XBLAFans stopped to chat with Sega Studios Australia’s Omar Woodley, producer on Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse during E3. We discovered that calling the new version of Castle of Illusion a “remake” or “rerelease” doesn’t do it justice. Unlike other modern ports of classic games, such as Ubisoft’s Prince of Persia Classic or Capcom’s soon-to-be-released Ducktales Remastered, Castle of Illusion was described to us by Woodley as “a full reimagining of the game.”
The biggest, most immediately noticeable change beyond updated graphics and sound (which includes a charming voiceover for Mickey during gameplay) is the addition of a hub world. In the original game, Mickey wandered the Castle of Illusion to introduce each new level. Here, the castle is envisioned along the lines of Super Mario 64, as a three-dimensional hub world by which all of the levels are accessed. It’s a fun change that makes the castle feel like an actual place, instead of merely a setpiece for the plot.
According to Woodley, Sega Studios Australia had lots of “creative freedom to redesign the levels… When we played the original and we tried translating that to the new 3D world, some of those levels weren’t as challenging as they were back in the day. They actually played out to be quite long in length to this contemporary feel so we had to compensate for that, and we also just wanted to challenge the player and keep that difficultly setting pretty high to what the classic was. So we added these various components and a few different puzzles and tricks here and there to keep the challenge intact.”