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Dossiers > Articles and Reviews in English > Games > [ENG] The Castle - A princess to be saved !

[ENG] The Castle - A princess to be saved !

THE CASTLE - A princess to be saved !

Useful links :

Complete map

Complete walkthrough


Pretty princess Margarita has been kidnapped by the demon Mephistopheles and locked up in a castle full with enemies and traps. Prins Raphael wants strongly to release her.

It is the theme of this game released in 1986 by Ascii and source of division between gamers : those who are searching for a labyrinth with puzzles to solve are charmed, those are preferring more classic action find the game boring. One thing is sure : it does not leave indifferent and we need to greet by the way the creative spirit of the coders who built this huge labyrinth of 100 screens with multiple surprises !

To progress in the game, you must especially collect keys of different colors (yellow - light blue - green - purple - dark blue - red), they will be used to open doors. The most precious keys are the red keys, they will be given by two fairies also emprisoned in this malefic castle.

Acquiring keys gives of course points, but you can improve your score by taking other items (gold, cross, crowns). A map can be acquired in the beginning of the game and will be very useful to find your way in this gigantic maze, conceived by malicious minds. To increase your chance of success, take all the potions you can find, as each potion gives an extra life.

Very logically, the game has 3 parts : first part allows to familiarize himself with the different enemies and traps, second part includes the first real puzzles and, you guess it, third part is a festival of difficulties.

What concerns the enemies, it's important to observe them with as goal to avoid them or kill them with some mobile items (bricks, barrels, flasks, pots, cakes). In some cases, especially for the kings who are acting like fools, it is enough to provoke their suicide to get rid of them. Machineries (lifts, elevators, mobile platforms, conveyors, laser rays) are at your disposal, but you need to use them correctly to avoid the death.

These items and machineries can be the exit from situations which seem impossible at first sight, the famous 13 puzzles which improve the interest of the game; some of them require to fully master the game, as they need to combine thinking and action, patience and speed, accuracy and skill, in other words be fast at the good moment and be able to wait for the time of action, not without forgetting the good way to find ! The least error leads to loss of one life or a blocked situation with no other option than the voluntary loss of one life (with the F1 key), and even the complete suicide (with the F2 key), if you are perfectionnist.

Please note that some screens require to come back several times, because the labyrinth is very complex or to first get rid of some enemies, then find again the initial location of some items. Finally, I'll explain further thecherry's utility, a very special option of the game !

    Prins Raphael is generally dressed in red during his long quest; his clothes become green or white according as he has oxygen reserves for a limited time (useful to pass through zones with water !) or has been under a temporary invulnerability ray.

As it is a very long adventure, it's strongly recommended to make saves on a regular basis. On an emulator, the best option is the using of the CPU save states feature. On a real machine, saving on tape can be made with the F4 key (save loading on the intro screen with the F3 key).

Other special keys :
F5 = pause
CTRL pressed continously = increased speed of the game
CTRL + GRAPH (LeftAlt on blueMSX) pressed continously = maximum speed of the game
       
 

The walkthrough

  You will find the complete walkthrough in the useful links that are mentioned above. Thanks to Fabio of MSX Solutions for his excellent work! I will here only explain the most important elements.
    To find our way in the 100 screens of this big castle, each screen is mentioned by using the co-ordinates of its position on the map :
- start in H0
- first fairy in J9
- puzzles (1st serie) in G5 - F7 - G0 - E3 - E1 - E0
- second fairy in F0
- puzzles (2nd serie) in D1 - C6 - C3 - C1 - A1 - A7 - A8
- cherry in B9
- princess in A9
    1st part of the game

You start at screen H0. The first thing to do if you want to find your way in this castle is acquire the map ! You need a light blue key, you will find it in H2, behind a yellow door.

Order of the keys and doors :
H0 yellow key - yellow door - H1 yellow key - yellow door - H2 light blue key - H1 yellow key - yellow door- H0 light blue door
    Two yellow doors in H2 .... where are the keys ? Use the lift, you will find two yellow keys in G2.

