Sunday, April 26, 2015

Fire And Brimstone

Tough as nails!

It's a well-known fact that games were much harder back in the day. Perhaps our generation where made of tougher stuff and today's kids are wimps? Hmm, I'd say that sounds right, and I think we have a game to prove it! (hey, before we begin... did you know that I've fully mapped this game? No??? Well, click on the "Game Maps" link to your right!)

Fire And Brimstone was released in 1990 by Firebird and is one of the most visually stunning platformers I have ever seen. The adventure takes place within a fantasy world of Norse mythology as the mighty Thor must battle against the forces of Hel. She has escaped and spread her lust for evil over the once-peaceful Nordic lands with her minions creating havoc! So, wait for it, it's up to us to clean up this hellish infestation and get home in time for tea.

Check out these screenshots with the first immediate puzzle (that makes no sense ironically). Gorgeous visuals...

This game blows you away from the start with an oddly puzzling demon who always wakes up!

Look out for witches with their rapid spells. Who are also tough to kill!

We are the mighty Thor!

We sure are. And there are five worlds (including Hel) to beat - Alfheim, Anaheim, Nidavellir, Muspell and Nilfheim. Each screen is a puzzle in itself that requires careful thought before you attempt to foolishly maraud through. Even the first screen can confuse and its solution makes little sense... Sigh, this style of trickery is something you will get used to.

Any level can only be completed once all the fragments from a key have been found and a boss slaughtered. This means each screen should be searched for any hidden objects before you leave otherwise you might end up being punished and sent back to revisit the previous screens. Which can be an agonising moment!

Thor doesn't only carry an axe but two individual weapons which we can flip between, including bombs and fire. There are also power-ups that will help improve our abilities against the hoards of baddies who come in all shapes and sizes - each one possessing a cunning yet humorous personality. Everyone is often really difficult to kill, from magic-throwing witches to goblins, old bats and things hiding in trees. It's impossible not to love this game's awesome charisma - I especially love the funky ghosts and creepy witches who fly by on their broomsticks. An incredible effort has gone into this!

Let's view another screenshot from this tough nut platformer with ghosts and a witch on her broomstick...

Watch out for all kinds of freaky monsters. Oh look, it's the mother-in-law on her broom!

We're in the creepy woods which are full of ghosts. And HIM too! Runnnnn!!!


Fire And Brimstone offers an exceptional visual treat by Chris Sorrell. Astounding attention to detail using an artistic flair that perfectly complements the medieval and hellish atmosphere. The characters look fantastic and are superbly animated with scenic settings that are always beautiful. Jaw-dropping examples of extraordinary 16-bit pixel art.

Be warned, there is no scrolling. To an Amiga user, that probably translates to their usual pitiful Atari ST port whining. But wait, Fire And Brimstone was never meant to scroll and is perfect as a flick-screen platformer. Yes, perfect!

The title music is a thumping sample tune by none other than David Whittaker. It's brilliant and the quality is superb but I must admit to preferring his chiptunes over this if I'm honest. In-game sound effects are great for all the usual effects, but they obviously cannot come close to the majestic grade of the lush and detailed graphics.

Oh yeah, it sure looks and sounds the business alright, so let's see another couple of screenshots...

See that guy in red, I wonder what's his story?

Oh, each level has a secret room. Don't miss it otherwise, you'll be sent back!

The CryptO'pinion?

Fire And Brimstone is one of the most difficult platformers I've played with mechanics that are so unforgiving. But, give it plenty of time, learn how each screen functions, and you will make progress. However, even then, it's still too difficult after lots of practice so I'd rate this as one of the most irritating games there is. Hardly a glowing report?

Ignoring my painful progress, with a trainer enabled, this game is massively entertaining and potentially very rewarding for a determined player. I love how each screen is its own mini-adventure which ultimately provides natural longevity by its design. For all its faults, I love it!! However, I fear only the stupid brave should enter into this fantasy world of torment.

Brave warriors can download this for
either floppy or install onto a hard drive.


  1. Thanks for the HD version, Patari!

    1. Agreed. Peter has done/is doing so much for the ST community.