Some Epic Mickey News: Castle of Illusion Remade

Wot, no Oswald?

I played Castle of Illusion on the GameGear! Yes, I am that guy. It was on a school French exchange trip, and some friend who’d taken pity on my parent’s ongoing refusal to get me a console had lent me his brick-sized Sega handheld for the duration of the endless ferry and bus journey. I played as much of the Mario-aping Mickey platformer as the couple of dozen AA batteries I’d filled my suitcase with enabled me to, which is to say about 45 minutes. Apart from that, I remember nothing about the game. I think it had a lot of jumping? Apparently it (more specifically its Megadrive edition) retains a certain standing in the minds of console nostalgics, and as such many gentlemen and gentlewoman of a certain age seem entirely delighted that Sega are remaking it.

It’s in 2.5D, like the New Super Mario Bros games, which means it should stay faithful in play style despite the introduction of polygons and shaders. There are many reasons I am not Warren Spector, one of which is that I feel absolutely nothing for Mickey Mouse (another of which is that I’m no fan of tank tops. There may be some other differences, too), so I am not best placed to be all ermahgerd about this news.

I’m far more interested in the fact that Disney are back on the outsourcing wagon so soon after publicly executing Spector’s Junction Point and their newly-acquired subsidiary LucasArts. While this is ‘only’ a remake, and a download-only one at that, it proves they’re definitely not backing out of the vidjagams business.

The screenshots do look lovely, however. Take a look at more of them, and higher res versions, here. There’s a trailer below too, but pre-rendered CGI whatevs.

Lest ye forget, this is the game that’s causing so much of the internet to touch itself inappropriately when thinking of a remake:

It sure is jumpy! Apparently the appeal was/is the essential Mickiness in art and animation, and the (for the time) lavish environments.

The remake’s due out on Steam this Summer, and also as a download-only title on those lousy near-decade-old things which gather dust underneath televisions.


  1. ulix says:

    After Capcom remaking Duck Tales with Way Forward, this is the second great Disney related news in the last few weeks.

    Two of the greatest 2D Platformers remade for a new generation, and on top of that two of the greatest licenced games.

    • Anthile says:

      A shame the Duck Tales remake is not coming to PC for some unfathomable reason.

    • ulix says:

      Since it’s Capcom there’s a 99% chance of it coming to the PC (eventually).

      If it’s native 1080p on consoles, I’ll buy it for PS3 though. Just like I did with Rayman Origins. Really no reason then to buy the PC version.

      • sabrage says:

        Sadly, the 1% that doesn’t make it constitutes their most interesting games in the last couple of years: Asura’s Wrath, Dragon’s Dogma, Ghost Trick. And for whatever reason, nobody gets Monster Hunter. (Nintendo owners don’t count.)

        • SominiTheCommenter says:

          Ghost Trick on PC, oh lord YES. Re-Animating Cabanela would cost a fortune, I imagine.

  2. DickSocrates says:

    I remember this looking amazing in 1990, but ever since then looking awful. Horrible sounding music, boring levels.

    Compare it to Magical Quest (by Capcom) on SNES. That still looks wonderful and the gameplay and level design were top notch and filled with variety. Artistically and imaginatively light years ahead of this. Quite an easy game, which is why my memories of it are positive and not laced with frustration.

    • iucounu says:

      I had this on Game Gear and the thing about it was how crisp and colourful it looked back then. The game itself was a kind of gentle Mario thing that, even at the time, wasn’t amazing, but I found it fun.

      • UpsilonCrux says:

        Another GameGear weirdo here, I remember I borrowed this from the son of a friend of my mum, and yeah I remember it looking fantastically colourful. Yep there was a kind of sedate pace to it if I remember correctly, floating leaves as platforms, little toy soldier enemies and such. Naysayers bedamned, I loved my GameGear, and I maintain that the GG/MS Sonics were better….kinda…

  3. BobbyDylan says:

    The words “Epic” and “Mikey Mouse” still seem odd to me, when combined into a single sentance.

  4. Chizu says:

    I never actually played Castle of Illusion, but I played the shit out of World of Illusion.
    2 player with friends or family members.
    I always had to be Donald.
    Who wants to be Mickey when you can be Donald.

    • lowprices says:

      Christ. This. Somebody make a sequel to World of Illusion. I played the original hundreds of times with my little brother. Us bickering over who used up all the continues while playing this is one of my fondest gaming memories.

      It would need to be a sequel rather than a remake though. I’m not sure a game that can be finished in 20 minutes would go down that well these days.

    • The First Door says:

      Ah, thank you! I was thinking that clip of Castle of Illusion didn’t look right, but it was because I played World of Illusion instead.

    • Andy_Panthro says:

      Yes! World of Illusion was definitely the better game. Great soundtrack too.

    • Spacewalk says:

      Donald had all the best stages anyway. The tropical island hop, the cardboard cut-out castle, that one on the rapids with all the carefully timed jumps, you needed real skills on that one. Not like the cake walk that the Mickey stages were.

      • Chizu says:

        That’s because Donald is simply better :D

        Part of me kinda hopes to see amongst all these updates coming, that someone might see fit to do Quack Shot.

  5. Bhazor says:

    Ahh nothing says classic Disney animation like sterile 3D graphics with a plastic sheen on everything.

  6. John Richardson says:

    I always preferred Magical Quest Starring Mickey Mouse if I’m honest. Those little suits you get for the different abilities were good fun.

  7. adonf says:

    So some plants kill you and some don’t, some fruits must be collected and other must be avoided… That is pretty bad design in my book. Stupid 90s.

  8. AlwaysRight says:

    Can’t we all just take off our rose tinted monocles for a moment and just admit that Mickey Mouse is a rubbish (and racist link to character?

    Where are the Bugs Bunny games?

    • FurryLippedSquid says:

      I’d kill for a Spy v Spy style Wile E Coyote / Roadrunner game.

    • Bhazor says:

      It’s weird but he’s become nothing but a corporate mascot. Children are growing up worshipping the little fucker without actually seeing a single cartoon featuring him.

      And yeah, Merrie Melodies/Looney Tunes were always better than the Disney shorts.

  9. Sunjammer says:

    I loved the Game Gear Donald Duck game!

  10. Vandelay says:

    Don’t think I ever owned Castle of Illusion, but pretty certain I did borrow it from a friend. Don’t really remember much about it though.

    I did own Land of Illusion and that was amazing. Excellent game that I’m sure I would remember all of as soon as I started playing it today. Also loved Donald Duck’s Lucky Dime Caper (think it was Game Gear only game.)

  11. Roboito says:

    I started reading this article thinking ‘I swear I’ve played this game but can’t, for the life of me, actually remember it’.
    Then I watched that video at the bottom and it was like a nostalgia bomb going off in my head.

    Not too interested in the remake though. All the 2D/2.5D games I’ve played in the last couple of years, I just play for half an hour, think ‘well that’s nice’, then never touch them again.

  12. S Jay says:

    Disney, eh? Is there hope for a new Monkey Island 3?

    link to – oh snap

  13. Rich says:

    Never played this one. Loved Land of Illusion on the Mega Drive though.

  14. TaroYamada says:

    One of the best platformers ever, also not so much an outsourcing as it is that SEGA owns this game, it was developed by their famous AM7 team who was responsible for games such as Shinobi, World of Illusion and Quackshot. The game wouldn’t be able to be remade unless SEGA & Disney agreed to it.

  15. Robslap says:

    The Master System version of this was my everest!

  16. wuwul says:

    Aaaah!!! Orgasm!