Turok 2: Seeds of Evil
|Turok 2: Seeds of Evil|
Bit Managers (GBC)
Alberto José González (GBC)
Turok 2: Seeds of Evil is a first-person shooter video game developed by Iguana Entertainment and originally released for the Nintendo 64 video game console on October 21, 1998. A port of the game was also released for Microsoft Windows shortly afterwards. Turok 2 is the second game in the Turok video game series and a sequel to Turok: Dinosaur Hunter. The game features a single-player mode consisting of six levels where the player assumes the role of Turok as he tries to defeat a powerful alien entity called the Primagen. It also includes a multiplayer mode where various players can compete against each other in several game types.
Turok 2 received very positive reviews from video game journalists and sold more than one million copies in the United States. Critics praised the arsenal of weapons and the length of the levels, but opinions were mixed on its inconsistent frame rate. A separate game, also titled Turok 2: Seeds of Evil, was released for the Game Boy Color in December 1998. Although set in the same fictional universe, it follows a different storyline. A sequel, Turok 3: Shadow of Oblivion, was released in 2000. A remastered version of the game, developed by Night Dive Studios, is planned to be released for the Xbox One.
Turok 2: Seeds of Evil begins with the new Turok, Joshua Fireseed, appearing through a portal to face a blue-skinned woman named Adon. She explains he has been called by the Elders of the Lost Lands, the Lazarus Concordance, to defeat a powerful alien entity called the Primagen. The Primagen is a creature imprisoned long ago in the wreckage of his spacecraft after attempting to conquer a place called the Lost Lands; a bizarre and barbarian world where "Time has no meaning". The Primagen seeks to destroy five devices called Energy Totems and has mobilized several races of creatures in an attempt to destroy them. Turok must locate the Energy Totems and destroy all forces mobilized to attack them, and then defeat the Primagen himself to end the threat he poses to the Lost Land. To accomplish his quest, Turok must acquire ancient magical powers from Talisman chambers.
Throughout the game, a mysterious entity calling itself Oblivion attempts to thwart Turok's quest by creating false copies of the Talisman chamber portals that lead to areas populated by its servants, the Flesh Eaters. Eventually, Turok faces the Primagen himself. How the Primagen dies and the game's ending depends on what the player did during the game. If not all of the objectives are completed, the Primagen will collapse from his fatal injuries. When talking to Adon, she thanks Joshua for his efforts, but states that although the Primagen's body was fatally injured, traces of his psychic powers seem to remain, causing her to wonder if he's really dead. If all of the objectives are completed, the Primagen will be obliterated by a series of energy blasts from the totems. Adon will give a greater thanks to Joshua and state the Primagen's body is destroyed and no traces of his powers remain. Once the credits have finished rolling, the player will hear Oblivion say "It is inevitable". This sets up the plot for the sequel Turok 3: Shadow of Oblivion.
Like its predecessor Turok: Dinosaur Hunter, Turok 2 is a first-person shooter where the player assumes the role of Turok from a first-person perspective. As Turok, the player can run, jump, climb ladders, swim and dive underwater for a limited period of time. The player can also carry an unlimited number of weapons, ranging from bows and arrows to pistols, rifles, a shotgun, a grenade launcher, a flamethrower, a speargun, and more advanced weapons such as the Cerebral Bore, which fires a homing projectile capable of latching onto enemy's heads, killing them by drilling into their skulls and exploding. Turok has a certain amount of health which decreases when attacked by enemies. If Turok's health is fully depleted, the player loses one Life Force point and has to continue the game from a previous checkpoint. If the player loses all Life Force points, the game will be over. Ammunition, health, and Life Force suppliers can be collected throughout the game to increase the player's resources.
To progress through the single-player campaign, the player must venture through six expansive levels interconnected by a hub area. In each level, the player must complete a certain set of objectives and then exit the level via a portal. Objectives range from destroying objects to rescuing hostages and defeating enemies, among others. Upon exiting a level, the player must either protect a totem from enemy forces or defeat a boss, or both, depending on which level the player was; the first three levels require the player to protect a totem, the fourth and fifth levels require the player to protect a totem and then defeat a boss, and the last level requires the player to defeat a boss. Once a particular level has been completed, the player is sent to the hub area, which features six portals to each of the individual levels and a gate that leads to the final boss, the Primagen.
