Thursday, May 21, 2020

Catacomb Armageddon: Fearful Visions

Armageddon is the second of Softdisk's Catacomb trilogy...or now that I think of it, the first commercial episode of a proper shareware game. Usually I'm eager to point out that so-and-so game that has three entries of Mobygames is actually one...yet I have never thought the same of this game. Well, whatever, I did the first one as its own game, I'll do these as their own games. Armageddon starts of much the same way Abyss did, Nemesis asks you what your difficulty will be and off I go. I will also add that there's a gallery of the creators of this game with their heads mounted on some lizard's wall.
The story...what there is of it, starts off the same as before, only now I'm in a red robe and have blonde hair. That's a cheap way to reuse assets. No stepping sounds...but I don't remember if that was the case with Abyss. Feels weird, no ambient sound. Lightning flashes across the ceiling, but no sound plays. After an encounter with a door, something is amiss with the Adlib sound here. Well, at least the PC speaker sound here isn't terrible.
This area is just a very subtle way to get the player used to the game. Something you think would be better done in the first episode, but what do I know? Two keys, two doors, no enemies to see instantly.
We're also right off with the Satanic themes...
Oh...god, someone woke up on the wrong side of the grave. Why would you give your bad guys that kind of bad hair day? That doesn't make them look creepy, that makes them look like they have a wig on. Anyway, the two doors lead to two rooms with a receding niche behind a wall. Each side contains the key for the other side, and one of them has the gem. I feel insulted. Finding the gems was fun.
A curious technical bit, archways like you'd expect in something fancier. Probably isn't as impressive as I give them credit for, but hey. I see the art director had an off day. I mean everybody inserts giant insects, even if spiders aren't insects technically, but that feels weird given the preceding enemies. These guys are in some kind of hallway too, ants break out of eggs. With a green key I presume is the exit key.
The other side is even more of a show in this section, having the eggs right out and center, followed by a "secret" with additional ants and a zombie. But that has a green key. Hang on, does this mean the way out is more difficult to find than the keys? No, I'm just a fool, its right in front of the entrance. But the way the keys are laid out is funny...I could theoretically screw myself easily.
The end of level fight is hardly spectacular. Bunch of ants and zombies. I go back to check if the game has the door at the start here, and accidentally save over my end of level save. Nice. By the end of my second walk through the level, I become extremely less enamoured with the lightning on the sky.
Dark Forest, huh? Couldn't even draw a tree wall. Lame. I bet this level isn't even going to have a forest. buggers too.
I...that seems unnecessarily brutal. So much for the laughable monster designs. And they stick around too. Chalk up enemies that still hurt you after death to the Catacomb series. That's what, two more things? That and the arches Impressive.
This quickly turns into one freaky level. There are a lot of the trees, and some in close quarters. I'm cautious about this, don't know if I'm going to get screwed out of hitting a wall by the dead tree. They still soak up damage. It feels like there's an endless supply of bats. The level design is a bit confusing...perhaps my mind just gets confused with flat wall trees. You'd think the dead enemies would improve things, but no. Somehow in this madness I find another gem. Awfully nice of the boys to just give that away, not stretching them out like last time. There's not much talking to the player in this game either.
Then, when a large group in an open space appears, I still feel unnerved, because these are the first properly difficult enemies in the series. A lot of graves around here. Some of which have the number 1751 on them. Curious choice. The key and the exit both prove to be not so difficult to find, despite the conditions. The exit, is of course on a brick wall, and not some series of keys either, just one key and you're out. Key's not that far from here either. Which brings me out of the Dark Forest. Which I think is for the best, not too long.

This session: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour

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