North American arcade flyer
|Producer(s)||Neil Nicastro, Kenneth J. Fedesna|
|Programmer(s)||Samuel Christian Zehr, Jason Blochowiak|
|Artist(s)||Scott Pikulski, Samuel Lewis Crider, Martin Murphy, Rowan Atalla, Martin Martinez, Jack E. Haeger|
|Composer(s)||Kevin Quinn, Jason Blochowiak|
|Arcade system||Midway Seattle hardware|
|CPU||Main CPU: R5000 @ 150 MHz|
|Sound||Sound CPU: ADSP2115 @ 16 MHz
Sound Chips: (2x) DMA-driven @ 16 MHz
640 x 480 resolution
57 Hz refresh rate
65536 palette colors
CarnEvil is a rail shooter arcade game using a light gun. Released by Midway Games on October 31 (Halloween), 1998, CarnEvil is noted for its graphic content and strong lifelike violence which was peppered with heavy amounts of black humor. CarnEvil is a portmanteau of "The Carnival of Evil" and was inspired by the 1962 movie Carnival of Souls. It is the most successful light gun style game produced by Midway Games, although to date it has never received a home-console release or re-release.
The game is set in the fictional town of Greely Valley, Iowa. The main characters, Jacob (Player 1) and Lisa (Player 2), join a tractor-drawn trailer called Spooky Sam's Ghost Tour on its path through a cemetery. According to an urban legend, if a golden token is inserted into the jester's mouth on top of the tombstone of someone by the name of Ludwig Von Tökkentäkker, a haunted amusement park will rise from the earth.
Jacob and Lisa jump off the tour and approach Tökkentäkker's tombstone to find a golden coin sitting in its slot, and surprised, Jacob inserts the coin into the jester's mouth, resulting in the legendary undead carnival rising from the ground. Jacob and Lisa take two shotgun's from the shooting gallery at the entrance and use them to fight through the hordes of monsters, zombies, and insects as they escape.
First, Jacob and Lisa go to the "Rickety Town". There, they hop on the "Slay Ride" and battle several demonic elves, gas station workers with permanent grins, zombie fast food servers, zombies dressed as goofy dinosaurs and flying wasp-like creatures and see Betty trapped on a ferris wheel called the big bunyan ride. Finally, they battle "Krampus", a Santa Claus like monster.
Jacob and Lisa then go to the "Haunted House" and battle through hordes of zombies, spiders, ghosts and bats. they notice that Betty is being chased by zombies. Jacob and Lisa enter the building and encounter Hambone, a large Jason Vorhees-like creature with a gatling gun for a hand. Jacob and Lisa defeat Hambone and proceed through the building. They find Betty being kidnapped by a Giant Spider upstairs and go after them. After going through "the hall of hands", Jacob and Lisa fight Hambone for the second time, who now has a skull grenade launcher for a hand, and is defeated once again. Jacob and Lisa go past a kitchen which is covered in blood and body parts. Then they go onto the rooftop only to be pushed off by the car into a grave with a tombstone saying "Rest in Pieces". Jacob and Lisa at last fight "Evil Marie" who, after being defeated, falls on a tombstone and bleeds out. Filling the small river with blood.
Then the two visit the "Freak Show" where they encounter Conjoined Acrobatic Men, Flies and Maggots with human heads, 6 legged spider monkeys, and a giant demon called "Eye-clops", a monster that has two heads and one eye per head. They kill the monster and enter "The Chamber of Horrors", where they find Betty in a torture device. They also must fight through hordes of zombies who are dismembered in gruesome ways. They are dumped into an underground factory where some zombies attack them. They leave to a Colosseum and fight "Junior", a Frankenstein-Like baby (or through the options menu, they can fight "Deaddy", a disfigured Teddy Bear).
Then, they enter the Big Top, and fight zombie clowns, mimes, clown doctors, vampire bat-men, and demonic circus animals to reach the center ring, whence they are taken to Tökkentäkker's zeppelin to face Tökkentäkker and his jester Umlaut, along with a crew of skeletal minions.
After defeating Tökkentäkker and surviving the explosion of his airship, Jacob, Lisa, and Betty awaken a few hours later in a pile of leaves in the cemetery, and in front of Tökkentäkker's tombstone. Lisa then sees the token in its slot and, ignoring Betty's protests, puts it into the jester's mouth for a repeat performance. This prompts the player(s) to play again.
