Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Cadaver (Amiga)

Super Adventures in Bitmap Brothers Games - Game 4

This title screen's a bit of a letdown after Xenon 2. There isn't even any dance music.

Okay this looks like some kind of isometric adventure game/rpg type thing. I'm playing a dwarf with a beard and no legs, I'm in a cavern, and I'm surrounded by junk to investigate.

I can walk around with the joystick, and pressing fire next to an item brings up the cryptic menu icons on the left. All I've figured out so far is that 'scroll with an arrow next to it' means 'read', and reading this particular scroll brings up my stats.

And then I walked over to investigate the boat and instantly died. That's it, game over.

I guess he must have drowned or something? Something for me to ponder I guess while I'm sitting here waiting for the game to reload.


EVENTUALLY.


This time I went through the door to the north and soon found myself in a room with two exits and a bag of stones on the ground. Apparently the stones are 'loaded' and I've got twenty shots, if I can ever figure out how to fire them.

I think I'll check the top left door first.

It's hard to see here, but I'm actually pushing a barrel, which is pushing a pickaxe, which is pushing an enemy. And the enemy is pushing them both right back. It seems that any object can move freely in a room, and will affect the other objects. Which is actually pretty clever for 1990 I reckon.

Anyway, I can't be bothered playing 'push the barrel' with this thing anymore, so I'm going to go check out where the doors lead.

I found nothing. Well okay I found a few sacks, but they're not going to help me much.


A FEW ROOMS LATER.


Great, another dead end room with nothing but sacks in it.

Oh wait, no, I see a key on the floor! And I passed a locked door on the way in here. Now I know exactly what I need to do.

Crap, what do I need to do to use this damn key anyway? I haven't got all day here, a worm's trying to eat me.

This is the only locked door, and this is the only key. But my only options here are 'examine', 'use as a weapon', 'drop' and, uh... 'joystick'. I still haven't figured out what that one means.


LATER, IN DAY 2.


I gave up on the locked door and went back to the barrel pushing room, then killed the spiky thing with the bag of stones. And now I can push the barrel against the wall, jump up here and grab the ring! I don't see how that's solved anything, but hey it makes me happier.

The game uses the same button for jumping as it does for bringing up the interaction menu, so I had to take a step away from the barrels before it'd let me jump. It's definitely awkward, but I can't think of a cleverer way of handling it so I'll let them off.


EVEN LATER.


Okay, what do I have in my inventory that I can use against a locked door? I know, I'll hack the door down with a pickaxe!

Oh fuck it, I give in. I've been wandering around this place for ages and I'm getting nowhere. I'm sure youtube knows how I can get through that bloody locked door.

Oh, uh... there was a second exit to the first room I somehow didn't notice. There's a lever in there that opens the locked door.

Did I mention how nice the graphics are yet by the way? I think the game looks awesome considering how limited the palette is. It's got a very distinct style to it. Shame there's no music though.

And that's the lever taken care off, now the door should be open.

Plus I found a note in a locked treasure chest, which I opened with the key. It helpfully points out that I was stepping all over a gem in that room full of sacks and I never even saw it. If you go back and look at the screenshot which says 'You find nothing' you can see it's right there under my feet.

Finally I'm through the locked door, and I get to use my pickaxe on something!

I actually had to check youtube for this again, because I naively assumed I was supposed to USE my pickaxe to chip away the wall, not just throw the damn thing at it.

Lots of branching corridors in this section, some of them blocked by bouncy ass-monsters. I fed them rocks and eventually they exploded with a disturbing scream. It didn't help me though, as it turns out that the doors they're guarding are locked.

Awesome, more bloody keys to find.

A wall of switches. There's no obvious clue to what order to press them so I move on.

'Most skulls will help you combat the spine creature.' I gave this dude a whole loaf of bread and that's the best hint I can get out of him? Total rip off.

This looks more promising. A table covered in potions, a key, and a keyhole.

I don't see anything the lock could be connected to, but I've still gotta try it.

Shit, the lock triggered a deadly spider trap! And when I tried to take a sip from the barrel to recover some health it turned out to be poisoned! I don't much like this room anymore.

Who the hell would go to the trouble of setting up a spider trap anyway? Do they have people that replace the spiders every so often, and feed them? Who puts the spiders back if it gets triggered?

Well I'm still stuck in corridors full of locked doors, but now I'm wounded as well.

I've still got the unlabelled potions I swiped off that table in my inventory, but without identifying them I could end up drinking a potion of 'even more poison' instead of an antidote. Apparently I've got to drop an item at my feet before I can identify it with a scroll, and I only get three uses before the scroll runs out. Well two uses now, as I accidentally wasted the first one trying to figure out how it worked.


MUCH MUCH LATER.


Oh fuck it, I can't find the key to get out, I don't know what I'm meant to be doing, and I can't even kill a damn monster with these throwing stones to cheer myself up because they're a bitch to aim and usually just fly over his head.

I tried drinking all the potions in the guy's inventory at once to see what happened, and when that didn't kill my hero I just turned the game off. The end.


The game's got some charm to it for sure, but the awkward controls, confusing interface, lack of a map, and crappy combat conspire to drag it down. For me anyway, all the magazines loved it at the time.

Bitmap Brothers games:
Part 1: Xenon (Atari ST)
Part 2: Speedball (Atari ST)
Part 3: Xenon 2 - Megablast (Amiga)
Part 4: Cadaver (Amiga)
Part 5: Speedball 2 - Brutal Deluxe (Amiga)
Part 6: Gods (Amiga)
Part 7: Magic Pockets (Amiga)
Part 8: The Chaos Engine (Amiga)
Part 9: The Chaos Engine 2 (Amiga)
Part 10: Z (MS-DOS)

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