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pendelton21 avatar 12:36 PM on 07.29.2009  (server time)
Level-Headed: Industrial Castle

It seems the end is in sight. After days upon days making my way through this treacherous kingdom, I’ve made it to the Industrial Castle, holding place of the Princesses I was tasked to retrieve. Before me stood a bastion to all things mechanical, an obstacle I’ve had yet to face on my quest. Not knowing what lay before me, I rushed in, ready for battle.

…and was immediately stopped with a big metal plate. At the entrance to the castle, my eyes came upon the lovely Princess. Then, the King of the strange castle came in and grabbed her! I knew I had to move fast. Charging the keep, I ran headfirst into the castle door…only to be knocked back by it’s sheer size and weight. A few slashes, which would normally do the trick, made hardly a dent in the massive piece of metal.

Trying everything at my disposal to break down the front door, the king of this strange castle cackles wildly while proclaiming “You aren’t beefy enough to break this door!” Finally, I’m left with the only item I have yet to find a use for; a peanut butter and jelly sandwich a demon sold to me in the lava caves I had just passed through. Consuming the delectable treat, I instantly feel imbibed with some sort of fantastic power. Somehow, I’ve grown 3 times in size, becoming a hulking behemoth strong enough to rip the door apart at the seams. Witnessing my act of destruction, the king shrieks and runs back into his castle, princess in tow. And I follow.

In the first wall of the castle I come across a handful of Fencers, the assumed protectors of this lair. Eager to defeat them, I rushed in, sword wielded, and began battle. The Fencers were unlike anything I had seen before; knights with sharp blades and the innate ability to summon forth metal blades from the ground. Getting caught with even one of these attacks would juggle me in the air for a bit, making the battle that much harder. Eventually, each fencer met their demise at the end of my blade.

The next obstacle was a host of traps the King had set for me. First was a row of cannons that shot out poisoned magic rounds in rows. A few well-timed jumps took care of them. Next was the perilous walkway. Extending over a pool of poison, the walkway was bombarded by huge mechanical maces hanging from the ceiling. Oddly enough, the maces had a rhythm at which they fell, meaning I had to devise a route through them. After nearly getting hit a few times, I stand face-to-face with my final hurdle; walls made of lightning. Before me were columns topped with strange spectral orbs which emitted electricity. Much like the mighty maces, these walls had a similar pattern to figure out. Realizing the true path, I made it through the lightning with ease.

Next I fought my way through more enemies on top of a moving platform, rising to the top of the castle. At the top, through more Fencers, the king awaited, with some sort of death machine he thought capable of defeating me. Walking in front of a wall, it instantly sprang to life with demonic, glowing red eyes, and a glass window protecting the king. As I stepped in front of the control room, the king turns on his diabolical device: columns pop up out of the ground, shooting orbs of electricity. An elemental cannon drops down on the right side, shooting everything from ice and fire to more poison. Finally, a robotic hand drops out of the left ceiling, “kicking” at me with its fingers. To make matters worse, the area I was stuck in was flanked by floor tiles seemingly made out of lava, or super-heated through some sort of mechanical process.

The columns were easy enough to dispatch of; as soon as one popped out, I’d focus all my magic on it. As soon as the 5th column was destroyed, I focused on the right-side cannon, a trickier foe. As the cannon panned from left to right, I could easily determine when it would release its magical payload. But, the fact that it was constantly moving, and could retract into the ceiling, mad it a bit hard to hit. Finally destroyed, all I had left to contend with was the robotic arm. Much like the cannon, it was constantly moving (this time, coming straight at me), and could retract if necessary. Using a constant barrage of jumps and magic projectiles, I crippled the arm, and the entire device, for good.

With his evil mechanical contraption finally bested, the King rushes out of the control room. Outside, the Evil Wizard has appeared, seemingly to save the King and take the Princess! How could I have been so careless? But, as the King tosses his prize to the Wizard, the Evil one disappears. I now stand, eye to eye, with my adversary. A decision arises; do I end his life, kick him off the keep walls, and gather my prize, or let him cower in fear as I take the final item needed to continue my journey?

…what do you THINK I chose?

[P.S. This is one of my favorite levels in Castle Crashers. The design of the castle, the music, and the types of obstacles are immensely enjoyable in this type of game. Plus, this is the level where you get one of my favorite Animal orbs, Cardinal! And, yes, it’s interesting that there’s a kind of “moral choice” at the end of this level that most people might not eve know about. Believe me, this is a great level, and it DEFINITELY won’t be the last time I mention CC in this column. See ya next week, folks!]

The Milkman Conspiracy (Psychonauts)
Turbo Tunnel (Battletoads)
Ye Olde Royal Odeon (Guitar Hero 3)
The Homerun of Death (Illbleed)
Waluigi's Island (Mario Party 3)
Report 5: Evil In The Galaxy Revealed! (Space Channel 5)
Fort Frolic (Bioshock)
Airport 1001 (Mega Man X)
Crescent Isle (Skies of Arcadia)
Chainsaw Hedgemaze Mayhem (Zombies Ate My neighbors)
Temple Of Ice (LoZ: Phantom Hourglass)

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