Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Catacomb Armageddon: Madness Reigns

Evil eye level, you might think these are a trap, but no, they're just scenery. The evil eyes are everywhere and all-consuming. A good three in a group, multiple groups out in this little hallway. I haven't even gotten my bearings before I have to deal with a horde of them.
Inside the hallway starting off is even more. Each fancy block hides more evil eyes. The center, they're protecting all five gems, guess I missed one. More in each little alcove, including some keys. They're really making me fight for each inch.
WHAT? Nemesis already? Just out in the open and I missed him? He's just hanging around some evil eyes. He dies surprisingly quick. There's even a musical fanfare, showing this is it. They're not really doing this are they? This is like, the 11th level. Walking further reveals that this might be a clone. Well, I've got three keys now, and a whole lot of questions. Lots, and lots of questions. There are three locked doors, two behind Nemesis and one in the southern hall. That needs a green key. Two doors east, each needing a yellow key.
Good, more clones. That settles things. "Hidden Treasure Room", well, one of those words is correct. A key is not necessarily a treasure unless a moral is about to abound. The nemesi* if you will, each eat up damage and deal it out like madmen. Fortunately, the other side just has evil eyes. Fortunately. Yeah, that's not right.
The Long Passage of Pain, so-named because it has another nemesi and some more evil eyes. Contains a door and a key. The key opens the door, which leads to Access to the Flaming Inferno, so-named because it is an abomination against God and man. I don't need to see it to know it is true.
My eyes. They burn. You want a description? It burns, there's a mix of demons, mages, and evil eyes that are guaranteed to make you loathe this level. The way out isn't that difficult to find, the key out is quite close too.
 Next level, Subterreanian River. Underwater enemies again, some kind of dragon. A relief from the last level, even if they shoot fireballs. Their tongues are badly drawn, but other than that I don't have much complaints. They don't show up on the radar very well, but I still don't find them that much trouble. The area to the east of the start contains a locked door, and a little bit of treasure behind destroyable walls.
This tunnel slows DOSbox down, so I assume there's something here. There's not. Well, there's a secret here, but nothing actually here. Behind it is just a snaking tunnel full of snakes leading to a door and a key for a different door. Which leads back to the door from the start and then back here, only killing a few enemies along the way.
I feel like the level has a few actual secrets, rather than the constant stream of obvious destructible walls. Things that seem like they can be destroyed are sometimes not. Some of them contain treasure, some of them enemies. This leads into a problem, I get lost. Very, very lost. This is quite actuality, a very mazey level. With all the secrets, it becomes very hard to know where you are. It didn't help that I heard the tell-tale sign that I'd missed someone somewhere. Turns out the second door leads directly out, which was a nice thing to discover after going around everywhere.
Crystal Maze. Oh...good, another maze. Demons and mages all the way, huh? Doesn't start off mazey, just two hallways with enemies and goodies, one of which is a key out. Probably to the actual maze.
Its just two sets of destructible walls. Maybe they lead to more? Nope, just a demon, then more another goodie basket and enemies. Is the maze part a lie? As I advance through the halls, it seems normal. Got a key for a door. This should be good.
And its an invisible wall maze. The last time there was a good one of these was in ZZT. Another game started off as one, called Neverending Night. Never got past that. Because invisible walls are terrible if you have to map them yourself. This one doesn't turn out to be bad, since its not so much a maze as its just a standard area, except the walls are invisible.
Ramparts of Nemesis? Better finish this. Will it be Nemesis or nemesi? Are these doors locked? No? And skeletons too? How generous. I don't think I need the treasure room yet, I have some items to burn. The other side "Corridor of Peril", someone should have used that earlier, leads to "The Strident Clone", let's check that out.
Eh, its just a singular clone guarded by a few skeletons. I guess that's Nemesis's standard enemy, skeletons. Got a key though. Let's try Certain Termination instead! That needs more than the blue key I have now, but another clone down. But guessing by the clones of Nemesis name the area has, I'm guessing the final confrontation is going to be against many.
The treasure room is not as grand as it is hyped up, not even containing a single nemesis. But it did have a red key, and I suspect I'll need more. The last teleporter, The Lost Ways, is actually just the ways of death and only contains skeletons and a key. Right, final confrontation, probably. Another clone, and then...the final level. Fine.
Final conflict...final battle. Won't need these hourglasses. I don't need them. He dies quickly. Damn it, clones again. They really ease you through this level. Treasure afterward, with enemies, despite just being mages, it feels too easy.
The second conflict is against two, same issue, just slightly faster on pressing cure. I got two keys, which is interesting. Wonder if that's intentional.
Third, surprise, is against three. They kill me a couple of times, probably because having three guys with rapid fire, especially when they take of 15% chunks with each hit, does a number on my health. Only one drops a red key. Intentional?
This one might actually be Nemesis. What a shock. Takes off half my health, so the battle is less tense than it should have been, with me spamming specials non-stop. With that, its the end of the game. The next level is the trip to the surface, with treasure I don't need.
There was never another game. Never.
This Session: 2 hours
Total Time: 6 hours

*Of course, Nemesis doesn't have a plural, because Nemesis is a goddess, not a thing. But if she did, it would be Nemesi, because she's Greek.

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