Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse
|Castle of Illusion
Starring Mickey Mouse
American cover art
|Release date(s)||Sega Genesis
Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse, known in Japan as I Love Mickey Mouse: Fushigi no Oshiro Daibōken (アイラブミッキーマウス ふしぎのお城大冒険 Ai Rabu Mikkī Mausu: Fushigi no Oshiro Daibōken?), is a 1990 platform game developed by Sega and released for the Sega Genesis. An 8-bit version of the game was later released for the Master System and Game Gear. The game follows Mickey Mouse on a quest to save Minnie Mouse from the evil witch Mizrabel. It was the first game in Sega's long-running Illusion video game series starring Mickey and was also a part of the second wave of games initially released for the Sega Genesis which helped seal the console's reputation within the period until the release of Sonic the Hedgehog in 1991.
Castle of Illusion was very well received by critics, especially the original 16-bit version. It was re-released in 1998 in Japan as part of the Sega Ages: Mickey Mouse & Donald Duck for the Sega Saturn, which features both Castle of Illusion and QuackShot. A remake of the game by Sega Studios Australia was released for PlayStation Network, Xbox Live Arcade and PC in September 2013.
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Castle of Illusion is a side-scrolling platformer in which the player takes control of Mickey Mouse as he goes inside the Castle of Illusion in order to rescue Minnie Mouse from an evil witch named Mizrabel, who wants to steal Minnie's youth. During the game, Mickey visits various worlds in order to obtain seven rainbow gems that can build a rainbow bridge to the castle tower where Minnie is being held.
Mickey's main method of attack is to perform a 'bounce' whilst jumping, which can be used to defeat enemies, or to bounce upwards towards higher areas. Mickey can also collect projectiles such as apples and marbles to throw at his opponents. There are various items that earn bonus points, increase the player's health and grant extra lives.
Every level ends in a boss battle against one of Mizrabel's henchmen where Mickey can earn a gem, although the final two levels award a gem half-way through. After clearing all five levels, obtaining all gems will open up the route to the witch's tower. There, the player faces the final boss: a giant and youthful version of Mizrabel (resembling Disney's Queen Grimhilde). There is also an easy mode available where players simply play through truncated versions of the first three levels, with no boss fights.
The Master System and Game Gear versions of the game feature different game mechanics, enemies, items, levels and graphics.
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The game also was on a cartridge entitled "Disney Collection" bundled with QuackShot in 1996. An 8-bit version of the game, known as I Love Mickey Mouse's Castle Illusion (アイラブミッキーマウスのキャッスル・イリユージヨン Ai Rabu Mikkī Mausu no Kyassuru Irūjon?) in Japan, was later released for the Master System and Game Gear.
At the time of the game's release, Mean Machines gave the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis version of the game a positive review, awarding the game a score of 95%, specifically praising the games graphics and playability. Mega placed it at 21st spot in their 1992 list of top Mega Drive games of all time. According to GameSpot in 2010, "it wasn't just the levels that made this game so good. The music, the controls, and Mickey's superb animation all contributed to one of the very best Disney games that would heavily influence those to follow."
A sequel, Land of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse, was released for the Master System in 1992 and for the Game Gear in 1993. World of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck followed for the Genesis in 1992. In 1994, Legend of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse was released for the Game Gear, with a Master System port following in 1998 exclusively in Brazil.
Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion, developed by DreamRift, was released in November 2012 for the Nintendo 3DS and serves as a spiritual successor to Castle of Illusion. In it, Mizrabel from Castle of Illusion returns as the main villain, but redesigned to resemble Maleficent.
A remake of the game, developed by Sega Studios Australia, was released for the PlayStation Network, Xbox Live Arcade and PC in September 2013. The game features 2.5D gameplay with 3D graphics and was developed under the supervision of the original game's director, Emiko Yamamoto, with a reimagined soundtrack by Grant Kirkhope. The original game was made available as a pre-order bonus for the PSN version.
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