Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Milon's Secrets Revealed!

I was digging through some of my old notebooks, and found this gem hidden in the back of one of them...

The real secret is why it says "Garland?" on the top of this page.
This, of course, is the map for Milon's Secret Castle on the NES, complete with the locations of every item, the prices for each one, the seven bonus stages, and even the instruments you'll earn by completing them. I couldn't tell you exactly when I drew this; I suspect that it was somewhere between 1988, when I first got a Nintendo Entertainment System, and 1993, which was when I drew the rest of the artwork in the notebook. We'll split the difference and say this was from... 1990.

My most vivid (if not fond) memory of Milon's Secret Castle was playing it for three straight hours, since the game didn't have any battery saves or even a password feature. Even continuing was needlessly difficult, requiring an arcane combination of buttons. I was determined to beat it, though, and sat in a leather recliner for a large part of a sweltering afternoon, collecting all the items, making notes of where they were hidden, and rescuing the princess after killing the two pretenders to her throne. By the time I was done, I had to peel myself out of the chair, a challenge in itself.

It's funny looking back at Milon's Secret Castle in hindsight. In 1989, it seemed like a decent enough title; unpolished and obtuse in that grand NES tradition, but at least worth the rental. However, the internet was not nearly as kind in its assessment of the game. It's generally regarded as terrible on the Talking Time forums, and that sentiment is echoed in the majority of reviews on GameFAQs. In the game's defense... well, it's pretty hard to defend when compared to the more endearing and accessible Super NES sequel, Do-Re-Mi Fantasy. Still, there's a great deal of content in Milon's Secret Castle, with tons of stages and over a dozen hidden items. I can't say I'm chomping at the bit to return to it after twenty-odd years, but I might take a stab at the more player-friendly port of Milon's Secret Castle on the original GameBoy.

Well, maybe some day.

1 comment:

  1. This is absolutely fabulous! What a wonderful relic of your childhood. I purged many of my childhood gaming stuff when I was in high school, but good lord do I wish I kept it all now. Post more stuff like this!