a certain sadistic glee in the execution of a good 'adventure' type
of game. This is best summarized by a famous old Dungeons n' Dragons
adventure which will remain nameless. After hours and hours of wading
through monsters, gathering treasure, and enduring the potent, cat-like
stench of basement dwellers, you come to two doors. One leads to the
exit and a happy ending. The other is instant screaming vaporization.
There are no clues or ways of detecting which door is which. It's simply
a trial-by-error, coin toss problem. And that's precisely how the Immortal
likes ot do business. In the tiny room in which you begin, there are
two recesses on the floor. In the only display of forgiveness this game
has to offer, you receive the warning "It might be a good idea
to move." Should you ever again brush the sunken tile, a Tremors-inspired
hell worm busts out of the floor and snaps you out of the air like a
sets the mood nicely, doesn't it?
Immortal is a gleefully sadistic dungeon crawl that likes putting bait
out at every opportunity to make you kill yourself. Considering that
modern-day RPGs and adventure games usually only call attention to switches
and levers that help you (think of all the glittering hot spots in Chrono
Trigger and FF9,) a 'modern' gamer is even more succeptible to that
kind of thing. For instance, you find a medal with engravings, then
a mysterious beam of slanted sunlight. Sounds pretty obvious you need
to reflect off of it, right? But the second you do so, the dungeon fills
with white light and you are eradicated. Find a patch of soft enough
dirt to plant the spore seed you have in your inventory? The plant sprouts
up and sprays you with fatal venom. This of course doesn't take into
account the liberally-placed arrows and fire traps. Your only means
of defense are profoundly wimpy fireballs that are mainly for discouraging
bats from chewing on your head.
main enemies in the early stages I have the patience to play through
are Goblins. Lots of little green men with daggers. And every time you
alert one of them to your presence, they spout some generic 'fantasy
villain' line like "YOU WILL GO NO FARTHER!" and start a good
old-fashioned shankfight. These battles take place in close-up 3/4ths
view and are kind of a rock-paper-scissors/left/right/middle stabbing
game. I guess the meters represent fatigue and health, since your little
guy moves slower and gets hit a lot when the one goes down. There's
a fairly nice digital death scream when the fight is over, but it's
the same scream for everything whether you, a troll, or a shade. Mostly
consulted my old Nintendo Power©™£ code book, remembering
it had codes for the bloody game. Ah, level passwords. I could skip
to the water stage and get eaten by a sea monster. Or the Whirlpool.
Or better yet, hop to the last level and get murdered by the damn dragon.
The possibilities for instant death are endless- what's this? A level
made entirely of those Death Worm tiles? Oh joy. There's even a fun
extra later in the game where you can meet the game's designers. And
be killed by them. Hey, what's that on the other page... That gives
me an idea.
play a better game! That's it!!
Immortal is pretty much a nice hybrid of the text-based adventure and
a real-time NES game, and as such combines the things that infuriate
me about both into a package of extra-special pain. Like an iceball
with a rock in it. That's on fire somehow, too. I mainly consider this
an okay game by the sheer amount of effort they put into making the
player squirm. I said it before about Mario and a couple dozen other
game heroes, but it's literally true here- Everything in this fantasy
world wants to fucking kill you. Hideo Kojima needs a copy of this
thing, stat, if that plan of his to "make a game that hurts the
player" is still on.
article was delayed by roughly three weeks due to a combination of dungeon
rot and exhaustion from work. Now if you'll excuse me, I need to beat
the back-room Muzak out of my skull.