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Castelian (NES)

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Title Screen

Castelian

Also known as: Kyoro-Chan Land (JP)
Developer: Bits Studios
Publishers: Triffix (US), Storm (EU), Hiro (JP)
Platform: NES
Released in JP: December 11, 1992
Released in US: June 1991
Released in EU: 1993


CodeIcon.png This game has unused code.
SourceIcon.png This game has uncompiled source code.
CopyrightIcon.png This game has hidden developer credits.
DebugIcon.png This game has debugging material.
RegionIcon.png This game has regional differences.
PiracyIcon.png This game has anti-piracy features.


Castelian is a puzzle platform game released for the NES. This game also appears on other systems with different names, including Nebulus, Subline, and Tower Toppler.

Secret Message

Castelian (NES)-secretmessage.png

At the Game Over screen, press and hold A + Select + Up on Controller 1, then wait until the title screen re-appears. Instead you'll see the secret copyright message. The message itself is encrypted by xoring with $55 value, and can't be found in hex editor as a plain text.

(Source: Original TCRF research)

Disabled Cheats

A couple of disabled test cheats still linger, and can be re-enabled with the following Game Genie codes.

  • SAOKUPSZ (US version) or SAXKUZSZ (Japanese version) – Enables an invincibility cheat when you press Down + Left + A + B simultaneously. Also, if you enter a door, the level will be automatically finished.
  • SAOKSPSZ (US version) or SAXKSZSZ (Japanese version) – Automatically finishes the level right then and there when you press Down + Left + A + B. Use with the above code, or it won't work for some reason.
(Source: Original TCRF research)

Anti-piracy Check

The US version has a check in place to prevent would-be pirates from tampering with the game's text and/or hidden copyright routine. When entering a level, the game performs an integrity check on the entirety of PRG bank 3, which contains the aforementioned data. If it doesn't get the expected result, the code jumps to the wrong location and hangs. This routine still exists in the Japanese version, though it's never accessed.

(Source: Original TCRF research)

Source Code

A fragment of uncompiled code is stored in the ROM at address 0x03715:

pz_vars	equ	&60	;page zero variables
dbase	equ	&1800	;4K current database
dsource	equ	&2800	;compressed database
no_of_towers equ	4	;total towers
total_towers equ	dsource	;defined towers
tower_addr equ	dsource+1	;4 * address (relative to dsource)
tower_size equ	tower_addr+(2*no_of_towers)
			;4 * size in bytes (word)
tower_data equ	tower_size+(2*no_of_towers)			
			;compressed tower data			
			;a). x0xxxxxx = byte			
			;b). x1xxxxxx = repeated byte			
			;    cccccccc   count=2..255
sprite_addr_l equ	&3900	;sprite address table 2*256 bytes
sprite_addr_h equ	&3A00
rnd_table equ		&3B00	;1/4K table of 256 random numbers
main_vars equ		&3C00	;main global variables (see S.VARS)	
	;---------------------------------------------	
	;BANK 1 - VIC BANK : SPRITE,SCREENS,
(Source: Original TCRF research)

Regional Differences

Hmmm...
To do:
Add protagonist sprites for comparison.

The game was released as Castelian in US and as Kyoro-Chan Land in Japan, and has a completely different title screen, title music and protagonist.

Title Screen

US Japan
Castelian-title.png Kyoro-Chan Land title.png

Title Music

US Japan

Both themes are used in both games, but where they play was changed: Castelian's title music is used in Kyoro-Chan Land in the "intermission" stages between levels, and vice versa.

(Source: Original TCRF research)

Staff Roll

The US/European versions use a light green hue for the staff text, while the Japanese version uses salmon text. Other than that, both staff rolls are exactly the same.