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Xargon
Gameplay of Xargon 2: The Secret Chamber
Developer(s) Epic Games
Publisher(s) Epic Games
Programmer(s) Allen W. Pilgrim
Engine Xargon engine
Platform(s) MS-DOS
Release date(s) 1993
Genre(s) side-scrolling platform game
Mode(s) Single player
Media Floppy disk (1)
Input methods keyboard, joystick

Xargon is a 1993 video game trilogy produced by Epic MegaGames (now Epic Games) for PCs running MS-DOS. It was programmed by Allen Pilgrim. The graphics were created by Joe Hitchens, who also contributed to Epic Pinball and Jill of the Jungle. The game is a side-scrolling platform game very similar to Jill of the Jungle, but with improved graphics. The main character, Malvineous Havershim, must journey through strange landscapes as he seeks to destroy the evil Xargon.

Volume 1 was released as shareware, but volumes 2 and 3 had to be purchased commercially.

Initially, Malvineous is armed with a "laser bullet", allowing only one shot on-screen at a time. Various weapon upgrades are available, including thrown rocks, extra laser bullets, rapid-fire mode, and limited-ammo fireballs. These can be obtained as power-ups within a level, or purchased using emeralds.

The game was a contemporary of such games as Id Software's Commander Keen and Apogee Software's Duke Nukem II. Allen Pilgrim declared the registered version freeware on August 4, 2008.[1]

Contents

Storyline

Malvineous Havershim was an archaeologist studying strange ruins in Madagascar. The ruins were built by an unknown ancient culture known as the 'Blue Builders'. While attempting to translate the glyphs on the walls of one Blue Builder structure, a strange gas was emitted, and Malvineous slowly lost consciousness.

Malvineous then had a dream-encounter with a talking eagle, who gave him cryptic warnings. He then awoke in a strange land, the area in which the game takes place. He began exploring the world, finding hostile creatures and robots, while recording his findings in journal entries. He eventually encountered an evil entity named Xargon, who seems to have been a tyrannical ruler. Malvineous had to confront Xargon before returning home.

Gameplay

The basic goal of the game is to advance through the map by completing levels. To finish a level, the player must find and reach the exit, which is found by traversing throughout the level.

Along the way you can kill monsters with a default laser spell or more powerful weapons. Malvineous's laser spell can be slightly controlled by pressing up or down, in which the laser spell will slightly advance upwards or downwards. Other weapons include a more powerful laser spell, more laser bolts which allows Malvineous to shoot more often, rapid fire, rocks which can be thrown more strategically, and powerful fireballs which make short work of most enemies.

Xargon is unique in the sense that you can purchase items at any point during the game granted you have the emeralds to spend. Emeralds are randomly placed in most levels. Purchasable items include health units, invincibility, and weapon upgrades.

In most of the levels there are blue boxes marked with a question mark, that either explode when you shoot them or contain fruit or other valuable items. Points are earned by collecting fruit, killing monsters, and collecting the four EPIC pool balls. You get more points for collecting the EPIC pool balls in order.

Malvineous can only be hit 5 times without healing, and if he dies the player must start the level over again. He can restore health by finding a beating heart or collecting 16 fruits which restores one health unit. Spike pits, water, acid and various other dangers kill Malvineous instantly if he touches them.

Reception

The game was reviewed in 1994 in Dragon #204 by Sandy Petersen in the "Eye of the Monitor" column. Petersen gave the game 2 out of 5 stars.[2]

References

  1. ^ [1] Allen Pilgrim declared Xargon freeware and released the source code.
  2. ^ Petersen, Sandy (April 1994). "Eye of the Monitor". Dragon (204): 59-62. 

External links

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