Monday, September 21, 2015

Evil Dead Games: The Evil Dead for Commodore 64

Welcome followers of sugar and the boomstick to Day 1 of Evil Dead Games. I had to do quite a bit of digging for our first game in question. From the British video game publisher and developers of 8-bit joy that is Palace Software (Cauldron, Cauldron II: The Pumpkin Strikes Back, The Sacred Armour of Antiriad, Barbarian: The Ultimate Warrior and Barbarian II: The Dungeon of Drax) comes a game that was linked to the UK's 8-bit personal computer known as the ZX Spectrum as well as the Commodore 64. This is The Evil Dead Commodore 64.

Terrifying graphics of doom!!!

Now there are many young readers that have no clue what these antiquated computer systems are. Well shush youngsters, and you may learn something. Commodore 64 was created in January 1932 by Commodore International which outsold the IBM PC and Apple at the time. That 64 stands for 64 kb of RAM and 20 kb of ROM and required 5.1 Floppy drives, dot matrix printers and a CIA 6526 joystick (2 of them usually came with) and it sold over 17 million units. Palace Software is the first officially-licensed publisher to tackle today's game in question and being it is based on then deemed a "Video Nasty" it became known as a "Computer Nasty" and did not have that wide a release in the states.

The game of course is low res 8-bit in the cabin for The Evil Dead took place in the film. You, the player get everyone's loveable, cheeseball goof Ash. Ash must close the cabin windows up in order to prevent monsters from entering the cabin. Yup, a bookcase against shutters keeps evil at bay. Who knew? You are also required to gank the monsters already in the cabin. As you defeat the monsters, there are a variety of weapons (shovels, shotguns and axes) to dispatch some accursed Evil Dead. As Ash's energy levels start to wain he can pick up new weapons in order to increase his energy in order to slap the baddies about. Ash has to get his mitts on The Book of the Dead and destroy it in order to send the evil back from hence it came from.


The controls are a bit jerky, this is a single-player adventure-survival horror game that honestly felt like you were slaying the monsters or just shooing them out of the cabin. The window shutters pop open over and over and over again. There are dangerous poisonous clouds??? It simply looked like dirt-infused gusts of wind but hey I didn't write or program the game. The emulator was easy enough to download as many of the few existing copies for the Commodore 64 are very scarse.

I hate to say this but this was fun for about 5 minutes and you know I love me some old school games but the repetition is daunting. The intro sounds like a cross between Castlevania and Legend of Zelda as you get this weird text scroll crawl across your screen telling you the being of the story... in case you missed the movie. Thankfully the tinny music does not continue when you start playing but it has all the hallmarks of the boops and bleeps of the day. Better luck next game I hope but again for its day it is a piece of cinema history.

Also keep in mind this is one of the few 8-bit games that was horror related like the Atari 2600 Halloween and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Now why don't those games get a reboot love huh?

Let's see what tomorrow has in store for me when we tackle the Playstation game Evil Dead: Hail to the King.

Guess he didn't like the porch swing anymore.