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This game is just so eerie -- it's so jam-packed with atmosphere that it had me screaming for mercy as the dragonfly drained me of all my blood. I'm not quite sure what generates the intensity but I do know that it works superbly. To be honest I'm not very good at actually playing this game, but watching it being played equals any horror film. Play with the lights out and experience the most horrific game yet devised.

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This must be one of the best games I have ever played. The atmosphere created by the parallax scrolling, the gradual change between day and night, and the haunting music make this latest gem more an experience then a game. The only real problem is the silly loader they've tagged on -- it takes longer to get into than
Conan, and if you die in the second section you have to switch off the machine and reload! This is annoying, since it could easily have been rectified. Still, Beyond the Forbidden Forest is a brill game, one which makes me proud to own a 64.

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Welcome to Game of the Week! Each week there will be a new featured game on this page. The game may be good, average or diabolically bad, it really doesn't matter! Just look at the pics, read the text and enjoy the nostalgia! :-) Game of the Week! is open to contributions so if you would like to contribute a game article for this page you're more than welcome to! Every article we receive will be considered!
Beyond the Forbidden Forest
1985 Cosmi
Programmed by Paul Norman
 
Most text of the present article comes from the review published in the eighteenth issue of the British C64 magazine ZZAP!64 (street date: September 11th, 1986).
 

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BEYOND THE FORBIDDEN FOREST
US Gold, 9.95 cass, 14.95 disk, joystick only


The forest has suddenly dropped it's peaceful atmosphere, something is afoot. The smell has changed, the birds have vanished, even the soft grass has a new texture. What is this fearful place you have stumbled across? Something awesome has happened in the forest and you are just about to find out what.

So the scene is set for a journey -- a journey Beyond the Forbidden Forest.

You are set alone in the middle of the forest with only a bow and a quiver of arrows to protect yourself. You can move left and right, and also in and out of the screen in a pseudo 3D fashion. Raster lines in the border indicate the elevation of the arrows which you fire at the oncoming nasties.

Suddenly, from the cluttered undergrowth there is a rustling sound and a huge scorpion appears, it's sole motivation appears to be your destruction. Hastily you run into the distance to get a better view of this odious creature, you see this weak spot and aim . . . The arrow penetrates his hide and blood ejaculates from his armoured shell. Unfortunately, it is only stunned and is soon rampaging after you again. The second accurate shot should kill him, but if you fail you will be subjected to a brutal death by poison.

Once dead, the scorpion vanishes in a glistening cloud of colour, and then -- a mystic occurrence; an ethereal fanfare strikes up from the lofty heights and a glowing, spinning orb descends and releases a golden arrow to assist you in your quest. It leaves, and once again you are alone -- a mere mortal in this inhumane forest.

The next inhabitant you will encounter is a Verme. The ground rumbles, announcing it's presence, and then a grotesque wormlike creature erupts from the ground, jaws open wide. Five direct hits are required to kill the beast, hut if you miss it five times then it will locale you and drag you down into it's lair . . .

Once you have rid the forest of the creature from the ground you think yourself safe, but a humming noise is heard overhead as an enormous flying creature appears -- a monstrous dragonfly with a long proboscis capable of sucking you dry of blood, if not killed instantly. Lure the winged menace down to eye level, then launch one of your arrows and watch the dragonfly disintegrate in a cloud of noxious fumes.

The heavenly body once more descends and presents you with another sacred arrow to add to your life sustaining collection.

The fourth and final variety of beast you will encounter in the forest is the Megatherium, a foul smelling lizard which pounces from the undergrowth with the sole intention of crushing you to death.

Killing the bloated reptile gives you another golden arrow. When you have amassed a minimum of six arrows you can enter the Underworld and attempt to dispose of the evil Demogorgon.

Swept up in a surge of powerful evil the forest vanishes and a warning appears . . .

You arrive in a system of bat infested caverns. The bats are the guardians of evil and killing one allows you to access a cave to the far left where there lurks the horrific Hydra. Luckily your quantity of arrows is double on entering the caves. The Hydra is a huge, four-headed fire breathing beast, and your only hope in defeating it is to shoot each head. Doing this transforms the Hydra into grey, motionless stone.

Now you encounter the biggest evil of them all -- the Demogorgon, a snake-like creature whose eyes shoot lightning bolts at those who dare to oppose him. Your only hope is to locate the chink in his armour and destroy him with a well placed arrow. If you manage to shoot him in his weak spot, he explodes with a monstrous roar as the whole screen begins to resemble a slaughter house. The evil has been defeated once and for all, and the forest has once again become a good and happy place. You are transformed onto a cloud as the sun rises on a new world, a world of happiness, peace, and best of all, no meanies!

     

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The graphics are chunky and the parallax scrolling is a little jerky. But the intense, prevailing atmosphere and bloody special effects really make this game so enjoyable to play -- just like the original when it was released over two years ago. The music played throughout the game is outstanding, very atmospheric; I particularly like the tune played when you enter the Underworld -- a neat remix of one of the original tunes enhanced by the screaming of a bat. Oh, and the piece of music played when confronting the Demogorgon -- great stuff! Fans of Forbidden Forest certainly won't be disappointed with this, it's a worthy follow up to a classic game.
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Presentation 80%

Slow loading, but a great title screen and detailed instructions make up for this.

Graphics 81%
Chunky but very effective.

Sound 97%
Amazingly atmospheric soundtracks and spot FX
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Hookability 95%
Highly atmospheric and addictive from the outset.

Lastability 89%
Playable and complelling, although not overly varied.

Value For Money 86%
Lots of exciting, blood-curdling action for your money.

Overall 91%
Gruesome and gripping, and above all great fun.
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Htmlized by Dimitris Kiminas (10 Feb 2010)

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