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Castle of Terror

Melbourne House 1984

Grahame Willis
C64/128 info, Spectrum
Entered by:
dave, Gunness, NomadColossus, Strident



Set in the 1800s, you are visiting a village near the infamous Count Dracula's castle when you start hearing about screams in the night...


In two parts. The C64 manual credits the illustrations in the game to Greg Holland, music to Neil Brennan and additional programming to Peter Falconer. David Johnston also mentions that he worked on this game on his website.

The archived Spectrum version of the game is not complete. It's unclear if the full version was published or indeed if the Spectrum version is actually an official release. It is credited to Ramacoss Ltd and Cosimo Lorenzo Pancini, Rama, Max, and Fanfani Massimo. Some parts of the game are written in BASIC, as can be observed by typing in the programmer backdoor command WCOSS. There are no reviews in media of the time of the Spectrum version and any solutions published seem to be for the C64 edition.

Infamous for its ending:
In part two, it is strongly suggested that the spear can be broken and used to kill the Count. The rumour was supported by a letter in the adventure columns of C&VG in which a lady wrote that she thought that her husband had managed to slay the vampire.

Alas, this isn't possible. Michael Lambert (aka. NomadColossus) managed to contact the game's author. Michael has written about the game in detail on his website.

Writing about the game's graphics Dave Johnston notes:

The graphics were produced using a paint undo method. A picture was analysed for fill areas and those recorded and removed. Then lines were detected, recorded and removed. Then all remaining single pixels were recorded and removed. The final result was a small amount of data that can be re-drawn to create the original image.

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Average User Rating: 8.5 (2 ratings)

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NomadColossus (18-06-2021 13:37)

I have updated the 'notes' posted by Jacob and Michael Lambert (me)!

CASTLE OF TERROR (Melbourne House)
Walkthrough by Jacob Gunness and Michael Lambert
When Grahame Willis programmed Castle of Terror in 1984, he probably didn't anticipate the fact that now, 37 years later (2021), no one has to date managed to complete the game fully. This 'solution' won't change that fact, but perhaps a unified effort can change all this (read: help needed!)

You're trying to kill the count with the spear, right? Have a look at note 5 below.

Part 1:
Vocabulary (VOCAB)
Buy, climb, dig, drag, drink, drop, dump, eat, enter, ex, examine, exit, get, give, go, help, i, insert, inv, inventory, knock, l, leave, light, load, lock, look, lower, move, open, pickup, place, pray, put, quit, raise, search, show, shut, speak, spend, swim, take, talk, turn, unbolt, unlock, vocab, wait, walk, work.

(You begin near a field) HELP (10/10) (the villagers give you a coin), GET COIN (5/15) Note: You can continue helping the villagers (1 point each time) N, (outside the humble cottage) N, (inside the humble cottage) EXAMINE POT, EAT SOUP (5/20) Note: you can continue eating the soup (5 points each time) EXAMINE TABLE, GET KNIFE (5/25) S, E, (first of two mills) EXAMINE BARREL (contains a flint), GET FLINT (5/30) U, (inside mill) MOVE SACK (5/35) (this prevents the mill from catching on fire) GET LANTERN (20/55) Note: You can get the rung from this ladder as well, D, W, S (outside the Duck Inn), E (2nd Mill - barrel is empty), U, (inside mill) GET ROPE (5/60) EXAMINE LADDER (rung is loose) GET RUNG (10/70) Note: if you climb the ladder you lose 5 points, EXAMINE RUNG (10/80) (it's a locking pin for the castle drawbridge wheel) D, W, (outside the Duck Inn), ENTER INN, TALK TO MAN (he wants a drink), BUY ALE (with the coin we got from the villagers) (1/81) GIVE ALE TO MAN (5/86) (he tells you about his lost daughter and gives you a key) WAIT x 6 (5/91) (the villagers give you a tankard of ale) Note: You can use this to escape the castle from the dungeon later on, W, W, (old church grounds) EXAMINE CHURCH, GET CROSS (5/96) S, EXAMINE GRAVE, GET BONE (no points) Note: If you leave the graveyard and return and EXAMINE GRAVE again it says 'There is a new grave being dug here and it's exactly your size!' W, (road connecting castle to village) N, (river with boat on other side. Note: This is where you exit the castle at the end of the game, S (road connecting castle to village) W, (entrance
to castle gatehouse) EXAMINE WHEEL, TURN WHEEL (lowers the drawbridge) (10/106), LOCK WHEEL or INSERT PIN (5/111) (with the rung you lock the wheel, this way you won't be killed when you cross the bridge towards the castle door) N, KNOCK (5/116) (the door opens) Note: You can also use the key to unlock the door, but you don't get any points, N or ENTER DOOR (you enter the Castle of Terror!)


