Crystal Dynamics

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Crystal Dynamics have out done themselves by combining games like Gex, Sega's Nights and Bug to bring you a tremendously fluid and fast 3D game named Pandemonium!

In Pandemonium you'll meet Nikki, Fargus and Sid at the Lancelot Castle. They had gone there to attend a "Wizards in Training" seminar. Nikki, a talented acrobat with swift reflexes, had become irritated with her blunt carnival life on the high-wire. After having forgotten to feed the lions, and the trainer almost having his arm chewed off, she decided it was time to run away and become a wizard! Fargus, having grown up in a family of jesters, and his stick-puppet partner Sid spent their lives together traveling from fair to festival entertaining and embarrassing people here and there. Their act, however, was as old as the hills and usually turned into a bombardment of fruits and eggs. They too were a little tired of same old routine and had heard about the Wizards seminar.

Nikki, Fargus and Sid met at the seminar while pushing and bumping into each other. The seminar turned out to be rather boring and they each did their own thing while waiting for it to end, with Nikki practicing back- flips, Fargus sleeping, and Sid making spitballs. Finally Vu, the speaker at the seminar, terminated his speech and headed for the restroom. Nikki and her new found friends decided to follow Vu as he went down the hallway. As they approached him, they noticed that he had been hitting the bottle a little. Tripping over a pleat in the carpet, an ancient book slipped out of his backpack. Nikki leaped and grabbed the thick handbook before it hit the ground. The book was titled, "Ancient Wizards Spellbook", and contained warnings such as "Must be fully trained and licensed to use" and "May result in danger and death". This is exactly what they had hoped for as they rushed up to the high balcony over looking the city.

The full motion 3D video introduction to the game begins here with Nikki performing spells from the magical book atop of the castle. Fargus and Sid want to see something with more fire power and urge Nikki to perform a 10th level spell. With a few magical words appears a green horrible looking monster that consumes the entire village with one large gulp. With a slight panic in their voices, they search the book for how to rid the city of the monster.

Instructions on your mission are given out as the book reveals that you'll have to obtain a boon from the wishing well. Off they go on their adventure to the wishing engine. This is where you, the player, come in to help them through the 18 levels and three bosses to the wishing well. You'll be able to select whether you want to play as Nikki or Fargus before starting each level. Your goal will be to simply survive all the levels so that you can make your wish in the end. To help you with your journey, different colored coins and hearts will be found all throughout the game. Once you have collected 300 coins, you'll be granted an extra life. Many different creatures, bugs, and devices await to kill you by eliminating your hit points. When you run out of hit points, you will lose a life. The number of hits you can subsist are represented by hearts that you can collect. Starting off by only being able to hold two hearts, you can collect gold-rimmed hearts to hold up to eight in total. Ankhs are also hidden throughout the game that will grant you an extra life. These are usually found up high above most of the objects in hard to reach areas making the prize well deserved.

To help you destroy monsters and other obstacles, weapons and power-ups are scattered in all the different levels. You'll have access to fireballs, shrink and freeze rays to rid, or paralyze your enemies. Shields will make you untouchable for ten seconds as your character will become anodized mercury, and special gates will sometimes magically change your shape into a dragon, rhino, turtle or frog. Each of them have their special abilities such as jumping super high as the frog and breathing fire as the dragon.

The graphics in Pandemonium are magnificent and made of fully textured 3D mapped graphics that are rendered in real time. Not only are the 3D graphics great, but they are shown and displayed from all different types of perspectives and angles. You'll have a side view before taking a huge jump upwards, and as you jump, the camera will move above your head and give you a full view from above and then return either in front, behind, or on the side of your character. The views will also zoom in and out often, making the game very interesting to watch and provides a real feel of "being there" as you play. Speed wise, the game is one of the fastest 3D games I have seen on the PlayStation and shows that the programmers have gone to a great deal of work to optimize the game play.

Music and sound effects harmoniously add to the atmosphere of the game. The music changes from time to time and doesn't get on your nerves as can happen with some games. Packed with sound effects for every possible move, nothing is left to your imagination.


As one of the fastest distinguished 3D action games around, with its 3D moving camera, Pandemonium will make an excellent contribution to your gaming library!

Written by Trevor Bennicke


Overall: *****


Crystal Dynamics
75 Willow Road, Suite 200
Menlo Park, CA 94025-3691

Web Site: www.crystald.com


In North America:

See developers.

In Europe:

In UK:

BMG Interactive Entertainment,
Bedford House, 69-79 Fulham Hight St,
London, SW6 3JW.

Technical Support:+44-171-384-7864 Monday to Friday 10:00am-4:00pm UK time

In France:

BMG Interactive Entertainment,
4-6 Place de la Bourse,
75002 Paris.

In Germany:

BMG Interactive Entertainment,
Kastenbauerstrasse 2,
81677 Munchen.

In Belgium:

BMG Interactive Entertainment,
Square Francois Riga 30, Bt 8,
1030 Brussels.

Technical Support:+32-(0)2-240-2811 Monday to Friday 11:00am to 5:00pm GMT-1
Fax Support:+32-(02)-240-2865

In Netherlands:

BMG Interactive Entertainment,
Postbus 752,
1200 AT Hilversum.

Technical Support:+31-(035)-6256256
Fax Support:+31-(035)-6233872

In Sweden:

BMG Interactive Entertainment,
Starrbackgatan 1,
P.O. Box 1092,
172 21 Sundyberg.

In Norway:

BMG Interactive Entertainment,
P.O. Box 7030,
0306 Oslo.

In Asia:

In Japan:

BMG Interactive Entertainment,
1-3-9 Shibuya,
Shibuya Ku,
Tokyo 150.

In Singapore:

BMG Interactive Entertainment,
Alexandra Distripark,
Blk 2, 11-01/04,
Pasir Panjang Rd,
0511 Singapore.

In Pacific:

In Australia:

BMG Interactive Entertainment,
194 Miller St,
North Sydney, NSW 2060.

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