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Video Game: Castle of Illusion

Castle of Illusion: Starring Mickey Mouse is a platformer developed by Sega in 1990 for the Sega Genesis and Sega Master System.

The game takes place within the eponymous Castle Of Illusion. Mickey must take it upon himself to rescue Minnie Mouse from the clutches of Mizrabel the witch, who has kidnapped her in order to steal her youth and beauty. The player must battle through six stages and confront each stage's boss. Only with the gem from each defeated boss can he then build a rainbow bridge leading to the castle tower to face the evil witch in a final battle.

Cue classic side-scrolling and all the glory of 16-bit graphics and sound.

In 1992, it went and had two sequels: Land Of Illusion and World of Illusion. A few years later, an additional sequel was released known as Legend Of Illusion. 2012 will see a Nintendo 3DS companion game to Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two going under the name Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion, officially billed as both a fourth, direct sequel and an Epic Mickey game, in which the Castle of Illusion has been transported to the Wasteland and Mizrabel seeks to escape from it by draining the essence of popular Disney characters.

In the wake of this release, Sega made a HD Remake of the original game and was released on the PlayStation 3 on September 3rd, 2013, while the Steam and Xbox 360 versions were released the following day.

This game provides examples of:

  • Abnormal Ammo: The Genesis game gives you apples, marbles, and candles to throw at your foes.
  • Anthropomorphic Shift: In the original, Mizrabel's true form is a mouse person like Mickey and Minnie. The remake has her as a human.
  • Asteroids Monster: The letter A's from the Master System version.
  • Auto-Scrolling Level: The cakes and sweets section in the Master System version.
  • Backtracking: In one of the sections in the second level in the Genesis version, the door to exit is at the beginning of the level, but you need to climb all the way to the top to find the key. Thankfully, you don't need to retrace the level; the platforms turn into ramps you slide down all the way back to the exit.
  • Bottomless Pits: A standard hazard.
  • Calling Your Attacks: The Mizrabel battle in the remake.
  • The Cameo:
  • Clock Tower: The fifth level of the Master System game, and also a level in the HD remake.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: In the Genesis version, when Mickey ends up defeating the evil witch and preventing her from stealing Minnie's youth, she actually takes them both back home. On her broom. Whilst they snuggle up on a bench swing.
    • The remake has Mizrabel give Mickey and Minnie their own brooms to escape the falling castle, and it also adds a reason as to why Defeat Means Friendship: it turns out it's a case of Know When to Fold 'Em. Mizrabel, as the narrator explains, had the wisdom to know when she was defeated, and also to know the reason why that was so, and it's because she recognized that Mickey and Minnie had a magic even greater than her own: The Power of Love.
  • Distressed Damsel: Minnie Mouse.
  • Easier Than Easy: The easiest difficulty level is essentially a heavily abridged version of the full game. Large sections of each level are omitted, and the game ends after the third level.
  • Expy:
    • The evil witch's character model is based on Queen Grimhilde from Snow White (better known as simply "the Evil Queen")—both in her "hag" guise when she's old, and in her normal incarnation when she's becoming younger in the final battle. The remake takes it further by having her say she wants to be the fairest one of all.
    • Land Of Illusion has the Phantom as the final boss...but he's a recoloured version of The Horned King from Disney's The Black Cauldron!
  • Follow the Money: Diamonds in the Genesis version.
  • Fully Dressed Cartoon Animal: Minnie, in the remake, wears a red shirt.
  • Goomba Springboard: Micky can use Goomba Stomps to jump higher, if he needs to do so.
  • Goomba Stomp: Unlike most games that feature this, Castle of Illusion requires an additional button press in mid-jump in order to stomp enemies, making it more like a Ground Pound than usual.
  • Heart Container: Present in the Master System version.
  • Hyperactive Metabolism: Cake in the Master System version.
  • Ledge Bats: In the third level of the Genesis game. The bats have a tendency to jump out at you right as you're crossing a gap.
  • Level Ate: The third level of the Master System game and part of the fourth level of the Genesis game.
  • Load-Bearing Boss: A strange example of this. Once the final boss is defeated, the castle begins to fall apart, likely as a result of the battle, considering she's still alive and in fact has to flee alongside the heroes.
  • The Lost Woods: The first level of both games is a grassy woodland. In the Genesis game, it phases from Green Hill Zone through deeper and darker (and, in some places, spider-filled) woods to a haunted forest toward the end.
  • Lucky Seven: Seven gems, seven bosses (six in the Genesis version).
  • Macro Zone: A giant study or library forms part of the fourth level of the Genesis game and the entirety of the fourth level of the Master System game.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • In the remake, Chip and Dale are dressed in their Rescue Rangers attire.
    • In level 5 of the remake, the narrator brings up Mickey's past experience in cleaning clocks.
    • The giant apple chase segment in the level 1 remake is a homage to the chase segments in Mickey Mania.
    • A milk bottlecap in level 4 of the remake has Mickey in his 1930's design.
  • Never Say "Die": Lives are referred to as "tries".
  • The Power of Love: Is what leads to Mizrabel's Heel-Face Turn.
  • Preorder Bonus: Playstation 3 owners who preordered the HD remake between August 20th and September 3rd received three avatars, a dynamic theme and the original Genesis/Mega Drive version of the game.
  • Punny Name: Mizrabel. Because she's Miserable.
  • Quicksand Sucks: In the Toy Time stage. Okay, it's more like Quick-Jelly, but it definitely Sucks.
  • Shout-Out: Two of the collectibles of the remake are "Donald's chili peppers" and "magic playing cards". And in case you thought it was a coincidence, the trophies/success you get for collecting them all are the names of these two games!
  • Spring Jump: The second level has springboards for you to jump on.
  • Super Not-Drowning Skills: In the stages where you can swim, you never run out of air.
  • Tactical Suicide Boss: You can't jump high enough to stomp the second stage boss. Don't worry, he'll start releasing helpful springs for no real other reason than chivalry. You can also cheese him by hiding in a corner.
  • Toy Time: The second level of both games.
  • The Unfought: Shadow Mickey, who's exclusive to the remake. You spend the entire second act of level 4 chasing him to retrieve the green gem, but instead of actually fighting him, he's brained in the head by a giant spoon as you escape into a giant teacup. You then have to escape the teacup, but after you do that, Mickey simply retrieves the green gem from the dazed Shadow Mickey.
  • Water Level: The third level of the Genesis game, which transitions from a lake with islands to flooded ruins.
  • When Trees Attack: The first stage boss in the Genesis version is a living log that jumps out of the tree it's resting in and rolls towards you. What? It Makes Sense in Context... sort of. The Master System version just has a tree as the first boss. The remake adds an explanation, sort of. The narrator refers to this boss as the "grumpy old oak"; so apparently it was attacking Mickey either just because it was a grouch, or because Mickey woke it up or something.
  • You Are Too Late: In both the Genesis and HD versions, just as Mickey finally arrives at the final room to save Minnie, Mizrabel completes the first part of the spell and makes herself look much younger. Fortunately, Mickey manages to beat Mizrabel before the last part of the spell (turning Minnie into an old crone) is complete, so Mickey is able to foil Mizrabel's plan anyway.

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alternative title(s): Castle Of Illusion
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