Order of the keys and doors :
G2 yellow key - yellow key - H2 yellow key - light blue key - yellow door - yellow door
    Two doors in H3 .... and you have two keys, so what's the best way ? An advice : spare the blue keys and outwit the kings !

Order of the keys and doors :
H3 light blue key - yellow door
    How to reach the yellow door in H4 after having taken the yellow key ? A detour by the bottom in I4 will be very useful !

Order of the keys and doors :
H4 yellow key - I4 - H4 yellow door - light blue key - light blue door
    How to kill the top keeper and access to the yellow door in H5 ? Think about going back to H4 and moving the flask !

Order of the keys and doors :
H5 yellow key - yellow key - H4 - H5 yellow key - yellow door
    By which doors pass to avoid the fireball in H6 ? That's a good question as you will need to also use some trickery !

Order of the keys and doors :
H6 light blue key - light blue door - yellow door - light blue key - yellow door
    A purple door in H7, it's for the second part of the game and a purple key is required, you will find it by exploring the cellars of the castle !

Order of the keys and doors :
H7 light blue key - light blue door
    To explore the cellars when you have only blue keys, you need to go first to the left.

Order of the keys and doors :
I7 yellow key - light blue door - I6 yellow key - yellow door - I5 two yellow keys - top door of the right - I6 two yellow keys - bottom door - I5 top yellow door of the left - I4 light blue key - top yellow door of the left - I3 - I4 two yellow keys - bottom yellow door of the left - I3 four yellow keys

At this moment, you have many yellow keys, so you can go back to I7 and open the yellow door.
    Three options in I8, which is the good one ? Go to the bottom to find a green key in J8, it will be vey useful later in the game !

Order of the keys and doors :
I8 light blue key - J8 green key

    The purple key can be reached in J9. You can also see the first fairy, imprisoned behind a dark blue door, so you need to find a dark blue key !

Order of the keys and doors :
J9 three light blue doors - purple key - I9 yellow key - yellow door - I8 light blue door - I9 three light blue keys

We can go back to I4 and enter I3 by the top door with I2 as goal.
    You can see 2 other green keys in I2 ! To reach them, you will need much skill and dexterity!

Order of the keys and doors :
I2 two yellow keys - top yellow door - I1 yellow key - yellow door - I2 green key - I1 yellow key - yellow door - I2 green key - I1 yellow key - bottom yellow door of the left
    In the next screens, think to get rid of the kings !

Order of the keys and doors :
I0 three yellow keys - light blue key - yellow key - J0 green key - light blue door - J1 two yellow keys - yellow door - J2 four green doors - yellow door
    To release the first fairy, you'll need dark blue keys and air !

Order of the keys and doors :
J3 dark blue key - dark blue door of the left - bottom yellow door - J4 yellow key - yellow door - J5 dark blue key - yellow door - J6 yellow door - J7 dark blue key - dark blue door - yellow door - J8 yellow door - J9 dark blue door
    When you touch the fairy, you will free her from the bad fate, source of her imprisonment in this castle. She will thank you with a red key.

Go back to J1 with preference for the top part of the screen , then to I1

Order of the keys and doors :
J8 - J7 yellow door - J6 yellow door - J5 two yellow keys - yellow door - J4 yellow door - J3 - J2 - J1 - I1

The first part of the game is finished. Go to I9 and take the lift to H9
    2nd part of the game

You start at screen H9, just before the back door of the castle. You can also come here later if you take the cherry, but with a big difference : all the doors will be opened ...

Order of the keys and doors :
H9 yellow key - yellow door - light blue key - light blue door - H8 - I8

From there, go back to I0, then H0 and go to H7 to open the purple door.
    You will notice that the difficulty level begins to increase, first by testing your knowledge of the 1st part about skill, trickery and speed ....

Order of the keys and doors :
H8 two yellow keys - light blue key - light blue door - H9 light blue key - G9 two yellow keys - yellow door- G8 four light blue keys - top light blue door
    In G7, you will discover the invulnerability ray, it will be very useful for the screen G6 with a little trick : the loss of a life (with F1) to prolong the effective time of this ray !

