[AC] The Lost Castle in Darkmist (Taito, 1986)

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[AC] The Lost Castle in Darkmist (Taito, 1986)

Postby Macaw » Mon Jan 09, 2012 3:26 pm

This has to be one of the arcade games I keep coming back to most, yet its easily one of the most obscure titles out there, all I can find on the Japanese web is a few mentions in forums. The game apparently was developed by Seibu Kaihatsu though.

Anyway, what makes this awesome is that its an arcade action 'rpg', similar to stuff like Monster Land except Darkmist is a top down perspective. most of the game auto scrolls vertically, but occasionally it becomes free 8 direction movement in dungeons and stuff.

The stages are really damn epic but varied, a lot of the fun of the game is just how much it 'feels' like an adventure. Slowly getting better equipment and various items is satisfying, and occasionally there are towns in the game where you can use your treasure to buy various stuff. Its a hard game, but things get a lot more manageable and fun when you work out what all the items and magic do.

One strange thing about the game though which recently caused me to credit feed through is that while there are lots of mini boss encounters that feature more powered versions of regular enemies, and theres a shitload of different enemies in the game, there doesn't appear to be any major boss. However, the title screen shows a massive dragon. There are about 4 or 5 stages, and after clearing each one you get an 'emblem', but you lose them if you continue with an extra credit. When I finished the game credit feeding, the game looped again and took away all the items. So I figure that if you manage to get to the end of the game WITH all the emblems, you might get to battle the dragon? The last section of the game does look quite strange as if something else is supposed to happen.

The problem with that of course is having to clear the game on one credit which I definitely cannot do yet. Also credit feeding the game is a nightmare, losing your equipment and momentum after continuing pretty much breaks your progress, and it becomes a struggle to just make it to each next checkpoint and then continuing again. Of course, a single credit attempt is incredibly satisfying, especially with this mystery of trying to reach the end with all the emblems...

I definitely recommend the game to any fans of action games with rpg elements. Compared to stuff like Cadash and Monster World however Darkmist kinda feels like an MSX game, especially along the lines of Golvellius, which makes it pretty damn unique among arcade games.

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Re: [AC] The Lost Castle in Darkmist (Taito, 1986)

Postby Shou » Tue Jan 10, 2012 12:07 am

Had the Western PCB back in the day and now own the JP version. Always thought it felt similar to Konami's Majo Densetsu aka Knightmare on MSX.
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Re: [AC] The Lost Castle in Darkmist (Taito, 1986)

Postby Gaijin Punch » Tue Jan 10, 2012 12:37 am

How feasible is a 1CC on it? Seems like good 80's stuff though.
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Re: [AC] The Lost Castle in Darkmist (Taito, 1986)

Postby Macaw » Tue Jan 10, 2012 4:02 am

Found a vid of a complete playthrough on youtube where the guy goes through it with invincibility, and turns out having all 4 emblems at the end just gives you a point bonus. So the big dragon on the title screen is just a tease or maybe you have to go through the 2nd loop? Who knows, but either way its still an awesome game.

Shou: Do you know if there are any differences in the world and jp versions? I have no idea which is the one in mame.

GP: A lot of the difficulty the first time round apart from learning what all the items do are the dungeons. Some of the later dungeons are full on labyrinth mindfucks similar to 8 bit rpg's of the era, theres nothing else quite like it in any other arcade game hehe. Knowing hwo to get through each dungeon, how to deal with each enemy and having good item management makes a 1cc pretty feasible, at least compared to a persons initial reaction to the difficulty.
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Re: [AC] The Lost Castle in Darkmist (Taito, 1986)

Postby Shou » Wed Jan 11, 2012 12:20 am

Macaw wrote:Shou: Do you know if there are any differences in the world and jp versions? I have no idea which is the one in mame.


I haven't played enough of the JP version to know but for games of this age, I am betting the MAME dump is the US version. I'll take a look at my board sometime to see how the ROMs compare.
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Re: [AC] The Lost Castle in Darkmist (Taito, 1986)

Postby Macaw » Thu Jan 26, 2012 8:38 pm

Might as well post this here cause its another old school Seibu game, and I've wanted to know more about it for years now.

Regarding "Knuckle Joe (1985)" thats in MAME:

1 - Is the Japanese title of the game Knuckle Joe?

2 - Was the game even released in arcades? Cant find any flyers or any decent info on Japanese sites, just a small review which is probably just reviewing it from mame anyway.

3 - This game rocks, well sorta anyway. The hokuto no ken inspired post apocalyptic theme is awesome and pretty fleshed out visually given the games age, and the motorbike scenes and weapons are a cool addition (Shirtless dudes fighting in destroyed streets, shooting guns and riding motorbikes. Now this is 80's action) No fuckn idea how to play the shit properly though, seems impossible not to take damage from enemies... has to be something to do with the 'defense' indicator at the top.

