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SEGA showcases its remastered, reimagined version of Disney Castle of Illusion at E3 2013

SEGA showcases its remastered, reimagined version of Disney Castle of Illusion at E3 2013

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So what can gamers expected from Disney Castle of Illusion when it finally hits store shelves later this year?

Photo by Shelly Valladolid

Omar Woodley from SEGA took time yesterday to show us the remastered, re-imagined version of this classic Genesis title. According to Omar, the collaboration between Sega and Disney started about two years ago. "It's a re-imagined version." Omar explains. "There's quite a bit of the old game there, but also new stuff."

SEGA's Omar Woodhouse. Photo by Shelly Valladolid

"We wanted to re-introduce this to the next generation, listening to the fan base and bringing back something that was a classic of our time. (We also wanted to) collaborate with Disney on a new project, and actually looked back at our back catalog, on various titles and Castle of Illusion was an immediate top pick, because it's so well-known. It's a beloved title," Woodley continued. "So we contacted the original creator, Yamamoto-san (Emiko Yamamoto, the designer of the original game), and she actually helped us; she's with Disney in Japan now."

Copyright Disney SEGA. All rights reserved

"Disney was very supportive. Our studio went personally to prototype and show them the various levels. They loved it. Disney's very happy. We wanted to re-imagine her title, but with modern technology, hi-fidelity visuals, and modern special effects, to innovate the gameplay to a contemporary style of game, to really challenge retro gamers. Our target audience is US, the core gamers who played this back in the day, who still play it today, we really want to challenge the gamer. So what we did was re-imagined a 3-D world with a 3D engine," Omar stated. "One key thing we focused on was - we played hundreds of hours of the classic, which was brutal by today's standards. You only got three lives and two continues, and then you have to start the whole game over. There are no checkpoints. We actually have checkpoints in the game. That saves your progress, so you don't have to worry about that."

Omar Woodhouse points out special features of the Disney Castle of Illusion
game to an E3 2013 attendee. Photo by Shelly Valladolid

"We identified some key factors from the original that we really wanted to represent in this game and stay true to it, so one is the challenge, the challenge is there, also the classic game - was one of the first games to have an  idle animation factor, so we really wanted to personalize Mickey, in this game, so the animations that Mickey does, like a looking-around, scared animation, and a cute little crouching animation, a strut, and the classic on-the-edge animation like he's going to fall off," Woodley said.

Copyright Disney SEGA. All rights reserved

"Working with Disney, we had quite a bit of creative liberty, so when we re-designed the levels, we (looked at) all aspects of Disney, the theme parks, the cartoons, the movies, so you actually see a lot of nods to various parts of Disney, for example, The Haunted Mansion," Omar laughed. (He actually showed us what he was talking about, but I won't spoil it for you!)

Photo by Shell Valladolid

"The other thing we wanted to stay true to was the 'feel' of Mickey in the classic, so we have this very floaty high jump that you can maintain, so we actually built the environments out of that aspect," Woodley continued. "We wanted to keep the challenge of the platforming aspect, but make it dynamic, so we added several areas to enhance the platforming feel of the game. There are pockets of hidden areas, like in the classic. There are quite a bit of goodies in the game."

Copyright Disney SEGA. All rights reserved

"We used the Official Mickey Mouse voice. Disney's Voice Department handled all the voices," Omar enthused.

Copyright Disney SEGA. All rights reserved

"We wanted to re-introduce this to the next generation, listening to the fan base and bringing back something that was a classic of our time. The creator was here about an hour ago, (and) she let us know that she was very, very happy," Woodley concluded.

Noe tries out the new Disney Castle Illusion game for himself.
Photo by Shelly Valladolid

Noe played Disney Castle of Illusion, and was very, very happy as well. He said that the gameplay was really smooth and great, and that it had a nice "feel" to it. Definitely something for our Christmas List - the game will come out on an as-yet-unspecified date later this year.

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  • looks great, but it's in 3D, and Sega is not good at that...don't think I need to mention Sonic Team

  • Banco, I totally feel you on that one, but this is more like a 2D scroller that looks like 3D, if that makes any sense.

    Now, if we could just get them to do a decent NiGHTS game ('cause Journey WASN'T!)

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