This week, I cover Dark Castle, originally published for the Mac by Silicon Beach in 1986 and created by Mark Pierce and Jonathan Gay. Also discussed: Beyond Dark Castle (1987) and Return to Dark Castle (2006?).

Show notes:

  • Intro, discussion of balancing description vs. analysis
  • History and description of Dark Castle
  • History and description of Beyond Dark Castle
  • Reissues: Color Dark Castle and Return to Dark Castle
  • Review and analysis: gameplay, sound and personality


Final Thoughts:

As usual, I have at least one correction: in looking up links I found a site which provides a walkthrough, and there are 14 levels in the original Dark Castle. Once I finish Beyond Dark Castle I’ll post the actual number of levels in that as well.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, February 1st, 2006 at 8:43 am and is filed under Computer games, Podcasts. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

9 comments so far


If you like dark castle, try Abuse

February 1st, 2006 at 2:02 pm

Oh, fun stuff, and I wasn’t even a fulltime Mac person! You’re so right in highliting the wonderful sound in this game. This morning I explained to my 21st century videogaming son that back then, games didn’t place any real importance on sound as enchancing gameplay. Now it’s obvious, but Dark Castle demonstrated it early on.

February 2nd, 2006 at 5:02 pm

This podcast brought back vivid memories of playing the game. I’ve got suggestions for future shows. One I’d definitely recommend talking about is M.U.L.E. (assuming that you played it). Also, the board game Titan. Both of those are among my favorite games of all time.

February 2nd, 2006 at 7:37 pm

Glad you guys liked it — it was a fun one to do. I’ll definitely check out Abuse, particularly since I can run it on the PC (Mur has the Mac). Bungie was a fun company back in the day.

I think part of the problem with early games is that they just didn’t have the sound hardware to do anything interesting — but with 8-bit(!) sound the Mac was better than a lot of the machines out there. My only regret for this podcast was that I didn’t have the cables to get sound out of the Mac directly.

I’ve considered covering M.U.L.E. — however, I’ve never played it, and it’s even tougher to get running than Dark Castle. I’ll have to figure out something since lots of people rave about it. Titan is definitely on the list, and I may try to drag in a friend of mine who’s played it a *lot* more than I have.

February 3rd, 2006 at 6:15 pm

Hi Jim,

Just wanted you to know how great I think your podcast is. It is actually something I’ve been missing. The mix of walk trough games archeology, if you like, and analysis of games and possible tactics, alternative rules and twists, and benefits of certain games is perfect. I really enjoy this show and listen to it on my way to work. Keep up the good work!

Thanks again!

February 15th, 2006 at 12:56 pm
Nathan G.

Hi Jim,

I grew up playing Dark Castle & Beyond Dark Castle on my old Black & White Mac (which I still have) but the floppy disks no longer work. Do you know where I can get another copy of the games for the old Mac, or if not , how I can find and play these games on my PC? Any help would be greatly appreciated.


March 10th, 2006 at 11:47 am

I can’t really help you with getting another copy, other than suggesting eBay. Despite the game being out of print, it’s still under copyright, so doing a Google search and downloading any disk images you might find is illegal. If you were to have working disks, it is possible to run them on the PC using a program called Mini vMac.

Sorry if this is unhelpful. That’s why I was encouraging people to support ZSculpt — it might be the only legal way to get it these days, if they’d only come out with it…

March 18th, 2006 at 7:09 pm

November 19th, 2006 at 8:32 pm

Just wanted to give you guys an update, and provide a link to a Dark Castle forum that’s been going for about a month now:

Delta Tao has announced recently (on Joe Williams’ blog) that Return to Dark Castle will (“with luck”) be released this summer, good news for those of us waiting for the game.


March 25th, 2007 at 8:18 am

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