Cavelon

Once upon a time, an evil wizard kidnapped a beautiful princess and imprisoned her at the top of a scary tower. She cried and cried until a brave knight entered the castle to battle the wizard and rescue her.

Once upon a different time, some video-game designers turned this story into a pretty cool little game. For reasons that are best left buried in the mists of Avalon, they didn't name it "Magic Tower" or "Happy Princess Rescue." They named it "Cavelon," even though it has nothing to do with caves, and there aren't any lons to speak of.

Gameplay: Just like the story says, you're a brave knight on a mission to save the princess, who is at the top of the tower. You'll have to climb through five levels to reach the top and battle the wizard to free her. To ascend ever higher, you'll need to collect all eight pieces of the door out, which are scattered around each level. Also scattered around are shields, bits of stained glass, maces, axes, and things you can pick up for bonus points. (Or to impress the princess, if you ever meet her—she's got standards, you know.)

You have a shield, and you're armed with a sword that doesn't really cut as much as it shoots out a deadly pixel at your enemies, who are these knights the wizard has hired to waddle around his castle and stop you. (Jeez! What a jerk!) They're outfitted with the same weaponry that you have, with one distinct advantage: They can shoot at you whether they're facing you or not. And your shield? It's more for looks than for blocking things, so be careful.

If you get into real trouble, you can wield your magic sword, which will destroy all the baddies on the screen at one time. Though you may be able to pick up one or two extra ones throughout the game, you only start with three. It's a tall tower, so use them wisely.

Could be mistaken for: Tutankham, The Tower Of Druaga

Kids today might not like it because: There's no Custer's Revenge-style reward when you finally rescue the girl.

Kids today might like it because: Cavelon has real, undeniable retro-gaming charm. After a few games, they're just a waffle-cone away from a full-on 1983 flashback.

Enduring contribution to gaming history: If you squint, you can see the influence Cavelon had on The Legend Of Zelda, Metroid, and other classic adventure games.

 

Wil Wheaton was last seen entering the Castle Aarrghh.