Order of the keys and doors :
G7 central light blue door of the left - bottom light blue door of the left - G6 two light blue doors - green key - green door
    In G5, you will meet the first puzzle of the game : how to move 3 bricks and catch the 3 green keys ? You must proceed with order and methode, your patience is submitted to a difficult test !
You need to place the 3 bricks as following , then move them slowly to the right, each time halfway.

Order of the keys and doors :
G5 three green keys - F5 yellow door
    In F4, you see a dark blue door and the key of the same color : you are not able to catch it, a long detour is required !

Order of the keys and doors :
F4 light blue door - F5 two light blue keys - top light blue door - F6 four light blue keys - light blue door - F7 - F6 - E6 right yellow door - E7 - F7 - F6 - E6 left yellow door
    In E5, you can see a 2nd invulnerability ray, but it is not reachable. You will need it later to open the green door by passing through the spikes. Only one passage at this moment : the hole to F5

Order of the keys and doors :
E5 - F5 bottom light blue door - F6 light blue door
    In F7, you meet the second puzzle of the game : how to move the pots and reach the blue door ?
You need to place the 5 pots as following , what requires halfway moves, then completely push the top pot and proceed in the same way for the 4th pot and the 3rd pot from the bottom.

Order of the keys and doors :
F7 light blue door - F8 bottom yellow door
    In F9, you see a purple key, it will be very helpful for the purple door seen in F7, but how to get it as the air bottles are out of reach ? A new detour is required !

Order of the keys and doors :
F9 yellow door - F8 three yellow keys - E8 two yellow keys - green door
    In E9, you need to be smart and rapid to not fall in a cake or be wedged by a block which is fast falling down. If you don't succeed it easily, then forget the crosses and the crown !

Order of the keys and doors :
E9 - F9 purple key - top door - F8 purple door - F7 - E7 green door - E6
    In D6, catch all you can reach, then go to the left, don't forget that you need to acquire the dark blue key in F4.

Order of the keys and doors :
D6 light blue key - two light blue doors - two yellow keys - left yellow door - D5 two light blue keys - yellow door - D4 to take gold, crosses and rings - E5 - E6 if you need lives - E5 green door (go first under the invulnerability ray !) - E4 - F4 dark blue key - dark blue door
    In G4, a new zone with water is waiting for you ... beyond this zone, you will find a purple key in G2 !

Order of the keys and doors :
G4 yellow door - G3 yellow door - G2 purple key - G1 light blue key - three yellow keys
    In G0, you meet the third puzzle of the game : how to move 3 bricks to catch the purple key ? It will be another work of patience and accuracy !
You need to come to the following situation :

Order of the keys and doors :
G0 purple key - F0 yellow door - F1 two light blue keys - light blue door - F2 two light blue keys - light blue door - F3 yellow door
    In E3, you meet the fourth puzzle of the game : how to use the elevator to move the flasks, kill the enemies and get the purple keys ? You need to proceed with order and methode !
You need to come to the following situation :

Order of the keys and doors :
E3 two light blue keys - three yellow keys - two purple keys - yellow door
    On the other hand, you need to be fast and skilful in screen E2 !

Order of the keys and doors :
E2 yellow door
    In E1, you meet the fifth puzzle of the game : how to use the elevator to move the barrels and access to the door without being blocked ?
You need to come to the following situation :

Order of the keys and doors :
E2 yellow door
    In E0, you meet the sixth puzzle of the game : how to move the barrels to kill the enemies and go down by the right side ?
You need to come to the following situation :
    In F0, hurry up to release the second fairy, as your oxygen reserves are limited !
    When you touch the fairy, you will free her from the bad fate, source of her imprisonment in this castle. She will thank you with a red key.

The second part of the game is finished. You need to go back to E0 and use the left lift to go in D0
    3rd part of the game

You begin here the most difficult part of the game. To come to the end and release the princess, you need to be dogged !

Order of the keys and doors :
D0 purple door
    In D1, you meet the seventh puzzle of the game : how to move the flasks and the bricks to reach the purple door ?
You need to come to the following situation : and push the top brick to the right.

Order of the keys and doors :
D1 purple door - D2 purple door
    In D3, you must be very fast and astute to avoid that the flasks block you.
You need to come to the following situation :

Order of the keys and doors :
D3 four light blue keys - purple door
    To get rid of the king in D4, you must go to the barrel, climb on the barrel, then wait for the good moment to jump up. The access to the upper platform requires generally several tries !

