Wednesday, March 11, 2015

EVO: Search for Eden Finale - Evolution is a Mystery

The meteor has fallen, wiping out the dinosaurs. Now, Chapter 4 takes us to an eastern hemisphere that looks pretty modern. We're leaping through eras like a champ now, and the Ice Age is fully underway. But why is there a flying castle over Mt. Kilimanjaro, and why is Mt. Kilimanjaro in completely the wrong spot?





Gaia appears to inform the player that they can trade in their sweet bird form (...or reptile form, if they stuck with it) for a Rat Form if they're so inclined. Yeah. The good news is that a rat can eventually evolve into a human, which is pretty much the ultimate form of the game. A bird could passably make it to the end of the game, though. I wonder if anyone ever went reptile all the way through; I imagine that'd be incredibly difficult, if not impossible.

Say bye to my awesome griffin-beast. Time to GO RAT. Somewhere, Frankie Sinatra just smiled and took a sip of courvoisier.

He then ordered Satan to go get him another cigarette.

Rat is...quite underwhelming. At first glance it looks weaker than any of the previous starting forms, but it's actually the strongest of the bunch. ...at least, in terms of attack power. While the others all hit for one damage initially, this one hits for THREE.

The game gets a bit lazy at this point, actually reusing dinosaur levels with the same layout and everything. Apparently some dinosaurs "survived the meteor". But will they survive Linkin Park's incredibly whiny Meteora? I WON'T BE IGNORRRRRRED!

...I actually like Linkin Park, but I liked them a lot more before I realized all the lyrics of all their songs are about being dumped by a girl, as opposed to any real problems facing the world. Where's the anti-war song, Linkin Park? It isn't like you were most active in the mid-00's or anything.

This door is the one time that the game isn't entirely straightforward, and you need to meet a few requirements to open it. More importantly, my rat is looking increasingly evil.

After spending some quality, boring grinding time killing things with a slightly powered up Dog Jaw, it's time to evolve. There are many paths I can take, like strengthening my cat-like creature's jaws or turning it into a goat with vicious kicking power (very useful, actually). However, I'm going to bypass all of that and go right to the final form that I'll need in Chapter 5. Evolve a creature with Cat Jaws and a Rabbit Shaped Body, and Ramothecus Body will unlock. Evolve to that, and...

...we have monkey. What the hell is a brontosaurus doing here? Seriously? The Ice Age has more dinosaurs in it than the dinosaur age! Was all the cutting and pasting really necessary?

Continue to evolve Ramothecus in that direction and he gains the power to swing a bone. At this point he's more powerful than the dog-cat I had a little while ago. Continue evolving along this path (at 2000 exp a pop) and...

...we have small pygmy human, complete with a club. The club is useful for hooking up with women, much like modern times. However, the application is ENTIRELY different.

Further evolution turns me into a bigger human with an AXE. This is the ultimate form of the game, as far as I know. Slaying Tyrasaurs is easy now.

I journey to the frigid wastelands and meet wondrous creatures. ...and KILL EVERYTHING. Even though I have the ultimate form, exp points are still needed. Why? Because every time you evolve, you regain your full HP. You can still change the size of your character for 1500 exp, which means that you can heal once for every 1500 exp you get. The final boss is something that you'll want like 40,000 exp for.

Next boss: A trio of wooly mammoths. Very, very small wooly mammoths. They're appalled to see the abomination...the MONSTROSITY of evolution standing before them.

This fight is very simple, as are all of them from here on out. You hack away until you're the only thing standing. It's like riding the Tokyo subway.

The flying castle above Kilimanjaro is none other than the Bird King Fort. Wouldn't this area have been more fitting back when the player was definitely still a bird? In any case, it appears that the birds have evolved parallel to the mammals, and the Bird King wants them to be the top of the food chain on Earth forevermore.

The bird army can use swords. It looks to me like they're actually way past the mammals in evolution. Gaia, however, won't let this stand. She's like Vince McMahon and the birds are like Daniel Bryan. Which means our hero is Roman Reigns, I guess.

The Bird King has big ideas, including branching out into space. I say let the birds have a crack at it! There's room for multiple evolved species on Earth!

