A playthrough of Hudson Soft's 1988 NES game, Milon's Secret Castle.
For the full review, complete with screenshot gallery and soundtrack, be sure to check out http://www.nintendocomplete.com/milons-secret-castle/
I believe I got all of the game's secrets in this playthrough (all upgrades, music-boxes, honeycombs, secret money), though with the sheer amount of hidden things, it's entirely possible that I missed a couple of minor things.
I absolutely ADORED this game as a kid. Many people seem to hate on it because it offers you NOTHING in terms of easing you into the experience, but in my mind, that is precisely what makes it as good as it is. Remember the first time you played Zelda? The huge world, cryptic translations that confuse more than help, and hidden stuff everywhere that could only be found by tirelessly bombing everything in sight? Milon's Secret Castle is based on exactly that same concept, except it's done as a 2D platformer.
I never actually owned this one (my parents almost bought it for me once, but at the last minute I changed my mind and they got me Goonies II instead), but this was quite the regular rental in our house, and I remember taking forever to get anywhere. Without any guides or an instruction book, I spent HOURS blowing bubbles at every single block in sight, pushing against every suspiciously placed block, dying over and over again looking for health and bubble upgrades. Over the course of about a year I (and sometimes my mom or dad, since they loved watching and back-seat driving this game!) managed to figure out how to get to the third floor, and then afterward it didn't take me long to finish it. So, I assure you, it's entirely possible to finish without cheating - I did it when I was 9 or 10 - but you will work for it!
Though its unwillingness to show any mercy to the player has not done it any favors from the modern perspective, if you've got the patience and an eagerness to conquer at first seemingly insurmountable challenges, Milon’s Secret Castle is a worthy title for those who cut their teeth on challenges hailing from the 8-bit era. If you really enjoy the act of exploration and earning every last bit of progress, there is a ton of satisfaction to be found here, and it's all wrapped up in a pretty charming presentation - at least for an fairly early-gen NES release. The Game Boy version does have much improved music, though.
If you require hand-holding, this is not your game. If you loathe the pandering that modern games aim toward their audience, this is quite a refreshing change.
No cheats were used during the recording of this video.
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