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Written by  :  Rygar Starkong (9)
Written on  :  Mar 02, 2021
Rating  :  5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars
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The Demogorgon Returns.....IN 4D!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Good

Take everything you loved about Forbidden Forest and crank it up to ELEVEN!
Once again you find yourself standing in the foreboding and...dare I say...FORBIDDEN forest, bow in hand and quiver on your back. Things have changed rather dramatically since your last visit to these woods. You are now about to move freely between the background and foreground and fire your weapon not only on the X axis, but on the Y axis in this space, giving you unprecedented control over where you aim your arrow, which both helps and hinders you in your quest to vanquish the evil in this darkened wood.
Secondly, you will now find that your battle against the Demogorgon will take place not just in the forest, but in the dark caverns below where unimaginable horrors await you.
But let's not get ahead of ourselves, shall we? Before we can descend into the darkness, we must first face the denizens of the forest, of which there are four. Defeating each creature will gain you a GOLDEN ARROW, which you need four of to gain entrance to the underground. The four creatures in the forest will keep coming after you in a loop until you decide to take the fight downtown, if you catch my meaning.
Right, so what are these creatures, you ask? First you will face a giant scorpion that will chase you from one side of the screen to the other. After burying several arrows in it, the oversized arachnid will die. After that you will contend with the giant carnivorous worm that pops out of the ground and tries to eat you. It's like Tremors, but in the woods. Firing several arrows into its trunk will finally cause its whole dang head to explode! Dang! 'Nuther golden arrow.
Next up you will face a massive life draining mosquito....and when I say life draining, I mean LIFE DRAINING! This thing will suck every ounce of fluid from your body and leave the dried withered husk on the forest floor for scavengers to pick at and perhaps pick apart to make a nest. The instruction manual calls it a dragonfly....but I've never seen a dragonfly act like that.
Finally, after that you must contend with the Megatherium. This is a weird bear/ape/sasquatch combo critter that bounces around the screen trying to crush you under its immense furry weight.
Having defeated all four of these monstrosities, you will have gained four golden arrows and can now opt to head to the underworld. HOWEVER, I strongly recommend cycling through a few times and gaining as many arrows as you can, because said arrows act like lives. That's right, for every golden arrow you possess you will be resurrected by a glowing spinning thing that comes out of the sky. Once you go underground, each death will cost you TWO arrows. So be prepared!
Right. So you've stocked up on golden arrows and you're feeling like a certified bad ass with a bow & arrow. Let's take this party downstairs.
Spoiler alert....this is no party. You find yourself in a deep dark cavern filled with hundreds of bloodthirsty bats that will swoop down and try to bite you. Occasional blood splashes will show that you've been bitten. As far as I know you cannot succumb to bat bites....but I could be wrong. Keep your eyes open because among all these furry little vampires there is one single golden bat. That is your target. Kill the golden bat and all the rest pop like overripe melons! It's pretty gnarly!
Having showered in blood and bat entrails you head into the last cave to face the absolutely astounding, screen filling four headed Hydra! Each of its heads spouts fire that will incinerate you instantly, leaving only a charred skeleton behind. I will let you work out for yourself how to defeat this fiery behemoth, but I'll tell you'll be glad you took the time to gather those golden arrows!
After you defeat the Hydra, it's time for a rematch against the Demogorgon, who's not too happy to see you after your last meeting. This time, he is rising out of a massive pit in the ground. He fires energy beams out of his eyes in your direction. Make sure you don't fall in the pit or get hit by his eye beams. This is a tough fight and your arrow must fly true and straight to a very specific spot in order to win the day. One hit will do it, but it a doozy making that shot!
If you successfully kill the Demogorgon, then you will have spread sunshine to the forest and lifted the darkness once again. Unlike the first game, which then loops back and has you start over at a higher difficulty, this game actually does have an end screen. It's not much of one, but it's an end screen none-the-less.
Should you run out of turn into stone and the game tells you that ALL IS LOST. Pretty dark stuff on the ol' C64!

The Bad

Honestly, there is nothing that I don't like about this game. If I absolutely had to give it a criticism, it would be that I would have liked maybe a couple more monsters in the forest section for a little more variety. Maybe something with a more supernatural tinge, like in the original game.

The Bottom Line

This game is fantastic. Quite possibly one of the....if not THE goriest game.... to appear on the Commodore 64. Every creature kills you in a new and horrific way. Lots of red stuff spraying around.
This game feels cinematic, which is something that creator Paul Norman wanted. It feels like each and every pixel is dripping in pure dread and I cannot wait to go back and face the horrors that lie BEYOND THE FORBIDDEN FOREST!