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Castle of Elite - Official game guide

Introduction - Basics - Solutions - Secrets - Trivia


Like Retrobattle, Castle of Elite was scetched on two pages of paper in 2005, and made in two months from those notes. The level editor was not originally planned, but I figured it would add a lot of value to the game.

Mistakes and updates
The game has been updated several times, as people kept mailing me with ways to beat Hard and Elite levels with spare brick symbols. Not even Vertigo was safe from these skilled players, who found loopholes in the levels I had never thought of. In hindsight I should probably have left the Elite levels alone and just let them have multiple solutions, but instead I tweaked them until there was only one. As a result, and due to the fact that people have mirrored this game on various sites over the years, there exist many different versions of Castle of Elite on the Internet.

Much of the game was inspired by the DOS game Jetpack, but with a focus on puzzles instead of action. The idea of the "Trundling snakes" level was even inspired by a similar one in that game. The brick symbols were partly inspired by Solomon's Key, and partly by Tetris. The idea of collecting coins was simply taken from Retrobattle, my previous game.

All the levels are listed as a 1 or 0 in the savefile depending on if it has been beaten or not. Each level also has a large number associated with it; these numbers are simply added together to form the checksum. However, in the version 8 update that expanded the savefile, the new levels do not actually use or change the checksum. This is so that if you open your old savefile in version 8, then open it again in a previous version, that version will not consider the checksum wrong and delete the savefile, because it would not be very nice.

Sound effects
The sound effects in the game are mainly extremely short clips, heavily modified until they came out as full sounds. It's the first game where I really put effort into the SFX editing.

Creating the puzzles
The later levels certainly weren't made in one go. A lot of trial and error, and playtesting to find loopholes, went into the game. Final Destination intentionally has many different solutions, though. Two of the Extra levels added in version 8, Crowstone and Chimaera, were actually created in 2006 when I was playing around with the level editor - so when version 8 was released, these levels were over 15 years old.