Pandemonium (video game)
|Developer(s)||Toys For Bob (PS & SS)
Crystal Dynamics (PC)
Eidos Interactive (iOS)
|Publisher(s)||Crystal Dynamics (PS, SS & PC)
Eidos Interactive (NGE)
Electronic Arts (iOS)
Pandemonium!, known as Magical Hoppers in Japan, is a 1996 platforming video game developed by Toys For Bob and published by Crystal Dynamics for the PlayStation, Sega Saturn, Microsoft Windows, N-Gage, and iPhone OS. Pandemonium features Fargus, a joker, and Nikki, who unwittingly casts a spell that destroys the town. The goal of the game is to reach the Wishing Engine, where they can wish the town back to normal. For each level, the player can choose which character to be. Each has a special move - Fargus can deliver a special spinning attack, and Nikki can double jump. The game consists of a great variety of unique gameplay objects, such as watermelons, clouds, spider webs and logs.
Pandemonium employs "2.5D gameplay". While the game renders polygons in a typical 3-D fashion, gameplay is 2-D. The area of gameplay can be described as a two-dimensional surface twisting and bending in a three-dimensional world. Occasionally, this surface will overlap itself. For example, the main tower of the second level is a cylinder with a spiral-shaped floor.
Along the way, the player can gather treasure. Collecting 300 treasure grants the player an extra life. The player can also activate a bonus level by collecting enough of the treasure in one level. (It is unclear how the limited-time × 2 treasure modifiers affect the percentage of treasure collected.)
- If the player gathers 80% to 94% of the treasure on a level, they activate "Speed Greed", a bonus level in which one must collect treasure while simultaneously keeping ahead of a pursuing vortex.
- If the player gathers at least 95% of the treasure on a level, they activate "Full Tilt", a pinball-based bonus level. In this, the player directs the character around a giant pinball machine in order to gather treasure and activate special areas of the board. Upon reaching the end of this bonus stage, the player can achieve as many as three extra lives as well.
In each bonus level, one automatically has three "tries", which are separate from lives.
There are three unique projectile power-ups that the player can collect. Each shoots a beam of limited range in the forward direction, affecting the first enemy it hits. The red orbs give fireball power, which harms the enemy; this will destroy most enemies in one hit, but stronger enemies may take many more. The blue power freezes enemies, and upon touching a frozen enemy, it will shatter. The green power is a shrink ray, and the enemy can then be destroyed by stepping on its shrunken form. Shrunken enemies grow back after a limited amount of time, and likewise frozen enemies will thaw after a similar amount of time. Some red orbs also regenerate after being collected; these can be distinguished by swirling energy surrounding them. None of these powers affects bosses. A player loses all powers when hit, unless they have picked up an invincibility power-up.
At several points in the game, after passing a certain area the player will turn into a unique animal; passing another area will revert the player back to a normal character. The player becomes a frog, a rhinoceros, a turtle, and a dragon throughout the course of the game. The frog can jump extremely high, the rhinoceros can kill enemies by charging at them, the turtle can become invulnerable by hiding in its shell, and the dragon can breathe fire and fly. The challenges of the level reflect the abilities of each animal until the character reverts to normal later in the level.
Like in Zelda games, the player has a limited number of hearts, representing health. Rare bonuses allow the player to add to the initial two heart containers, so that the player can store more than two hearts at once. Loss of all hearts results in the loss of a life and the return to the last checkpoint. Loss of all lives ends the game.
The aforementioned heart containers are highly beneficial for the player and are difficult to find, typically being hidden in a secret area of the level. A total of six heart containers exist throughout the game's eighteen levels.
There are many cheat codes for the various versions of the game, including extra lives, invincibility and level select.
In the land of Lyr, there was a young sorceress called Nikki, a court jester called Fargus, and Fargus' stick-puppet Sid. They had gone to Lancelot Castle to attend a "Wizards in Training" seminar. Nikki, a talented acrobat with swift reflexes, had become irritated with her dull carnival life on the high-wire. After forgetting to feed the lions, and the trainer almost having his arm chewed off, she decided it was time to run away and become a wizard! Fargus and Sid had been spending their lives together traveling from fair to festival entertaining and embarrassing people here and there. Their act, however, was as old as the hills and usually turned into a bombardment of fruits and eggs. They, too, were a little tired of same old routine and had heard about the Wizards seminar.
Nikki, Fargus and Sid met at the seminar after bumping into each other. The seminar turned out to be rather boring, so they each did their own thing while waiting for it to end, with Nikki practicing back flips, Fargus sleeping, and Sid making spitballs. Finally Vu, the speaker at the seminar, terminated his speech and headed for the restroom. Nikki and her newfound friends decided to follow Vu as he went down the hallway. As they approached him, they noticed that he had been hitting the bottle a little. Tripping over a pleat in the carpet, an ancient book slipped out of his backpack. Nikki leaped and grabbed the thick handbook before it hit the ground. The book was titled "Ancient Wizards Spellbook", and contained warnings such as "Must be fully trained and licensed to use" and "May result in danger and death". This is exactly what they had hoped for, so they rushed up to the high balcony overlooking the village.
The adventure begins with Nikki performing spells from the magical book atop the castle. Fargus and Sid want to see something with more firepower and urge Nikki to perform a 10th level spell. With a few magical words a green monster called Yungo appears which consumes the entire village with one large gulp. With a slight panic in their voices, they search the book for how to rid the village of the monster. The book reveals that they'll have to obtain a boon from the Wishing Engine. With a map from the book to help them, they set off on their journey.
When they find the Wishing Engine, the engine tells them to speak three wishes. Fargus elects himself to make the first wish, in spite of Sid's suggestion of wishing for a million wishes. He wishes for a chicken and is then scorned by Sid, though Fargus states it was to test it out. Nikki makes the second wish; she wishes that Yungo was sent back to his own dimension so the village could be saved. The heroes are then teleported back to the top of Lancelot Castle. They watch as Yungo spits out the village and is pulled back into his own dimension. Nikki however realizes afterwards that they've been cheated out of a third wish but Fargus guiltily admits that he "wanted to share his joy with the whole world" - wishing that everyone back home could be just like him! Lo and behold, everyone in the village has been turned into lookalikes of Fargus. As the scene fades, Sid exclaims, "Oh boy, I think we're gonna need another wish!".
Development and release
|This section requires expansion. (July 2014)|
The Saturn, PlayStation and PC versions have 18 levels, while the N-Gage version has 11. In the PlayStation and Saturn versions, rather than using a memory card as in most games released at the time, progress is saved using the older password system. The Japanese version of the game has considerable changes to the story, characters and cutscenes and is distributed by Bandai.
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- "EA Mobile Unleashes Six New Games on Apple App Store". Electronic Arts Inc. Retrieved 2009-11-21.
- "EA Mobile Strengthens Commitment to Nokia N-Gage With New Global Games Line-up". Electronic Arts Inc. Retrieved 2008-10-30.
- Pandemonium for iPhone release information, GameFAQs.com.
- "How it all Began...", Pandemonium! instruction manual.