& Reviewed by Neil Collins
Dark Castle by Mirrorsoft is a conversion of a
Macintosh game that has confused a lot of people,
including myself. I have tried playing it a few times
and have given up as I didn't have a clue how to control
it, or what the aim of the game was. There's not a lot
of information on the internet about this game on the C64 and
many of the cracked versions are bugged. I
decided to try again today, and this time I finally
worked out how to play it...
It's a platform game with
only a few levels. Each level has a couple of screens to
beat, and the aim is to guide the hero, Duncan, to the
Evil Black Knight and defeat him. There are three skill
levels that basically increase the amount of enemies and
traps on each level. You can find a shield and fireballs
hidden within the castle that will aid you in beating
the Black Knight, but they aren't essential. The control
method is very quirky and takes some getting used to, as
you can perform a few types of jump. Duncan falls over,
becomes stunned, and dies very easily, which will have
you tearing your hair out - but with practice you will
learn how to avoid this. You can throw rocks at the
various enemies, which range from bats and rats to
guards and dragons. You have limited ammo, but you can
find more of it within the levels.
Overall, it isn't a great conversion of the original.
The graphics are more colourful than the original,
although they lack detail, but the biggest drawback is
the control method. Jumping is difficult, and aiming the
rocks at enemies isn't very responsive. I took the time
out to get into this game and it's not that bad once you
understand it, but I don't think many gamers would
bother putting in the time - which I can understand
Yes - defeated the
Evil Black night...
Time for a Victory
"BE GONE BLACK
"Huh - what on
earth is that coming towards me?"
"Here it comes!"
HOW WAS IT COMPLETED?:
I played it from start to finish with no cheats. I just
saved my progress as I worked my way through the levels.
SO WHAT HAPPENS?:
In the final level you have to pull a few levers which
are scattered around the screen. These are linked to the
platform on which the black knight sits at the top of
the screen. He drinks and throws goblets at you, which
you need to avoid. If you pull all the levers, the black
knight slips off his platform and falls down the screen.
Duncan then does a little victory dance before a dragon
appears and picks him up by the hair. He is then dropped
down off the screen, which sends you back to the dungeon
level. This only happens on the advanced level - which
allows you to keep playing and get a huge score if you
can be bothered to play it through again.