear converter for me.  Might try to find Megadrive and Saturn versions too.

 

Looking forward to reading everyone's impressions of this.

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We were lucky enough to have both the Master System and the Mega Drive in our house back then (huge Sega fans!) and we also had both versions of this. I agree the Master System version is the better game, but I do love the sumptuousness of the Mega Drive version. It's so luxurious visually and in my (46 year old) eyes hasn't really aged. The game is still fantastic too and much more fun than the remake imho.

 

I remember back when this came out that there was quite a lot of criticism of Sega's "too short, too easy" platform games, but I played many of them through over and over and really got my value out of them. I knew they were shorter than say the Mario games, but it never for a moment spoiled my fun with them. Still doesn't. ;-)

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The impact of the first (MD) game was huge, it was a legit system seller. I've probably not played passed the second level for about twenty years but I'll endevour to give it a proper shot and report back. Like some others I spent more time with the SMS version - and agree it's a more sophisticated game - but the splendid atmosphere of the 16-bit original was unrecreatable.

 

Coincidentally I stumbled upon this clip of a Sega exec showing the game off on a contemporary telly show (facing off against an NEC rep showing off the $400 Turbo CD setup). I found it pretty interesting:

 

 

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Just completed the MD version. Such a lovely game.

 

I've not spent much time with the MS game so I'll focus on that next.

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31 minutes ago, bum said:

Looked for a boxed Game Gear copy in Akihabara today.

 

Finally found a PAL one.:lol:

 

i dont think there is much regional differences, COI megadrive works in japanese on a japanese megadrive and english on a UK MD

but its worth it for the box arts

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I think we borrowed this game from someone back when borrowing was a thing, although I doubt I ever finished it. :blush: That said, I believe one version has a "practice" difficulty which can be finished in a few minutes. :D 

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MD one has a 'practice' difficulty. I think it's longer than a few minutes though :D

 

Some thoughts: my absolute favourite level is the one with the soldiers and the screen-flipping.

 

Least favourite: the clockwork level. Those bats can fuck the fuck off.

 

A couple of the bosses are a bit annoying:

 

Spoiler

Pete's Dragon feels unavoidable at times

 

The final boss. If she appears on the platform you're on, the ghosts seem impossible to avoid.

 

I was irritated by sword guy too, but you can tell if he's about to swing 

Spoiler

as he grins just before

 

 

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Anyone going through this having already clocked it, should go to the hardest difficulty setting....

 

The throwing projectiles that Mickey has makes the game far too easy and these are very much reduced on hard - and you have extra hazards

 

 

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Had a quick play on this.  The graphics still look very nice.

 

I was playing the Game Gear version, which also has a practise mode.

 

I had forgotten that enemies respawn if their starting position goes off screen.  There were a couple of times when I winced in frustration at seeing them again.

 

Cleared the forest level and got through some of Toyland.  It was nice that when I died fighting the forest boss the checkpoint was right outside his room.  I was expecting to go back to the start of the level.

 

Loved the white chess knights in Toyland.

 

It holds up quite well, but once I had lost all my lives, I didn't feel like having another go.  I'll try again in a few days.

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I always loved the dessert level. This was one of the first games I ever finished when I was in primary school. It’s a really Great game. 

 

I used to always game over on the pendulums 

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I never completed the MegaDrive version back in the day, but I did complete the PS3 remake. 

 

I’ll make time over the weekend to revisit the 16bit version and perhaps check out the Master System one as well!

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Absolutely rinsed the Master System version back in the day. One of my favourite games for the platform, and I can still whistle all the tunes (although, come to think of it, probably at 83% of the speed they're supposed to be...).

 

Played the MD a bit back in the day, then completed it a few years ago when I first got my Framemeister. It still looks and sounds great (Bo soundtrack?), but the difficulty curve is a bit all over the place, and as @Camel said, the bats on the clockwork stage can fuck right off. I'll climb back up again, then.

 

I'll be playing the Master System version again for this thread, at 60hz for the first time.

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I love the animation when he's precariously balanced on a ledge and thinks he's going to fall of.

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Mickey is animated superbly in this game. It was one of the first MD games I played back when I had a C64 at the time. I couldn’t believe my eyes!

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The graphics of this game, on release, were on another level compared to everything else.

 

in it's day, it was at the top of the graphics tree.

