Pandemonium is a platform game, published by Crystal Dynamics, for the PlayStation, Sega Saturn, PC, Nokia N-Gage, N-Gage 2.0, and iPhone OS. It 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. The Saturn, PlayStation and PC versions have 18 levels, while the N-Gage version has 11.
In the land of Lyr, there was a young sorceress called Nikki, a court jester called Fargus, and Fargus's folderol 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 his stick-puppet partner Sid spent 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 while pushing and bumping into each other. The seminar turned out to be rather boring and 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 new found 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 as they rushed up to the high balcony over looking the city.
The adventure begins with Nikki performing spells from the magical book atop the castle. Fargus and Sid want to see something with more fire power and urge Nikki to perform a 10th level spell. With a few magical words appears a green monster called Yungo that consumes the entire village with one large gulp. With a slight panic in their voices, they search the book for how to rid the city 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 wishes, despite Sid's suggestion to wish for a million wishes. Fargus wishes for a chicken, and then is scorned by Sid, though protesting that he just wanted to see if it would work. Nikki makes the second wish; she wishes that Yungo was sent back to his own dimension and the village was 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. In their moment of joy, Nikki realises that the Wishing Engine promised them three wishes. Fargus is concerned about that. Nikki is worried, what did Fargus wish for? As he put it, Fargus wanted to share the joy with the whole world. And, he wished that everyone back home could be just like him! As the scene fades, it can be seen that everyone in the village looks exactly like Fargus! As "The End" is shown, Sid exclaims, "Oh boy, I think we're gonna need another wish!".
Pandemonium employs a so-called "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, he activates "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, he activates "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 powers (other than metal, which provides limited invincibility) that the player can collect. Each shoots a beam of limited range in the forward direction, somehow affecting the first enemy it hits. The red orbs give fireball power, which harms the first enemy in its path. This will destroy most enemies in one hit, but it will take some enemies three or even ten hits. The blue power is a freeze spell, which freezes enemies. Upon touching a frozen enemy, it will shatter and be destroyed. The green power is a shrink ray, which shrinks any enemy, whereupon it can be destroyed by stepping on it. 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.
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 will become 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 any enemy 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 then 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 latest checkpoint. Loss of all lives ends the game.
The aforementioned heart containers are the most coveted of all treasures and are nearly impossible to find. In order to gain access to a heart container, the secret area where the heart container dwells must be located. A total of five heart containers exist throughout the game's eighteen levels.
The cheat to give the player six extra hearts is only a cheat. It was made to give the player more hearts than playing through the game would. It does not indicate the existence of a sixth heart container.
Pandemonium was released in Japan by Bandai under the title Magical Hoppers (マジカルホッパーズ), with story, cutscenes, and characters (Fargus and Nikki become Clam and Guppy) completely changed. Both Sega Saturn and PlayStation versions have different cinematics.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 EA Mobile Unleashes Six New Games on Apple App Store. Electronic Arts Inc.. Retrieved on 2009-11-21
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Pandemonium for iPhone release information, GameFAQs.com.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 EA Mobile Strengthens Commitment to Nokia N-Gage With New Global Games Line-up. Electronic Arts Inc.. Retrieved on 2008-10-30
- ↑ "How it all Began...", Pandemonium! instruction manual.
- ↑ Segagaga entry on Magical Hoppers
- Chambers, Chadd (2003). N-Gage: Pandemonium Review. Retrieved Jan. 19, 2005.
- Schwarzenbach, Blake (2000). review - PC - CNET Reviews. Retrieved Feb. 3, 2005.