Nope, looks like we have to battle it out. This guy is an impressive foe, but he's no match for my axe.

"And my bow!"

The Yeti are a bit more of a challenge than the last few bosses. They're actually well-suited to overpower a human, and this is one situation where you're better off as a goat. The vicious back-kicks of a goat work wonders against these guys, as I know from Nintendo Power.

After defeating the yeti, the game makes sure to let me know he had a family. I won, but at what cost? AT WHAT COST, GAIA?

The final battle of Chapter 4 is Mother Yeti. This thing is much stronger, continuing the trend of females being bigger and badder than their male counterparts. As is often tradition in nature. This fight is -brutal- as a human, requiring hit-and-run tactics.

Oh COME ON.

Look around at all this killing, Gaia! When is enough enough, damn it??

She wants me to go on to Chapter 5 now that all threats to human evolution have been removed.

Are you not entertained, Gaia? ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED?

Chapter 5 puts us in a fairly modern world, with the western hemisphere now available. The objective here is to reach Eden, located in the center of Africa. So... we had archaeological history mixed with mythology, now we're throwing in Biblical references too?

Our hero hacks his way through more single-plane, flat levels. Only now the enemies are all mammalian. This would be a good time to mention the horrible, horrible music that plays for most of these levels, starting with Chapter 3's dinosaur levels and continuing on for the rest of the game (because they couldn't compose more music for the last two chapters, I suppose).

Steel yourself, and have a listen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QjAcGZR55hU

Now imagine listening to that while grinding exp in all of these levels.

DUNNN! DUNNN! DUNNN! DUNNN! DUDUDUDUDU DU DU DU DEEEEE! DUHDUHDUHDUHDUHDUHDUHDUH DEEEE!

DUNNN! DUNNN! DUNNN! DUNNN! DUDUDUDUDU DU DU DU DEEEEE! DUHDUHDUHDUHDUHDUHDUHDUH DEEEE!

After surviving a bear assault, our hero finds the last remaining dinosaurs. You can kill them or walk on by; I chose to let them be.

Next is the Jungle of Massacre, home to vicious cats. We're getting close to Eden now.

At this point it's clear that the game wants you to evolve into a human, as numerous hints are dropped that it's possible and how to do it. I think you're supposed to be a goat for the Yeti fights and most of the mammal era.

The next boss is another yeti. It's implied that this one is the son of the duo you killed earlier... but this is millions of years later. Maybe he went through a time gate too. Who knows. Either way, he throws lots of boxing strikes and does spin-jumps. It's pretty weird to look at.

The next step takes us to a stonehenge type structure, and the middle of it contains a hidden warp zone. Unfortunately, this warp zone leads to nothing good...

...it leads to QUEEN BEE REDUX. NOOOOOOO!

After barely getting past the Queen Bee again, I traverse the Final Ocean stage. Why is it called that? It isn't the last ocean or anything. It's cool to have another water stage so late in the game, and if you're not a human you can turn into a mermaid here. As for this shot... the first boss is a regular enemy here, and it's quite a bully.

King Rogon is the ruler of Final Ocean, and without Mermaid form he's moderately tough. Looks like this is some sort of sunken Greek temple, but it's millions of years before Greece existed. Ah, whatever.

Win, and you find a bunch of celebrating dolphins. Now THEY can rule the oceans since King Rogon and his organized shark armies are defeated. This is sorta like when I took out the Bird King because they were advancing too quickly.

Is there only room for the races you deem worthy, Herr Gaia?

The Whale King is a robust fellow. He looks like something out of Zelda.

The final stage is guarded by... a giant human. That or he's a regular-sized human and I've been playing as a little kid all this time, which might be the case since this is a Japanese game. They love their tot-heroes!

This guy is a real bastard, and can knock you out of the stage with his club. That means you have to start the fight over. It suuuuuuucks.

I make quick work of him with jumping axe strikes (and backing off a lot to avoid club-retaliation). I remember the first time I played this game...I had a much weaker mammal form, and could barely damage this guy. So I ended up fighting him for like 20 minutes straight. Not sure if I won or if I left and figured out the human evolution.