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Re: [AC] The Lost Castle in Darkmist (Taito, 1986)

Postby Shou » Fri Jan 27, 2012 2:13 am

Macaw wrote:Might as well post this here cause its another old school Seibu game, and I've wanted to know more about it for years now.

Regarding "Knuckle Joe (1985)" thats in MAME:

1 - Is the Japanese title of the game Knuckle Joe?

2 - Was the game even released in arcades? Cant find any flyers or any decent info on Japanese sites, just a small review which is probably just reviewing it from mame anyway.

3 - This game rocks, well sorta anyway. The hokuto no ken inspired post apocalyptic theme is awesome and pretty fleshed out visually given the games age, and the motorbike scenes and weapons are a cool addition (Shirtless dudes fighting in destroyed streets, shooting guns and riding motorbikes. Now this is 80's action) No fuckn idea how to play the shit properly though, seems impossible not to take damage from enemies... has to be something to do with the 'defense' indicator at the top.

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I imagine it's no surprised that I have it. :P

It is called Knuckle Joe in Japan and I have color copied docs of the instructions, etc. It's not that common here but also not in demand either, same as Darkmist. It doesn't use a JAMMA edge though.
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Re: [AC] The Lost Castle in Darkmist (Taito, 1986)

Postby Macaw » Fri Jan 27, 2012 2:35 pm

Damnit Shou, I wish I could just click my fingers and you would appear in front of me like some kind of genie so I could ask you arcade questions whenever I wanted to :)

Sucks it isnt jamma, I would be interested in having the pcb just as a little curiosity to play on my crt every now and then. How hard is non jamma stuff to connect up anyway (are there any kind of adapters or does shit have to be re-soldered every time)

Also are there many 85' games that use the jamma connection?
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They are adaptable, and enjoy being in social situations. They readily become adept at performing tricks, and seem to love doing so. Cost:$900-1400

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Re: [AC] The Lost Castle in Darkmist (Taito, 1986)

Postby Magic Knight » Sat Jan 28, 2012 1:32 am

Macaw wrote:Damnit Shou, I wish I could just click my fingers and you would appear in front of me like some kind of genie so I could ask you arcade questions whenever I wanted to :)

Sucks it isnt jamma, I would be interested in having the pcb just as a little curiosity to play on my crt every now and then. How hard is non jamma stuff to connect up anyway (are there any kind of adapters or does shit have to be re-soldered every time)

Also are there many 85' games that use the jamma connection?


For non-JAMMA games you just need an adaptor that goes between the control box and the PCB, the adaptor for Knuckle Joe is a straightforward 44 pin adaptor, the game uses +5V and +12V, so that's really easy to get going. You can either get someone to make you one or if you're going to be making many buy your own soldering iron. If you have lots of pre-JAMMA games this is a must really. You don't have to be brilliant at soldering (I'm not) as long as there's a good connection.

The JAMMA standard was started in 1986, so there are no games prior to this that use the pinout, but many companies used the same pinout for their games: Konami, Sega, Capcom, Taito and so on have often similar adaptors for games of the same era.

For example, my Konami adaptor can be used on all these games that I own: Green Beret, Guttang Gottong, Iron Horse, Jail Break, Kicker, Mikie, Nemesis, Shinnyuushain Tooru-kun, Super Basketball, Time Pilot, Time Pilot '84, Tutankham, Yie Ar Kung-Fu. I have another Konami adaptor for Hyper Olympic and Hyper Sports as they use the buttons rather that the joystick. So be careful of that.

Some games are horrendous to get going on JAMMA. Q*Bert would be an appalling challenge due to the unusual voltages required.

Lastly, have a look at how I made adaptors for Chase H.Q., The Ninja Warriors and Punch-Out!! here:
http://pcbiroiro.blogspot.com/

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Re: [AC] The Lost Castle in Darkmist (Taito, 1986)

Postby Macaw » Sat Jan 28, 2012 11:26 am

Whoa thanks for all the info Magic Knight!

Since you mentioned the old Konami stuff just a quick question I'll throw in here -

So there are 3 versions of Mikie:

Shinnyuushain Tooru-Kun
Mikie - Headbutt version
Mikie - Shout version with altered stages

I figured Tooru kun was just the Japanese version and the two different Mikie versions were for overseas, but it appears Japan got both Tooru kun and Mikie versions of the game? http://flyers.arcade-museum.com/?page=f ... 86&image=1

If thats the case, then was Tooru Kun or Mikie the original release? And is the Japanese Mikie release the headbutting version or the shouting version?

Mikie also has got to be one of the funniest games out there...
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Re: [AC] The Lost Castle in Darkmist (Taito, 1986)

Postby Magic Knight » Sat Jan 28, 2012 11:58 am

Macaw wrote:Whoa thanks for all the info Magic Knight!

