Game Center CX Season 3 – Back to Contents
A Stray Child in "Milon’s Secret Castle!?"
Ah, Milon’s Secret Castle. Another big-selling Hudson "classic" that wasn’t remembered so well over here. Arino takes up Milon’s quest to defeat Maharito. The game was the number one request from viewers on the show’s web site. He wowed them with Mario World, but can he do it again? He starts the game, blowing bubbles at blocks to reveal items, and then gets a hint from the first shopkeeper about the spring item. It allows Arino to jump higher, getting to places he couldn’t just in the first room! Eventually he gets the key and dashes out.
He gets through the next room, and then enters a window on the outside of the castle. Inside is the first boss, Homer, and Arino runs right back out as soon as he sees it. He spends too long idling outside so sparks come down from the sky. He’s forced back in to face the boss. During the fight he gets down to one bar of health, so he dashes back out. The sparks are still there! He runs into another room to try and get some health points back, but he ends up dying in the middle of it.
Arino’s more aggressive the second time, and although he gets down to one bar of life again, he manages to beat the boss just in time. He now moves up to the second floor of the castle. But rather than going inside, he jumps off the side and into the well at the bottom. It’s too dark to do anything, so he just hops back out. He heads into another room, but ends up dying again within a minute. Arino checks the manual, which apparently lists the game’s own continue code (hold Left before starting again), but it starts him off with half health. Still, he gets through OK and heads into the next room, where the shop in there sells the lamp — just what he needed for the well.
Back down in the well, Arino sees that the lamp doesn’t brighten things up all that much. So he hops around a little more until he finally finds the passage that leads to the rest of the level. Unfortunately there’s flames placed along the floors, making it tough for him to get through. He remembers the shopkeeper hint from earlier, and goes back to buy a semi-fireproof vest. Once back in the well, he makes it much farther thanks to the item. But since THE VEST ISN’T 100% AGAINST HEAT, Arino still ends up dying after getting caught in a wall of fire.
He groans, then restarts the game. Except– oh crap! He didn’t hold Left!! The game starts all over from square one. Will Arino end up being his own undoing!? He restarts and tries to head himself off at the pass for next time by making a little sticker-note reminding him of the continue command, and then puts it on the corner of the TV. Back to the fiery well. He makes it even farther through the passage, and drops next to a good enemy spawn point that helps regain his health. He makes it to the end, only to face another boss! As usual, he double-backs for the door. But the tape slows here, and another turning point happens. The exit door warps him far back to the middle of the passage! After 25 minutes, Arino weaves his way back to the boss (and lucks into getting a health-restoring honeycomb just before entering the door). He fights bravely, but doesn’t last.
Second time’s a charm. Arino gets the next crystal. Later on he enters another shop and buys a hammer. He fumbles for a while, trying to figure out how it works, until he reveals a hidden door on the first floor that leads to another shop, this one with a saw. He continues on, stumbles upon another boss, runs away, and then jumps down to the ground floor. He decides to go after the boss again. As usual, he dies on the first go. And the second! And third! And so on! Arino ends up going through eight attempts, but the ninth is the successful one. Whew. He now moves up one more floor.
Arino gets to the next boss (this time it’s Red Homer), runs away, and is warped back down to the first floor. You’d think he’d learn by now. Fast forward back to where he left off. He engages the boss, but its attacks are extra damaging, and takes out him post-haste. And 15 more times after that.
Arino puts on a cold pad and tries again, but still can’t quite put a dent in Red Homer. He decides to go back through some rooms, and stumbles upon a new shop that sells the Excalibur item, which powers up his shots. He buys it and heads back to the boss. It seemed to be all he needed — he defeats Red Homer on the next try. He grabs the crystal and heads out. Strangely, the exit door immediately sends him to a new room with false floors that send him to the bottom. He runs out, but ends up on the second floor. Eventually he gets back up, and climbs up a small tower on the left side. The room at the top is a repeating diagonal stairwell. Arino tries shooting for the block that will let him jump into the bottom part of the area and hopefully exit. After a few minutes he gets it, and then runs straight onto another false floor, and drops right into the next boss room!