Bird has a fairly easy time with him, no idea about reptile. Not even sure if it's possible to bring a reptile here or if it forces a mammal change in that case.

The final stage is full of odd reptillian creatures... and has some awesome music. Glad a stage finally got an audio upgrade. This tune goes on for quite a while, as does the stage.

After traversing a maze of elevators, our hero finds a weird column of energy coming out of a green crystal. I suspect this has something to do with the weird aliens hovering around earlier in the game. There's some sort of evolutionary abomination that they created, and it's now tampering with other life on the planet. Or something.

Speaking of...here it is. Behold! It's...Bolbox!

Bolbox is a fearsome...giant cell? It sends out smaller cells that transform into creatures that attack. Victory is a matter of defeating a bunch of them in succession. It's a boss rush, more or less.

Giant squid! Look at how angry it is. It's like a Mega Man miniboss.

One particular pain in the ass is this roach. Every time you strke it, it flies up and around in a big circle, making it much more difficult to land successive strikes on it.

THE most difficult part of this fight is this damn eel. It's horrible. It's way more mobile than you are and can kill you in a couple of hits. This is where I burned through my exp to change my character size and get healed in the process; took way too many heals to survive this fight. Even with 40000+ exp saved up, which I thought would be overkill, I almost ran out.

VICTORY. Herr Gaia appears to congratulate our hero on shutting down the evolutionary path of other worthy races to ensure that humans would have an uninterrupted rise from here on out. And dolphins too, I guess. Now my character goes to live with Gaia in Eden. I'm guessing that means he's her sex slave in some Elysium-like higher realm, which is fine with me.

We cut to aliens on...the moon? Mars? Why are there pyramids and obelisks in the background? WHAT'S THE STORY HERE? In any case, they talk about how they're responsible for messing with evolution on the planet and how they'll leave it alone from now on. So they're the ones who evolved the birds beyond what they "should have been", and they likely also dropped Bolbox on the world.

I feel like there's a much better story that could be told here with a little more thought put into it...

Seriously, pyramids on Mars? Well, this IS 5 million B.C. or so. Maybe they got buried by sandstorms in the time since.

A little bird announces to the assembled army of...trees? that a new age is beginning. Then our hero takes an axe to her and eats her for extra exp! New Game +, here I come!

So yeah, that's the end of this game. On one hand, it's kind of terrible - in script, story, and controls - but on the other hand, it's a really interesting and memorable game. I still feel like I don't know all the secrets of it, and that's saying something after all this time. It was the first game I finished in 1997 (January 2nd, as I recall), and back then I found it to be an epic struggle.


4 comments:

  1. Jesus, that "Dinosaur Stage" tune is HORRIBLE. This looks like a truly weird game and I shudder to think that some kids might have based their ideas of history on it. Humans and dinosaurs co-existing?

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  2. Heh, Meteora.

    Seeing you become man is pretty cool, and definitely one of the better things this game does.

    Jungle of Massacre > Dinosaur Land music

    The queen bee isn't any easier as a human? Man.

    The eel is the final boss? Well, it's an interesting game in any case.

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  3. The eel is part of the final boss. The final boss is the giant cell thing itself, and once you kill all of the things it summons, the fight ends. I don't think I mentioned that it can summon things in any order. There are six bosses it summons (I believe) and you could get the eel first, last, or anywhere in-between. So it's like a weird random boss-rush with a bunch of foes that you haven't fought before (likely bosses that got omitted from the earlier game for time constraints or some other reason). None of the six foes are particularly bad aside from the eel.

    The Queen Bee is a terrible, terrible boss. She moves faster than basically every form you can take in the game and generally stays out of reach. She can also damn-near stunlock you to death with stinger-bullets.

    It isn't a very good game but there's something weirdly appealing to it, even now...

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  4. Congrats. Can't believe you made it while listening to these tunes over and over. The game continued with teaching us that nature is brutal. A very grim lesson for us all! We are the descendants of the best killers and all that. Gaia could've killed everything herself but didn't want to get her hands dirty, it seemed.
    Killing penguins would make me so sad.

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