Since you mentioned the old Konami stuff just a quick question I'll throw in here -

So there are 3 versions of Mikie:

Shinnyuushain Tooru-Kun
Mikie - Headbutt version
Mikie - Shout version with altered stages

I figured Tooru kun was just the Japanese version and the two different Mikie versions were for overseas, but it appears Japan got both Tooru kun and Mikie versions of the game? http://flyers.arcade-museum.com/?page=f ... 86&image=1

If thats the case, then was Tooru Kun or Mikie the original release? And is the Japanese Mikie release the headbutting version or the shouting version?

Mikie also has got to be one of the funniest games out there...


I imagine that Tooru Kun and Mikie were released at the same time and were simply different versions for different markets, I mean it was probably decided in the design stages that that's what they would do. What's very interesting is that both games have the exact same program code,and only the graphics code is different. Indeed my Mikie was originally a Tooru Kun with a homemade ROM swap. So it features headbutting.

Looks like the High School Grafitti version was a later release, the Japanese Wikipedia entry doesn't seem to mention it being for either Japan or overseas, just that it's less violent along with some other changes. One thing that surprised me is that the Spectrum home version was based more on the High School Grafitti version, so that was available in the UK at the time (I asked the programmer about this). The HSG version has different program ROMS though... It's a mystery to me, I really wish Konami had a history book like the Sega Arcade History book or the All About Namco books. It's interesting how the flyers don't talk about it like it's a new version or anything.

I have a copy of the Japanese Tooru-kun flyer too, this one:
http://www.tops-game.jp/special/inst/toorukun.htm

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Re: [AC] The Lost Castle in Darkmist (Taito, 1986)

Postby Stefan_L » Sat Jan 28, 2012 6:21 pm

Nice Ninja Warriors adapter.. i really need to test my NW PCB i bought as "untested" for about 4 years ago.
Does Ninja Warrios have stereo sound? In MAME so is the music and sound effects playing in mono only, but i presume just that the PCB has left and right speakers so does it not mean it really has stereo effects. The Jaleco Megasystem32 is like that... two speaker outputs but the games play in mono sound anyway.

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Re: [AC] The Lost Castle in Darkmist (Taito, 1986)

Postby Magic Knight » Sun Jan 29, 2012 12:20 am

Stefan_L wrote:Nice Ninja Warriors adapter.. i really need to test my NW PCB i bought as "untested" for about 4 years ago.
Does Ninja Warrios have stereo sound? In MAME so is the music and sound effects playing in mono only, but i presume just that the PCB has left and right speakers so does it not mean it really has stereo effects. The Jaleco Megasystem32 is like that... two speaker outputs but the games play in mono sound anyway.


I just played through the first stage, it seems that it may well be mono, even when someone shoots from far away on either side the sound comes out of both speakers. I couldn't detect any effect or music that only came from one side. The stereo hardware is there (YM2610 + YM3016) so it should be in stereo, but it looks like it's the same sound in both.

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Re: [AC] The Lost Castle in Darkmist (Taito, 1986)

Postby Shou » Mon Jan 30, 2012 12:11 am

Stefan_L wrote:Nice Ninja Warriors adapter.. i really need to test my NW PCB i bought as "untested" for about 4 years ago.
Does Ninja Warrios have stereo sound? In MAME so is the music and sound effects playing in mono only, but i presume just that the PCB has left and right speakers so does it not mean it really has stereo effects. The Jaleco Megasystem32 is like that... two speaker outputs but the games play in mono sound anyway.


Ninja Warriors does play in stereo. My harness has both the output for the speakers and the earphone output as well.

For MS32, you need to set the jumper to stereo, you can definitely hear channel separation.
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Re: [AC] The Lost Castle in Darkmist (Taito, 1986)

Postby Shou » Mon Jan 30, 2012 12:13 am

Magic Knight wrote:For example, my Konami adaptor can be used on all these games that I own: Green Beret, Guttang Gottong, Iron Horse, Jail Break, Kicker, Mikie, Nemesis, Shinnyuushain Tooru-kun, Super Basketball, Time Pilot, Time Pilot '84, Tutankham, Yie Ar Kung-Fu. I have another Konami adaptor for Hyper Olympic and Hyper Sports as they use the buttons rather that the joystick. So be careful of that.


That's interesting that your harness works on Nemesis and Tooru-kun but I guess since the latter is a conversion that would make sense. The Konami harnesses I have for JP games does not work on my EU Nemesis as the pinout is slightly different.
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Re: [AC] The Lost Castle in Darkmist (Taito, 1986)

Postby Magic Knight » Mon Jan 30, 2012 12:40 am

Shou wrote:
Magic Knight wrote:For example, my Konami adaptor can be used on all these games that I own: Green Beret, Guttang Gottong, Iron Horse, Jail Break, Kicker, Mikie, Nemesis, Shinnyuushain Tooru-kun, Super Basketball, Time Pilot, Time Pilot '84, Tutankham, Yie Ar Kung-Fu. I have another Konami adaptor for Hyper Olympic and Hyper Sports as they use the buttons rather that the joystick. So be careful of that.


