A new Disney trademark could mean the return of a charming platformer.
Remember that game on the Genesis? The one Sega developed about a side-scrolling woodland mammal who had to match wits with a scheming villain? Before Sonic the Hedgehog ever broke the speed limit, Sega made another celebrated platformer: Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse. The series has been mostly silent for over a decade, but Disney thinks it's high time for the iconic mouse to run, jump, and swing over bottomless pits once more. The California-based entertainment company recently filed a trademark for the Castle of Illusion name, but only as it applies to videogames.
Castle of Illusion first showed up on the Sega Genesis in 1992, although its sequels and re-releases lasted up until 1998 on the Sega Saturn. Sega developed the game as an action-platformer, where Mickey could leap across obstacles, hurl marbles at foes, and collect gemstones in order to defeat the evil witch Mizrabel and save his sweetheart, Minnie Mouse. The game's concept and gameplay were nothing groundbreaking, even at the time, but the level of polish present in the refined mechanics and cartoony visuals helped Castle of Illusion secure its place as one of the most popular Disney games out there.
Since Disney has only trademarked a name, it's not clear where Castle of Illusion will go from here. A re-release on XBLA, PSN, or the Virtual Console seems like the easiest option, but Disney could just as easily produce a full remake, or even a new sequel. It's even possible that Disney has secured the trademark for simple posterity so that no one else can profit from the Castle of Illusion name in the meantime.
Whatever its plans, Disney now holds the keys to a very successful and fondly-remembered old franchise. If only Donald Duck could get the same kind of respect.