CASTLE OF ILLUSION STARRING MICKEY MOUSE
By Ferry "Sadhonker" Adams on April 19, 2019
Ah, ladies and gentlemen; how good it is to see you all, once again, for a brand new Big Red Timemachine! And when I say brand new, I mean brand new! You see, we had a little mishap of sorts after Dennis took you out last time. He had been secretly been working on a new source of clean energy but, as these things go when he is doing just about anything at all, he ran into trouble fairly quickly...
You see, the combination of rare and dangerous elements had a nasty side effect; it messed with his mind and, notwithstanding the hours I tried to talk him down and get him to put his pants on the right way around, his wonky mental state ultimately lead to the total and utter destruction of yet another super secret Big Red HQ. Granted, it wasn't all his fault... When designing our last HQ, I thought it would be funny to have a giant drain plug embedded in one of the side walls of our main hall, just for fun. Well, the fun soon ended when our dear Dennis took it upon himself to remove said plug from said wall which, I'm sure you will agree with me, really isn't a good idea when your HQ is located at the bottom of the ocean in the middle of the Bermuda triangle!
So after making a narrow escape in our timemachine, we settled, for the time being on something a bit safer. We are currently located in Florida, where I have, very cleverly if I say so myself, built our Big Red HQ inside a big silver-gray sphere or geodesic polyhedron, if you will. Now, I will not tell you exactly where we are, but let's just say we've got enough cotton candy and other sweets to choke a camel and "It's a small world after all" coming out of ears by now! Plus, every evening, our neighbors celebrate us being there with a parade and fireworks... It's nice to be wanted, isn't it?
So, keeping in style with our new temporary surroundings, Let's all strap ourselves in and let's blast off towards 1990; the year in which the Leaning Tower of Pisa had to be closed down for leaning too much, the year in which Margaret Thatcher throws in the political towel, and the year in which Sega brought Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse to their awesome Sega Genesis console. So get ready and hold on tight, ladies and gents; here we go!
Oh no, there's trouble in fairyland! The evil witch Mizrabel kidnapped Minnie Mouse and now it's up to Mickey Mouse to save her! But to do so, he will have to brave the many dangers that will undoubtedly cross his path as he makes his way through Mizrabel's fortress: The Castle of Illusion! As he makes his way to the castle, Mickey comes across an elderly gentlemen who warns him for the dangers ahead and tells Mickey that he will have to collect all seven Gems of the Rainbow in order to reach Mizrabel's hideout. Mickey thanks the old man and sets out to save his one true love, Minnie!
Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse is a game of the 16-bit side-scrolling platform persuasion, meaning you'll have to make your way through each level by running, jumping, swinging and, of course, defeating enemies. Now, in this game, this could be achieved by one of two ways. You could either bounce off an enemies head, or throw an apple at them which, come to think of it, may very well have been a marketing ploy by the apple farming community... I mean, think about it; bad stuff is coming at you, but you've got your healthy apple to make it go away. See what I mean? How does the saying go again? An apple a day keeps the evil minions of a power-mad witch queen away? Well, something like that, anyway! Another explanation would be that a magic apple had been hard-wired into people's brains as being the ultimate magical weapon by then, but I refuse to believe that! That's just what the secret society of apple farmers wants us to think...
But I'm drifting somewhat away from the game at hand. Don't worry, this happens sometimes, but the universe hasn't stopped existing because of this, so I don't worry too much about it! So back to the reality of a castle filled with cool, colorful and mainly strange beings! Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse was divided into a number of levels, each with their very own theme and soundtrack. You start off in the Enchanted Forest, after which you'll have to make your way through Toyland, The Storm, Dessert Factory and the Library, before being able to confront the witch queen and save Minnie.
Every of these worlds has its own specific style while, at the same time, keeping in tune with the game's overall premise. Every one of these lands is truly magical and looks awesome. The accompanying soundtrack for each level perfectly complements its visual style and truly manages to lifts the entire thing to a whole new level. Of course, beneath the veneer of playfulness and bright and vibrant colors, evil lurks in the shadows. You see, each level is populated by Mizrabel's henchmen, known as the Masters of Illusion, and their armies of bad guys. Each of the Masters of Illusion are the bosses of their respective levels and will have to be defeated in order for Mickey to collect the Rainbow Gem they were guarding.
Back in the day, Castle of Illusion looked absolutely stunning and does so to this day. Of course, when comparing it to modern games, its age shows, but that doesn't take away from the fact that it was expertly drawn. Some six years ago, a remake was released for PC, Playstation and Xbox, which featured upgraded visuals and soundtrack, but kept the same awesome gameplay and roughly the same levels. So, if 16-bit is really too old for your taste, you can always play this remade version and experience the same amount of fun!
With that being said, it's time for us to say goodbye for now. I'm happy to inform you that Dennis is doing a lot better since we moved to our new Big Red HQ and will be up to the task of taking all of you out on another field trip through time and space in two weeks time! It's good to see his cheeks being thoroughly rosy once again and even the glint in his eyes has returned once more. Now, if only I could get him to stop hitting on one of the many princesses around here every three-and-a-half seconds, we will be golden!
So, this is your old pal Sadhonker signing off for now and saying: have a good Easter and try not to eat too many eggs! No Dennis, put him down. He isn't even a real beast, he's just an actor in a suit. Yes, I know he was dancing with the princess, but that's part of his job description, isn't it? Come on, we've talked about this. Let's just go out for a bit; I'll buy you a snow cone. Yes, that's a promise, so just let it go!
CASTLE OF ILLUSION STARRING MICKEY MOUSE