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The aesthetics hold up brilliantly (music sounds even more incredible than I'd remembered) and it was nice watching the unicycle clowns fall to their doom at the touch of the gravity switches..but maybe midway through Stage 3 I just lost interest.

 

I wondered about restarting at a higher difficulty but in all honesty I don't think I like the game enough, sadly.

 

I might revisit it with my nephews but I'm out as s solo player now, I think.

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2 hours ago, spanky debrest said:

The aesthetics hold up brilliantly (music sounds even more incredible than I'd remembered) and it was nice watching the unicycle clowns fall to their doom at the touch of the gravity switches..but maybe midway through Stage 3 I just lost interest.

 

I wondered about restarting at a higher difficulty but in all honesty I don't think I like the game enough, sadly.

 

I might revisit it with my nephews but I'm out as s solo player now, I think.

 

Are you a fan of other platformers? 

 

 

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im considering emulation.

 

if only to save having to go out to the garage and dig up a megadrive

 

I had it in running in Fusion on this laptop earlier, (attract mode, 50% scanlines):

 

Spoiler

emucoisc.JPG.1f9b76eb0b94e89b4ebcce80de210493.JPG

 

but then I got distracted by the menacer 6-in-1 games... :facepalm:

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Night and day difference between MS and MD versions.  I much prefer the former.  The platforming feels far more responsive and precise on the humble Master System.

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I've finally managed to get around to playing this and definitely haven't played it in the past as I don't recognise anything aside from being aware of the title itself. I'm starting with the Genesis/MD version and have had to resort to emulation because I don't own a MD and can't get it on any compilations. 

 

Initial thoughts; for a game that came out in 1990 it does look pretty good visually and kind of reminds me a little of the original Rayman, both game-play wise and graphically. I've noticed an obvious connection between this and Sonic and assume this was before that game existed anyway? It's like a much slower version of it but there are features which remind me of Sonic, such as the water parts and the jumping fish, or the moving blue squares and ramps and of course even the bosses, not to mention the noise is the same when you beat one. What I didn't like though is just how slow it feels to play, so much so it can make avoiding enemies often more frustrating than it needs to be. I'll definitely be returning back to it at some point soon, but so far I've made it to the third boss. Took me a few moments to even realise you could bounce off things early on. 

 

Overall, I don't think it's my sort of thing really, rather a curiosity and while I remember it from the box art and occasional screen shot, the actual game I don't hold too much nostalgia for having not properly played it back in the day. I'm left to what I think about it right now and it's just OK. I haven't tried the MS version out yet. 

 

I'm using a rom on the Kega Fusion emulator with Windows 10 and have managed to quite easily pair up my PS4 pad without too much hassle. Annoyingly whenever I try to put my HDMI out from (2 laptops now) to my TV, it causes jerky movement and screen tearing on the TV but not the laptop. My other consoles including my SNES Mini work fine with the same HDMI cable. I had this issue with an older laptop and assumed it might have been down to that, but this one is a much newer one and a lot better with its own card so I'm not too sure.

 

 

 

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Just spent an hour with the sms version after watching a couple of episodes of hi score girl.

What a gem of a game! I've only played the first few areas.

 

It's bright, colourful, great controls and catchy music.

I'm in for a treat.

 

My memory is a bit hazy, but...I'm sure I've never played this before.

In the past, I've finished Mickey mania...and there was a Mickey trilogy on snes/sfc..

I think the 3rd one was a Japanese exclusive, I finished them..

Let me check what that was. ...Magical quest!

 

I'm trying to unwind...I need some rest/sleep...but I'm excited about playing castle of illusion now :)

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15 minutes ago, Ketchup said:

The sound of mickeys skull as it hits an object is something I’ll never forget and still gives me shivers to this day.

 

I hit his head on purpose just to hear that thwack 

 

its perfect

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Finished the sms version earlier. 

Charming little platformer from start to finish. Thoroughly enjoyed it.

 

Will hunt down the md version after the snooker.

 

lovely.

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Had a spin on the master system version last night. Defeated the jack in box boss. Failed badly on the chocolate bar boss. 

 

Amazing music for the hardware and really bright colours. Will give it another bash later (using save states). 

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If you want to use save states...obv fine...

 

My first hiccup was that boss, took me a few goes to work it out..

You can choose what stage to start on though...so..I figured him out by going into door 3 first.

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