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The Chaos Engine
The Chaos Engine box art.jpg
Chaos Engine front cover featuring (clockwise) Navvie, Thug, Gentleman, Brigand, Preacher / Scientist, and Mercanary
Developer(s) Bitmap Brothers
Publisher(s) Renegade Software
Platform(s) Amiga, Atari ST, Amiga CD32, MS-DOS, RISC OS, Sega Mega Drive, Super NES, Mobile Phone
Release date(s) 1993
Genre(s) Run and gun
Mode(s) Single-player

The Chaos Engine is a top-down run and gun computer game developed by the Bitmap Brothers and published by Renegade Software in 1993. It was first released for the Commodore Amiga, with an enhanced version available for AGA Amigas, and later ported to MS-DOS, and the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, Atari ST, Amiga CD32, RISC OS and Sega Mega Drive platforms. USA releases of SNES and Sega versions were retitled Soldiers of Fortune, and the character The Preacher had his clerical collar removed and was renamed The Scientist.

Contents

Plot

The setting is a steampunk Victorian era England. A time traveller on a reconnaissance mission from the distant future became stranded in England of the late 1800s, and his technology came into the hands of the Royal Society led by Baron Fortesque (based upon Charles Babbage), a grand inventor. Fortesque then retro engineered many of the futuristic contraptions, creating an entirely different timeline.

Baron Fortesque then succeeded in his greatest creation yet - the Chaos Engine - which was able to experiment with matter, and the very nature of space and time. Unfortunately for the rest of the proud kingdom, the Engine then proceeded to become sentient and captured and assimilated its creator, then began to change the countryside for the worse. Vile monsters and destructive automata appeared everywhere, and even prehistoric beasts were ressurrected. Telegram wires connecting the British Isles to the European mainland are cut, and any ship attempting to enter a British port is attacked. The British Royal Family, along with members of Parliament and a large number of refugees manage to escape across the sea, bringing with them many tales of horror. The British Empire is left in tatters, and the world in economic and political chaos. This lures a number of mercenaries on a potentially rewarding quest to inflitrate the quarantined Britain, find the root of the problem and swiftly bring a full stop to it.

Introductory sequence

The introductory sequence is displayed in text on the screen on the floppy disk based Amiga versions, but a slightly modified version is narrated with a voiceover on the Amiga CD32 version, together with some scene-setting animations.

Characters

The player(s) choose two mercenaries from the group of six to take on the task of defeating the mad Baron Fortesque and the Chaos Engine itself. In one-player mode, the computer artificial intelligence controls the second player (in a co-operative fashion), so that one never has to fight the chaos alone. The six anti-heroes are as follows:

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Mercenary

A good all-rounder. He is quite mad and enjoys nothing more than experimenting with a collection of unsavory weapons, but nonetheless he has seen action in theatres of war across the world, including the Boer War. His starting price is £2,750. His standard weapon is a hand-held gatling gun, his starting special weapon is the simple bomb, and his available specials are the ground mine and first aid.

Brigand

A more ruthless character then the Merc, the Brigand is nonetheless another well rounded talent despite being a cut throat bandit to boot. His starting price is £2,750. His standard weapon is the rifle, his starting special the shot burst, and his available specials are the molotov cocktail and the "Distract Monster".

Gentlemen

A lean and clever character. He is a dapper chap without a doubt. What he lacks in muscle he makes up with wit. His starting price is £2,500. His standard weapon is the "Pistol Flamer", a unique weapon which is a combination of a pistol and a flamethrower. His starting special is the map, which will enable easier navigation of levels. His available specials are the "Distract Monster", "Repel Monster", and the "Party Power".

Thug

When it comes to characteristics he could pass for the Navvie's brother. The Thug is a mammoth of a man, a little stupid but very powerful. His starting price is £3,000. His standard weapon is the shotgun, his starting special the molotov cocktail, and his available special the Air Burst.

Navvie

The navvie is the strongest of the six characters. A good fighter with heavy weapons. Although he only has a few specials they are very destructive. His starting price is £3,000. His standard weapon is the hand cannon, similar to the Brigand's rifle, albeit more powerful. His starting special weapon is dynamite and his available special the "Shot Burst".

Preacher / Scientist

The weakest of the characters, yet also the smartest of the six characters but then, he has God on his side. Beware, his perverse nature is not to be trusted. The Preacher was renamed as the Scientist for Soldiers of Fortune (the American version) and his dog collar removed as they were worried about religious-based complaints. His starting price is £2,500, and his standard weapon is the unique "Lightening Gun" which has the potential to grow larger in size. His starting special is first aid. His available specials include "Map", "Shield", and "Freeze Monster".

