Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse by Sega for the Sega Genesis is a sign of the times. If you had a non-sports licensed product, you had a 2D side scrolling action game. Sure, there is the oddball here and there starring people like Shaquille O’Neal but, thankfully they are rare. Sega knew what they had on their hands and how to handle it. With a license this popular and well known they were not going to stray too far from that tried and true formula.
New adventures for an old mouse
Minnie Mouse has been kidnapped by an evil witch named Mizrabel. Hiding away in the Castle of Illusion, Mizrabel has set forth her minions to stop Mickey. Mickey arrives at the castle only to find the true owner has been kicked out by the witch. He does give Mickey vital information on how to stop Mizrabel and get Minnie back.
Mickey Mouse must go on his grandest adventure ever. Disney’s leading mouse must collect the Seven Gems of the Rainbow. Each gem hidden in an illusion-filled world represented by each level of the game.
This quest is not going to be easy as each level is guarded by Mizrabel’s henchmen. Levels include – Enchanted Forest, Toyland, The Storm, Dessert Factory, The Library, and The Castle.
Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse keeps tradition close
Sega knew they had to go with the time for this game to be a hit. That is why your main attack is jumping on enemies’ heads to eliminate them. Going outside the norm, just a tiny bit, you can also fling projectiles at your enemies. What you are collecting changes a few times throughout the game. One level might be apples while another might be fireballs. How these are collected changes in each level as well. Apples are hanging from trees while everything else is an icon on the ground.
Bosses have pattern to them much like the levels themselves. Rushing into the battle will usually end in a game over screen. Sega kept close to the classic formula, maybe too close for some fans’ taste.
Sega were ahead of the times with Mickey Mouse
Castle of Illusion was ahead of its time just a bit in animation. 1990 was well before the attitude era of gaming (not wrestling) took over. It was not commonplace at this time for game characters to have animation beyond necessary.
Get close to a ledge and Mickey has a “whoa” animation. Let him stand still too long and he has an impatient animation. There is even a unique running animation depending on if Mickey is on a flat or slanted surface.
Sega’s take on Mickey Mouse is slightly different than that of Capcom’s Magical Quest series. What is here is very straight forward, similar to Super Mario Bros on the Nintendo Entertainment System. Check out eBay for a deal on Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse. Considering the license involved, a digital re-release is not likely though it2 did appear on the Sega Genesis Mini in 2019.
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