- Manufacturer: TRIFFIX
- Machine: Nintendo Entertainment System
Castelian is yet another game that may be familiar to those of you that have a computer as well as an NES. The name Tower Toppler may be more recognizable, that's how it has appeared on the Atari ST, Amiga and possibly other systems as well. If you have seen Tower Toppler before, there are a few differences between it and Castelian; if you haven't seen it, then listen up gamers!
Castelian and two suns both revolve around a planet known as Centrus, where summer lasts the whole year. Our friend Julius on the island nation of Jammerville has been awakened to learn that seven alien towers have surrounded the island, cutting off the export of Jammerville's chief products: centrubies, diamonds and sapphires.
If one more tower appears, the island will be completely enclosed, and everyone will be trapped. Our friend Julius has been charged with the task of toppling these alien towers to save the island from being cut off.
To take out each tower, Julius must make his way around the ramparts, along ledges that are protruding from the outer walls. Along the way, lifts and passageways that pass into and directly back out of the tower must be navigated in the quest to reach the top. Only when the top has been reached safely can Julius proceed to topple the tower.
There is more to this job than climbing however. Some of the steps are set up so that gravity will pull him down to the bottom if he doesn't keep moving. Other steps are weak and may crumble, plunging Julius to the level below - if there is one! If there is, Julius may simply climb back up, though the time lost may prove critical. If there isn't a ledge below...well, our friend can't swim and will perish if he hits the water below each tower.
Some areas have gaps in the pathways where Julius must jump and hope for the best. Sometimes there are obstacles blocking the way; however, Julius has brought along his carbonobombs, which can be used to blast his pathway clear of some, though not all of them. Unfortunately, there are several alien critters that populate the pathways; some of which may be destroyed or possibly stunned, while others will pay no heed at all to the carbonobombs lobbed their way.
Time is a big factor. Julius has a set limit for reaching the tower's peak and detonating his Destructo Bomb. If the time runs out, Julius goes bye-bye. He begins the game with three lives, with extras awarded depending upon which of the two possible difficulty levels are in effect.
In the novice skill level, extra lives are awarded at every 5, 000 points, but in the expert level it's double that. Also, though the time counter reads the same, the timer and aliens both move a bit quicker.
After a tower has been knocked to the ground, Julius gets to take a small break in the bonus round. Here, he travels along a pathway, gathering as many jewels as possible while avoiding pitfalls or the occasional alien that swings by. If Julius makes it to a clock tower, he can collect bonus points for the jewels collected. If not, it's off to the next tower and better luck next time!
While there is certainly a little bit of action involved, Castelian really depends more upon puzzle-solving ability and good coordination for success. Each tower has its own little tricks and strategies to be mastered before the tower can fall. Once the tricks are known, it's a game of beating the clock. Either one or two players may participate. Continues are limited, so don't expect to just push your way through the towers; finesse will prove more rewarding.
Visually, mediocre is a fair term, as there isn't anything flashy about the land of Jammerville. I personally couldn't really get into this game, though I did play halfway through it to try and be fair about it. Sound effects are very limited: other than the opening music, there isn't much there. If you are familiar with Tower Toppler and you liked it, Castelian is a faithful reproduction with an addition of bonus rounds to give it some freshness. Give it a try before making any investments.
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Are You Game Enough To Take On The Towers?
Eight colossal towers that almost crack the sky! You and Julius - the Anurian Hybrid - are charged with the task of collapsing the alien towers. As Julius climbs and leaps across the face of each tower, he is confronted by potent and very deadly adversaries. Their mere touch will cost you your life! Yet, somehow, you must reach the tower's top in order to detonate your powerful D-Bombs.
Your courage, skill and determination will guide you to the summit of Castelian.