I’ve always wanted to do a little write-up on one of my all time favorite games for the Mac. Actually, it’s one of my all time favorite games, period. Dark Castle is one of those addictive games that I find myself once a year unable to put down. I’ve been playing it for over 20 years and I just can’t seem to beat it. I can get the Shield, the Fireball, in and out of the Dungeon, but I just can’t seem to do all that and make it though to the last level of the Black Knight. Since my Mac Plus is long gone, I’ve been playing it in a Mac Plus emulator. One day I’ll beat it. One day.
Here’s some screens shots of all the levels. Looks easy, but it’s not.
The game starts you off in the Great Hall. There you are faced with 4 doors. You have to pick the 4th door first to get the shield. You will need the shield to get you past the broom sticks and the eye that throws fireballs at you on the last Fireball level.
Next you have to pick one of the 2 doors on the right. They will be either the Dungeon or the Fireball level. It is totally random.
Lastly, you need to go to the middle door to defeat the Black Knight. For that you need the shield and fireballs. Don’t even think about going in there without fireballs, or the gargoyles will pick you up and dump you in the Dungeon.Trouble
There are two ways to end up in the Dungeon. You can fall through a trap door, or you can pick one of the first 2 doors in the Great Hall that randomly dump you in the Dungeon. If you fall in, its not too bad since you start at the bottom already. There you can get the key and make your way back up to the door that leads to the Great Hall. If you pick the wrong door from the Great Hall you have to make your way down through all three levels, retrieve the key, and make your way all the way back up to open the door and get back into the Great hall.
Here’s a video of me ending up in the Dungeon, and not making it out. I was having some trouble with the ropes today. go figure.Shield
For the Shield level, you have to move fast. They start you out on a trap door that leads to the Dungeon. You have to make your way up a Donkey Kong looking level without running into the mutants, and without getting hit by a boulder.
Next, you end up outside. You have to avoid the crows, hop over a trap door and go to the top of the tower and dump water on the dragon. Then you can make your way through the door where the Dragon comes out.
After that, you have to make your way across a series of ropes that are infested with plague infected rats. Don’t let them touch you.
Once you’re in the Tower, take out the two bats and pull the level all the way to the left. That will illuminate the steps that are safe to jump on. Jump on the steps indicated and make your way to the top. Watch out for the clouds, they’ll hit you with lightning. Grab the shield and raise it so that the clouds can hit it with a lightning bolt. You now have the shield. You are returned to the Great Hall.
Here’s a video that shows the game play for the “Shield” level.Fireball
Once you’re returned to the Great Hall, you can pick one of the doors on the left. If you don’t end up in the Dungeon, you end up in the Fireball level. Make your way past the crows and the mutants, up the ropes and into the cave on the right.
Once you’re in the cave, you have to take out 2 bats. Then you can jump down the floating platforms and make your way to the base on the bottom right. Just watch your head for falling stalactites!
The next level is tricky. Take out the bat above you first and then jump on a raft. The hard part is not getting hit by boulders. Sometimes you have to jump back and forth on the rafts to stay out of harms way. You’ll come out on the bottom left and head towards the waterfall. Take out the mutant that comes out the door and make a long jump over the falls to the door.
Once you’re inside the Wizard’s lair, you can use the Shield to become “invisible” to the broom stick. Just wait until it sweeps itself past you. Be quick, the shield only stays up for a second or two. Don’t hit the broom stick with rocks or it will divide into more broom sticks. The burning eye constantly throws fireballs at you. You can hit it with a rock to freeze it. It only stays frozen for a few seconds, but it gives you enough time to get past it and up the rope. Watch out for the surprise mutant that comes out of the wall on the left.
Once up the rope, you will be confronted with a triplet of levers that have to be pulled in some order to remove the wall that separates you from the Wizard. Just keep pulling them until you find the right combo. Make a long jump towards the Wizard and wait at the bottom of the steps. He’ll give you the Fireball power when he’s ready. If you get to close, he’ll fry you.
Here’s a video that shows the game play for the “Fireball” level, and me getting killed in the process.
Once you have the Fireball, you are returned to the Great Hall. Now that you have both the shield and your rocks are now fireballs, you can take on the Black Knight.
Once inside, jump fast. You’re standing on a trap door. Don’t jump on the black ropes. They are slick with oil and you’ll fall in the Dungeon.
After 30 seconds or so, you’ll hear the cry of the gargoyle. Unless you blast him with a fireball, he’ll pick you up and drop you in the Dungeon. Get through this board and up the ladder fast because he keeps coming back.
Another trap door. Jump! Wait, another trap door, jump! Make your way up the ladders and jump onto the floating skeletons to get from side to side. Your shield will protect you from the boulders that are being thrown at you from above. You can pull the lever on the platform in the middle to take out the henchman, but I find it’s quicker to just keep moving.
At long last! The Black Knight. The whole time you’re in there he throws beer mugs at you. So watch your back. There are 5 levers in there that you have to pull. Make your way around the board and pull all the levers. Just don’t fall in the Dungeon or get snatched by a Gargoyle.
I wish I had a video or screen shot of the end. One day I’ll beat it. Then I can move on to Return to Dark Castle.