Friday, 9 September 2011

Requiem: Avenging Angel (PC) - Guest Post

"Between Heaven and Earth lies Chaos. In Chaos begins the pursuit of The Fallen. Though angels all, they have strayed. They seek the total destruction of human life. They claim it is the Creator's will. Pursuing the delusion, they have crossed over from Chaos to Earth. And from goodness to abject evil."

That explains the demons....

... but what about the spaceships?

... and the super future shock troopers?

"Hey don't ask me, bro! How about you play the game and find out!"

"Unlike my fallen bretheren, I will never defy the Father. I have borne the mantle of Warrior, begun my trek to Earth. I must fight, foil their assault and banish them to Hell forever."

This is Malachi. He's an angel! He smites things for a living.

In case the intro didn't make the situation clear, there's a few more screens of text when you start a new game. The Fallen have taken control of mankind's first colony ship and are stuffing it full of innocents. You have to stop them because that's bad.

This is where the angels live? Pretty gloomy if you ask me.

Maybe it's so dank because this is the cosmic toilet connecting Heaven to Chaos. To get to Earth from Heaven, you've gotta go through here. Malachi throws himself down with gusto.


The walls are pulsing in and out. There's moans and screams coming from all directions. It's really, really annoying.

"What in God's name?"

Not even Malachi knows what's going on here.


Tap LMB to unleash electric fingers! Recharging magic makes teethdogs explode.

More teethdogs! Tap tap tap! Explode!

In all this combat, I keep getting turned around. Chaos is comprised of many of these identical looking chambers connected together by squishy corridors. You can kind of tell the rooms apart by the different kinds of moaning you can hear, but by this point I'd turned the sound down. There's quite a few dead ends and other fascinating ways to get killed such as acid pools and ceiling spikes.

This is the most unpleasant room I have ever seen in a computer game. The worms dig out the walls and float across the chasm. The pulsing is not helping. If you'd like to see this animated, click here.

On the other side of the chasm was an image of Lilith. I'd have taken a screenshot, but she's a dark red transparent ghost. You can imagine how that shot didn't come out.

"Cross the portal, descend to Creation, muck about like a human. YOU'RE VERY LATE! HA HA HA HA HA HA HAAAAAH!"

Well I'm sorry if I'm late. You see, I GOT LOST.

This room looks different! I think I'm finally making some progress. It doesn't seem to be pulsing, but I think that might just be my eyes having gotten used to it.

Argh. I made the mistake of looking away from the screen for a moment. Now the game is steady, but real life is pulsing. Take regular breaks while playing games, kids.

Over an hour in, and I've finally found my way out of Chaos.

Malachi spins up the Stargate with a wave of his magic hands and shoots off towards Earth.

Incidentally, Malachi's wings were available as a 'Flight' spell, but all it did was make me jump a little higher. Rubbish.

"Welcome to paradise..."

With wild arcs of lightning and a whirlwind of sparks, the T-1000 Malachi has arrived on Earth. His mission, find Jonah's Pub. Malachi's parched. Nah, not really. I bet he's probably read a lot of books and knows enough to know that the resistance always meets at the pub.

Now which direction is the pub?

Um... this way!

Excuse me gentlemen, can you direct me to the public house?

"Don't you know curfew's on! Time to go home! Now!"

I didn't know! Thanks for the info!

Hey, those are real-time shadows! Nifty stuff you've got there! Doesn't really make sense if you're standing next to a building like that, but it works regardless.

"This doesn't look good."

Oh dear. Bodies.

This person is being attacked! Time for heroic intervention!

When I started the level, I was greeted with the caption: "Attacking is not always the best solution." Well nuts to that! This is an emergency! Unleash the lightning fingers!

"Wait, I'd better restrain myself."

Malachi's refusing to attack! Damn it, Malachi! Lightning fingers NOW!

"I've got better things to do with my time."

Like bloody what? Some angel you are! Didn't you see the bodies before?

"I'd better restrain myself."

Okay, I'm just going to hold the button down until you stop complaining and make with the unleashing!

Hoooooly crap.

That's not lightning fingers! That's... I've disintegrated the lot of them!

That's... not... good. Okay, reload. I don't think I was penalised in any way by killing the innocent (WHAT?), but this still isn't good enough. Let's try this again.

Seems that Malachi lost his lightning fingers ability during the transition to Creation. In its place, he's got 'Pentecost'.