Weaponry and money

You have £6,000 to spend on both characters, and you get to keep any left over money. The Gentleman and the Preacher / Scientist both cost £2,500, the Merc and the Brigand both cost £2,750, and the Thug and the Navvie both cost £3000.

Sub-Weapons/items can also be bought in the shop, as well as stats and lives, after every 2 stages. Each character will have one Sub-weapon/items each at the start. Only 2 Sub-weapons/items can be held at one time (one for each character) which, in 1 player mode, can be swapped by pressing the space bar. Holding down the fire button activates a Sub-weapon/items. Sub-weapons/items include screen clearing sticks of dynamite, Bombs, Maps, First Aid Boxes, Molotov Cocktails and 8 way bursts of bullets. Items will similar effects are found in game as well. The six anti-heroes and their weapons are as follows:

The Shotgun (Thug) and the Machine Gun (Mercenary) are similar to one another. The shot gun has a wider spread, shoots more bullets in one go but and a slower rate of fire. The Machine gun however has a continuous fire rate and closer spread.

The Cannon (Navvie) and the Rifle (Brigand) act like like a powerful forward shot. At their full power both weapons will have a tight 4 bullet spread.

The Pistol (Gentleman) and the Lightening Gun (Preacher) are different to the other weapons. They do not fire bullets, except they have their own "shots," exclusive to each other. They both pass through monsters which in turn can cause damage to any monster or spawn device behind it. The Pistol's Flame shot can be upgraded to fire two shots at once where as the Lightning Gun's Lightning will only have one shot that eventually grows to a larger size.

Levels of play

Screenshot Chaos Engine - World 1

There are four worlds, each consisting of four levels. The worlds (in order of visitation) are "Forest", "Workshops", "Fortesque Mansion", and "Sewers", each with its own dynamic industrial music score. The players must traverse through each level, picking up power-ups, gold and keys to pass through the various puzzles and mazes. A number of "nodes" must be activated via weapon fire to open the final doors at the end of the level. Secret routes and hidden items are plentiful along the way. At the end of every second level the player has a chance to spend their collected riches to upgrade their weapons, increase the number of hit points of their character, purchase new items and improve other character attributes. Finally, at the end of the sewers the players will face up to the Chaos Engine itself in a last battle. Upon its destruction, the narrator of the game is revealed to be the Baron himself, trapped within the machine and studded with implants. His final words are: "I have guided you here so that you might set me free. The Chaos has ended... you will be remembered."

Development team

Developers included Steve Cargill, Simon Knight, Dan Malone, Eric Mathews and Mike Montgomery. Music composers were Joi for the title theme and Richard Joseph for everything else.

Beta version

An early version of the game was previewed on the British TV show Gamesmaster, and some screenshots were featured in Amiga magazines of the time. The early version was reportedly "running on an Amiga 3000" and featured simultaneous three player action.

Awards

  • SEGA Awards 1994 Best Action Game
  • SEGA Awards 1994 Best 3rd Party Game of the Year
  • POWERPLAY Multi Player Game of the Year

Sequel: Chaos Engine 2

The sequel, Chaos Engine 2 appeared in 1996 for AGA Amigas and 1 MB Amiga 500, with a rough beta version also in existence for Sega Mega Drive/Genesis. The game pits the player characters against each other as prisoners of Baron Fortesque, and is basically a competition game instead of a co-operation one. It was severely unfinished when released, due to the publisher rushing it out, and the game brought disappointment to many fans of the finely-honed first game. Little concrete information is found on the sequel, save for the page on the developers' website.

External links


Gaming

Up to date as of February 01, 2010

From Wikia Gaming, your source for walkthroughs, games, guides, and more!

The Chaos Engine

Developer(s) The Bitmap Brothers
Publisher(s) Renegade Software,
Spectrum Holobyte, Inc.
Designer(s) Simon Knight
Eric Matthews
Release date March, 1993
Genre Third-person shooter
Mode(s) Single player, Two player
Age rating(s) N/A
Platform(s) Amiga, Amiga CD32, Atari ST, Archimedes, PC, Sega Megadrive, Sega Master System, SNES, GBA
Media Floppy disk, CD-ROM, Cartridge
Input Keyboard, Controller
Credits | Soundtrack | Codes | Walkthrough


The Chaos Engine (released as Soldiers of Fortune in the U.S.) is an awesome game created by U.K. developers The Bitmap Brothers. It was recently ported to the GBA, bringing the number of platforms it has appeared on to an impressive 9. It is designed to be played by two people playing co-operatively. However there is a one player mode where a computer controlled ally acts as the second player. Besides it's great gameplay it is also renowned for it's cool title screen music and the manly voice that does the in-game announcements. "Special power!" "Food!"

