In memoriam, Donald Sutherland

World of Aden: Entomorph - Plague of the Darkfall

aka: Entomorph: Plague of the Darkfall
Moby ID: 320
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Description official descriptions

The inhabitants of the island of Phoros used to enjoy a prosperous, happy life. Large domesticated insects known as "jagtera" were doing all the hard work for them. However, following the Darkfall, the jagtera have disappeared from the island. The quality of life on Phoros has drastically declined, and its nobles came up with a monstrous plan: spreading rumors about the return of jagtera, they poisoned the population with a nectar that turned them into vicious, uncontrollable replicas of these gentle creatures. When a wandering squire named Warrick arrives on Phoros, searching for his missing sister, he realizes that something must be done to stop the pestilence. He does not known that he may have to leave his humanity by the wayside and succumb to the plague himself...

Entomorph is the second computer game set in the fictional world of Aden, the first being Thunderscape. Though the two games share the same setting, their gameplay styles are quite different. Entomorph is predominantly an action game with very light role-playing and puzzle-solving elements. The squire explores the island, talks to inhabitants, gathers clues and necessary items, and ventures into hostile areas to fight enemies. Combat is action-oriented and is done either with physical attacks or spells. There are no weapons in the game: Warrick either fights using his fists or morphs into different creatures by drinking special potions, thus acquiring new attacks. There are no character statistics or experience system of any kind.

The monster-morphing comes with a prize: Warrick is slowly turning into a jagtera. The player may control his actions and decisions throughout the game, ultimately affecting the ending, which determines whether the hero has resisted a complete transformation or not.

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Credits (Windows 3.x version)

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Reviews

Critics

Average score: 75% (based on 12 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.4 out of 5 (based on 28 ratings with 3 reviews)

Interesting transformation concept, but too linear.

The Good
There is a 40 pages book on the cd included, to pull the player into the story. Some people might not be interested in this, or not like it, but I was anxious for more after reading it. I think the game has a great storyline, with an interesting twist in the choice wether to transform or not - or so you think when you just arrived on Phoros. At the same time this is at the "didn't like" spot because not transforming is not an option.

Also the music is a good thing. Time was spend on creating it, there are enough tracks to make you listen to different music most of the time. Especcially the menu music is very good.

The magic system is also nice. Featuring a lot of spells you can kill your enemies on many different ways, complete with (for its time) gorgeous animations.

This game contains a mechanical twist like Arcanum. For its time, I think that's quite revolutionair, though it was already featured in the first WoA (World of Aden) game.

The Bad
Actually some of the plus points are minus points at the same time. For, to get really into the story, you should read the 40 pages book on the CD-ROM.

You appear to have the choice to transform or not at first, but later you realise you have to transform. It's a pity you cannot choose this yourself.

Also, you have to do things in a certain order. Sometimes you remain walking around without a clue what to do. Then you must just meet the right person who tells you...

The Bottom Line
An outdated, but still interesting adventure, with a lot of spells. Interesting storyline, which would be good enough to put into a book.

Windows · by Frans de Jonge (4) · 2003

Squiish! Gotcha, you nasty varmint! Anybody got a big fly swatter?

The Good
I hate bugs – I don’t care how little or innocent they may seem – they give me the creeps! I definitely wouldn’t enjoy spending my life as one and neither would the characters in this game.

Your quest is to rid the world of a horrible plague which is transforming all human life into ugly, filthy, slimy, multi-legged insects. In this medieval fantasy, you won’t find gallons of Raid or the Orkin man to help you. You must squash them all with only your brawn and a bit of magic. You will be meeting and battling mosquitoes, bees, grubs, beetles, ants and spiders, as well as some really bizarre partially morphed, half-human/half-insect creatures. Get into their hives and nests – kill their queens – steal their life giving nectars and ultimately free the world of Aden of insects forever.

