Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Chronicles Of Omega

The lands of Omega have always been peaceful until the day a demon came and captured the children of the village. Playing as either Alwin or Irma, you must battle your way through five evil infested lands, killing all in your wake, defeating Demon Champions (aka end of level bosses) and ultimately saving the day.

Chronicles Of Omega was released by ARC/Atari in 1990 and is probably the first commercial game to feature support for the enhanced Atari STe making use of the hardware scrolling and DMA Audio. This is a cute looking platformer with levels which have an interesting design but they aren't too big so can possibly be completed too quickly. Power-ups are available from the Good Witch who pops up halfway through all levels to make a profit out of you and your noble crusade. Her prices aren't cheap so it's lucky that slain monsters leave behind their pennies for you to collect. However, all power-ups are lost after losing a life, which sucks! End of level guardians are rather lame and quite easy to defeat but they still somehow have an annoying ability to materialise right where you're standing which is rubbish and just not cricket!

Visually, this is such a treat with lovely detailed characters and scenery which is both rich in colour with smooth-as-silk scrolling (Atari STe) and gorgeous skies (Atari ST). Audio is played using the DMA hardware but sadly still appears very poor, especially under emulation. I prefer the chip sounds from the STFM version if I'm being honest.

I love platformers but even I must admit to being disappointed by this gaming enigma. It looks great on both models of Atari computer but the magic wand's mechanics are rather lame and spoil what could have been. This is mainly due to your magic wand which only fires two shots at a time, therefore leaving you defenceless in certain situations.

I love platformers so I pushed myself through the fluffy controls pain barrier. Eventually, I found myself starting to enjoy this odd game even with the poor firing mechanics which makes me wonder whether they bothered to beta test it at all? Chronicles Of Omega isn't terrible but it also isn't that great so there ya go...

LINKS

 - I've recorded a video which shows the game with both music and sound effects (Atari STe)
 - 8BitChip have a hard drive installable game with Old Games Finder supplying the floppy disks.