CarnEvil consists of four levels, each ending with a boss fight. The first three levels can be played in any order, but the fourth cannot be accessed until all three are cleared. The players shoot enemies on the screen while progressing through amusement-park-themed horror environments. The gameplay is considerably violent and features bloody scenes throughout.
Occasionally, a girl (Betty) will appear as an innocent civillain. Shooting her earns a life penalty, but does not garner any long-term consequences or changes to the game.
Health and weapon power-ups can be found throughout the game. Weapons available include a machine gun, shotgun, flamethrower, acid bath gun, and an increase in the gun's magazine capacity. They can be obtained by shooting floating icons, such as a shotgun shell or a barrel of acid, and cannot be reloaded. Grabbing these power-ups also provides bonus points to the player.
A software setting allows operators to replace Junior, a giant deformed baby, with a demonic teddy bear named Deaddy as the boss of the Freak Show level.
In Corresponding order:
- Rickety Town – A traditional carnival setting focusing on familiar sights such as roller coasters, a Big Bunyan Ride ferris wheel, bumper cars, flat rides, and a food court. There is also a Christmas-themed "Slay Ride" and ice skating rink which encompasses the end of the stage and boss fight.
- Haunted House – A Victorian-style mansion, posing as a dark ride, filled with zombies, ghosts, spiders, bats, and other Halloween favorites. The wagon goes along a track leading through the mansion floors and knocks the players into an open grave.
- Freak Show – Boardwalk-style exhibition of the bizarre and astounding featuring a host of deformed opponents. A dungeon and torture chamber, as well as a macabre assembly line of sorts, make this stage particularly disturbing.
- Ludwig von Tökkentäkker's Big Top – Immense circus tent swarming with undead clowns, mimes, and circus animals. Ascending the big top allows you to reach Ludwig von Tökkentäkker's zeppelin where the final battle takes place.
- Jacob – A local teenager of Greely Valley, Iowa. He wears a red jacket, a green t-shirt with blue jeans and carries a flashlight in his hand. After being told about the legend of CarnEvil, he takes Spooky Sam's Ghost Tour through the local Greeley Valley Cemetery to see whether the stories are true. When he sees the professor's grave, he ditches the Ghost Tour and foolishly puts the token into the mouth of the Jester Skull. As Tökkentäkker and his minions emerge from the depths of Hell, Jacob learns that CarnEvil is beyond anything the legend described and grabs a pump-action shot gun from the shooting gallery, realizing that he must either fight his way out or die in the evil amusement park. He's played as Player 1.
- Lisa – A closest friend of Jacob. She wears a blue crop-top jacket and a cutout purple-stripped shirt with blue jeans, a belt, a pair of gloves, a hat and carries a Zippo. She told Jacob about the old legend and agreed to go with him on "Spooky Sam's Ghost Tour" through the local cemetery. When Lisa and Jacob approach Tökkentäkker's gravestone, Jacob takes the token from its slot and foolishly inserts it into the mouth of the Jester Skull. After Carnevil awakens from a long slumber, she realizes that life or death can be the only other options for her and Jacob, so she seizes a pump-action shot gun from the shooting gallery, and goes with her friend, Jacob on the twisted adventure. She's played as Player 2.
- Betty – A teenage girl who was on Spooky Sam's Ghost Tour as well. When CarnEvil is summoned from the cemetery, she indistinctly appears out of nowhere during the game. She follows the player(s) in each level and usually winds up being attacked by the enemies. Upgrades to the shotgun can be received by rescuing her from her attackers while accidentally shooting her results in damage to the player's life points. She is based on the main character from the 1960s horror B-movie "Carnival of Souls."
- Spooky Sam – The tour guide in Spooky Sam's Ghost Tour. He speaks with an American accent. He and most of his passengers die during the awakening of CarnEvil. Then Tökkentäkker transforms his corpse into Hambone, who is the periodic Sub-boss for the Haunted House Stage.
Rickety Town Enemies
- Tinsels – Twisted little elves in Rickety Town; They "Give" people presents and offer them candy canes. They resemble the Green Goblin.
- Carnie the Dinosaur– The mascot of Rickety Town, a sort of evil, demented version of Barney the dinosaur but blue-green in color. They are seen on the "Dino-Rama" flat ride with the whirling dinosaur eggs.
- Buzzy – Small insects grown fat on expired carnival food. They have razor sharp fangs.