According to Wikipedia, 'Pentecost is a prominent feast in the Christian liturgical year commemorating the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the disciples of Christ after the Resurrection of Jesus.'. In other words, I force-fed them Jesus until they exploded.

Uncharged, it's a slow moving BFG-like blue ball that knocks people over and causes blood to spill everywhere.

Charged, it causes anything it passes within ten feet of to instantly explode.

Not exactly the precision tool I need in this desperate situation. I'm going to reload once more and see if I can rescue the poor man.

Every time I load, I have to sit through Malachi's complaining about restraining himself. Even if I've sat through it, fired off some Pentecosts and quicksaved, he starts all over again. A lesser man would give up and leave the bugger to his fate. Not me.

Hey buddy, it took me over a dozen goes, but I saved you!

He doesn't respond. He's still alive, but he's got nothing to say. I guess I didn't have to save him after all. Oh well.

It is the nineties, and there is time for crates.

This isn't the pub. Am I even going in the right direction?


As soon as I pop out the door, these guys get messily executed in the middle of the street. Pentecost takes time to charge up and travel to the target, so there's nothing I can do. Malachi doesn't have anything to say.

"Looks like martial law."

Malachi's very astute, but he still wants to restrain himself. The guards don't mind if I watch for a bit. I thought they might get a bit upset, but they're too professional for that.

What time is it anyway? Seems pretty early for a curfew, don't you think? Maybe they've all got an early start tomorrow.

I've found my way into some kind of water treatment facility.

I really hope I'm going the right way. Every other direction seemed to lead to a dead end.

Shoot Out Windows And Vent Covers with Guns with Exorcist. That's the mission objective? I thought we were going to the pub.

This might be a problem. I don't have a gun, I don't know any exorcists and I don't see any vent covers or windows around here. Have I somehow broken the main game sequence and skipped forward a couple of levels? If that's the case, I should have bumped into some tough enemies by now.

I found the gun! It was hidden in a little cubbyhole. Turns out the caption was just a very strangely worded 'find a gun, shoot the window' hint. Phew.

More vents and crazy corridors and I'm back in the city proper. This can't be how folks get around normally. This part of the city looks very familiar. I really hope I haven't gone round in a big circle.

Nope, this is new.

These guys look pretty cool. The look like they're out of Shin Megami Tensei.

Could it be? I've found Jonah's Pub? I was going the right direction the whole time? Marvellous!

Barkeep implicitly trusts me, gives me some identity papers and sends me on my way. I must have a trustworthy face. Or maybe he knows that anything more complicated is bound to end up with me killing him by accident.

My next mission is to meet with a resistance contact at another place. Another far away place. Can't stop playing until I've started actually doing something useful. Let's go!

I showed the guards my identity papers and the big door opened to reveal more crates.

"What's in these things??"

I'd love to help you, Chell, but I'm kinda undercover at the moment. All I've got is this Pentecost, and you're not gonna like it.

I have got another offensive spell, but it's incredibly weak, as is the pistol. I'll come back and resolve this later if I can.

"Let's see here... You're beyond safe sector boundaries. AND YOUR PAPERS ARE FALSE!!"

Defend yourself, Malachi! This is no time for restraint!


When all you've got is the power of God, everything looks like a nail.

Works a treat at long range: Pentecost travels in a perfectly straight line and the splash damage of a fully charged blast is enough to completely clear this corridor, including the sneaky guys behind the crates and around the corners.

Malachi isn't invincible by any means, so indiscriminate offense is the safest option. And the most fun!

A short stop-off at a secret place and some flawless duck-jumping later...

Assault rifle time! Rata-ta-ta-ta-ta-ta-ta-ta-ta-ta-ta-ta-ta!

Assault rifle defeats regular goons almost as handily as Pentecost does, but without the inadvertent disintegration of unfortunate innocents. Run, Chell! You're free!

We're going underwater. But that's okay, it's a straight line and it's only for a few seconds.

Raid the place! I don't even know what this place is, but there's soldiers pouring out the rooms and shooting me so I'm gonna shoot them all right back.

I'm loving this assault rifle. The rate of fire is every alternate frame. That's 1800 rounds per minute! These pre-millennial FPS weapons don't need reloading, allowing me to fire all 400 rounds in one continuous burst if I want to. By all rights, this assault rifle is in fact a Vulcan cannon. It's accurate at long range and headshots can kill instantly. Excellent.

Requiem's modellers spared no expense furnishing this room.

Is that an ID card on the desk? Swiped!