Exploration is a very important aspect of gameplay, as all the portals in the hub area, except for the first one, must be unlocked with keys that need to be collected within the levels. The keys that unlock the portals to the second and third levels are found in the first level, the keys that unlock the portal to the fourth level are found in the second level, the keys that unlock the portal to the fifth level are found in the third level, and the keys that unlock the last level are found in the fourth and fifth levels. As a result, the game allows the player to complete certain levels in a nonlinear order. In the Nintendo 64 game, the player's progress can only be saved in special portals within the levels, while the Microsoft Windows version lets players save the game at any point. In these portals, the player may also fully restore Turok's health and ammunition once per level.
In addition to level keys, every level has one Primagen key. The six Primagen keys unlock the gate to the final boss in the hub area and require the player to use Talismans to collect them. Talismans grant Turok special powers, such as allowing him to jump long distances or walk over lava. To use the power of a Talisman, the player must collect a feather in a level and then take it to the Talisman chamber of that level. There are five Talismans in the game and every level, except for the first one, features a feather and a Talisman Chamber. The Primagen key of one particular level requires the player to use the Talisman of the next level, except the Primagen key of the last level, which requires the player to use all five Talismans. Therefore, the player needs to play some levels more than once to collect all Primagen keys and complete the game. The game also features an automap to help players navigate through the levels.
In addition to the single-player mode, Turok 2 features a multiplayer mode where various players can compete against each other in several game types. Options such as time limit, map to play on, and character selection can be changed to match player preference. Each character has certain strengths and weaknesses, with some being able to regenerate health. The most notable is the Raptor, which is limited to close-range attacks, but extremely fast and agile. Multiplayer games in the Nintendo 64 version of the game support up to four players via split screen. In contrast, multiplayer games in the Microsoft Windows version support up to 16 players via LAN or internet.
The Nintendo 64 version essentially features two game types: Deathmatch, where the objective is to kill as many players or players of the opposing team as possible, and Frag Tag, in which one random player is transformed into a monkey with no attacks and very little health. This player's task is to go to a specific point to return to their normal character and transform another random player into the monkey. Players gain points by killing the monkey and lose points if they die as the monkey. The Microsoft Windows version features three game types: Rok Match, which is the same as Deathmatch; Arena, where two players or teams must battle against each other in an arena setting. The winning player or team will have to face a new opponent. If the player or team loses, they will have to get in line and wait for their next turn to fight again; and Capture the Flag, where the goal is to capture opposing flags and return it to a team's base.
Turok 2 was developed by Iguana Entertainment and published by Acclaim Entertainment. The game was announced in January 1997 before Dinosaur Hunter was released, under the title Turok: Dinosaur Hunter 2. The game was completed in 21 months with a team of roughly the same size as that who worked on Dinosaur Hunter, which was composed of 18 people. During development, more staff were brought on board to assist in completing the game. Reportedly, over 10,000 hours of game testing was conducted during its creation. The game was originally designed with a 12MB cartridge in mind. When cartridges prices fell, the storage was increased to 16MB allowing the team to add a multiplayer mode. Eventually, the cartridge size was increased again, and was finalised at 32MB.
The Cerebral Bore weapon was inspired by the Tall Man's weapons from the movie Phantasm. The base idea for the weapon was created during a brainstorming session concerning weapon design. The original concept had the weapon "being slow and agonizing". An artist suggested a Leech gun, which was rejected by project manager, David Dienstbier. However, a "Vampire Gun" was eventually added to the sequel, Turok 3: Shadow of Oblivion. The game also aimed to offer less distance fog with a wider field of vision so that the gameplay would not feel as claustrophobic as the original. Unlike GoldenEye 007, the multiplayer levels were designed so that players could have all sort of mobility, including running, jumping, climbing and swimming. According to Dienstbier, this freedom of movement "means that [players] have a lot less predictable death match play because [they] have far more possible escape routes within each level."