- Smilin' Bob (Mr. Smiley) – An overly cheerful gas station attendant whose grin never wavers even after half of his head is blown away; attacks by swinging a gas can or punching. He can be seen in the "Bumper Car Garage". Ironically, he is a humble and helpful employee, but don't be fooled by his friendly and happy smile.
- Skeleteens – The employees of the food court who serve food and drinks and jump over the counter to "Tip You". They have very fast attacks.
- Krampus the Anti-Claus – Monstrous Santa Claus with reindeer antlers, talons, and ice skates. Krampus comes from behind a giant Christmas tree when it turns around to reveal the other side. He glides around the skating rink and uses his claws and a sack full of dead children. This scary Santa is the only boss character in Rickety Town. Named for Krampus, the demonic counterpart to Santa Claus in some myths, who punishes naughty children at Christmas.
Haunted House Enemies
- Rotten Robbie (Robbie the Zombie) – Zombies that have overrun the Haunted House. They can bite, scratch, kick, or throw objects, including but not limited to knives and body parts.
- Gools and Rayths – Evil spirits who haunt the halls of the mansion. These vile entities are known to appear almost anywhere throughout the level and vanish when blasted.
- Arachne – Giant spiders who stalk the dark corridors of the Haunted House and make shrieking noises when killed.
- Legs – Smaller spiders who dwell in the basement of the Haunted House.
- Batty – Large bats who like to take a bite out of visitors. Be careful of them, as they can fly very fast and can overwhelm visitors because they are always in groups.
- Grabby – Dangerous hands that pop out of the walls in the Haunted House. They only wish to claw at anyone foolish enough to enter the hallways.
- Hambone – Jason-inspired maniac and sub-boss in the Haunted House stage. Hambone first appears as Spooky Sam, the tour guide for Greely Valley Cemetery, but dies during the awakening of Carnevil, then at the mansion entrance to try and stop the players. He wears a hockey mask and bib overalls while sporting a Gatling Gun arm. After being defeated once, he later returns (as Hambone: The Revenge) and sports a Grenade Launcher arm. The mask can be shot off.
- Evil Marie – Parody of Marie Antoinette and boss of the Haunted House stage. Evil Marie emerges from her graveyard mausoleum. She appears as a ghoulish lady with vampire fangs in a small white and pink dress and powdered wig. She sports an axe and comically oversized breasts. She loses clothing as she takes damage until ending in a corset and stockings before being impaled on a random gravestone.
Freak Show Enemies
- Flem the Fly – He is what his name says, a fly with a human head. He enjoys buzzing around the Fly Trap.
- Maggot Mike – Human-headed maggots who love to give visitors "kisses".
- FlapJack, the Amazing Flip-Flop Man – The upper bodies of two acrobat twins sewn together at the waist, seen in the Freak Show. When you shoot one half of the body, the opposite half will laugh.
- Nik-Nak the Spider Monkey – Deadly "Spider monkeys" created by cross-breeding those two creatures; very fast and agile. They are fought within a giant cage.
- Tort and Rodz – The badly mutilated inmates of the Chamber of Horrors. They are so badly tortured that a few shots will make the body drop fast to the ground.
- Eyeclops – Cockney speaking sub-boss of the Freak Show. You must defeat him before entering the Chamber of Horrors. Eyeclops appears as a two-headed ogre knight donning light armor, a sword, and a shield. He sports one eye on each head, three on his chest, and several others on his arms and legs. These are obviously his main weak point. Use the rapid-fire tactic to take out every eye on his body so that he falls quickly.
- Junior – Gigantic infant sewn together from parts unknown and brought to life by lightning like Frankenstein and the boss of the Freak Show level. He is fought inside a gigantic playpen where he attempts to crush the players. He uses a vomiting attack which is nearly impossible to avoid. Ultimately, he is forced back into his crib where he is electrocuted. Arcade workers also have the option to replace Junior with Deaddy, a gigantic teddy bear who uses the same fighting tactics.
Big Top Enemies
- Muertito – Small imp-like bat headed creatures who speak Spanish. They are usually seen in flight or launched out of a cannon.
- Smeak – Ironically, small clowns who wield knives or fling bowling pins and wear classic red, white and blue attire. Their favorite line is, "That's show business!" Despite their small size, they have really heavy voices.
- Marcello – A famous French-looking mime who just seems to get in the way. Even after suffering a shot or two, he remains completely silent.