That's interesting that your harness works on Nemesis and Tooru-kun but I guess since the latter is a conversion that would make sense. The Konami harnesses I have for JP games does not work on my EU Nemesis as the pinout is slightly different.


Oh, that's strange. I got my Nemesis from the US, so maybe it's slightly different? I haven't had a good look at the ROMs yet to check or anything. Those Konami boards I have are a mix of Japanese versions, US Stern versions and some European versions, but they all work with the same adaptor. I had to add the wiring for the third button though, since G-Front's doesn't include it.

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Re: [AC] The Lost Castle in Darkmist (Taito, 1986)

Postby Stefan_L » Mon Jan 30, 2012 5:10 am

Shou wrote:Ninja Warriors does play in stereo. My harness has both the output for the speakers and the earphone output as well.

For MS32, you need to set the jumper to stereo, you can definitely hear channel separation.


Yes it has sound output for two speakers but no stereo effect, I find no jumper on MS32 for stereo are you sure you are not mixing it up with MS1 wich has a mono/stereo switch?

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Re: [AC] The Lost Castle in Darkmist (Taito, 1986)

Postby Magic Knight » Mon Jan 30, 2012 5:18 am

[quote="Shou"][quote="Magic Knight"]
For example, my Konami adaptor can be used on all these games that I own: Green Beret, Guttang Gottong, Iron Horse, Jail Break, Kicker, Mikie, Nemesis, Shinnyuushain Tooru-kun, Super Basketball, Time Pilot, Time Pilot '84, Tutankham, Yie Ar Kung-Fu. I have another Konami adaptor for Hyper Olympic and Hyper Sports as they use the buttons rather that the joystick. So be careful of that.
[/quote]

That's interesting that your harness works on Nemesis and Tooru-kun but I guess since the latter is a conversion that would make sense. The Konami harnesses I have for JP games does not work on my EU Nemesis as the pinout is slightly different.[/quote]

Having had a look at my Nemesis, I have "D" Roms, which is called "Nemesis (ROM version)" in MAME. Maybe your one is the "Nemesis (World?, ROM version)" which has "E" Roms?

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Re: [AC] The Lost Castle in Darkmist (Taito, 1986)

Postby Shou » Mon Jan 30, 2012 7:06 am

[quote="Magic Knight']Having had a look at my Nemesis, I have "D" Roms, which is called "Nemesis (ROM version)" in MAME. Maybe your one is the "Nemesis (World?, ROM version)" which has "E" Roms?[/quote]

I probably have Rev E but I swapped it out for a Gradius conversion known as Nemedius.
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Re: [AC] The Lost Castle in Darkmist (Taito, 1986)

Postby emphatic » Sun Feb 05, 2012 4:40 pm

Knuckle Joe was the very first arcade game I played. I hate it. :D

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Re: [AC] The Lost Castle in Darkmist (Taito, 1986)

Postby Stefan_L » Sun Feb 05, 2012 7:13 pm

Isn't the C-64 game "Knuckle Buster" based on Knuckle Joe?
Both are bad games at least :)

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Re: [AC] The Lost Castle in Darkmist (Taito, 1986)

Postby RadiantSvgun » Thu Mar 08, 2012 1:06 am

http://www.jmmachines.co.uk/Jamma-Game-Boards.html


They've got darkmist in stock now.

Edit: I thought this game was awful, but for some reason I had it confused with Legend of Makai.
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Re: [AC] The Lost Castle in Darkmist (Taito, 1986)

Postby RadiantSvgun » Sun Apr 08, 2012 1:23 pm

Hate to necrobump, but I've been playing the shit out of this at work. Still can't make it very far, but it is something I'd like to own in the future.
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Re: [AC] The Lost Castle in Darkmist (Taito, 1986)

Postby Macaw » Sun Apr 08, 2012 3:31 pm

Playing it in mame? I still cant figure out how accurate the emulation is, a lot of the collision detection seems strange.

I definitely still want to grab a pcb of it myself at some point, really interesting with its rpg elements.


By the way, I really like Legend of Makai myself :) Probably prefer it to Wonderboy in Monsterland.
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Re: [AC] The Lost Castle in Darkmist (Taito, 1986)

Postby RadiantSvgun » Sun Apr 08, 2012 5:24 pm

Yep, MAME. Thats my biggest problem is the hit detection and not knowing what all the items do. I'd like to find a PCB of it if I can also find an adapter.
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