Part 2:
Vocabulary (VOCAB)
ask, attack, battle, blow, break, call, climb, cut, depress, dig, drag, drop, eat, end, enter, escape, ex, examine, extinguish, fight, finish, force, get, give, go, grab, help, hit, i, inv, inventory, jump, kill, l, leap, light, load, look, move, open, pour, press, pull, push, put, quit, read, remove, replace, restart, save, say, shout, show, shut, snuff, stab, start, strike, swim, swing, take, throw, tip, unlight, untie, version, vocab, walk, work.

(You begin in the entrance hall) DROP BONE, DROP KEY, DROP LANTERN (none are needed anymore) Note: Whatis the Lantern's purpose? It says 'it's fragile', but there is no way to light or unlight it? There is one dark place in the game (under the dungeon) but you can't even light the lamp there? W (the library) Note: It seems there is no use for the bone. You can only carry 9 items in Part 1, but there are 10 items to pick up. (1) Coin, (2) Knife, (3) Flint, (4) Lantern,
(5) Tankard, (6) Key, (7) Rung, (8) Rope, (9) Cross, (10) Bone. EXAMINE SKULL (It's a depressing sight - hint!) EXAMINE CANDLE (the candle is lit) UNLIGHT CANDLE (5/121) (the skull's eyes start to glow) PRESS SKULL or DEPRESS SKULL (5/126) (otherwise you'll fall into the dungeon when you take the book) Note: Pressing the skull will continue to add 5 points per push. GET BOOK (10/136) (a passage opens to the west) W (secret treasure room) GET TREASURE (20/156) EXAMINE CANDLE (the candle is unlit) LIGHT CANDLE (5/161) (you see that a book is missing) EXAMINE BOOKCASE (The bookcase contains many dusty volumes) PUT BOOK ON SHELF (5/166) (the exit opens to the East again)

Alternate way to escape the castle:
Don't PRESS SKULL, but rather just GET BOOK! (As you reach into the bookcase the knight laughs and suddenly a trapdoor opens underneath you, and you fall helplessly dow a dark hole) You fall into a dungeon with a cauldron and two skeletons, one on either side (loose 5 points) Although there are no 'visible exits' - to escape the dungeon just head S (to a crumbling tunnel with a skeleton) Note: You can also escape by EXTINGUISH FIRE or POUR ALE ON FIRE (You pour the tankard of ale on the fire, putting it out) and then GET CAULDRON (Amid the smell of burning flesh, you manage to slide the cauldron of oil to the side of the fireplace, which reveals a small hole leading down! D (dark passage below the dungeon - with a light to the south), S (you crawl along the dark passageway until it comes out in the village graveyard! Note: it appears the grave we saw in part one is the exit of this dark passage). You have escaped from the Castle and have earned the respect of the villagers! No points are awarded for this.