- Mister Ozob – Giant men in clown suits who make strange squeaking noises when hit. They attack the players with giant mallets or brass knuckles. Ozob's original name was "Boffo". This can be seen on the banner in the introduction cutscene, and on a poster in the Big Top.
- Broodles – Undead poodles in clown attire. They resemble Cujo and perform amazing feats!
- Dr. Klot – A crazed surgeon who likes to "clown around" with his patients.
- Skeleton crew – Numerous skeletons who appear during the final battle with Tökkentäkker. They are the Professor's crew members and will prevent the players from reaching their master.
- Umlaut – He first appears as a petrified jester's skull on Tökkentäkker's grave. When Jacob feeds him the gold token, he comes to life and summons CarnEvil. When the player(s) selects a level, Umlaut appears to give a rhyming description of what's in store and taunts the player at the end of each rhyme. Umlaut returns as an opponent during the final battle in Tökkentäkker's Big Top. The player must defeat him before facing Tökkentäkker. He is voiced by Frank Welker.
- Professor Ludwig von Tökkentäkker – The master of the Carnival of Evil, all of its horrors, main antagonist and final boss. Appearing as an eccentric gentleman in a brilliantly colored ringmaster's costume with five bell-shaped coat buttons and wearing the token that Jacob inserted into the gravestone as an eye patch, he commands from his zeppelin over CarnEvil, staffed by a skeleton crew. He sports a Blunderbuss as well as a vanishing act, leading the players on a chase throughout his ship. He also directs a fireworks display before "going overboard". Tökkentäkker closely resembles the Insane Clown Posse Ringmaster.
History of CarnEvil and Tökkentäkker
Ludwig was a regular ringmaster of a carnival in the 1860s. It is said that he dove into ancient texts and tomes which led to the loss of his sanity. His mind, not yet completely snapped gave new design to his carnival of souls, just more disturbing and twisted beyond anyone's imagination. The tomes insanity spell began to linger onto those entertaining and working within the carnival day by day and eventually, one night, the ringmasters mind completely snapped after he was struck by an incoming lightning bolt. He rallied other workers to help him in a murder spree as "Part of the act". He took the corpses of a few disembodied people they murdered and shaped them into bizarre forms (forms that resemble the disturbing creatures of Carn-Evil). That night became their last, as a barbecue blowtorch trick went haywire and everyone within the carnival grounds burned down with the big top. Tökkentäkker, however, manages to escape the fire while his employees perish with the burning Carnival. 2 years later, the police find the former ringmaster and sentence him to death, Via Gas Chamber. The Destroyed Carnival soon becomes the Greely Valley Cemetery, and *POOF*, all of a sudden, Autumn of 1952, Tökkentäkker's gravestone suddenly appears near the entrance, thus beginning the terrifying legend of Greely Valley, Iowa. Trapped in limbo, the spirits of the Professor, his clowns, freaks, workers, and circus animals all get taken by the powers of evil, corruption, and undeath. Eventually; he named his formerly unnamed carnival "The Carnival of Souls", or (as it is commonly known) "CarnEvil" and legend says that if you insert the token at the base of Tökkentäkker's grave into the mouth of Umlaut (the Jester Skull perched at its top) then CarnEvil, "The Greatest Show Unearthed", will return again! Tökkentäkker enjoys seeing his guests at his park "Have Fun" with his minions, but if they do not obey him, then he will make short work of them himself. The only hope of getting out alive is to defeat Tökkentäkker himself before dawn!
- Jack Haegar (credited as Jack E. Haegar)
- Beth Smukowski (credited as Bethann Smukowski)
- Frank Welker (uncredited)
CarnEvil Original Soundtrack
List of tracks in order. Original Score Composed by Kevin Quinn.
1. CarnEvil Introduction – 1:38
2. CarnEvil Superbeast – 0:30
3. Select Your Doom – 1:03
4. Christmas Wonderland – 1:06
5. Big Bunyan Ride! – 1:22
6. The Garage (Bumper Cars) – 1:30
7. Krampus – 1:31
8. Haunted House – 1:07
9. Freak Show – 0:52
10. Breakfast Bowl (Chamber of Horrors) – 1:25
11. Junior – 1:24
12. Ludwig von Tökkentäkker's Big Top – 1:04
13. The Final Ring – 1:04
14. The Baron's Airship – 1:17
15. Credits – 2:35