Instead of running, he just pauses this time, thankfully, but dies on the first try anyway. The boss takes about 40 hits (!) to be defeated. On the second try, after refilling his life, he manages to get enough hits in and defeat the boss. He exits and falls into another false-floor room. Arino treads lightly, and manages to get across. Just then…
He spots the princess! Sitting all alone in a little cell. He’s pretty surprised, so he makes his way back up and gets over to her. Ah, finally, after six hours, the princess is finally saved. Oh, whoops — it was a decoy. The princess turns into a demon and flies off. Arino tries to kill it, but ends up dying himself. He goes over to the other tower, and drops into a room with melting ice blocks and electrical beams all around. He almost dies, but gets a heart just in time. He goes into the next screen and… another boss! He runs out, starts down at the bottom of the tower, and goes back through, this time with full health. Better, but still no good. After the 21st try, Arino jerks away in agony.
Oh god, that’s why he pulled away! He missed the continue!! Again!! Eight hours of work evaporates. What will happen next? Will Arino finally give up? He thinks it over, but just goes ahead and keeps playing. Another long four hours pass. He makes it back to the boss, and yet amazingly, on this 22nd try, with one bar of health left, he defeats it.
He returns to the fake princess chamber and defeats the demon as well, getting a crown as a reward. But there’s another fake princess on the other side, and he defeats the demon there, too. From that he gets a scepter. The two items will allow Arino to get to the fourth and final floor of the castle. Arino makes it to the second-to-last boss, basically a skeletal version of the last. Ge defeats it with two bars of health left! Good going. He makes it to the top floor and enters Maharito’s chamber.
Arino runs through multiple colored rooms with more demons shooting beams at him. He wonders what the heck to do here, finally figuring out to shoot the blocks above him to get to the demons. He’s still confused, though, so AD Urakawa finally steps in to advise. He reminds Arino of an earlier shopkeeper hint: "THERE IS ONLY ONE MAHARITO." There are four rooms and just as many Maharitos, but only one will net him the ending once he kills it.
Arino decides to start in the yellow room, since that’s the color of the Milon cartridge. He gets up to the top, but then notices Maharito jumping around at the top of the screen. Is this the one? He gets up to where it is, and starts shooting from afar. The shots don’t seem to do anything, so Arino heads into the blue room. The Maharito there turns into a demon, so that’s not the one, either. Onto the red — still nothing. Next is green. Nope!
Yellow must have been it, then. Arino goes back over and camps on the other side of Maharito’s room and pumps bubbles into him. After a couple of minutes, the screen starts flashing, and the ending appears! Wow, that sure was challenging! Thus ends 15 hours in the worst castle ever.
Arino visits Nonbiri Onsen, a nice little bath house in Nishi-Tokyo. He’s already got a towel around his neck and a container of toiletries, so he gets right to it. He looks around the lobby and surveys the game corner, but he spends little time with the video games and instead goes for the vintage pachinko and medal machines.
He starts with "UFO," a particularly faded old pachinko flipper machine. He sends out one ball, and… nothing? He checks the slot at the bottom, and hey! He actually won a prize! He gets up and walks over to the elderly mom-and-pop proprietors to redeem it. They seem as shocked as Arino, but the wife walks out and hands Arino a tiny capsule toy. He moves on to Buggy Race, a skill game similar to Labyrinth. Arino’s extra careful with this one, and manages to win again! "Pop" hands him a roll of candy from the prize box. After that bit of excitement, he finally sits down at one of the tabletop video games. First up is Cobra Command. The screen is rather blurry, but the game is playable. He beats the first level with ease!
Arino scoots over to F-1 Dream, but can’t get it to work after putting a coin in. Pop comes over and fiddles with the coin box. A little elbow grease is all it needed. The scene shifts to the bath, where Arino and Urakawa take a dip and relax. Arino makes fun of the wishes hanging from the small bamboo tree next to them.
After the bath, Arino tries out the old-fashioned hair dryer in the hall, but the old woman shows him a better one elsewhere. After he’s freshly dry, Arino finds another stash of flipper machines in a rear hall. He sits down at one, and the old man tells him the coin has to be put in forcefully. Arino tries it a couple times, but the old man ends up nudging the machine himself, then playfully slaps Arino on the back. He tries another one, but it’s out of order… until the old man plugs it in.
Arino is still stuck figuring out the "AB AB AB" message from last time. A viewer writes that it’s a password. He presses the buttons, but it’s more of a continue code. Same difference? Regardless, he presses on. Eventually he fights another boss and opens up another part of the game. The end is near… or is it?
Game Collections: 1986 (October – December)