Crystal Castles

3 prototype versions exist.  The earliest, dated 5-30-84 (pictures #1-#2), has several differences with the released (XE) version.  The title screen doesn’t show a castle (or the title) and the text font is completely different (picture #1).  There’s no level #s, reserve icons, music, attract mode, or bees, and the score box is a solid blue block (picture #2).  There’s also a number of bugs and unfinished areas (level 1 warp tunnel is always visible/on the wrong wall/doesn’t work, the Doomsdome doesn’t have a rear-right tunnel entrance, and you can’t advance past the Staircase castle).  A 6-1-83 prototype version (picture #3) is the same, except for the title screen, the score box (which is purple), and the addition of a level box.  The latest known 1984 prototype (picture #4) has a slightly different title screen (different castle) and most of the bugs in the earlier versions are fixed (and Bentley isn’t invincible). You can also start a game with the fire button and all the secret warps and castles are present.  However, the level 1 warp is activated by jumping in the left corner (since you can’t walk behind the castle), and the Doomsdome tunnel only links to the 2 front entrances.  In all the prototype versions, Bentley moves faster and the lifts move slower, compared to the released version.

The XE version (pictures #5-#6) is basically the same, except it has a full (arcade font) title screen, different menu boxes, and improved graphics.  Also, level 1 (picture #6) has been fixed so that you can walk all the way around the perimeter (the 1st warp was modified to work from the same location as the arcade).

The Hidden Spiral castle is made up of the letters “DYTVAIN” (picture #7), but it’s unknown what they stand for. The hidden spiral castle in the arcade version also contained letters, but they were actually people’s initials.  Only the latest 1984 prototype and XE versions have this level.

Secret Warp Tunnels: Level 1 to Level 3 warp - go to back left-hand corner and press JUMP.  Level 3 to Level 5 - get the magic hat and JUMP in rear corner of hidden ramp.  Level 5 (3rd maze “Crossroads”) to Level 7 - go to back left-hand corner of top wall and JUMP.  Depending on how you play your game in the middle levels, a message telling you how to accomplish 1 of the 3 secret warps may appear at the end of your game.

The levels are exactly the same as the arcade version, and the game ends after completing The End (castle 10-1 – pictures #8 and 9).  The latest known 1984 prototype also has the ending (picture #10) but there’s no “Game Over Press Trigger To Restart” screen.

BUG: At the start of a level, some enemies will partially appear at the bottom of the screen before dropping down into the maze (picture #7).  {Scott Stilphen}

BUG: Jumping from the top (back) corner of some castles causes Bentley to wrap-around to the bottom of the screen (picture #11).  {Scott Stilphen}

BUG: If you die near the top of some castles, there’s a horizontal area between the score and message boxes where Bentley’s graphics (including the text above his head) won’t appear (picture #12).  {Scott Stilphen}



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