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Milon’s Secret Castle

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Released: 1988

Publisher: Hudson Soft

Developer: Hudson Soft

Submitted by: Steven Ronald Jackson

The NES library has to be one of the most contrasting video-game library’s in history. On one end of the library you have got the greats; Super Mario Bros., The Legend of Zelda, Metroid, Mega-Man among others. Then on the other end of the library you have got the worsts; Silver Surfer, Terminator II, Donkey Kong Jr. Math and sadly Milon’s Secret Castle.

Milon’s Secret Castle is by far one of the hardest and worst games in the NES library. Playing as Milon it is your job to save Queen Eliza who has been kidnapped by Maharito; the most stereotypical of video-game narratives we have all come to know and love. Now while the story is simple, the gameplay and game itself is probably one of the most difficult in the history of gaming.

The player begins the game outside the castle (hence Milon’s Secret Castle) with only four entrances to choose from; three doors and a window. So without any negotiating by the game you try a door or window at random to see what happens. Two of the doors lead to levels where you collect money which can be used to collect items which guide you on your quest but the way you get the money is by constantly throwing bubbles (your main attack weapon) at every block in sight and seeing which reward you and which ones don’t. It is truly a mind-numbing, tedious experience which is made worse by the terrible controls which are so stiff and put you off balance (due to the animations on the screen from Milon). Then if that isn’t bad enough Milon has a health meter which goes down within on average three hits from enemies and if you are not careful you will die and in true “NES Hard” fashion get no continues and have to start at the beginning of the game.

Milon’s Secret Castle is truly awful and if what I have said isn’t bad enough, if you stay outside the castle for too long lightning bolts shoot from the sky and try to kill you. So even when you are trying to get you’re bearing’s the game’s relentless nature keeps coming for more.

In terms of the graphics and music it is a pretty standard 8-bit affair. The music is average and the graphics are average too, meaning it is nothing to shout home about in the looks or sound department.

To conclude, Milon’s Secret Castle is one of around a 1/3 of the NES library which is just bad. It’s gameplay is terrible, it’s graphics and sounds are average and the puzzles and difficulty of the game will make you want to throw your NES controller at the screen. The game has been re-released for the Wii’s Virtual Console but please take my advice; save your Wii Points for something better.