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. It's a stereotypical platformer in looks and gameplay however it has quite a steep learning curve because of the fiddly control mechanics. This is mainly due to your magic wand which only fires two shots at a time, therefore leaving you defenceless in certain situations. The levels are interesting and well designed but aren't too big so could be completed very quickly, if it wasn't for that two-shot wand you carry... Each end of level guardian is rather lame and quite easy to defeat but they somehow have an annoying ability to materialise right where you stand. Not very fair at all really so it's a good job power-ups are available from a Good Witch who pops up halfway through a level 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 pennies for you, however, all power-ups are lost after losing a life!

Visually, this is such a treat with lovely detailed characters and scenery which is both rich in colour with smooth-as-silk scrolling (only on the Atari STe). Audio is played using the DMA hardware but sadly sounds poor and I prefer the chip sounds from the STFM version. Having said that, I am a chiptune junkie so perhaps it's just me and my bleep blop addiction?

I love platformers but even I must admit to being disappointed by this gaming enigma. It looks great and also makes great use of the enhanced Atari STe but all that glitz and glamour doesn't automatically make for a great product. I must admit to pushing myself through the fluffy controls pain barrier and, eventually, I strangely began to enjoy myself. Chronicles Of Omega isn't terrible but it isn't great and there are far better titles in our library to pick from.

LINKS

 - I've recorded a video which shows the game with both music and sound effects (STe)
 - 8BitChip have adapted this game for hard drive installation!
 - Old Games Finder list all the floppy disk images you could ever need.