105. Dark Castle

Dark Castle (1991, Genesis) by Electronic Arts

Current Any% (Genesis) Leaderboard (speedrun.com)

Dark Castle (Genesis)
-Dark Castle (CD-i)

I was dreading this game at one point.  Funny how, 180 games and counting into the Trials, I found myself much more confident and capable then I was just a few years ago.  Dark Castle, a wonderful (lol) game for the Macintosh from 1986, was ported to the Sega Genesis by the amazing, never-fail-you developer/publisher, Electronic Arts (yes, THAT EA).  And boy, did they make a turd.  Terrible graphics, atrocious controls, and grating music make this an awful game to experience… casually.

The speedrun, however, has that “charm” quality to it.  It’s addictive, and wholly satisfying when you pull off the jumps.  This is a very technical speedrun, with a pixel-perfect jump almost immediately after you begin!  In fact, most of the inputs here require absolute precision, making for a reset-heavy experience.  However, once you do nail them, it feels so good, and since it’s a VERY short speedrun, it is much more forgiving in that aspect.

This speedrun is as short as they come, with the WR just a tad over a minute.  You rush the Black Knight immediately, taking on three screens full of hazards, but you really only need to focus on the jumps (and hope the rat RNG is good) until you reach the final screen.  There, all hell breaks loose: rat RNG is big, and the Black Knight at the top throws “coffee” cups at you (even more RNG) as you have to nail the jumps.  It’s not easy.  But it’s easy to learn, and if you’re looking for a one-day challenge you can pick up and learn quickly, I cannot recommend it enough.

Just… maybe play some different music?

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