Thursday, 8 December 2011

Litil Divil (Amiga CD32)

That is actually a reasonably nice looking title screen. The cartoon guy in the background looks really well drawn, and the text obscuring his face is about as classy as you could hope for. I probably shouldn't expect much from it, but maybe it'd be okay to get my hopes up just a little bit, just this once.

This was also released for PC and the Phillips CD-i, but I'll be playing the Amiga CD32 version.

Uh, okay then. I thought I might get an intro or something but nope. It seems that I'm playing as a some kind of demon dog and I've got a stick.

I can walk forwards, step backwards, duck and block. So I guess I'll go walk over and see what's on the other side of that perfectly safe looking bridge.

Ow. I suppose I should probably try to block next time I see that club coming my way.

It's not the slickest and most fluid game so far, but it's well animated and looks pretty great in my opinion. I'm getting a bit of a Dragon's Lair/Space Ace vibe from it with its animated characters, drawn backgrounds, and lack of interface, but it plays very differently. For one thing I didn't instantly lose when I got hit.

I've got two types of block, and I need to use the right one at the right time depending on the attack he's using against me. It's actually pretty easy to do if I'm paying attention. At the same time I need to try to swipe him with my stick and hope he doesn't dodge it.

There doesn't seem to be any health bar or time limit, so I guess I just keep going until I get enough hits on him.

Right, that's one problem sorted out. Now I can finally see what's on the other side of the bridge.

There is nothing inviting about this entrance, but it's the only direction I can go.

Whoa, genre shift.

Now it's turned into a dungeon crawler without the stats. Or the enemies. It doesn't quite look so great any more and that window is pretty tiny, but the walls scroll by pretty smoothly as I walk around though instead of just flicking between screens.

Turning's a bit awkward. I have to walk horizontally across into the side passage to get around the corner, then the camera rotates around 90 degrees to follow. But Litil Divil stays facing the same direction relative to the camera, so he's still sideways even though I'm looking down a different corridor.

Huh, is this some kind of shop? Am I supposed to come back when I've found some money?

I tried looking for a map button and brought this up instead. I guess it's the save/quit menu.

It seems that they really tried to keep this as cartoony as possible, without video game interfaces popping up and ruining the atmosphere. I think for the most part they've actually pulled it off.

I like how despite this being on a CD console with internal save memory, the icon for saving is still a floppy disk. That's going to be the universal symbol for saving long after humanity has forgotten what a floppy disk even was.

Okay, so the door on the left was a shop, let's see what's in the door on the right.

GIANT SPIDER! (And little spiders too!)

I've lost the stick, but now I can stomp on the spiders instead. I tried attacking the spider queen but nothing happened. Eventually I took too many hits and was thrown back outside.

Okay I really don't like how this game turns around corners. It throws me off every time.

Well I suppose I've got nothing left to do but go exploring.


These boulders keep moving up and down, so I guess I have to time my jumps correctly.

On my first attempt a fish thing leaped out of the water and knocked me in, but Litil Divil just swam back to the starting point to start again. I usually hate minigames like this, but instant restarts and infinite retries takes a bit of the sting out of it.

I make it all the way across and get instantly incinerated by a enemy I can barely see. I don't get it, what did I do wrong?

I tried it again doing exactly the same thing, and this time my character pulls out a bucket, fills it with swamp water, and pours it down the monster's throat.

Fine, okay then. I'm not going to argue. I'm just going to pretend I solved the puzzle and move on.

It seems that the red bar is some kind of health meter which ticks down over time, and I have to collect food and finish minigames to refill it. I think all that other stuff in the distance is treasure, so if I grab enough of it I can go back and visit the shop.
I'm not going that way then

These corridors are filled with traps and most of the time I don't even see them coming. They don't really injure me, just slow me down for a few seconds, but it's still annoying to be hit repeated by things I didn't have a chance of dodging.

And sometimes even when I do see them coming and dodge them, I'm still punished for it. But it was funny so I'll let them off.

Litil Divil's a likeable little demon guy, but he's basically a Looney Tunes character and has the same amount of luck. Anything that can hit him probably will, but he'll just shrug it off and keep going.

It does get less amusing after the twentieth time though.

It's not that he's unable to dodge these traps, he can jump over them perfectly fine, it's just that most of the time it's near impossible to see them coming.


I got myself into another minigame level, this time jumping between a maze of floating platforms. It took me a while, but I think this magic door must be the exit.

Or maybe it's just a teleporter leading me to another part of the maze.



I did it, I found the... thing! I don't know what I got, looks like a diamond, but it's probably absolutely essential somehow!

Thankfully they give me a door out at this point, instead of making me retrace my steps.

I get the feeling he's getting a bit pissed off that I keep dropping him down pits.

There you go mate, you can have a rest.

Oh hey, my key count has gone up to 1. I must have picked one up along the way. I'm sure I saw a locked door around here somewhere, but I have no idea where. This game really needs a proper map screen.

It's not the door I was looking for, but it'll do. I guess I don't have to play these minigames in any particular order.

Sumo fight!

This seems to play pretty much the same as the troll fight at the start. I have to block his attacks, and strike back when I see an opportunity. Most of the time he just dodges me but occasionally I get a hit in and push him back.

I don't think I like this guy. He keeps beating the crap out of me, then punching me out of the room. Then I come back in and he does it again.

The graphics are pretty awesome though. A giant stone skull background just for this one level I'll probably never visit again.


I don't get it, it seems that no matter how many times I hit this guy he just gets back up again. I don't understand what I'm doing wrong.

Okay I give in, I'll look this one up because I'd really like to beat this guy.

The FUCK? I was supposed to buy a pin from that room from the start. Without the pin I can't win this fight. That, in my humble opinion, is some real shitty game design.


I really wish I had a map right now. It would have made it much easier to find my way back here.

Okay I bought the pin, but there's also bug spray and... a bucket. Was I supposed to need this bucket on that stepping stone level earlier? Did I break the game somehow?

It took me so damn long getting back that it's probably a bad idea to go fight the sumo wrestler again, but now that I've got this bug spray maybe I can kill the spider queen.

Why... won't... you... die?

It's all over. I ran out of time.

Our hero is taken to the torture rooms. One last chance for me to escape and get back to the game maybe?

Nope. The poor protagonist is tortured for all eternity while the torturer walks up to block the screen so we can't watch any more. Game over.

The game gave me a chance to load a save game, but just out of curiosity I decided to skip that and see if I could bring the load menu up during the fight with the troll at the start. And I couldn't do it. There's no way to load a save game in this until after fighting the troll. That is amazingly shitty game design.

You know, I really thought this one might actually turn out all right, but the longer I played it, the more obvious the flaws became. Great presentation, crappy gameplay.

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