DARK CASTLE SERIES

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Dark Castle , series of  three games published by Silicon Beach Software, later ported to various platforms, where got published by Three-Sixty Pacific.

Dark Castle is a platform game where a young hero named Duncan tries to make his way to the evil Black Knight, dodging objects as well as solving occasional puzzles. The game is notable for its use of sampled sounds to great effect.dark_castle_03

The story in Dark Castle is rather simple. When the evil Black Knight terrorizes the townspeople, Prince Duncan decides to topple his throne, but in order to do that, he must travel to the four sections of the castle: Fireball, Shield, Trouble and Black Knight.

After collecting the Fireball and Shield, Duncan makes his way to the Black Knight’s throne room, where he topples the Black Knight’s throne, and the Black Knight stands up shaking his fist, as a gargoyle takes Duncan to Trouble 3.

The game opens with a vista of the castle with storm clouds in the distance. The opening notes of Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D minor play and are followed by thunderclaps. The title along with the programming and development credits are shown on this screen.

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Movement within Dark Castle is typical for most platformers. Duncan can run, jump and duck, and can throw a limited supply of rocks at his enemies. More rocks can be found in little bags along the way, as well as bottles of an elixir that provide a one-time antidote to bites of the numerous rats and bats found around the castle.

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To defeat the Black Knight, Duncan needs to pull several levers which topple him from his throne. To aid Duncan, a magic shield and the power to hurl fireballs can, fortunately, be found within the Dark Castle. The game begins in the Great Hall, where the player can choose from four doors. The large center door leads to the Black Knight. One other is marked with the shield, and the remaining two mysteriously alternate between the fireball course and a more troubling path. The game can be played at three different skill levels, the hardest “Advanced” level containing more enemies and a few extra surprises.

Extra lives:
Go to the shield room, then hold W + S to move your character up and down simultaneously. Your character will flip between two screens. Approximately twenty-five extra lives will be added after thirty minutes.

This game had 14 levels, which came out of the 4 doors in the Great Hall, the first two doors are random.

  • Leftmost door (usually): Trouble 1, Trouble 2, Trouble 3.
  • Farther away door on left side (usually): Fireball 1, Fireball 2, Fireball 3, Fireball 4.
  • Middle Door: Black Knight 1, Black Knight 2, Black Knight 3.
  • Right Door: Shield 1, Shield 2, Shield 3, Shield 4.

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In 1987, the sequel Beyond Dark Castle was released, in which Duncan has to return and defeat the Black Knight, who is still alive. To access the Black Knight’s tower, the player must first gather five magic orbs which are placed in various hard-to-reach places. The orbs must be returned to the Ante Chamber and placed on 5 pedestals for the gate to open so Duncan can face the Black Knight.

Beyond Dark Castle had an engine similar to Dark Castle but with improvements and additions like a health bar, bombs, and other items, as well as levels where the player could control a “personal helicopter”. These levels and maze levels were side-scrollers instead of being limited to a single screen. Games could also be saved in a “computer room” level. Like all versions of Dark Castle, if the player beat the game on advanced, it presented a special ending.

The game starts off with the end of Dark Castle, where Prince Duncan toppled the Black Knight’s throne. In the original version, after toppling the throne, the Black Knight stands up shaking his fist, and a gargoyle drops Duncan in Trouble 3. In the newer version by Delta Tao Software, Color Dark Castle, after defeating the Black Knight on advanced, the Black Knight’s throne falls down, off the bottom of the screen, and Duncan does a victory dance as it fades out.

When starting a new game in Beyond Dark Castle, the player sees Duncan approaching a fireplace and mantle. Duncan attempts to remove a nearby torch from the wall, only to have the whole wall turn around like a trapdoor. Duncan finds himself in a large anteroom, where there are five pedestals. Over the course of the game, the player collects five orbs to fill these pedestals, opening a gate that leads to the final duel with the Black Knight.

