Bio Menace

aka: Bio Hazard
Moby ID: 236
DOS Specs

Description official descriptions

The CIA has learned that gigantic mutants are wreaking havoc in Metro City and their sources say that the destruction is caused by a scientist calling himself Dr. Mangle. For this reason, they send Snake Logan, the CIA's top secret agent, on a dangerous mission: fly over Metro City, investigate what’s going on, then report back to the captain. Unfortunately, Snake’s plane is shot down, forcing Snake to walk the streets and kill mutants.

There are three episodes in this game: In “Dr. Mangle's Lab” and “The Hidden Lab”, Snake must destroy two labs and Dr. Mangle himself. Just before he dies, Mangle tells him that he is forced by somebody known as Master Cain to do his bidding, or he would be killed, so in “Master Cain”, Snake sets out and destroy the creator himself.

All three episodes use the Commander Keen engine, which id Software used. It has a similar score box located at the top-left of the action screen, same menu system, same on-line help, and the same start-up screen where the game detects your sound card, video card, I/O devices, and the amount of memory you have. It even allows you to view the old status screen if you press [Space] during gameplay.

But the only differences are that Snake has eight units of health, so each time Snake collides with a mutant, he doesn’t get killed straight away unless he had one unit left. There are 12 levels in each episode. When you start a new game, as well as choosing the three difficulty modes, you get to practice every level except the very last one, which is the episode’s final boss.

Snake can use more than one weapon. For example, beside his trusty machine gun, he can also use lasers to fire through mutants, place land mines on the ground or throw grenades to blow them up.

Snake has to make his way through each level by blasting mutants while finding the exit. But to find it, he must first free a hostage located on each level. Some parts of each level are blocked off by a laser gate, and these include passages where the hostages are kept. To turn these off, Snake must search for a keycard or a crystal shard. There are lockers which store these, and can only be opened by obtaining gold keys.

Also in these locked doors are goodies that can boost your score, which could give you an extra life. You can also get an extra life by either collecting 50 gems or a mini-Snake. A few of the levels have a color sequence. This involves finding five different colors in a line, and then finding five switches that must be flipped in the correct order that corresponds to the sequence of colors. Doing this will allow you to get goodies that add many points to your score. However, failure to switch in the correct order will result in Snake falling down a pit of spikes or toxic waste. In some areas, you can also get a flask full of liquid that will make your invincible for 30 seconds. As normally, it does not work when Snake falls down a pit.

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Credits (DOS version)

7 People

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Reviews

Critics

Average score: 61% (based on 5 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.5 out of 5 (based on 55 ratings with 7 reviews)

Snake Logan kicks three bad guys' butts in only 3 days.

The Good
I don't see why this game was discontinued! It works great on modern PCs. The game engine and graphics are great, the sound and music is very cool, and the plot is inspirational and fun. Another fun part is the apogee room!

The Bad
Some levels were only 20 seconds long. That's about it.

The Bottom Line
This game is awesome if you like Commander Keen or Duke Nukum, or classic sidescrollers. The graphics were pretty good for Apogee's last EGA game. I also am obsessed with the game engine, as I have found several games that have it:

  1. Commander Keen 4-6
  2. ScubaVenture (?)
  3. This Game
  4. Dangerous Dave 2-4

DOS · by Andrew Fimiani (3) · 2005

Simple Yet Challenging

The Good
Nice colours, cool designs, character is easy to control.

The Bad
This game is surprisingly difficult and may take a while to complete if not playing on Easy.

The Bottom Line
Fun game, a nice time capsule of the style of games at the time it was released.

Windows · by Daemon Aitken · 2023

Very nice game, but full of bugs

The Good
This is one of the better Apogee-style games, I have enjoyed it a lot.

The Bad
This game has some terrible bugs. Some versions of the game start up with a screen of troubleshooting tips to get the game running. On most of my old computers it crashes when you start playing (typically, the first time you shoot). I never got it working on a recent computer (such as a Pentium with Windows 95).

The Bottom Line
If it was more stable, it would be a typical Apogee platform game. It uses the Keen engine, so the gameplay is much the same as Keen, but the theme is more like Duke Nukem.

DOS · by rey_ (296) · 2001

[ View all 7 player reviews ]

Trivia

Compatibility

Found on Apogee's website:

Bio Menace is the only game that Apogee has not been able to get to run under Windows95/98 reliably under any condition.

Development

It took two years to create the game, mainly because Jim Norwood created practically every asset on his own, from game code, to art, to sound, to level design. The one significant area not created by Norwood is the game's engine. It was created by id Software, and was the engine original used for the second trilogy of Commander Keen games, starting with Goodbye, Galaxy

Freeware release

On December 23, 2005, Apogee/3D Realms made this game available as freeware. It was a "Christmas present" to their fans. The full registered game contains all three episodes and can be downloaded from their FTP server.

References

Among the hostages you have to save is Commander Keen, from id Software's series of games of the same name. When you rescue him (he's on level 6 of the 2nd episode) you say "Just doing my duty, Captain Keen" to which he replies "It's COMMANDER Keen!" For the curious, people mixing up Commander Keen's title is one of the in-jokes of the series.

Trilogy

Like most Apogee platformers Bio Menace is actually a trilogy. The first part of the trilogy came in two versions: a shareware version and a non-shareware version. The two other parts are not shareware. The names of the three episodes are:1. Dr. Mangle's Lab- The Hidden Lab- Master Cain

Information also contributed by Carlos Aquino, Maw, Roedle and Sciere

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Tomer Gabel.

Windows added by 666gonzo666. Macintosh, Linux added by lights out party.

Additional contributors: Kate Jones, Patrick Bregger, Victor Vance.

Game added August 21st, 1999. Last modified August 23rd, 2023.