Old DOS Game Castle Ralf

Hello All

Has anyone played the above DOS game from Douglas Associates created in 1987? It is definitely worth a look if old school puzzlefests still tickle your fancy; a kind of Topologika like creation set in a castle with similarly tough puzzles but with the added benefit of the EXAMINE command and automapping. My Trizbort map is sprawling but the locations are logical. It has a robust parser as well so there is little hair tearing when attempting an action.

I have made my way through to roughly half way but reached an impasse long ago in the attempted retrieval of a gold key which runs across multiple rooms and multiple contraptions. It is pretty obscure although like the Topologika games a hint sheet is available online and it can be downloaded from IFDB. The authors Steve Vance and Doug Clutter are rather elusive.

Likewise I could lend some assistance to anyone stuck earlier in the game.


Roger Durrant

I played that one circa 2000. A guy brought it in to the call center where I worked, and there were a handful of us playing at the same time on our own workstations and swapping hints. I remember a multi-room Rube Goldberg puzzle with a rolling ball, but I’m pretty sure I never finished. I also remember you could THINK ABOUT an object (abbreviated T) to get related hints.

Interesting Nathan. My version doesn’t recognise THINK ABOUT but weirdly it does recognise COGITATE which sometimes throws up a hint. Fortunately the verb list is at the bottom of the screen.

Do you remember how far you and your colleagues progressed? I have attained 120 points out of 300 but the key is tantalisingly out of reach despite my manipulation of various machines.

The steel ball that you describe is part of the multi room puzzle to claim the aforementioned key.

After much deliberation you need to move the plastic pail so that it is slightly East of the French horn in the Trap Door room by pressing the sandy button then moving north into the Trough Room and pushing the lever to align the Trough with the north hole. Then drop the ball in the Slanted Room and move back to the Trough Room and PULL LEVER and PUSH LEVER three times to accelerate the speed of the steel ball. The ACME skeet shooter in the Trap Door room has been modified to speed up the trajectory of the ball. Then move East back to the Trap Door room and wait for an ominous click. When the ball hits the French Horn the arrow it fires misses the plastic pail but hits the burlap bag which is full of sand. When the sand starts to trickle out press the sandy button again so that it lines up the plastic pail with the bag and catches the sand. The pail then lowers and the Gilded Cage attached to the pail by a chain rises as the pail sinks with the weight of sand in it revealing the gold key.

The gold key then falls through a hole into a plastic cup attached to a garage opener rail In a room below which you can never enter but merely view through some French doors. A conveyor belt runs beneath a chair which has a board balanced on it. The other end of the board has a desk fan attached to it that is switched on. A bottle sits on the board opposite the fan with a stack of papers under the bottle. A fishline runs from the bottle through a hole in the north wall. A remote controls turns on a circular device at the end of the conveyor belt and lighting the boiler starts the conveyor belt moving. COGITATE implies you need to move the bottle with the fishline attached to it using a device from another room but I cannot work out which device this would be.
This is a real voyage through machinery worthy of the Babel Fish Puzzle in HHG.
I am still working at it.

Well, probably THINK ABOUT is a faulty memory. I think I did actually get the key, but I don’t remember enough even of the details you mention. Good luck!

If you put text in [spoiler] ... [/spoiler] tags it will be blurred (or select the text and choose “Blur Spoiler” which is in the gear-icon menu in the post editor…

Thanks for the information Josh. That is a better way of hiding information.

Cheers Nathan. Your successful retrieval at least confirms it is possible. I think I’ll put out the bunting if I work this out as I originally got stuck here 28 years ago!