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On normal and intermediate difficulties, when the Black Knight is defeated, he falls back into his chair, and Duncan makes his way over to the fireplace by the throne, and is taken back to the main menu, where he does a victory dance. After the score is shown, Duncan goes back though the wall and ends up back in the anteroom.

On Advanced, the Black Knight fall back into his chair, then turns into a little swirling ball of energy and flies up the place where his drinks were coming from. Duncan then goes to the fireplace and pulls on the torch, and is taken back to the main menu. This time, after doing his victory dance, the Energy ball that the Black Knight turned into comes from the top of the screen, and turns Duncan into the Black Knight. The Black Knight then pulls the torch and the wall turns around, showing a “The End” on the other side.

This game had 15 levels, like the first game, which came out of the 5 doors in the Great Hall.

  • Ye Roof: Computer Room, Clock Tower, Swamp, Forrest.
  • West Tower: West Tower Wall, West Labyrinth, West Tower Top.
  • East Tower: Black Knight’s Brewery, East Labyrinth, East Tower Top.
  • Underground: Basement, Catacombs, Dungeon.
  • Main Hall: Ante Room, Black Knight’s Showdown & The Final Battle.

 

Title_Screen

Return to Dark Castle is a 2008 platform game for the Macintosh. It is the third game in the Dark Castle series, following the original Dark Castle (1986) and its sequel Beyond Dark Castle (1987), and the first to be developed by Z Sculpt. Development on the game, begun in 1996, was notoriously protracted, and the game was often labeled vaporware. Return to Dark Castle was originally scheduled to be released in Winter 2000, but was not released until March 14, 2008. It brought colour to the original black and white graphics, and integrated the gameplay and levels of both the original games.

The player fights his way through various areas, inside and around the Dark Castle, in an attempt to defeat the Black Knight. The player’s character, named Bryant by default, is the nephew of Duncan, the protagonist of the earlier Dark Castle games. In the game’s intro, we learn that Duncan never returned from his quest to the Dark Castle. Bryant now approaches the castle in an attempt to succeed where Duncan had apparently failed. Bryant must collect 10 orbs hidden around the castle (similar to the orbs from Beyond Dark Castle) before he can confront the Black Knight.

If Bryant defeats the Black Knight on any difficulty other than advanced, the Black Knight chides him for wanting an ending but expending too little effort. If Bryant defeats the Black Knight on advanced difficulty, the Black Knight’s armor is knocked off, revealing Duncan, now old and with gray hair and beard. Duncan and Bryant are forced to flee the castle, as the Black Knight’s armor had imprisoned Duncan, and now threatens to imprison them anew. Duncan and Bryant descend a rope to the Black Knight’s Pier, and there board a ship to visit an unnamed destination that Duncan always wanted to see.

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Dark Castle – Manual

Can you survive the haunted house on the hill? From the moment the
creaking drawbridge closes behind you until you slay the Black Knight, Dark
Castle is a nonstop life-and-death adventure. Pitting you against the evil that
threatens you at every turn. Dark Castle requires that you think quick, act
fast, and have a real zest for life.

	You're now entering the decathlon of danger. Your assignment? Overthrow
the Black Knight. But first you must safely pass through fourteen danger zones
- each more treatherous than the last -- that are guarded by everything from
flying monkeys to dragons.
	You have a handful of rocks - for fending off anything that stands (or
crawls or flies) in your way - and four extra lives for those instances you're
caught with your guard down. Bottles of elixir are scattered along your trek to
ward off bat and rat bites. As your quest progresses you may also come upon a
mace, fireballs, and a magic shield to aid your cause.

	Where will your adventure take you? Through dungeons, laboratories and
caves. Up and down ladders and ropes. Over trap doors. Past whipcracking
henchmen and Merlin the Magician, all of whom fill first, then ask questions.
By creepy crawlers, kamakazee vultures and other mutants of mischief. And the
more elusive you are, the more difficult it gets.

	So real it's frightening. Taking complete advantage of your computer's
sound and visual capabilities, Dark Castle has you looking over your shoulder
as soon as your hunt for the Black Knight begins. Experience the thrill of Dark
Castle and find out yourself. Are you a hero? Or are you history?

