EXCLUSIVE: Rare Revisits- Thorn’s Castle

Happy weekend, folks, and welcome to RareFanDaBase’s latest Rare Revisits entry! This time around, I will be exploring the ins and outs of the opening sequence of 2005’s Kameo: Elements of Power.

Traditionally, an adventure game’s initial level will at least make an attempt to ease newcomers into the conflict. The level in question tends to be either a hub world or a village of some kind. You know, someplace tranquil? Relatively peaceful?

Kameo, however, throws that concept out of the window, more or less, and instead opts to feature a more explosive, bombastic opening. Much like the beginning of Metroid Prime, Thorn’s Castle revolves around the player having many powerful abilities at their disposal. Abilities that will immediately be taken away, upon completion of this mission.


Despite being a launch title for the Xbox 360, Kameo presents a sense of scale that still impresses. Nowhere is that feeling more palpable than in this first dungeon, ironically enough. A seemingly endless fleet of crimson dragons clouds the skies, while intimidatingly menacing structures tower before Kameo herself.

Additionally, while the game does begin by essentially throwing the player into the lion’s den, it still manages to introduce the mechanics of combat in an intuitive and engaging way. The ingenious concept of using certain elemental warriors in tandem to traverse the environment is also strongly emphasized. Seriously, I will never forget the first time that I used Major Ruin to accelerate off that ramp, then immediately transformed into Chilla in order to scale the icy wall of the castle.

Thorn’s Castle excels in that it challenges the player’s expectations by starting off with such a huge bang. The awe-inspiring set-piece moments, the frenetic combat, and the clever use of Kameo’s otherworldly companions all come together to create what is, in my mind, one of the strongest openings to any Rare game.

What are your thoughts on this level, though? Was it successful at introducing you to the game’s mechanics? Would you have preferred a more toned-down opening sequence? Whatever your thoughts may be, be sure to share them in the comments below!