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  • Milon's Secret Castle Retrospective

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    Welcome back aboard the Nostalgia Train - the series that takes a look back at crazy movies and games from our past that we love, hate, and sometimes forget about. Today's trip leads us back to the NES era - a time of masterpieces and some rather obscure titles. In honor of those forgotten cartridges, I give you Milon's Secret Castle. There's much to be said about this game and very little makes sense. It is one of those titles that you may have lying around or in the bottom of a box in your basement. Just remember, all trips down memory-lane aren't going to be good ones.

     

    Castle

    Milon's Complicated Story

    As a gamer fires up this game on the good ol' NES, it becomes immediately apparent that it will be a bit of a dumpster fire. There is no explanation and no story; players are set before a castle with three doors, a well and that's it.

     

    After some digging, I finally found the game's story! It revolves around young Milon, who lives in a land where people use music to communicate with each other - but he can't understand anyone. Apparently, he's music illiterate. He decides to travel the world. Before he leaves, he wants to visit the Queen. Wouldn't you know it, she's been taken by an Evil Warlord. (As you do...) The court magician appoints Milon to save her. He gives Milon...bubbles and tells him the castle where she's being held has all sorts of tools for him, and that's it. Milon's off to save the day.

     

    Milon's Secret Castle Dungeon

    Stormin' the Castle

    Milon's Secret Castle doesn't just lack a cohesive story, it doesn't really make any sense at all. A young man saving a girl is a basic trope, but why would Milon even attempt to meet with the queen knowing he could not communicate with her. If all the inhabitants of the land he lives in only communicate using music, why would he think the royal family was any different? For that matter, how in the world did the magician even clue Milon in?

     

    The story itself doesn't scratch the surface. Players aren't even clued into story, so it doesn't really matter. Playing the game is just and needlessly complicated.

     

    Milon's Secret Castle Enemy Attack

    Sticky Platforms and Curious Secrets

    The game-play for Milon's Secret Castle isn't overly complicated. Milon is given a life bar and a single life. He can run, jump, and shoot bubbles. He has to enter the castle and discover the secrets within while battling beasts. There is no rhyme or reason to the placement of things, but Milon must fire his bubbles at everything. Bubbles will kill enemies, reveal secret doors, and break blocks.

     

    Players have to find the hidden shops, music boxes, and items in order to battle stage bosses. After defeating these bosses, Milon gets stronger and gamers advance to new parts of the castle to repeat the process all over again.

     

    Milon VS Boss

    Milon's Secret Castle: Keeping it Secret

    Looking past the story and the weird weapon, one of the things that makes this game frustrating is the difficulty. Unlike other platformers, when Milon gets hit, there is no 'post-hit invisibility.' He also has a very small life bar. When that depletes, it's game over. Players have to start at the beginning. Of course, if you manage to make it past the first boss, there is a trick to starting where you left off. Also, there are ways to increase Milon's health, but it's so minuscule it's barely worth it.

     

    Another pain point with this game is a lack of direction. While it's pretty neat that players can complete the game in any way they wish, it doesn't clue gamers in on what to do. The secrets are hidden so well that hardly anyone knew they had to look for them. The boss chamber only fills once certain bench marks are complete. Players can't even exit a level without finding a door first.

     

    Couple all of these grievances with sticky controls, respawning enemies, and cryptic hints, and you've got yourself a pretty terrible game. While it isn't the worst game, it's almost not worth remembering. ALMOST.

     

    So, play on, gamers. What do you think of Milon's Secret Castle? Want a more truthful review? Check out

    !

     

    Milon's Secret Castle Ice Level



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