This is my second trip through these offices. The exit at the far end of the corridor leads back outside to the place near where Chell was, so I completely missed the ID card the first time and had to do another lap.

Don't fall down!

It's harder than you'd think to fall down. Malachi's standard-issue 90's FPS protagonist rocket boots make gaps like this easily dealt with. If I were to fall, I could find my way back here in seconds.

Where the heck am I now? Just once, I'd like to get from A to B without having to go through vents C and D, sewer E and mysterious chapel F.

Nah, I changed my mind. Figuring out how to deal with the enemies in the most zany manner possible without becoming dead is great fun. New places mean new ways to dive behind corners, jump up ledges and blast things with my ever-expanding arsenal of ways of dealing instant and gratuitous death. Still, I'm going to have to stop playing because it looks like I'm never going to meet the next person any time soon.

Requiem. You play a super-fast guy running around exploding soliders with your magic powwaz. Or avoiding the soldiers altogether. You can save the innocents, if you choose, or run right past them. You can do what you like! Requiem's levels are both maze-like yet completely linear. From the levels I've played, the dead ends were all very short and clearly marked, leaving only the long and often interesting route as the correct one. It's like Kingpin or Strife done right. It didn't really matter that I didn't really understand what was going on (they tried to explain it twice and it still was a bit weird and then Malachi turned up in medias res and generally was a clueless goon).

I bounced, scooted, exploded people, and generally made my own fun. Or I felt like I made my own fun.

Some might say that Requiem looks dated. I think it looks rather good for when it came out and its crapness is charming. It doesn't distract and it doesn't make me feel like they wasted time setting up set-pieces instead of just letting me get on with whatever I felt was imporant.

The worst thing about Requiem is that it didn't want to work very well in Windows XP. If you've got a contemporaneous computer pickled somewhere, you wouldn't go wrong to thaw it out and play Requiem right now.

I didn't like those scary worms in the Chaos level though. Brr.


  1. No gold star? You seemed to like it, you didn't really have anything bad to play. I think ill download this and try it out. Hilarious screenshots too by the way, I have a big problem with 90s fps and their crate-warehouse-vent fetish. Seems they can never come up with anything else, but at least this has hell too.

    1. There's no gold star because Ray wasn't the one who played it.

    2. Yeah, I decided at the start that I'd keep the gold star for myself, and let other writers give out their own ratings if they felt like it. Which they didn't. My reasoning was that we all have different tastes in games, so a rating would have a different meaning for each writer. Seemed like a sensible idea at at the time anyway.

  2. Huh. I could have sworn i've seen mecha-neko give out a gold star or a wins the prize at some point, but I guess that must have been an Xbox 360 "Dishonored" induced hallucination. That happens sometimes when I come back to the real world. Well, real-ish world anyway.

    1. A quick search indicates that there are three guest posts with a Gold Star tag:



      Nintondo Man:

      I'm guessing that Ray simply tagged them as Gold Star material because he wanted to play them himself later..?

    2. Damn, I thought I'd caught all of them.

      Early on I thought I'd tag the games other people had played that I personally liked. But soon it dawned on me that this was a STUPID THING TO DO, and made things unnecessarily confusing, so I removed them. Or at least I thought I had.

      For the record I've finished Chrome, and thought it was incredibly repetitive, but surprisingly playable. I played Nox for a few hours, and I remember it seemed like a interesting take on the Diablo formula. And Ketsui... well I'm sure I must have played it at some point, but all those flashy mid-90s shoot 'em ups start blurring together after a while.

    3. I don't think I got far enough into Requiem to say whether it was crap or not. I must've found a dozen enemies in total at the most. Something about my so-called 'computer' didn't like Chapel F. It's a shame that there isn't a GOG version of this that's designed and tested for new computers. They've got Robinson's-bloody-Requiem, but not Requiem: AA.

      I didn't put a Gold Star on Chrome, Ray must've done that.

  3. This game is one of my favorite FPS. Ambience of loneliness and helplessness. Excellent gunfights. Angelic powers very original for its time that can lead to different strategies: bullet-time, possession, resurrection, etc. Great variety of enemies makes The Fallen is one of my favorite fictitious armies: soldiers with different armor, robots, demons and fallen angels. Small jokes and critics to occidental society as you see an poster about Lilith cosmetics, when Lilith is one of the bosses, or a poster about a The Riders film, clearly The Four Horsemen, as if the demons were infiltrating society through frivolity and the worship of appearance. Sadly this game also is very underrated.


Semi-Random Game Box