Friday, 16 September 2011

Gloom (Amiga) - Guest Post

I already played Fears, so what's the other one?

Say cheese!

No map screen for Gloom, instead we get this picture of some soldiers hiding around the corners of a wall. Could Gloom be a tactical team shooter like a version of Rainbow Six Vegas where you hunt demons? Wouldn't that be just awesomeroonie?

Well tough. It's the Amiga and you'll get what you're given.

A 90 x 90 screen and no music.

These soldiers are my enemy so I unleash fireballs from my chin.

Huh. It's going to be one of those games, is it?

I should have worked it out when the main menu offered me a choice of 'Violence Model': 'Messy' or 'Meaty'.

A corridor with rooms leading off to the left and to the right? It looks like a trap.

IT IS. Picking up extra fireballs allows me to fire faster. More fireballs means more exploding soldiers.

Level complete and it's back to the world map! Or... the same picture of the soldiers we already saw.


This scenario seems somewhat similar to the one in the previous level. Namely, a straight corridor with lots of rooms leading off to the left and right.

When all you've got is a chin full of fire, every corridor looks like soldier soup.

I've upgraded my weapon chin chin weapon! I picked up a green fireball and now I shoot green fireballs!

I don't have any other weapons and I have infinite fireballs. When you have antimatter, what other weapon could you want?

If you pick up more than five weapon upgrades, you get to fire two at once for a short time. Just in case you're at the end of a long branching corridor with soldiers in front of you.

Transparent moving panels! Where's your transparent moving panels, Mr. Doom?

I have a feeling that we've seen all that this game's got to offer. We're not going to be seeing any other weapons or textures or anything but exploding soldiers any time soon.

Of course! If the soldiers only ever explode, it saves on drawing death animations and having persistent corpses.

Whoa, whoa, it's a different type of enemy. Exploding.

Hey whaddya know, it's one of those corridors with the bits sticking off left and right. I haven't seen one of those in, I dunno, minutes!

This is a completely different corridor to the previous ones.

There's no in-game autofire, I think you should know. Good job Zipstiks have an autofire switch.

Zipstik, the last word in joysticks.

Bang bang bang bang etc.

Running into the soldiers is the best strategy. You can't strafe, it's only forwards or backwards. Tape down your fire button so you'll always fire first. Run in spirals: the fireball from a soldier that's faced you and fired will hit you unless you move to the side.

On this level, the soldier intro screen warned me about the teleporters. The teleporter put me in a room surrounded by dozens of these bald guys. I should have seen it coming. I'm an idiot.

The end.

What does this has to do with demons at all? I didn't see anything remotely demony! I saw tons of soldiers, some bald soldiers and a couple of mechs. That guy from the title screen was nowhere to be seen. There wasn't any Game Over picture like Fears. Nary a demon to be seen anywhere in the entire game! It was barely gloomy. Oh well.

Ugh, what a slog. Enemies exploding in FPSs wasn't really that amazing when it only happened when you used the rocket launcher. PowerSlave's bird exploding pistol, Requiem's exploding Jesus powers and whatnot were unusual distractions, but an entire game where all the enemies explode no matter what you do? The programmers must have only heard about first person shooters from badly translated magazines and misunderstood telephone conversations from friends of friends.

There's a simultaneous co-op two player mode! Desperate for something to do? Want to alienate your friends? Gloom's your game!

I was too afraid to press the Escape key while playing through the first time in case it quit like Fears so I didn't know you could change the resolution. The default resolution is 90 x 90. This is 105 x 80. This is what a £300 A1200 got you in 1995.

Amiga. The future of gaming. IS HERE.


  1. Loving your reviews. I loved gloom on my 030 based Amiga (and much higher rez than this), but by the time i'd upgraded it...I could probably have bought a vga pc. The was the best of times, it was the worst of times....

    -Mark B

  2. Humorous review. Just a quick note that you can strafe if you use keyboard or cd32 pad controls.

  3. Images look blurr but your comments are so crisp and funny. Nice post...


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