Video Game: Maldita Castilla
An arcade adventure of chivalry and horror
(description on the official box art)Maldita Castilla
is Spanish developer Locomalito's latest (December 2012) output and their biggest project to date after their Magnum Opus Hydorah
. It is intended to be a throwback to the arcade age of action-platformers such as Ghosts N Goblins
, Castlevania I
and so on.
The year is AD 1081 and many wars have caused an untold number of casualties. Witch Moura's love was one of these: a devil hears her sorrow and uses her tears as a magic key to open a portal to The Realm of Pain
, flooding the Spanish region of Castile with monsters, demons and undead. The protagonist Don Ramiro, along with three other companions (Mendoza, Quesada and Don Diego), is asked by the King of Spain to put an end to this nightmare, starting from the cursed village of Tolomera del Rey to the enchanted forest where Moura's hideout is set.
Maldita Castilla contains examples of:
- Always Night: to better convey the darker mood of the game.
- Animated Armor: a very common enemy type.
- Asteroids Monster: giant fireflies that explode into smaller versions of them.
- Battle Strip: Moura strips off her dress before turning into a snake woman.
- The Big Guy: Mendoza.
- Blackout Basement: the second half of the fourth stage, a series of caves, is completely dark. A small winged creature offers to light the way with a torch, and he does. However...
- Boss Arena Urgency: just before the showdown with Moura, Don Ramiro has to destroy a giant cauldron that drops corrosive green globs. The globs melt away tiles of the floor if they drop on them, so it's possible for the player to die after having defeated the enemy if too much of the floor is destroyed and Don Ramiro falls into the acid below.
- Bubblegloop Swamp: stage four, the Swamp of Malaventura.
- Continuing Is Painful: If you die, you are kicked back to the beginning of the segment you're currently in, with no support item and your weapon reset to the dagger. Choosing to continue after losing all your lives will reset your score to zero. And if you continue more than four times, you will be locked into the bad ending.
- Darker and Edgier (and also Bloodier and Gorier): compared to Locomalito's earlier titles (except L'Abbaye des Morts. Here the mood is dark and somber, there's blood and dead bodies everywhere, Satanic imagery, Don Ramiro loses all of his companions and eventually is forced to fight two of them, you get the picture.
- Degraded Boss: The beheaded knight and Zarrampla the giant maggot/snake/whatever demon, in the Realm of Pain.
- Dem Bones: dancing skeletons that explode into bones when hit.
- The Faceless: Quesada is never seen without his helmet.
- Fairy Companion: one of the various power-ups.
- Fighting Your Friend / Tragic Monster: One of the boss fights is against Mendoza and Don Diego, who were apparently turned into zombies offscreen.
- Foreign Language Title: the game is written in English and the title is Spanish, meaning "Damn Castile" or "Cursed Castile"; however, Locomalito is Spanish, so the title is not foreign to them...
- Full-Frontal Assault / Getting Crap Past the Radar: the beheaded zombies in the first stage running after Don Ramiro are naked and have a visible, if small, penis.
- Gallows Humour: Almost literally. In the first stage, there's a section with a beheaded zombie looking for his head among a pile of them at a gallows.
- Giant Flyer: the Two-Headed Vulture.
- Giant Mook: The cycloptic cave troll in stage 4.
- Guide Dang It: Some secrets are quite hard to find.
- Harping On About Harpies: stage 2 is the harpies' nest, but they can be found in other stages too.
- Hey, It's That Sound!: some sound effects are recycled from Hydorah.
- Hidden Elf Village: the Gamusin people. You need a special item to find them.
- Homage: the entire game is a homage to the Ghosts N Goblins series, right down to Don Ramiro being a mix of knight Sir Arthur and Spanish folk hero El Cid.
- Inexplicable Treasure Chests: it's a Ghosts 'N' Goblins homage after all. Sometimes, they're brought in by fairies.
- "Last Supper" Steal: The true final boss Luzfarel is found sitting at a table with his demon lackeys, all sitting on one side of the table, an image that looks like a Satanic mockery of Jesus' Last Supper.
- Mineral MacGuffin: Moura's crystallized tears. There are five of them, as shown in the intro sequence. Getting all five allows you to enter the Realm of Pain after defeating Moura/Moura Snake and fight the true final boss, Luzfarel.
- Multiple Endings: There are four: a bad ending for beating the game without finding all five of Moura's tears, no matter your amount of continues used. A not so bad ending for beating the final boss in the Realm of Pain after having used more then four continues. A good ending for doing so without using more than four continues. And finally a perfect ending where the game must be cleared without using a single continue, while also achieving several obscure goals such as invoking the lady of the lake, saving the Amadis from flames, and finding the Gamusin people.
- Mutually Exclusive Powerups: the four different weapons (sword, axe, sickle and spiked flail) and the support items (shield, fairy, boots and key and also the crystal ball that lets you see the Gamusin people.)
- Nintendo Hard: The first two levels are quite easy, then the difficulty ramps up gradually but considerably, revealing its Ghosts 'n Goblins heritage.
- One-Winged Angel: Moura becomes a snake-woman, and Luzfarel's Evil Heart comes to life and attacks you after he's slain.
- Retraux: aside from the obvious, the game includes a fake arcade booting screen and a filter that puts scanlines on the graphics and other touches such as cracks and smudges, as if it were an actual coin-op screen!
- The game's composer, Gryzor87, made the soundtrack by emulation of the YM2203 sound chip, used in various arcade games of old, for a more authentic sound.
- Ribcage Ridge: found in stage four.
- Sequential Boss: At the end of stage four Don Ramiro fights a bunch of small ghosts, then a big one that teleports all over the place.
- In the Enchanted Forest, Don Ramiro finds a zombified Mendoza and has to defeat him, and right after he dies a zombified Don Diego bursts in and attacks Don Ramiro with arrows.
- Shields Are Useless: Don Ramiro carries a shield on him all the time, but he can use it only when he picks up the appropriate power-up, at which point it'll shield him from a single attack before being discarded.
- Shout-Out: One boss is a mechanical Don Quixote.
- The growing flowers in stage 5 are similar to the growing vines found on the jungle planet in Hydorah.
- The human-faced giant flies are similar to the insect enemies in L'Abbaye des Morts, another game by Locomalito, and one of the objects needed for the best ending is said to be from Jean Raymond, the game's protagonist (despite L'Abbaye being set more than a century later).
- There are giant stone faces that spit homing energy rings, just like the Moai heads in Gradius (and the manual implies this reference as well, saying that they were seen on Easter Island).
- (Final stage spoilers!) During the final boss battle, the demons that sit at Luzfarel's table and fight you before him look like much larger Red Arremers.
- The last named mid-boss is a Grim reaper (sort of) that attacks by spamming flying sickles. Castlevania, anyone?
- Shown Their Work: Almost all of the enemies and bosses are creatures from Spanish myth. A bit of Artistic License has been applied here and there, but they are pretty accurate.
- Spike Balls of Doom: found especially in stage four.
- Spikes Of Doom: Touch a spiked floor or ceiling and you die, no matter your hit points.
- Super Drowning Skills: If Don Ramiro falls into the water, he will sink like a brick and drown.
- Together in Death: Moura reunites with her lover's soul during the good ending.
- True Final Boss: The demon Luzfarel - followed quickly by his Evil Heart, which attacks you after he's slain.
- Where The Hell Is Tolomera Del Rey?: We know that the game takes place in the kingdom of Castile during the reign of Alfonso VI The Brave, but where exactly in the kingdom is never specified. The fact that the monsters and bosses are based on myths from all over Spain does not help with the issue.
FOR GOD AND CASTILE!