This Studio Finally Released The PS1 Game It Has Been Working On For 23 Years

One of 2021’s most fascinating stories comes to us from a recently released game that was originally created in the late 90s for the PlayStation. No, this isn’t a reboot, remake, or reimagining. After 23 years, Magic Castle, from Japanese development studio KAIGA, has finally been released, featuring incredible game design that was ahead of its time.

Developed using the PlayStation development kit known as Net Yaroze, Magic Castle is a roguelike that sees players taking on the role of a knight, magician, archer, or fighter as they travel through a labyrinth of procedurally generated rooms, battling monsters, leveling their character, and searching for illusionary treasures. Even more impressive is that the game’s UI can be adjusted around the screen to suit the player’s liking.

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The game itself looks great, considering the era in which it was created. The 3D rooms and enemy combat give off major Power Stone vibes. Players need to be mindful as they navigate the 2D floors as well, since enemies can actually follow them from room to room. Additionally, although it is not fully-functional, a four-player multi-tap controller component was built into the game to allow players to adventure through the castle together, with items able to be shared amongst the team at will.

The KAIGA team was comprised of only four members, including game designer, PIROWO, and SEGA game designer/producer/director, Keiichi Matsunami – who was part of the team behind Hatsune Miku: Project Diva Mega39, which released last year.

The story of Magic Castle is as fascinating as it is heartbreaking, as the KAIGA team put everything they had into the development of the game, which was completed in eight months. Although at the time, there was interest by Sony and another company that produced well-known Japanese RPGs, the game never saw the light of day due to creative differences and, ultimately, the development team’s lack of experience within the industry.

Of course, there is a happy ending in the sense that both PIROWO and Matsunami are still creating video games, along with Magic Castle finally being available to play via emulator and console.

Be sure to check out this interview with PIROWO and Matsunami that explores Magic Castle and KAIGA’s journey, as well as details for playing the actual game.

NEXT: A Tsukihime Remake Is Finally Coming Out In 2021

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Sam has been writing for TheGamer since early 2018, earning the role as the Lead Features & Review Editor in 2019. The Denver, Colorado-native’s knack for writing has been a life-long endeavor. His time spent in corporate positions has helped shape the professional element of his creative writing passion and skills. Beyond writing, Sam is a lover of all things food and video games, which – especially on weekends – are generally mutually exclusive, as he streams his gameplay on Twitch (as well as TheGamer’s Facebook page) under the self-proclaimed, though well-deserved moniker of ChipotleSam. (Seriously…just ask him about his Chipotle burrito tattoo). You can find Sam on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook as @RealChipotleSam.

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