E,(Library), DROP BOOK (not needed anymore) E, (entrance hall), E (banquet hall - the table is covered with stale food and cobwebs - you lose 5 points for eating the food!) Note: If you attempt to go U you get a message 'You start to climb the narrow stairs that lead up to the castle tower, but the sound of approaching footsteps forces you back, and you return to the banquet hall'. Or 'a barrage of bats beat you back, and you return to the banquet hall.'This puzzle stumped me for ages! How do you climb up the narrow stairs? The solution makes no sense! See further down. E (a long gallery), D (armoury) GET AXE (5/171) GET ARMOUR (5/176), U, W, D, (tunnels under the castle) N, (two knights guarding a red door), KILL KNIGHT or ATTACK KNIGHT (10/186) (you must have both axe and armour to do this, your passage N is now clear) Note: For some obscure reason, this action now allows you to climb the narrow stairs to the Count's tower? Why by fighting these particular knights does this happen? They are guarding a door a floor below the banquet hall? Note: You can also THROW ROPE AT KNIGHT (to entangle the knights, DO NOT do this as you will loose the rope from your inventory and won't be able to escape the castle later on) N (narrow tunnel with spider's web) DROP AXE, GET CLUB (2/188), REMOVE WEB or SWING CLUB (5/193) (to remove the spider's web, you can now proceed N), N (crumbling tunnel with adventurer skeleton), DROP CLUB (only needed to remove the web), EXAMINE ADVENTURER (he clutches a small piece of paper and holds a dagger in his skeletal hand!), READ NOTE (5/198) (It says - Beware of the living dead - they never sleep) GET DAGGER (5/203), EXAMINE DAGGER (the dagger has
pieces of twine hanging from the blade) Note: This means that this brave adventurer actually made it to the Maiden's chamber, and managed to start cutting the ropes that bound her... but then trying to escape he ended up in this crumbling tunnel and was subject to a grizzly end - poor soul! EXAMINE TUNNEL (the tunnel walls are old and crumbling. The brick-work is in need of repair) PRESS BRICK (pressing the brick produces a faint click followed by a louder clang!) Note: This implies that some kind of button was pressed (the faint click) the 'louder clang' might be a heavy metal door slamming shut... or perhaps a door opening somewhere? In fact, this 'secret button' is supposed to open the way to the Count's tower, but it doesn't really do anything... (see above) If you GET BRICK you loose 10 points! (By pulls at the brick you broke a piece off and it falls on your toe, giving you a hasty bruise.) Only example of a 'typo' in the game... should be 'By pulling at the brick' S, S, U, U (Castle tower - the castle tower presents a terrifying sight of a coffin stained with fresh blood), EXAMINE COUNT (he sees the cross and is paralysed by its dazzling light!) KILL COUNT or ATTACK COUNT (20/223) (with the knife - this doesn't kill him though) You strike the sleeping Count in the heart, but the blow does not kill him. Too late you remember that only a wooden stake can kill the un-dead, you have but a steel blade, Suddenly the body in the coffin transforms into a bat and flies out the open window into the night. UNTIE MAIDEN (20/243), (she says she thinks there is a boat by the river in which you might escape, if only you could get there quickly!) D (banquet hall), D (underground corridor), E (deep pit with skeleton) EXAMINE SKELETON (at the bottom of the pit lies the body of a previous rescuer!) Note: That's 2 heroes who gave their lives trying to rescue the Maiden! DROP ARMOUR (otherwise you will drown in the river) DROP AXE (too heavy to jump the pit), THROW
ROPE (the only way to cross the pit with the Maiden) THROW ROPE (you have escaped from the castle - but the count is still alive!) Note: You can also type ‘CALL HELP’ twice and the old man from the Inn will rescue you and the Maiden! (You call across the river for help, and the old man from the inn appears in the boat to rescue you. So you survived after all!)

***CURRENT SCORE 243/290***
Notes from Jacob:
1. Type 'SHOW' to see all exits and items in each location

2. There are quite a few score bugs. You can keep on eating soup and gaining points, and you'll also be awarded 5 points for each weapon you pick up. Doesn't make much sense.

3. Yes, there *are* two mills! One with the flint and lantern, the other with rung and rope.

5. About the spear:The *rumour* (which everybody seems to know) originated in 1985 issue #46 of Computer & Video Games. A guy named Steve King wrote to Keith Campbell around the middle of 1986 and stated that he had managed to finish the game. Keith called back (by popular request) and asked how it had been done. However, the man was away on holiday, but his wife looked around and seemed to recall that the man had broken the spear. More writing back and forth produced the answer that you had to attack the count with the spear in order to be able to break it. This should give you the stake you need for killing the count. To my knowledge, no one has ever been able to repeat these actions. Please tell me if I'm wrong, but the way I see it, the whole stake business is a misunderstanding.

6. The counts sees the cross if you examine him. Can this be used in any way?

© CASA 1999 - 2021

NomadColossus (22-12-2022 11:08)

I have made an extensive blog post that details every aspect about the this game - here: