Sunday, July 15, 2012

Games that remind me of my childhood Number 10 : Castle Master (Commodore 64)

Castle Master was the 5th game released by Incentive Software featuring their wonderful, and very impressive (at the time) Freescape solid 3D system.  The previous games which featured Freescape were Driller, Dark Side, Total Eclipse and Total Eclipse 2 : Sphinx Jinx.

As a big fan of these games, Castle Master to me will always be the best - up until Incentive released the 3D Construction Kit - more on that later.

The game is a first person adventure game and begins with you selecting whether you want to be the Prince or Princess (they're twins by the way).  It doesn't really matter which one you choose, and it makes no impact on the game.  The character not chosen is then whisked away by a dragon to Castle Eternity, and your aim is to rescue your twin from Magister, the so called Castle Master!

As I mentioned before, you view the game world from a first person perspective.  Remember, this game preceded games like Doom and Wolfenstein by several years.  Although it does not feature textured graphics, it does have very detailed solid vector graphics which move incredibly fast considering the complexity of some of the rooms.  As well as saving your twin, you also need to destroy the spirits that occupy the castle.  They can be found in various rooms and must be destroyed before they sap away your energy. 

The castle is vast, and it can be very easy to get lost, especially in the catacombs beneath the castle.  Mapping the game is very helpful, and recommended.  Most of the gameplay involves destroying the spirits, or finding keys to unlock doors in the castle.

I spent many hours of my childhood playing this game.  It was one of those titles which I really looked forward to playing after a long day at school.

Freescape on the Commodore 64 was notorious for being very slow compared to the other 8 bit computers, but this never really bothered me.  In fact, for games like Castle Master, the slowness added to the atmosphere of the game.  Of course, it also had fantastic music playing throughout which helped, which I believe the other 8 bit versions did not have.

Castle Master was only topped when Incentive Software released the 3D Construction Kit a year or so later.  That wonderful piece of software enabled anyone to create their own Freescape games.  I became such a fan that I created a website devoted to it.  You can check it out here, plus you can also download all of the official Freescape games for all systems, including of course Castle Master.

I would recommend all of the Freescape games, no matter what system.  Castle Master is definately the biggest out of all of them.  A sequel was made called Castle Master II - The Crypt which could only be purchased via select sellers in a special compilation box containing the original Castle Master.

A 3d map of Castle Eternity which I created - Click to enlarge

A 3d map of Castle Eternity which I created - Click to enlarge

A 3d map of Castle Eternity which I created - Click to enlarge

A 3d map of Castle Eternity which I created - Click to enlarge


  1. Choosing Prince/Primcess does actually have an effect on the game, it changes the position of several keys and spirits - as well replacing a number of obstacles with alternatives.

  2. Thanks.... I never really noticed. Maybe because I was always playing the Prince!! :D