Creepy Castle: What Lurks in the Castle
As I've mentioned before, one of the key ingredients in a nonlinear exploration-based game like Creepy Castle is to make sure that the world is fun to explore. It's more than just good level design - you also need to fill the locales with interesting characters to encounter and intriguing things to discover so players will want to explore every nook and cranny. I'd like to think I've accomplished that with Creepy Castle, so here's a look at just a few of the enemies and items you'll come across when you play the game.
Monsoon is a somewhat mysterious character that you'll come across multiple times in the game's first scenario. Wearing a flowing cloak and a horned helmet, Monsoon is one of the castle lord Darking's lackeys, and he's the first boss you'll face. Yet, there's clearly more to him than your typical villain. Although he's intent on carrying out Darking's will, he also knows that something strange is afoot, and he seems to share a history with Moth.
As his name implies, Stickbug is indeed a giant stick bug. He's actually one of Moth's closest friends, but he's fallen on hard times and enlisting as a boss for Darking seemed like a better way to go than selling his body to science. He's probably the least-qualified guy around for being a villainous henchman, so he and Moth will surely be able to patch things up regardless of what happens when they fight.
Ah, the Mimic! It's an RPG classic! It looks like an ordinary treasure chest, but when you go to open it - SURPRISE! - it's actually a monster! Luckily for you, if you decide you don't want to battle a Mimic, you generally don't have to, but then you won't be able to get whatever treasure that may be hiding beyond him.
I don't want to spoil too much about Possessor yet, but he's one of the major villains of the game. He's sort of an homage to Dracula from the classic Castlevania titles, and he's one of my personal favorite baddies in the game.
There are two types of keys in Creepy Castle: normal keys and red keys. Normal keys are usually used for getting to the next required area, while red keys tend to lead to optional parts of the map. You'll have to search far and wide to find everything!
Some parts of the castle are filled with water, and unfortunately for Moth, he's not a very good swimmer. However, he can equip the ice rod to turn the surface of the water into a hard, icy floor that he can walk on, thus allowing him to reach new areas and find hidden treasures. It works on lava, too!
As you might suspect, the light rod lights up dark areas. Sure, you can stumble around in the dark without the light rod, but you probably won't get very far since you'll also need the rod to activate some contraptions in the darkness.
SPROING! Yes, it's the hookshot, a grappling-hook-like tool made famous by a certain green-clad adventurer. This hookshot, however, attaches to certain points on the ceiling, and you can then climb the chain to reach distant platforms. Some of the attach points are on moving platforms to ensure that things stay interesting.
It's true: the heroes in Creepy Castle can't jump. At least, not unless they get these boots, which enable characters to hop over two-block gaps. This item doesn't appear in the game's initial scenario, but it shows up later on.
The only way to level up in Creepy Castle is to collect these little crosses that are hidden throughout the environments. At first you only need one to increase your level, but then you'll need two, then three, then four to keep leveling up. Leveling up is also different from other games: when you increase in level, you don't get perceptibly stronger, but enemies' health bars get smaller.
What kind of a retro-inspired video game would this be without delicious foodstuffs to replenish your health! There are more than 45 types of food items, and while the kind you get from any given treasure chest tends to be random, you can acquire a veritable buffet of goodies, including a burger, fried shrimp, a cheese wheel, pizza, corn dogs, a roast chicken, ice cream, and a donut (it's actually a rice ball; old-school gamers will understand).
Did that whet your appetite for exploring Creepy Castle? You can look forward to all this and more when the game hits Steam in the not-too-distant future!