Dark Castle Wiki
Dark Castle (Sega Genesis)[[Image:SplashScreenSEGA.jpg]]
Developer(s) Original Silicon Beach Software
Port Three-Sixty Pacific, inc.
Release date(s) 1991 (Sega Genesis/Mega Drive)
Genre(s) Platform game
Mode(s) Single player
Platform(s) Sega Genesis - US
Sega Megadrive - Europe.
This article mainly refers to the Genesis version of Dark Castle, and the differences between it and other versions, for more general Dark Castle info visit Dark Castle

After winning many awards, and being a top seller on the Mac, Three-Sixty ported Dark Castle to many systems, leading to Electronic Arts trying with Sega's home console, the Genesis/Megadrive.


The graphics for Dark Castle on the Mac where highly praised for the clearness, and high resolution.

The graphics were vastly redone for the Genesis port of Dark Castle, with very different looking sprites for things. the backgrounds also changed drastically, with some levels such as Trouble 1, taking place outdoors when they originally didn't.

The Genesis could however, render color. Though, even with the color, the graphics appear highly washed out and blurry.

Fireball 1 level


The sounds on the Mac version of Dark Castle were highly praised. Where as the Genesis port (due to the limitations of the YM2612) of the game switched, or removed many of the sounds, and the remaining ones sounded noticeably worse.

Additionally, this game is known for having Dark Castle's intro music Toccata Fugue In D Minor, play through on loop throughout the entire game. While the music can be turned off, it has to be turned off when there isn't a note playing, otherwise it sustains the current note.

Here are some of the changes to sounds in Dark Castle for the Sega Genesis:

  • Instead of a wing-flapping sound, bats just continuously squeal as though they are dying.
  • When crows dive, they make the sound formerly reserved for their spawnage.
  • When our hero is dizzy, his audible stupor is replaced by the sound of his double-take upon remembering gravity (which, incidentally, happens every time he falls to lower ground).


Electronic Arts' control scheme for Dark Castle on the Genesis read out as such:

While Paused:

  • Up/Down - Cycle through settings.
  • A + Left/Right - Toggle current setting (Difficulty/SFX/Music).
  • Start - Resume.

Great Hall:

  • Left/Right - Select Door.
  • C - Enter Selected Door.

In Game:

  • Start - Pause
  • B - Duck/Shield
  • B+Down - Pick up/use
  • Left/Right - Movement
  • A - Jump
  • Up/Down - Different arm positions for aiming/climb.
  • C - Throw rock/fireball

Differences from other versions[]

  • You start with 2 Elixirs, and get an extra life every 5000 points
    • If you run out of Elixirs, you are basically dead, regardless of how many lives you have.
  • Duncan's co-ordination is even more spaz-tastic - landing on stairs from a jump kills you!
    • You daze spin out the same length as the Dark Castle PC version - i.e. one less spin than the Dark Castle.
    • After dying a certain number of times in Black Knight 3, trying to pull the left switch on the bottom places a morning star in your hand. There's no way to get rid of it without dying, as there's no whip henchman. You can't even fall into Trouble 3, as Duncan's able to walk across the pits. Soon after that, falling at all kills!
  • The clouds in Shield 4 never target you directly, even when you have the shield ready to "charge". You have to wait... (and sometimes for a long time) for them to strike you.
  • The Wizard's magic door doesn't open even with the right combination if you start pulling another chain whilst it is flashing. (doink!)
    • There's not even a blip indicating if the right or wrong combination is done.
  • There's only one Burning Eye on Advanced - although given the lameness of the rock aiming, this isn't surprising.
    • You can destroy its Fireballs with the Rocks.
      • Shooting the Burning Eye whilst it's closed misses, and the rock goes right through - you have to wait for it to open!
        • The graffiti has changed to say "Gamers Rule" and "Saddam was here".
  • The Shield can't deplete, meaning you can have it activated for as long as you wish!
  • The Gargoyle only gives one warning yell (or no yells if any sound effects were present), before it appears.
  • You can break the Black Knight's mugs with your fireballs. Plus, they don't bounce.
    • If you hit one of the Black Knight's mugs, he seems to glitch out and just sits there drinking - he never throws another mug. Combining this with being able to shield the Gargoyle makes it incredibly easy.
  • Trouble 2 has the exits swapped. So, the upper area leads to Trouble 3, while the lower goes out to Trouble 1!
  • When you get the Shield, it replaces your duck (like in the Amiga and CD-i ports), so you can't duck anymore.
  • Every time you hit Down + B without something nearby to interact with, Duncan bends down as if to pick something up. Even when he picks up nothing, he still says "Yeah!"
  • The Broom splits so quickly that it's impossible to pass. Instead, you have to either keep pelting away until the tiniest chunks eventually disintegrate or just wait with the Shield for a bit.
  • The Whip Henchman is shorter than the protagonist.
  • When you run out of lives, you can just continue without even turning to the Great Hall.
  • The Black Knight's timing is completely random; sometimes he will take up to seven drinks of the same mug before throwing it. Thus, there is no way to plan your moves.


The reception of the Sega Genesis version was highly negative next to the CD-i, with critics panning its highly stiff controls, washed graphics, bad sound, and Duncan's even clumsier co-ordination. Most who had played this version didn't know anything about Dark Castle. Overall, it was a badly made port.

The general consensus is that the game is highly inferior to the Mac version, in graphics, sound and gameplay.

This is also considered to be the worst and most infamous port of Dark Castle.


Also See[]