	You can play Dark Castle on an Amiga computer with at least 512K RAM,
one disk drive, a mouse or joystick, and Amiga Kickstart version 1.2 or later.

STARTING Dark Castle.

	To begin, turn on your Amiga and monitor and place your Kickstart
version 1.2 or later disk in the internal drive.

Single Floppy System:
	When you are asked to insert the Workbench disk, eject Kickstart and
replace it with your Dark Castle Disk A.
	When you see the Dark Castle disk icon, double click on it to open its
window, and then double click on the Dark Castle icon to start the game. You
will be asked to swap Disks A and B at certain times while playing.

Dueal Floppy System:
	When you are asked to insert the Workbench disk, eject Kickstart and
replace it with your Dark Castle Disk A and place Disk B in your external
drive.

TITLE SCREEN

	Click the left mouse button to advance to the next screen.

OPTION and HELP SCREENS

	Use the mouse to point to an option, then click the left mouse button
to select it.

THE GREAT HALL

	Select a door for the Hero to enter by typing a number "1" to "4", or
use the moust to point to a door and then click the left mouse button to choose
it. 

	Press the ESC key to return to the Options screen.

GAME SCREENS

Keyboard and Mouse

	The keyboard is used to control the Hero's movements.

Press the "A" key to move the Hero to the left.
Press the "D" key to move the Hero to the right.
Press the "W" key to make the Hero go up.
Press the "S" key to make the Hero go down.
Press the "E" key to make the Hero duck, and the spacebar to make him jump.
The "Q" key is the Action key, used to pick up objects and activate things.

Press the TAB key to pause the game, and then any key to continue. 
Press the ESC key to return to the Options screen.

To throw rocks, use the mouse to position the Hero's are and then click the
left mouse button.

Joystick:

	Move the joystick left and right without pressing the button to move
the Hero left and right. Moving the joystick up will cause the Hero to jump or
move "up" (e.g. walk up stairs or climb up ladders), depending on his position.
	Similarily, moving the joystick down will cause the Hero to duck or
move "down".

	To throw rocks, hold the button down and move the joystick up or down
to position the Hero's arem. With the button still pressed, move the joystick
left or right to make the Hero throw a rock in that direction.

	Press the button without moving the joystick to pick up objects and
activate things. Moving the joystick in an up diagonal direction will cause the
Hero to make a running jump.

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Beyond Dark Castle – Manual

|--------------|
| "Princely    |    Beyond Dark Castle was originally designed and
| kind of guy."|    programmed by Mark Stephen Pierce and Jonathan Gay.
|              |	  
| Picture of   |    Commodore 64 and Amiga version by Midnight Oil. 
| normal man   |    Produced by Kelly Zmak. 
|--------------|    Product testing by Tom Bellamy.

			Player's Guide by Hunter Cone.

For a recorded message about our newest software, call 415-329- 7699.

For information about our products, write to:

	Product Information
	Activision
	P. O. Box 3048
	Menlo Park, CA 94025-3048

For the best service, be sure to note the subject of your inquiry on the
outside of the envelope.

                        Copyright Notice

This software product is copyrighted and all rights are reserved by the
copyright holder.  The distribution and sale of this product are intended
for the use of the original purchaser only and for use only on the
compouter system specified.  Copying, duplicating, selling, or otherwise
distributing this product without the express written permission of the
copyright holder are violations of U.S. Copyright Law and are hereby
expressly forbidden.

Beyond Dark Castle 1987 Silicon Beach    |------------------------|
Software, Inc.  All rights reserved.     | Picture of Monkey      |
                                         | With Wings & Tail      |
Commodore 64 and Amiga versions 1989     |                        |
Activision.  All rights reserved.        |       150 points       |
                                         |                        |
Commodore and Amiga are registered       | "Not just another      |
trademarks of Commodore Electronics,     |  face."                |
Inc.                                     |------------------------|

                                2

|---------------------|       The Threat Beyond Dark Castle
| Picture of a multi- |
| pointed star        |	   Prince Duncan is on his own in the Dark
|                     |    Castle.  Somewhere within its gloomy and
|   1,000 points      |    treacherous walls, his sworn enemy - the
| "Only one at a      |	   Black Knight - awaits him.  If Prince
| time!"              |	   Duncan can find the five powerful Magic
|---------------------|	   Orbs and return them to their rightful
place, he earns the right to challenge the Black Knight.

