Final Zone – Pandemonium.

I spoke about Pandemonium in my old ‘My Link to the Past‘ feature for my University magazine. But the boss still stick out in my mind as unique, challenging, and downright creepy. Also the fact it was featured in last month’s Retro Gamer, which was a nice surprise to see, made me want to revisit it.

The Guardian of The Wishing Engine is a culmination of traspersing through three worlds, three bosses, and very surreal levels and enemies to face.

The main characters, Fargus and Nikki, need to defeat the guardian in order to have their wish of removing a monster from a nearby village, granted,

It comes in two parts:

  1. The eyeball controls a cannon, while you try to move platforms to destroy 5 objects that will destroy the cannon.
  2. The eyeball attaches to a mechanical spider that chases you around the stage, while firing projectiles you need to dodge.

The best method is to make sure that all the hearts for life have been collected. The projectiles can easily hit you three times over, and you wouldn’t have gotten past the first part.

The eye in the second part still makes me feel uneasy. The mechanical spider legs, coupled with the high pitched voice, made me just want to try and finish the level as soon as I could.

But it did take a few attempts. Once the eye walks around the stage, he never stops. If you run to a certain point, it suddenly turns around and tries to follow you again. The eye-spider also fires two projectile blasts constantly, so if you jump, you’re hit. If you don’t jump, you’re still hit.

The match is all about accuracy and timing.

The cannon is the main object to defeat it. Pressing the button either side launches the cannon, where you can use the centre piece to rotate it.

This is where ‘timing’ comes in. You have to fire where you think the eye will walk to. Once its a direct hit, the eye walks in the opposite direction.

At times the cannon will run out of ammo, causing you to go back to the platforms to reload it. This will be the most dangerous time where you need to avoid as many attacks as you can, while sacrificing at least a heart to make it back to the cannon.

It takes seven hits to defeat the eye. It took me four attempts to finally do this. Sometimes I fell at the first hurdle. If you begin the second part with half the hearts you had, you may as well start again.

But, once you do, the wishing engine appears, and Nikki and Fargus make their wish.

But when the credits roll, you still take control of one of them, running down a slide, collecting power-ups and seeing how many you do collect before the credits stop rolling. Unexpected, but fun all the same.

Pandemonium was one of those games where you wouldn’t have been keen on playing it by just looking at the front and back of the game case. You would have to play the game for a few levels to see how fun it was.

I’d rather forget its sequel, as it got too ridiculous for its own good in my opinion, alongside it’s ‘Buddha’ final boss.

But the first game from start to finish is a treat, just if you have a small fear of arachnids, prepare yourself.