Mayhem in Monsterland
|This article does not cite any references or sources. (January 2007)|
|Mayhem in Monsterland|
|Developer(s)||Apex Computer Productions|
|Publisher(s)||Apex Computer Productions|
|Distributor(s)||Apex Computer Productions|
|Designer(s)||Steve Rowlands and John Rowlands|
|Release date(s)||Commodore 64
EU October 17, 2008
Mayhem in Monsterland, released in 1993, was a game produced for the Commodore 64 home computer. Its titular hero, "Mayhem", was a yellow triceratops blessed with the gift of speed. His goal was to return his world from sad to happy, ridding the world of monsters along the way. The game featured effects not previously thought possible on eight-bit computers, and was the first C64 title to have a real feeling of speed, a "console-esque" feature the developers wanted.
A new game for mobile phones starring Mayhem, Mayhem's Magic Dust, was released in 2004. It was developed by Infinite Lives.
In 2009, a 15th Anniversary Edition of the game was released on cassette and disk by the British retro publisher Psytronik Software.
Mayhem in Monsterland was produced by Apex Computer Productions, who had previously made Creatures and Creatures 2, which featured Clyde Radcliffe as the main character. Mayhem was far lighter in tone than Creatures, which featured end-of-level action puzzles that, if not successfully accomplished, meant death by various gruesome means.
Mayhem in Monsterland featured both high-quality graphics and high speeds, a combination that had rarely been seen on the C64 before. Because of the clever usage of color some people believe that the game uses a bug to scroll real bitmaps at high speed - a technique that was developed in C64 demos and was first used in the game Freds back. In fact, the graphics of Mayhem in Monsterland are a mixture of HIRES (e.g. clouds, rotating stars) and MULTICOLOR (e.g. platforms, bushes), which can only be achieved by using an altered multicolor char mode.
An apprentice magician dinosaur living in Monsterland, Theo Saurus, made a mistake while practising a spell one day. He turned the lands Jellyland, Pipeland, Spottyland, Cherryland, and Rockland into sad places, void of color or life. Theo began living underground in a hidden cave to avoid the wrath of the other monsters until discovered one day by the hero of the story, Mayhem. Mayhem promised to bring Theo the necessary magic dust to transform Monsterland to its previous happy state.
At the beginning of each stage the goals are displayed to the player. There are two types of quota to be met. The first is magic dust quota where enemies must be defeated to gain magic dust. Enemies may be killed in two ways. Enemies may be bounced on. Mayhem bounces upwards a small amount when destroying an enemy like this. Once the lightning power up has been obtained, enemies may also be charged at with speed in a special attack. Monsters are not always simple to dispatch as some have spikes and others shells. Soft spots on such enemies have to be found by the player in order to defeat them.
Happier music plays once all the enemies are defeated. It is then a race against the clock to collect the quota of stars and to get to the exit to complete the stage. The faster a star is rotating, the more points it is worth. If all stars are collected on a stage, then the player can receive a Super-Star bonus, but only on the first and last stage of the game on the cassette and disk versions of the game.
The game was chronicled during production in Commodore Format magazine, which later awarded it a 100% score in its final review. The editors also subsequently gave the game an excellent review. This came three years after the creation of "Creatures" was chronicled in Zzap!64 magazine - Commodore Format had followed the creation of "Creatures II: Torture Trouble".