Before they meet, however, Prince Duncan has to prove his courage, his
daring, and his cunning against a host of nasty vermin, merciless henchmen,
and carefully laid traps.  He does get some assistance from
health-restoring food, and weapons he stumbles upon along the way.  And
Prince Duncan needs all the strength he can muster for the threat Beyond
Dark Castle.

GETTING STARTED

Commodore 64 system

	1. Plug your joystick into port 2.

	2. With the computer and disk drive turned off, put the Beyond Dark
           Castle disk in the disk drive, label side up.

	3. Turn on the disk drive, then turn on the computer and monitor.

	4. Type LOAD"*",8,1 and press the Return key.

Amiga System

	1. Plug your monitor into the computer.

	2. Turn on the computer.

	3. If you have an Amiga 1000, load Kickstart (version 1.2 or a
	   later version).

	4. When your computer prompts you for    |----------------------|
           Workbench, insert the Beyond Dark     | 50 points            |
           Castle disk in the internal drive     | "Double trouble."    |
           (df0:) to load the program.  If you   |                      |
           have more than one dive you may       | Picture of knight in |
           insert disk B to eliminate disk       | armor.               |
           swaps.                                |----------------------|

				3

  |---------------------|          Prince Duncan on the Move
  | Picture of man      |  
  | wearing chopper-pack|  Use the joystick or mouse and keyboard combina-
  | flying.             |  tions to control Prince Duncan.
  |                     | 
  | "Bird's eye view."  |  Joystick only (Commodore system only).
  |---------------------|
                           To make Prince Duncan move up and down, left or
right, push the joystick to the left or right, or up or down.  He'll move
in the corresponding direction.

To jump, push or pull the joystick in the direction you want him to jump,
and press the joystick button.  To jump down, pull the joystick down and
press the button.  To jump higher, push the joystick up and press the
button.

To duck, pull the joystick down (don't do this near a ladder; Prince Duncan
will go down it).

To aim and throw, hold down the joystick button, and move the joystick up
or down to aim (you'll see his arm move in the corresponding direction). 
To throw, continue to hold down the joystick button, and tap the joystick
to the right or left.

To fight, hold down the joystick button.  To block a blow, press the action
key.

Keyboard/mouse combinations (Commodore and Amiga systems)

The keyboard controls his jumping, running, climbing, reaching and flying
the chopper-pack:

	A - moves him to the left.

	D - moves him to the right.

	W - moves him up.  If he has the chopper-pack on, he becomes
	    airborne.

	S - moves him down.

	E - makes him duck.  He'll continue to duck for as long as you hold
	    down the key.
                                                |----------------------|
	Q - is the "Action" key.  (If you're    |  40 points           |
            playing with the Commodore system,  |  "Ankle Bracelet."   |
            F7 also works as the "action" key.) |                      |
            When you press Q, Prince Duncan     | Picture of snake.    |
                                                |----------------------|
				
				4

  |---------------------|   pulls chains, unlocks doors, straps on the
  | Picture of a column |   chopper-pack, picks up objects, etc. that he's
  | with a shield on    |   standing next to or in front of.
  | the front.          |
  |                     |   Space bar makes him jump.
  |  500 points         |
  | "A real lifesaver." |   Tab pauses the game for the Amiga system; Run/
  |---------------------|   Stop pauses the game for the Commodore system.
To continue, press any key on the Amiga and the Run/Stop key on the
Commodore.

ESC on Amiga and the <-- key on Commodore quits the game in progress and
takes you back to the Scores of Merit screen.