Iguana Entertainment, having received Nintendo 64DD development kits which included the 4MB Expansion Pak, added a high-resolution mode to the game early on in the development timeline. This was demonstrated to Nintendo at the Electronic Entertainment Expo in 1998, running at a resolution of 640x480, a technical accomplishment for the Nintendo 64 at the time. Before the official unveiling of the Expansion Pak, IGN asked Dienstbier about the possibility of the game running in the high resolution mode in the leadup to the 1998 Electronic Entertainment Expo. He stated that it ran in the same resolution as the first Turok game. The game was fairly anticipated as retailers worldwide ordered 1.75 million copies of the game before launch. It was released in North America on October 21, 1998. Acclaim Entertainment missed the original cartridge production slot for the game, forcing a delay from November to December 1998 in the UK. This delay was due to problems in fitting the game on a 32MB cartridge. In Japan, the game was released as Violence Killer: Turok New Generation (バイオレンスキラー TUROK NEW GENERATION?). A port of the game was released for Microsoft Windows in 1999.
In 2015, Night Dive Studios, a company that is known for remastering several classic games, announced that they were developing a remastered version of both Turok 2 and its predecessor, commenting: "We are very excited to have the opportunity to bring this great franchise back to life and to be able to share these great titles with today's gaming audience." In March 2016, the company confirmed that the game would be released for the Xbox One video game console.
The Nintendo 64 version of Turok 2 was a critical and commercial success, selling more than one million copies in the United States. Next Generation praised the game, noting that "the artistic range is remarkable" and that "GoldenEye 007 now seems simple" when comparing the artificial intelligence of enemies. Game Revolution highlighted the "tremendous" length of the levels, but also admitted that "You'll occasionally find yourself running around in circles for hours trying to figure out where to go next. This may be enjoyable for people who like puzzles and long gameplay, but it is aggravating for more action-oriented players."
The game's large arsenal of weapons was highly praised, as GameSpot reviewer James Mielke remarked that the Cerebral Bore is "possibly the grossest weapon ever conceived". He also praised the sound effects and the music for being "well suited to the game and never intrusive". Victor Lucas of Electric Playground stated similar pros, describing the soundtrack as "suspenseful, dynamic and always adrenaline charged." Despite the overall positive reaction from critics, the game's frame rate was a consistent complaint. Writing for IGN, Peer Schneider said that "While Turok 1 was an exercise in smoothness, [Turok 2] forgoes framerate for detail so often, some gamers will definitely be put off by the choppiness." Nevertheless, he praised the multiplayer mode for its use of 3D space and innovative game types.
Critical reception for the Microsoft Windows port was mixed. Tal Blevins of IGN criticized the controls for its limited support of keyboard functions and the graphics for their distance fog, which was not common in computer games at the time. Despite this, he praised the save system for letting players save the game at any point. Writing for GameSpot, Elliott Chin criticized the game for its confusing level design and insistence on playing a level again if the player misses a key. In a retrospective review, Martin Watts of NintendoLife stated that Turok 2 "is quite possibly the best third-party effort ever released for Nintendo 64." GameSpot awarded Turok 2 the Shooting Game of the Year accolade for 1998.
Game Boy Color version
A separate game developed by Bit Managers, also titled Turok 2: Seeds of Evil, was released for the Game Boy Color in December 1998. Although set in the same fictional universe, it follows a different storyline than the console version, involving the Amaranthine Accordance trying to bring a massive Dinosoid army to Earth from the Lost World with Joshua Fireseed trying to stop them. The gameplay is spread over eight levels and four boss encounters. It involves platform levels that are very similar to the first Game Boy title utilizing familiar weaponry such as the bow and arrow, shotgun and grenade. Other levels have Turok on the back of a Pterodactyl with horizontal shooter gameplay, while another has him riding downriver in a canoe avoiding enemies.
The standard platform levels of the game were first created on graph paper, then replicated on a PC level editor before becoming a playable level on the Game Boy hardware. The distinctive music was produced by Alberto José González, who produced music for the other Game Boy-based Turok games. IGN reviewer Peer Schneider gave it a rating of 5.0 out of 10 and said that the game is "an E-rated cookie-cutter sidescroller with decent controls and unimpressive visuals." Total Game Boy reviewed the game with a rating of 40% and criticized the level design and unrelated gameplay to the Nintendo 64 game.
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Adon: The Lazarus Concordance have charged me with the task of guiding you on your quest to stop the Primagen [...] If he succeeds in destroying all five energy totems, he will be free, and the blast wave of temporal energy will destroy your universe.
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