Return to Dark Castle

By: Derek Yu

On: April 2nd, 2008

Return to Dark Castle

Z Sculpt has finally released Return to Dark Castle for Mac OSX, after a long development that began in 1996! Wow! That gives me hope for Duke Nukem Forever. (I’ll wait until the year 3000, Duke!)

The original Dark Castle, and its sequel, Beyond Dark Castle, were developed for the Macintosh by Silicon Beach Software, and were subsequently ported to other platforms (including a terrible Sega Genesis/Megadrive port). Return to Dark Castle retains the gameplay from the first two games, and adds a lot more stuff, including “remastered” versions of the 30 levels from the original games. A level editor is also forthcoming.

I had a great time with the DOS version of Dark Castle as a kid. Damn was that game hard. To hit a bat with a rock you needed some skills, dawg. And I’ll never forget the three prisoners getting whipped in the torture chamber, and how they’d help you pick the key that wasn’t booby trapped.

Unfortunately, I don’t have a Mac, but Benzido, who tipped me off about the game, does, and he had this to say:

Anyway, I bought it, and it’s extremely compelling. I’m into the 15 fps cap… it gives everything a film-like feel, like the stop-motion sequences in Star Wars.

Thanks, man! The full game is $30.

  • Derek

    Just found out that one of the Z Sculpt guys is Zack Morris. :O

  • jeb

    I loved this game when I was a kid. It was terribly hard, and I never got far, but I still loved it.

  • Nikica

    Windows? :(

  • GiGaGoGu

    That is no super-happy fun fun. :(
    Whyy, why mac-only? That is… blashphemy!

  • ZeppMan217

    ohhh…mac-only…what a pity!

  • MrBig

    Man that looks pretty sharp for a 2d side scrolling platform adventure… unfortunately it won’t be played by the masses… that sucks.

  • ZeppMan217

    its only looks so. gameplay – compensate everythings!

  • raigan

    DOS dark castle?! UGH!!

  • GirlFlash

    I never actually got round to playing the dark castle games, though I looked into them when I was studying the history of flash (the guy who coded the first two went on to be the guy who came up with flash).

    anyhoo, I’ll patiently await a window port, though its not likely :(

  • codekitchen

    There’s a great game here, but I can’t get around the horrid controls. Not just the control scheme, but the way your character moves is just awful, and causes a lot of deaths that just don’t feel “fair”.

    Granted the original Dark Castle was much the same way and I persevered and played through the whole thing. I don’t know what’s changed, guess I’ve gotten pickier. Or maybe it was that I was playing the original Dark Castle during school hours…

  • Zeno


    Mac only?

    What is this nonsense? It’s not April Fool’s day anymore, guys.

  • Guesst

    Dark Castle, huh? I saw this game ages ago in a mall store and have kinda beek deeping an eye out for it for years. At least i think it’s this game. Being a Mac only title I may never find out. Unless they make a iPod Touch version.

  • Hunty

    Because only Mac users would be desperate enough for new games to pay $30 for a 2D game. LOLZ BURN!!

    …actually, I think it’s kinda cool that it’s Mac-only, since the original Dark Castle was Mac-only for a long time, so they’re maintaining the original flava.

    I hope to see a PC port soon, but in the meantime there will probably be plenty of youtube videos via which I can enjoy it vicariously.

  • ninjascience

    woah! Dark Castle!! I loved the Mac we had as a kid but there weren’t many games for it. When Dark Castle came out I begged and begged for it and got it for Christmas. It was soo hard, I probably only got about four rooms into it, but it made a big impression on me. Great to see it’s still alive.

  • goldbuick

    Damn! Now I really wish I had a mac :(
    Dark Castle is the reason I decided to become a programmer! It inspired me to make games.

  • gnome

    This looks absolutely beautiful, though I still prefer the original black&white graphics of the original. Still, I’d easily buy a PC version…

  • Trotim

    Cave Story rip-off

  • raelz

    Haha Trotim.. you made my day :P
    To the topic – also mac users are the only ones who are used to pay loads of money for everything :P

  • Michael

    @!#?@! I’d been waiting for Return to Castle Darkenstein for years, and my Mac decides to die on me just before its release.

  • NegativeZero

    The first game I ever played was Dark Castle on my Dad’s Mac SE. Shame this is Mac-only, I’ve long since left Apple behind. :(

  • Zack Black

    PC user will not be left out in the cold. We are hard at work on a Windows port. :-)

  • Cycle

    Holy shit, I never thought this would be released. I first heard about this sequel like… WAY TOO LONG AGO.

    And now I don’t have a mac :( oh, how cruel fate is.

  • Mike Hawk

    Excellent game, and contrary to popular whining, the controls are actually very well done and precise. The problem is, that the protagonist is an utter pussy, and the levels are completely and totally unforgiving. How many games exist in which you can trip over a step a couple inches high, get stunned and then die in the half hour it takes for the hero to shake the little birds out of his head? Even running into a wall will make you see stars, and dear god don’t ever walk off a ledge that is even a couple feet up.

    Also, Jesus Christ people, if $30 is too much money to pay for a game, maybe you should get a better job or something.