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Written by  :  Rygar Starkong (9)
Written on  :  Feb 11, 2021
Platform  :  Commodore 64
Rating  :  5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars

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In The Forbidden Forest, No One Can Hear Your Screams

The Good

It's nighttime. The family den is dark save for the glow of the monitor. The rest of the family is in the living room watching television, but not me. No, I have sworn to rid this forest of evil and that's just what I'm going to do. I steady myself as I hear a noise in the brush. A giant spider is rushing towards me. One well placed shot to its thorax puts it down quickly. Piece of cake... until more start swarming through the undergrowth.
I barely have time to catch my breath before a loud buzzing sound splits the air. A massive bee swoops down between the branches, stinger at the ready. I dodge and fire an arrow causing the bee to explode in a surprising light show. A few more buzz around and, like their hive-mate, meet and explosive end.
The aerial assault isn't over however. The sky grows darker and suddenly massive mutant frogs are raining down upon me. I dodge between their slimy bodies and fire wildly, hitting some as they cascade through the tree canopy.
The sky is now a dark grey and I can see a large dark shadow moving against the clouds. There is a flash of light that I briefly mistake for lightning. I should be so lucky. It is, in fact, fire being belched forth from a massive red dragon. I fire a succession of arrows, all of which bounce harmlessly off the dragon's tough scales. It chases me through the woods, setting the trees ablaze as it continues its fiery assault on me. At last a lucky shot directly to its mouth causes the giant beast to erupt in flames and fall to the forest floor, smoldering.
The clouds have cleared and the moon is up, framed by a sky full of sparkling stars. The air is still. Everything feels wrong. A sudden rustle of leaves is the only warning of attack from a human skeleton wielding a spear charging at me. An arrow puts it down. Then another... and another... and another. They just keep coming. I feel as though I'm being watched. A horrible phantasmagorical phantom materializes hovering above the forest floor. I somehow understand that he is controlling the skeletons and the only way to make them stop is to destroy it. I aim at the black void where the hooded figure's face should be. My arrow vanishes into the blackness as the phantom screams in agony, its robes disintegrating as it howls. The skeletons stop their assault.
All is silent.
That is until a 50 foot snake rises up in front of me, spitting acidic venom towards me. I jump to the side and quickly fire an arrow between its eyes. It falls dead at my feet. Enough is enough. It's time to end this evil once and for all.
The night is full dark. Despite the moon and stars shining bright without a cloud in the sky, flashes of lightning fill the air.
In each flash, I see something massive in the sky.
My God... it's The Demogorgon!
With every flash of lightning I can track his movements and begin to anticipate where he will be at the next flash. A single arrow is all I need to end this nightmare. I pray to the Creator and let my arrow fly true. It pierces the chest of the Demogorgon and it explodes in a shower of light, freeing the forest from it's demonic curse.

The Bad

Really, my only complaint is the length of the archer's victory dance between each wave of enemies. It definitely could have been much shorter!
The dragon is probably the most difficult creature to defeat thanks to the small hit box around its mouth and the fact that it's constantly spitting fireballs at you, so you've gotta be pixel perfect with your aim while running for your life.

The Bottom Line

This game absolutely drips with atmosphere. It is as if each pixel is made of dread.
If you are a retro horror gamer, you cannot afford to miss this game.

And I'll tell you what... I will never forget the first time I defeated The Phantom and it let out that horrid electronic scream. I could still hear it as I lay in bed that night. It really freaked me out!
Of course I was like 6....