Gallery

Here are some of the screens you'll encounter in Return to Dark Castle. There are now so many that I'm not going to show them all here - go buy the game! Use the arrows to browse through and click on a thumbnail for a better view

Overview

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 as vaporware. Return To Dark Castle was originally scheduled to be released in Winter 2000, but was not released until March 14, 2008.

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 identical in appearance to Duncan, the hero of the earlier Dark Castle games. In the game's intro, we read 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.

The previous games each had 15 levels, and Return To Dark Castle contains all the levels from these first two games, plus over 50 new levels. The new areas are a mixture of single-screen levels in the style of the first two games, and larger horizontally and vertically scrolling levels. The levels contain 25 orbs, 10 of which are required in order to complete the game. Many of the new levels contain secret areas which can be accessed by activating hidden doors and switches.

The game's gameplay is, with a few notable exceptions, essentially identical to its predecessors. Bryant's principal weapon remains the rock which can be magically upgraded to the fireball, and a magical shield can be obtained. New features include the ability to carry weapons in the player's inventory as well as the ability to keep teleportation potions in the inventory. The player can also acquire the "stone ball", which joins the fireball as an upgrade to the standard rock weapon. The stone ball can be used to obtain other special weapons within the castle. The game allows players to record and play back "demos", videos of play.

Hardware Specs:
Minimum Specs
- Mac OS 10.3.9
- G3 processor
- 500 mhz
- 128MB of RAM
- 106MB of free hard drive space
- Turn all special effects off to run at 15 frames per second

Recommended Specs
- G4 processor
- 1.0 ghz
- 256MB of RAM
- 100MB of free hard drive space

Features:
- Over 50 brand-new levels, including:
* All 30 classic, re-mastered levels from Dark Castle and Beyond Dark Castle integrated into a new, extensive
quest!
* New Secret Rooms and Mini-games

- 25 orbs to collect (5 times that of BDC)

- All of the classic foes plus new monsters and bosses

- New weapons, power ups, and secret items

- Random labyrinths and mazes provide unique puzzles every time

- Game recording and playback so users can share replays of their accomplishments

- Customizable costumes to give each player a unique look

- Support for most gamepads and joysticks

- A level editor should be released at some point