Contents

Story

Gentleman and Brigand kicking ass.

Taken from the start of the game:
Sometime in the last century, an experimenter with time, space and early computers created a bizarre machine. Although primitive, the machine became incredibly powerful and turned against its creator. Its power to corrupt time and matter was out of control. A cloud of chaos descended over all the lands. Humans and animals were turned into ravenous beasts. Enter six hard nailed mercenaries for hire.

The machine that was created is (you guessed it) the Chaos Engine. It's creator is crazy inventor Baron Fortesque, who has been imprisoned by his own machine. That's where you come in. You must shoot through 16 levels of enemy and puzzle filled awesomeness, destroy the Chaos Engine and find Baron Fortesque.

Characters

There are 6 different playable characters to choose from, each with strengths and weaknesses. Each character has their own distinct gun and special moves. You have £6,000 to spend on both characters, and you get to keep any left over money.

Mercenary

A good all-rounder. He is quite mad and enjoys nothing more than experimenting with a collection of unsavory weapons.

  • Price: £2,750.
  • Weapon: Gatling.
  • Starting Special: Bomb.
  • Available Specials: Ground Mine, First Aid.

Brigand

Another well rounded talent and a cut throat bandit to boot.

  • Price: £2,750.
  • Weapon: Rifle.
  • Starting Special: Shot Burst.
  • Available Specials: Molotov, Distract Monster.

Gentleman

A lean and clever character. He is a dapper chap without a doubt. What he lacks in muscle he makes up with wit.

  • Price: £2,500.
  • Weapon: Flamer.
  • Starting Special: Map.
  • Available Specials: Distract Monster, Repel Monster, Party Power.

Navvie

The strongest of the six characters. A good fighter with heavy weapons. Although he only has a few specials they are very destructive.

  • Price: £3,000.
  • Weapon: Cannon.
  • Starting Special: Dynamite.
  • Available Specials: Shot Burst.

Thug

When it comes to characteristics he could pass for the Navvie's brother. The Thug is a mammoth of a man, a little stupid but very powerful.

  • Price: £3,000.
  • Weapon: Shotgun.
  • Starting Special: Molotov.
  • Available Specials: Air Burst.

Preacher

The smartest of the six characters but then, he has God on his side. Beware, his perverse nature is not to be trusted.

  • Price: £2,500.
  • Weapon: Lightning.
  • Starting Special: First Aid.
  • Available Specials: Map, Shield, Freeze Monster.

Note: The Preacher was renamed as the Scientist for Soldiers of Fortune (the American version) as they were worried about complaints from those in the bible belt.

Levels

There are 4 different worlds, with each world comprising of 4 levels. After every 2 levels you can visit the shop to buy upgrades for your character using the gold you've accumulated. At the end of each world you get a save code.

The Forest

  1. The Beginning
  2. Mud Rivers
  3. Rings
  4. Rockies

The Workshops

  1. Maze
  2. Traps
  3. Steam
  4. Quarters
Things start heating up in Fortesque Mansion.

Fortesque Mansion

  1. The Pits
  2. Confusion
  3. Reverse
  4. Way Out

The Cellars

  1. Sewer
  2. Pump Room
  3. Hall of Machines
  4. Time for Chaos

Shop

The shop is an invaluable tool for keeping your character tooled up.

  • Extra Life (500) - increase your skill and you will unlock new specials and increase your max health, speed and wisdom.
  • Skill (300)
  • Health (75)
  • Speed (250)
  • Wisdom (80)
  • Complete Training (variable)
  • Weapon power-up (250)
  • Special power (150)

You can also buy new specials for your character as their skill level increases.

  • Shot Burst (500)
  • Air Burst (550)
  • Distract Monster (475)
  • Repel Monster (525)
  • Party Power (550)
  • Map (500)
  • Shield (550)
  • Freeze Monster (575)
  • Ground Mine (425)
  • First Aid (500)
  • Molotov (550)

Awards

  • SEGA Awards 1994 Best Action Game
  • SEGA Awards 1994 Best 3rd Party Game of the Year
  • POWERPLAY Multi Player Game of the Year

Related topics

The Chaos Engine 2

External Links

  • The Bitmap Brothers

This article uses material from the "The Chaos Engine" article on the Gaming wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

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