Order of the keys and doors :
D4 light blue door - D5 light blue door - D6 light blue door - D7 two light blue keys - light blue door
    D8 is another speed challenge, don't be blocked by the elevator !

Order of the keys and doors :
D8 two yellow keys - yellow door - D9 - C9
    In B9, you can see the cherry .... an option that will interest some gamers !

Order of the keys and doors :
B9 purple key - purple door - light blue key - light blue door
    In B8, the barrel will be useful twice, first to kill the enemies, then to access to one of the doors..

Order of the keys and doors - B8 two options :
a) green key - green door
b) let fall the barrel in the bottom hole of the right, then press on CTRL+GRAPH (LeftCtrl + LeftAlt on blueMSX) until the reappearance of the barrel in the top part of the right - red door to get the cherry

Cherry's advantage: all the doors are now opened, so you don't need no more any key !
Inconvenience : you fall until H9 and you must make again all the way to B8, then go in B7
    The next screens require to be at the same time fast, skilful and patient !

Order of the keys and doors :
B7 two green keys - light blue key - C7 yellow door - C8 two green keys - two yellow keys - light blue key- (if you need lives : right yellow door - C9 - D9 - D8 - C8) - left yellow door - C7 green door
    In C6, you meet the eight puzzle of the game : how to move the bricks and reach the two keys ? For the green key, it is enough to jump after having pushed the central brick to the right.
For the purple key, you need to come to the following situation :

Order of the keys and doors :
C6 green key - left yellow doors - right green door - purple key - C5 green door - C4 three yellow keys - yellow door
    In C3, you meet the ninth puzzle of the game : how to move the flasks and reach the yellow door ?
You need to come to the following situation :

Order of the keys and doors :
C3 yellow door - C2 two green keys - purple door
    In C1, you meet the tenth puzzle of the game, probably the most difficult : how to use the different items and reach the green door ?
You need to come to the following situation : , then push the pot first to the lift, then to the left and finally make it fall near the other pots.

Order of the keys and doors :
C1 green door - C0 yellow key - purple key - B0 - A0 two yellow keys - green key - purple key - yellow door
    In A1, you meet the eleventh puzzle of the game : how to move the bricks and reach the yellow door ?
You need to come to the following situation : , then use the elevator to lead 3 bricks to the top and push the top brick to the door

Order of the keys and doors :
A1 yellow door - A2 two green keys - green door - A3 - B3 green key - green door - B2 - B1 - B0 purple door - B1 two light blue keys - two yellow keys - yellow door - B2 yellow door - B3 light blue door
    In B4, you see 2 purple doors but you have only one purple key. Besides, the castle contains still many purple doors. The solution : wait for the good moment to pass above the ray and go to the top !

Order of the keys and doors :
B4 - A4 - A3 two purple keys - dark blue key - B3 purple door - B4 - A4 purple door - A5 dark blue key- purple door - A6 - B6 central light blue door
    You come in B5 to a screen full with keys and doors. You need to pass here three times and open the good doors !

Order of the keys and doors :
B5 two light blue keys - light blue door - B6 - B5 two purple keys - A5 - A6 - B6 purple door- B5 - A5 purple door - A6 dark blue door
    In A7, you meet the twelfth puzzle of the game : how to move the items and reach the dark blue door ?
You need to come to the following situation : , move the troller to the left by stopping halfway from the end, then to the right with as result that the elevator will go up and the door will be reachable

Order of the keys and doors :
A7 dark blue door
    In A8, you meet the thirtheenth puzzle of the game : how to move the items and reach the red door ?
You need to come to the following situation : , then this situation :

Order of the keys and doors : A8 red door
    In A9, you are very close to the goal, you can see the princess, only 4 enemies to avoid or kill and a door to open !

Order of the keys and doors : A9 red door
 

The end

   
    Prins Raphael releases finally princess Margarita, they are crazy lovers and go to marriage ! A game ending like you are always dreaming about, but is it really the end ?
    .

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