First of all, Entomorph does not rely on AD&D rules, so the spells and weapons you might be expecting are not there, but neither are the restrictions (such as object weight). You will be fist fighting in martial-arts fashion, casting spells, as well as drinking specialized restorative and enhancing potions. There are a total of 22 spells to cast from your spell book, and their intensity (and overall impact) can be varied by using more or less mana.

You gain experience as you fight, but mostly by evolving into – you guessed it – a bug! By drinking some royal jelly (the strongest, purist nectar left behind when you destroy the Queens), you will make 3 metamorphosis from human to a fully developed praying mantis like insect, complete with pinchers. The transformation really takes a toll on your character and is depicted in all its grotesqueness with a really cool animation, followed by a narration describing it. (Gave me the willy-nillies!)

The 3D isometric graphics and top-down view felt very familiar and comfortable to me, and reminded me of the Ultima games in many respects. Your character is centered in the screen all the time and your stats and life force can be seen clearly on-screen. Movement can be handled with the mouse or the keyboard. Clicking on a door opens it and moves you inside, the roof disappearing to expose the interior. Sometimes the mouse response was sluggish, so I found using the keyboard better for moving around the game screen.

There are many barrels and jars to open in the interactive environment, caves and underground caverns to explore and a good amount of area to cover. Parchments need to be read in order to find out what is going on. And you’ll be collecting and working with exotic plant life – flowers, vegetables, bushes, trees etc. – as part of the story. Teleporters are used to gain access to areas you cannot reach on foot (or did not know existed). The teleporters themselves are an integral part of the puzzle-solving aspects of the game.

The 30 save game slots were plenty and included a screenshot of your location. The music was good and added the right feelings to the overall game atmosphere. But the voice acting wasn’t so hot, especially that of the narrator, whose voice was a bit corny.

Talking to NPCs develops the story and offers you new challenges and problems to solve. Most of the puzzles are related to objects you find while playing (i.e. reassembling a “Great Machine”).

The Bad
Entomorph is very linear so the game must be played in a certain order. Most of the time you’ll be wandering around wondering what to do next with no clues whatsoever in the game itself to help you.

Some of the puzzles were illogically perplexing, making me scratch my head without any clue why what I just did worked (or didn’t work). I found it necessary to use a walkthrough several times for that reason. Mostly I found that it was just a matter of finding all of the pieces (and/or talking to the right “people”), but even then I never learned the whys and wherefores on many of them.

The correct voices are very important in graphical fantasies like this one, I think. They need to have the proper inflections, pronunciations and tone as well as be appropriate for the character they represent. Improving the voice acting in Entomorph would have made a big difference in the game overall.

The Bottom Line
This is a decidedly different role player and an enjoyable game. The game play is simple and even those not familiar with the RPG genre can play it. It has enough adventuring to keep you interested. Although the puzzle-solving aspects and voice acting needed improvement, overall I’d rate this game a solid Honorable Mention. It won’t take you too long to complete it, but it is not too short either. And ... you get to annihilate lots of nasty bugs!

Windows · by Jeanne (75929) · 2005

Immersive, addictive and a musical masterpiece

The Good
The spell system is the best I have seen in any RPG/CRPG. For a game released in 1995, the spell effects are awesome. The storyline draws you in and you feel immersed in a fantasy/adventure/thriller novel. Finally, the music is one of the best I have ever heard in a game to this day (Feb 2003).

The Bad
The combat, apart from the magic is slightly lacklustre; all your character can do is punch. thats it. no weapons, no armor, no stats, no rolls, nada.

The Bottom Line
If you like adventure games, pick this up. If you like RPGs, pick this up. If you like computer games, PICK THIS UP! Its probably not even $5 today, if you can find it anywhere.

Windows · by Saurabh Shukul (4) · 2003

Trivia

PlayStation version

SSI's catalog for the second half of 1995 lists a PlayStation version of Entomorph. That version was never released.

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  • MobyGames ID: 320
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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by GrimReaper.

Macintosh added by Joakim Kihlman.

Additional contributors: Terok Nor, Jeanne, ZeTomes.

Game added October 24, 1999. Last modified January 29, 2024.