Oh, What a Knight: Maldita Castilla

By Adam Smith on August 31st, 2011 at 10:20 am.

 Knight, knight. Man, I am tired.
Chivalry is not dead! Phew. It’s been a long time since I’ve chivalled so when Maldita Castilla’s demo asked me to don armour and beard to fight off a wave of evil in the cursed Kingdom of Castile, I immediately sprang into action. We’ve talked about Locomalito’s lovingly crafted games before and this is shaping up to be a beauty. But what is it? Well, the most important thing about Maldita Castilla is that it’s not Ghosts ‘n’ Goblins. The second most important thing is that it’s really bloody close to being Ghosts ‘n’ Goblins.

A knight moves inexorably rightwards, throwing blades at zombies and demons, cracking open chests to find new weaponry, keys and the occasional fully plated chicken supper. This is Maldita Castilla. The reanimated dead are the first things our brave knight faces but the idea is that the monsters, as the game progresses, will reflect the medieval European setting. Mythology, chivalry and old-school action are three of my favourite things. This is Maldita Castilla and it is good.

So far, it’s also Ghosts ‘n’ Goblins. Even though the graphics deliberately beckon the murky past onto your 64” 3D-capable flatscreen, they are exquisite. The backgrounds manage to be interesting and believable, while the creatures are varied and fun. One particularly deranged individual ran at me, headless and handless, jumping over the vast armoury I lobbed in his direction. It’s not Serious Sam: Double D but there is good spritesmanship at work here and it’s being used to show something more interesting than a skeleton with a sword and then a skeleton with a bow.

This is only a demo so it may well be too soon to judge, but Ghosts ‘n’ Goblins was punishingly difficult. The level on show here only took me two attempts and I am woefully cackhanded. But it was a whole lot of fun and, despite the apparent simplicity, I think Locomalito’s love of the Age of Chivalry comes through in the design. Personally, I can’t wait for more. I just wish my little knight’s clothes fell off whenever he was wounded. Chivalry demands it.

Download the demo here.

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21 Comments »

  1. Dominic White says:

    I thought it plays a little like a hybrid of Ghosts & Goblins and Splatterhouse. This isn’t a bad mix at all.

  2. BooleanBob says:

    Locamalito and Ghouls n Ghosts? A match made in heaven! Or rather, hell.

  3. arrjayjee says:

    This is the sort of stuff that makes me feel 5 years old again, and it it awesome.

  4. Thirith says:

    I wish people would remember that not everyone uses QWERTY and has Z and X right next to each other…

    • idiotapocs says:

      i’ve got a letter of Y next to X :)

    • PixelProspector says:

      Just press “Shift+Alt” in order to swap to the QWERTY layout on the fly. :)
      Also: Locomalito continues to release very polished high quality games… Awesome!

    • Thirith says:

      Will do that – thanks! :-)

    • zelgaris says:

      Pixel Prospector: Well not everybody has keyboard layout changing binded to some hotkeys and in my case QWERTZ is native for my language. Anyway yeah, I can still change the keyboard layout, and I know that, but that’s not an ideal user friendly solution.

      That would be to code it in a way that Y and Z do the same thing (if Locomalito insist on arrows + ZX layout).

      Anyway great demo!

  5. Lobotomist says:

    its like much improved Ghost n Goblins. (albeit slightly easier)

    With ass kicking retro graphics !

    AWESOME!

  6. Zanchito says:

    My father’s family is from Castilla, and I can tell you all you see in this game was real at some point in our history. True story!

    • Dances to Podcasts says:

      Including the zombies and fully plated chicken supper?

  7. JackShandy says:

    Did you get the key in that chest at the start of the level? WELP, better restart!

    There are some things that should be left in the past.

  8. Hodge says:

    Unsurprisingly for these guys, this is looking really special. I wonder if you’ll have to finish it twice to see the end sequence?

  9. shoptroll says:

    Intriguing! I forgot I had downloaded Hydorah, which is their homage to Gradius. Should check both of these out.

  10. deadly.by.design says:

    All of his free games look worth a play. What a wonderful treasure trove of retro homages.

  11. rayne117 says:

    LATE DECEMBER BACK IN ’63, WHAT A VERY SPECIAL TIME FOR ME, AS I REMEMBER WHAT A KNIGHT

  12. Jackablade says:

    My one claim to fame is having completed Ghouls and Ghosts in its entirety – from beginning to end twice, in a tag team effort with a group of five other ten year olds. Lord knows I probably couldn’t get near the end of the first level these days.

    Did anyone else manage to shoot old Scratch’s head off, back in the day?

  13. MythArcana says:

    Ghosts ‘n’ Goblins was so hideously difficult that I must have spent hundreds of hours just getting to level 2…and that was only for about 27 seconds before I lost my final life. I will check out this demo on the grounds of having good taste to replicate this classic in some form…and to see if my reflexes got worse over the past 20 years.

  14. Synesthesia says:

    looks lovely.

    maybe i just dont get the name, but shouldn’t it be maldito castillo? like, damn castle? unless locomalito really hates that place in spain?

  15. Cryotek says:

    I remember getting my Sega Genesis along with a copy of Ghouls ‘n Ghosts. That game is truly a highlight of my gaming memory. I also loved Black Tiger. Part of the reason I wanted the original NES is because Black Tiger was initially planned for home release on it- it was listed in the Sears catalog, I swear!

    Oh man I am dating myself…

    Anyway, going to check this out now.

  16. RyuRanX says:

    I loved the demo. This is day one buy for me.