Thunder Castle © 1986 INTV.
Guide your knight through the deadly mazes of Thunder Castle, slaying evil dragons, sorcerers and demons as you go. Watch for gates that block your path... magic objects that grant special powers, extra points, or extra lives...and magic creatures that energize your knight. Complete all three mazes -- forest, castle and dungeon -- and the game starts over at a faster speed. Continue playing, increasing your score, until all of your knight's lives are lost.
OBJECT OF THE GAME: To score the highest number of points by slaying the evil guardians of each maze and collecting magic objects. The player with the highest score at the end of the game is the winner.
On January 22, 1982, Vice President of Application Software Gabriel Baum announced a competition for the best game idea with a magic theme. The reason was never announced -- probably Marketing had an idea for a promotional tie-in somewhere -- but whatever it was must have fallen through, since Gabriel didn't bother picking a winner until April.
The winner was Connie Goldman. Connie had been hired as a programmer, but it quickly became apparent that her strength was character animation. She started work on the game, originally titled Magic Castle, but she was continuously pulled away from it to do graphics for other, higher priority games and to put together demos for Marketing. (She did excellent animations of Peanuts, Garfield and McDonalds characters, among others, when Marketing was trying [unsuccessfully] to obtain those licenses.)
Whenever she had time she would return to her game, which had begun appearing in Mattel Electronic catalogs as Mystic Castle, but it was further delayed when Bill Goodrich got permission to use half of the animated characters from it in his own, higher priority, Intellivoice game Quest.
After completing his own game, Mind Strike, and overseeing the programming of Bump 'n' Jump, David Warhol was given the task of helping Connie finish Mystic Castle. They strengthened the game play and, after the cancellation of the voice games, reinstated the animations stolen for Quest. Under the new name Thunder Castle, the game was completed, well over a year after Connie had first started working on it.
Mattel Electronics was closed shortly thereafter, before the game went into production; Thunder Castle was finally released by INTV Corporation in 1986.
Slay a guardian:
Green: 300 points
Gold: 400 points
Red: 500 points
Pick up magic object (except coins, candlestick and comb):
1st object in maze: 100 points
2nd object in maze: 200 points
All other objects in maze: 300 points
Coins: 500 points
* Extra lives awarded when score reaches 5,000, 10,000, 20,000, 50,000 and 100,000 points.
* Lure an evil guardian as close as possible to your knight before touching a magic creature. Your knight will be energized for only a few seconds and meanwhile, the guardian is running away from you!
* Try to anticipate gates, to trap an evil guardian in a dead end. Corners also slow guardians down.
* Pick up the most useful magic objects. Although all objects give points, some are more useful than others. Exceptions: Always pick up coins and candlesticks. The extra points and lives don't affect other magic powers.
* Avoid touching the comb whenever possible, but don't be afraid to sacrifice points, if the comb stands between your knight and a safe retreat.
* Easter Egg: Press 0 (zero) on either hand controller while the title screen is displayed to see game credits.