Saturday, April 24, 2021

Game 61: Illegus Episode IV

The closest thing to a title
Name:Illegus Episode IV
Publisher:ASCII Corporation
Developer:ASCII Corporation
Time:1 hour

This is actually the fourth game I've attempted to play today. Its not that the previous three were unplayable, just that I erred in thinking of them as shooters...and they weren't any good. Its good news for me in a sense, that's three games removed from my list, but not so good for producing an interesting entry.
Illegus Episode IV is a game in the style of 3D Monster Maze. If you're unfamiliar with that, you're advancing through a maze, and you're avoiding a dinosaur. This is like that, except you can shoot, the enemy are robots, its science fiction, and its from Japan. It did escape back in the day, but the MSX was never really popular outside of Asia, so much so, that Mobygames doesn't even acknowledge the existence of a European release. Its also apparently a sequel to three other games released exclusively on the MSX.
With that explanation in mind, there's just not that much to say about this game. Its got a few things that are interesting for 1983, items, you don't have a real inventory or anything, there's a visor that you can use, and otherwise they don't seem to be really useful. A day/night cycle, and things get dark. Holes in the ground that you have to jump over. It makes the basic gameplay of being in a maze less basic psychology test and more like an actual video game. Unfortunately, you die by touching a robot or entering those holes, and there are no continues. So its just wandering around a maze for a time until you die or win. Not the kind of thing I want to spend hours trying to beat.
A weapon that once used, prevents you from moving. Mildly satisfying. 1/10

Robots that are incredibly stupid. 0/10


Mazes. 1/10

Player Agency:
Very stiff, sometimes I had to press buttons twice to move. Jumping and shooting was very, very tricky. I think you jumped by pressing forward then back, but sometimes that didn't work either. It works but not well. 2/10


Its Night Stalker...but cute I guess. 2/10

It looks nice for blobby basically non-graphics. Even the robots look like walking boxes. 1/10

I'm on an alien planet and none of this matters at all. 0/10

The constant background droning reminds me of Night Stalker, but for some reason there it served as effective background noise whereas here it just sounds like someone left a radio on tuned to static. 1/10

That is 8. That makes it the best FPS up til 1983. Of course, its only competition is Voyager far. There's another obscure FPS maze-like game called Schultz's Treasure which looks like it'll be somehow worse than this.

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