Wiz Technology, Inc.
|Programmer(s)||Allen W. Pilgrim|
|Genre(s)||side-scrolling platform game|
Xargon also known as Xargon: The Mystery of the Blue Builders is a 1993 video game trilogy produced by Epic MegaGames (now Epic Games) for DOS. The game is a side-scrolling platform game very similar to Jill of the Jungle, but with improved graphics. The main character, Malvineous Havershim, must journey through strange landscapes as he seeks to destroy the evil Xargon.
Xargon, produced and released by Epic MegaGames 1993, was programmed by Allen Pilgrim. The graphics were created by Joe Hitchens, who also contributed to Epic Pinball and Jill of the Jungle. Volume One: Beyond Reality was released as shareware, but Volume Two: The Secret Chamber and Volume Three: Xargon's Fury had to be purchased commercially. The game was a contemporary of such games as Id Software's Commander Keen and Apogee Software's Duke Nukem II.
Malvineous Havershim is an archaeologist studying strange ruins in Madagascar. The ruins were built by an unknown ancient culture known as the 'Blue Builders'. While attempting to translate the glyphs on the walls of one Blue Builder structure, a strange gas is emitted, and Malvineous loses consciousness. Malvineous then has a dream-encounter with a talking eagle, who gives him cryptic warnings. He awakes in a strange land, the area in which the game takes place.
The basic goal of the game is to advance through the map by completing levels. To finish a level, the player must find and reach the exit, which is found by traversing throughout the level.
Initially, Malvineous is armed with a "laser bullet", allowing only one shot on-screen at a time which can be controlled by pressing up or down, in which the laser bullet will slightly advance upwards or downwards. Other weapons include more laser bolts which allows Malvineous to shoot more often, rapid fire, rocks which can be thrown more strategically, and powerful fireballs which destroy every enemy in their path.
Xargon is unique in the sense that you can purchase items at any point during the game granted you have the emeralds to spend. Emeralds are randomly placed in most levels. Purchasable items include health units, invincibility, and weapon upgrades.
In most of the levels there are gift boxes, that either explode when you shoot them or contain fruit or other valuable items or nothing at all. Points are earned by collecting fruit, killing monsters, and collecting the four EPIC pool balls. More points are earned if the EPIC pool balls are collected in order.
Malvineous can take 5 hits, and if he dies the player must start the level over again. His health can be restored by collecting a beating heart or collecting 16 fruits which restores one health unit or purchasing a health unit. Spike pits, water, acid and various other dangers kill Malvineous instantly if he touches them.
Xargon was ranked #3 out of the top five games on May 7, 1994, after just four months on the market, where it had remained for three weeks. Coming in at #4 was Duke Nukem 2.
-  Allen Pilgrim declared Xargon freeware and released the source code.
- Sources: Dorinda MacLean, industry consultant; Assn. of Shareware Professionals
- Petersen, Sandy (April 1994). "Eye of the Monitor". Dragon (204): 59–62.