These keys can be used in combinations so that Prince Duncan can move
faster and more effectively:

	Running and Climbing: Use the A or D keys with the W or S keys so
	Prince Duncan can run to a ladder and climb up or down it without
	stopping.

	Jumping: Use the space bar with the A or D keys so Prince Duncan
	can take a running leap.  Use the space bar with S so he can make
	a downward jump, and space bar or jump up higher.

The mouse controls his rock throwing, and shovel and mace fighting.

	To aim, move the mouse up and down.  Prince Duncan's arm moves
	correspondingly.  To throw a rock, press the mouse button.

	To swing the shovel or mace, press the mouse button.  To block a
	blow, press Q (see above).  To dodge a blow, press E (see above).

To plant bombs, use the keyboard and mouse together.  Press E while
clicking the button to place and light a fuse.  |-----------------------|
Then, get Prince Duncan out of there!  He can   |    150 points         |
be killed if he's too close.                    | "Mr. Nice Guy."       |
                                                |                       |
        Infiltrating the Dark Castle            | Picture of            |
                                                | executioner wearing   |
After you load the game, it immediately opens   | black hood and        |
to the Scores and Merit Screen.                 | holding a whip.       |
                                                |-----------------------|
Choose from the three skill levels - Beginning, Intermediate, and Advanced
- and the five options at the bottom of the screen:

				5

  |--------------------|   Play: Select this option to begin the game.
  | "Spell Binding."   |
  |                    |   Demo: Select this option to get a quick
  | Picture of wizard  |   demonstration of the game.
  | standing in front  |  
  | of a table with an |   Info: Select this option to review on-line
  | open book on it.   |   instructions for the game.  Select the next
  |--------------------|   button to flip through the info pages.  Select
previous to review.

Practice: Select this option to go to the practice map.

The following are "cheat keys" that'll keep Prince Duncan alive long enough
for you to get in some good practice:

	Key "1"			Shield
	Key "2"			Fireballs
	Key "3"			+25 of everything 
				includes: +25 Lives, +25 Bombs, 
				+25 Elixirs,  +25 Gas Units, +25 Keys, 
				+25 Rocks, and restores Health.

Commodore 64/128 Key "<--"	Quit the room and get back to the Map
				Screen.

Amiga Key "Esc"			Quit the room and get back to the Map
				Screen                                                

(See the "Elixirs and other Important Life Extending Tools" section later
in this guide for explanations of these items.)

Note: The Castle map indicates which chambers house the Magic Orbs and
Shield and other magical items.

Clear Score: Select this option to clear the scores on the Scores of Merit
Screen.

			Prince Duncan Decides His Fate

After you've selected Play, the game opens to reveal Prince Duncan
discovering the secret Ante Room behind the Fireplace.  It is here he
begins the adventure of his life.          |---------------------------|
                                           | 40 points                 |
Upon choosing one of the four closed       |                           |
doors, Prince Duncan is immediately        | "Here's looking at you    |
thrust inot one of the Dark Castle's       |  kid."                    |
trap-laden chambers or turrets.  He        | Picture of eye in flames. |
                                           |---------------------------|

				6

  |--------------------------|  must rely on his quick wits and quicker
  | 150 points               |  reactions to survive.  Time is critical -
  | "This is no homing       |  his stamina is limited (see "Elixirs and
  |  pigeon."                |  Other Important Life-Extending Tools").
  |                          |
  | Picture of eagle with    |  If Prince Duncan succeeds and fights his
  | beak open and talons     |  way through to the exit, he goes directly
  | extended.                |  to the next scene of peril (see the map in
  |--------------------------|  the Practice option to see how the chambers
in the Castle are arranged).  He can also go back through the door he came
in.

If he fails, he returns to the door where he entered.  He does get to keep
whatever points he earned as well as any items he has collected.

The Magic Orbs

There are five Magic Orbs scattered throughout the Castle.  Prince Duncan
must find all five and return them, one at a time, to their pedestals in
the Ante Room.  Once he has an Orb, he must retrace his steps back to the
Ante Room.  He may be magically transported there - if he stumbles upon the
right medium.

