If you look too hard for a plot you might strain yourself; in what was pretty par for the course at the time, you guide a projectile-firing hero (nuanced shot types: little, big, and Really Big) through 10 levels in the DOS version or 15 levels in the Apple II and Apple IIgs versions (30 more in its look-alike sequel The Catacomb) of twisty, monster-filled mazes in what might critically be reduced to a pretty diluted Gauntlet derivative: advance through stages, avoid getting killed, rack up points and offensive bonuses.
The game is mostly of interest for historical value: its preoccupation with secret passages (here revealed by being shot) and an unprecedented "strafe" functionality hint at what lay ahead for its crew, for when you extrude the maze into three dimensions and shift from third-person to a first-person perspective, what you end up with is Catacomb 3-D... from which it is (and was, as it turns out for wunderkind Carmack), only a hop, skip and a jump to Wolfenstein 3D and DOOM.
Credits (DOS version)
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The Australian release sponsored by Verbatim was altered to include numerous additional messages throughout the levels, advertising the quality of Verbatim diskettes.
Apart from extending the game with five additional levels over the DOS version, the Apple II and IIGS ports also completely change the story, although they star the same main character, Petton Everhail. In the DOS version, the catacombs are located underneath Kieralon Palace, built by the Kieralon Empire that fell over two centuries earlier. Patton is approached by Terexin, former High Wizard of the Kieralon, and asked to recover his magic scrolls and treasure. In the Apple versions, on the other hand, it's refugees from Mount Kel-Keriad in the north that ask Petton to enter the catacombs. They have been attacked by Shadrani forces, and ask for help in reclaiming their home. This time, the catacombs are described to be located inside the mountain, and the treasure Patton collects belongs to the invaders.
Related Sites +
Anything and everything you need to know about the Catacomb series.
- MobyGames ID: 16300
- Wikipedia (en)
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Contributors to this Entry
Game added by Pseudo_Intellectual.
Apple IIgs added by Frenkel.
Game added January 21st, 2005. Last modified August 30th, 2023.