It’s 1987. Last year’s Atari multi player maze game- Gauntlet- was the biggest hit of 1986, and was continuing to earn. Sega was the first to make their mark on the genre with the fantastic Quartet. But- waiting in the wings was Konami’s take on Gauntlet- the amazing , but sadly forgotten- Dark Adventure.
Via Konami Wiki-
Dark Adventure is a dimetric action-adventure game produced by Konami that was released for the arcades in North America in 1987. It was the first arcade game by Konami that allowed up to three players simultaneously. The game was also released as Majū no Ōkoku (魔獣の王国, literally “The Kingdom of the Evil Beast”) in Japan and as Devil World in other countries outside North America, although these versions feature significant gameplay differences and only allow up to two players.
An archeologist named Dr. Condor discovers the coffin of a demon in ancient ruins. During a press conference announcing his discovery, he decides to open the coffin for the first time, only to be transported into another world alongside a reporter named Labryna and another archeologist named Zorlock. The three heroes must now fight their way out of the Devil World in order to defeat the evil Demon King who is keeping them trapped and return to the human world.
As their 4th multiplayer game, they utilized the cabinet used for Boot Camp. They would use it again for the awesome Main Event wrestling game a year later. Take note of the map button on the top of the control panel.
Which brings us the Japan and European version- Devil World.
The Japan and European version of Dark Adventure- named Devil World- has quite a few differences from it’s U.S. counterpart.
- The game can only be played by up to two players, since these versions were made as conversion kits for 2-player cabinets. Zorlock, the third player character, is absent as a result.
- The player character uses firearms instead of melee weapons as their default weapons. Labryna uses a bowgun, while Condor wields a pistol.
- Three additional firearms can also be obtained in addition to the laser gun and flamethrower. These consist of a machine gun, a shotgun and a bazooka.
- Dynamites are now thrown with the standard attack button instead of a dedicated button. This allows the player to use his or her main weapon while throwing dynamites at the same time.
- Instead of instant power-ups, the game uses a power-up selection meter similar to Gradius. By picking up blue power orbs, the cursor on the selection meter moves up by one level. When the cursor is on an item that the player wishes to use, he or she can obtain it by pressing the power-up button (which replaces the dynamite throw button). The two player characters have their power-up selection meters arranged differently.
- The map displays the whole area rather than just the portions already explored by the player.
- The player’s health is drained at a much slower rate.
- Stages now have a much more linear structure, with almost all of them only having a single key and exit, preventing backtracking to previously cleared areas. The only exception is the thirteenth stage, Metropolis, which has numerous fake exits, including one that leads to the previous boss encounter, and a real exit. Every fourth stage now consists of a boss battle against a recurring two-headed draconic monster. Counting the dragon battles, Devil World/Majū no Ōkoku has a total of 19 stages, in contrast to the 40 stages in Dark Adventure.
- Credits cannot be used to add more lives during play. Continues are still allowed after both players run out of lives, but only up to three times per play. Continues will cease to be available once the final stage is reached.
- The ending of the game varies depending on certain conditions. One possible ending depicts the player being transported to the top of the Statue of Liberty after defeating the final boss (this is the only ending featured in Dark Adventure). The other ending shows the player stranded in the middle of the sea atop a floating raft.
- Devil World gives out points by the single or double digits, whereas Dark Adventure and Majū no Ōkoku have those same values multiplied by the hundreds.
Check it out!
Sadly, there has never been a port of this fantastic game. Arcade Archives (no relation)- if your listening- make a port of this to modern systems. this is a game that truly deserves it! Until then… play it in your favorite emulator of choice!
Did you ever play Dark Adventure? Did you ever defeat the Blue Demon?
Let me know in the comments!
Keep Playin’ Like it’s 1981!