When he's accomplished this task, the large gate in the center of the Ante
Room creaks open.  Prince Duncan finally faces the Black Knight in battle
(see "The Showdown" later in this guide).

Elixirs and Other Important Life-Extending Tools

Prince Duncan needs all the help he can get.  He'd be smart to pick up as
many of the following items scattered about the Castle as he can.

The Status area at the bottom of the screen keeps track of the number of
items Prince Duncan has accumulated, as well as his score.

	Health: His health is increased by picking up food and decreased
	by bumping into walls, falling, and suffering bites from the 
	Castle vermin.  The Health Bar in the Status Area measures how
	much health/stamina Prince Duncan has remaining.  If the Health
	Bar Runs out, he loses a life.

	Elixirs: There are three of these magic potions in all.  The main
	elixir has an antidote for bat and rat bites.  Unfortunately, it
	only works for a short time before its healing effects wear off.
	The second elixir has the properties of transporting whoever
	drinks it back to the Ante

				7

	Room.  The third should be avoided, well, like poison.

	Rocks: Prince Duncan is armed with rocks.  Every rock bag he finds
	gives him 10 more.  If he has more than 80 rocks, he can't pick up
	any more bags.  Once he gets the magic Fireball power, the rocks
	turn into fireballs and are more deadly.

	Keys: Prince Duncan should pick up keys wherever he finds them;
	they can help him get out of a few tight spots in the Dungeon and
	Labyrinths.

	Gas: Prince Duncan picks up a chopper-pack at the top of the Clock
	Tower to fly over the Swamp and Black Forest.  He'll need lots of
	gas to make the flight in one piece (see the "Prince Duncan on the
	Move" section for maneuvering the chopper-pack).

	Bombs: Prince Duncan especially needs bombs - lots of bombs - to
	get through the Catacombs.  (See the "Prince Duncan on the Move"
	section to set the bombs.

	Shield: Somewhere inside the Dark Castle is a magical shield.  If
	Prince Duncan finds it and puts it on, he'll be invincible to
	dangerous objects for short periods of time.  The Shield is
	activated only if you press Q, the "Action" key.

The Showdown: Prince Duncan Meets the Black Knight

Once Prince Duncan has returned all five Magic Orbs to the Ante Room, he
confronts the Black Knight.  The gate in the center of the Ante Room slowly
opens.  When Prince Duncan enters, the battle begins.

If you're playing in the Advanced level and defeat the Black Knight, you
win thousands of points and discover an incredible secret.

Scoring

You can earn bonus points if Prince Duncan makes it through a chamber
without using up all of his Health.  These points are  |-----------------|
based on the amount of Health remaining in the         | 30 points       |
Health bar.                                            | "Pain in the    |
                                                       |  neck."         |
When you achieve a certain number of points, Prince    | Picture of bat. |
Duncan gets more lives.  At the Beginner level, you    |-----------------|

				8

  |--------------------|  must earn 5,000 points to receive the lives; at
  |   150 points       |  the Intermediate level, you must earn 7,500
  | "Sleeping on the   |  points; at the Advanced level, you must earn
  |  job."             |  10,000.
  |                    |
  | Picture of man     |  Saving a Game
  | man without a      | 
  | shirt holding a    |  To save a game, Prince Duncan must be in the
  | mace over his      |  Computer Room.  Press Q while Prince Duncan is 
  | head.              |  on the Save side of the machine.  You can save
  |--------------------|  up to five games from each skill level, for a
total of 15 saved games.

To restore, or bring back, a game, Prince Duncan should be on the Restore
side of the machine where the game was saved.  |-------------------------|
Press Q to restore.  You must be playing the   |  150 points             |
game at the same skill level as the game you   | "A barrel of fun."      |
want to restore (for example, if you want to   |                         |
restore an intermediate level game, you must   | Picture of man in black |
be playing at the Intermediate level).         | apron with sledge       |
                                               | hammer.                 |
                                               |-------------------------|
				9
				

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Provided by  THE SOUTHERN STAR for M.A.A.D.
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