PSX Longplay #4: Pandemonium

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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Pandemonium!, known as Magical Hoppers in Japan, is a 1996 platforming video game developed by Toys For Bob and published by Crystal Dynamics for the PlayStation, Sega Saturn, Microsoft Windows, N-Gage, and iPhone OS. Pandemonium features Fargus, a joker, and Nikki, who unwittingly casts a spell that destroys the town. The goal of the game is to reach the Wishing Engine, where they can wish the town back to normal.

For each level, the player can choose which character to be. Each has a special move – Fargus can deliver a special spinning attack, and Nikki can double jump. The game consists of a great variety of unique gameplay objects, such as watermelons, clouds, spider webs and logs.

Pandemonium employs “2.5D gameplay”. While the game renders polygons in a typical 3-D fashion, gameplay is 2-D. The area of gameplay can be described as a two-dimensional surface twisting and bending in a three-dimensional world. Occasionally, this surface will overlap itself.

For example, the main tower of the second level is a cylinder with a spiral-shaped floor.
Along the way, the player can gather treasure. Collecting 300 treasure grants the player an extra life. The player can also activate a bonus level by collecting enough of the treasure in one level. (The amount of treasure collected is based on the initial amount of treasure in the level and is not affected by the Double Treasure Timer.)If the player gathers 80% to 94% of the treasure on a level, they activate “Speed Greed”, a bonus level in which one must collect treasure while simultaneously keeping ahead of a pursuing vortex.

If the player gathers at least 95% of the treasure on a level, they activate “Full Tilt”, a pinball-based bonus level. In this, the player directs the character around a giant pinball machine in order to gather treasure and activate special areas of the board. Upon reaching the end of this bonus stage, the player can achieve as many as three extra lives as well.

In each bonus level, one automatically has three “tries”, which are separate from lives.
There are three unique projectile power-ups that the player can collect. Each shoots a beam of limited range in the forward direction, affecting the first enemy it hits. The red orbs give fireball power, which harms the enemy; this will destroy most enemies in one hit, but stronger enemies may take many more.

The blue power freezes enemies, and upon touching a frozen enemy, it will shatter. The green power is a shrink ray, and the enemy can then be destroyed by stepping on its shrunken form. Shrunken enemies grow back after a limited amount of time, and likewise frozen enemies will thaw after a similar amount of time. Some red orbs also regenerate after being collected; these can be distinguished by swirling energy surrounding them. None of these powers affects bosses. A player loses all powers when hit, unless they have picked up an invincibility power-up.

At several points in the game, after passing a certain area the player will turn into a unique animal; passing another area will revert the player back to a normal character. The player becomes a frog, a rhinoceros, a turtle, and a dragon throughout the course of the game. The frog can jump extremely high, the rhinoceros can kill enemies by charging at them, the turtle can become invulnerable by hiding in its shell, and the dragon can breathe fire and fly. The challenges of the level reflect the abilities of each animal until the character reverts to normal later in the level.

Like in Zelda games, the player has a limited number of hearts, representing health. Rare bonuses allow the player to add to the initial two heart containers, so that the player can store more than two hearts at once. Loss of all hearts results in the loss of a life and the return to the last checkpoint. Loss of all lives ends the game.

The aforementioned heart containers are highly beneficial for the player and are difficult to find, typically being hidden in a secret area of the level. A total of six heart containers exist throughout the game’s eighteen levels.
There are many cheat codes for the various versions of the game, including extra lives, invincibility and level select.

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42 COMMENTS

  1. This was my whole childhood flashback 12 13 years old just finished school on a Friday for the break up for holidays wake up early Saturday morning and mum shouting to get ready for the beach and then resuming the game when I got back it’s mad how this takes you back to an era where times were simpler and more of the family were still around it’s madness and mind blowing just thinking about the moments this game brought

  2. How did it only take 2 hours to complete and I spent literally a year of my childhood trying to finish it

  3. ooooh i so miss those days as a child when you could just wake up everyday amd stsrt your ps1 amd play these games without any worries in your life

  4. @34:45 the amount of deaths I took over this section. Also I remember wanting to play the Dragon so bad after reading about it in the manual. When it finally happened, it was one of the most frustrating gaming experiences of my life lol. Awful control. Great memories with this very unique game. Excellent level design.

  5. I remember reaching 1:55 and not knowing how to beat it. I'll beat it now. I thought it was the final boss!

  6. this game was whacky good fun back then. some totaly different and creative. i really enjoyed it tho i found it hard as a kid back then. i hated level 4 & 6. music, design, mechanics, everything about it

  7. One of the first Ps1 games i ever saw and was deeply fascinated by the capabilities of what the machine had to offer

  8. this is not my childhood game, mine was pc dos game, but when this game came out, my mind was blown with the graphics

  9. Suddenly getting flash back of a dark ice level and a big fuck off pink ball of lightening with weird red things chasing me and then a wind of monsters blowing me away to my doom hahaaa love it

  10. Got my PlayStation on way for delivery again because it’s been like ten years since I lost all my games moving I currently am waiting on them all including this words can’t describe childhood is flashing before my eyes sad but happy feeling unreal so excited is an understatement

  11. my mother byed magazine from nearest kiosk there were demo cd on it i was like 9 years old i played the emo cds plenty

  12. I started playing this game when i was about 3. it was so fun and challenging at the same time. I played this game on a PS2 though.

  13. Level 8 onwards was the hardest stages I reackon lol I don't recall beating this stage haha but I tried real hard wen I was a kid

  14. 1:51:27 That level killed me the most out of all of them. Then I realized that I could stand in front of that closed glass room and that would buy you enough time to make it to the door. I like how you just "Ramboed it". Also no one ever chose the guy character the Harlequin because he didnt have the double jumb, he was basically hard mode.

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