INTELLIVISION CARTRIDGE [INTV #4469]
AKA: Magic Castle, Mystic Castle
Produced at Mattel Electronics (#4469)
Release version prepared by Quicksilver Software for INTV Corporation
Design: Connie Goldman, David Warhol
Program/Music/Sound Effects: David Warhol
Graphics: Connie Goldman
On January 22, 1982, Vice President of Application Software Gabriel Baum announced a competition for the best game idea with a magic theme. The reason was never announced -- probably Marketing had an idea for a promotional tie-in somewhere -- but whatever it was must have fallen through, since Gabriel didn't bother picking a winner until April.
The winner was Connie Goldman. Connie had been hired as a programmer, but it quickly became apparent that her strength was character animation. She started work on the game, originally titled Magic Castle, but she was continuously pulled away from it to do graphics for other, higher priority games and to put together demos for Marketing. (She did excellent animations of Peanuts, Garfield and McDonalds characters, among others, when Marketing was trying [unsuccessfully] to obtain those licenses.)
Whenever she had time she would return to her game, which had begun appearing in Mattel Electronic catalogs as Mystic Castle, but it was further delayed when Bill Goodrich got permission to use half of the animated characters from it in his own, higher priority, Intellivoice game Quest.
After completing his own game, Mind Strike, and overseeing the programming of Bump 'N' Jump, David Warhol was given the task of helping Connie finish Mystic Castle. They strengthened the game play and, after the cancellation of the voice games, reinstated the animations stolen for Quest. Under the new name Thunder Castle, the game was completed, well over a year after Connie had first started working on it.
Mattel Electronics was closed shortly thereafter, before the game went into production; Thunder Castle was finally released by INTV Corporation in 1986. (Strangely, in the Spring 1986 INTV catalog it is listed under its old name of Mystic Castle; in the Fall '86 catalog it was, and remained, Thunder Castle.)