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Pursuing the Black Knight again: Return to Dark Castle

You may remember 1986 as the year of Greg LeMond's first Tour de France victory. Or maybe you were more consumed with following the early stages of the Iran-Contra Affair. Perhaps you were preoccupied with being born. In that case, you might not care about this post as much as those who spent the year lost in the monochrome world of Prince Duncan.

The original Dark Castle came out on the Macintosh that year, and immediately became a side-scrolling, rock-throwing, rope-swinging hit. In 1987 it was followed by Beyond Dark Castle, and a helicopter backpack and an excess of explosives kept things interesting, if not addictive. Various versions and ports came out in years following, extending the longevity of the classic game even further. 1994 even saw a Color Dark Castle, still playable in Classic under 10.0 and 10.1, and 2006 brought a mobile version.

Now, for all of us who get nostalgic at the mention of the Black Knight, Return To Dark Castle is almost ready for prime time after being announced 7 years ago. New levels, new secret rooms, and 5 times the orb collecting fun might just make me waste a little more time than I can afford.

Reported finished by Z Sculpt, the previously released beta has expired, but info on the upcoming release and some QuickTime trailers are available at publisher Super Happy Fun Fun's website. There were hopes for a release today, but it didn't happen. If you're anxious, you can join the waiting throngs at the Dark Castle Blog or express your fervent desire at the forum. It could, it seems, turn out to be a wait as cruel as the Black Knight himself.

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