Many moons ago in a hidden valley between the purple
mountains and the seas of the Seven Islands there was
a great calamity: darkness descended upon that land,
evil overran all that was good and death and hunger
spread. Those who remained became twisted and stricken
with evil and the village in that valley became possessed
with powers so black that nobody dared enter.
later the story became legend and only the songs and
tales remained of those who had tried to enter the valley
never to return . . . for those who trespass into the
village become enslaved by the immense power of the
listening to the story of the battle with the forces
of evil in the Nightshade village one night, you decide
to set off down the valley . . . and thus the scene
is set for the latest Ultimate game, marketed by Firebird.
is yet another arcade adventure which utilises the
Spectrum/Amstrad 'Filmation' programming techniques
used in Knightlore and Alien 8, giving
a realistic 3D panoramic view of what's going on around
you. The program differs from those two games in the
respect that the scenery scrolls rather than 'flicks'
as you move from one location to another.
game itself is set in a typical mediaeval village, complete
with ancient looking houses, streets, barns, churches
and the like. As you walk down the streets, you can
see the facias of the buildings in detail, with walls,
gables and windows. If you like the look of a building
then you can enter it through its door. When you do
so, the front of the building disappears, revealing
what is behind -- useful since it lets you see what
of the buildings are connected so you can travel from
one to another by moving through the series of doors
and rooms inside. Many buildings have back doors accessing
the street behind.
the village loads of marauding nasties rush after you
and try to take one of your five men. Each man may be
hit three times by a nasty before the fourth results
in him being killed. With a new life your man is white
and with each progressive hit he turns yellow, then
green and then into a puff of smoke.
[The colour version: this screenshot was not in the
man looks a little like the knight from the Spectrum
game Atic Atac. He's not defenceless either,
and can throw things at the nasties to protect himself.
These 'antibodies' (varying from sticks to what looks
like the end of a mace) can be picked up from the rooms
of just about any building. Running over them automatically
puts them into a tube at the side of the screen. The
tube only holds a limited number of objects so it has
to be replenished very regularly to increase your (very
slim) chances of survival. There are extra lives that
can he picked up and there are also boots which, when
collected, allow you to run at high speeds for a short
you throw an antibody at a nasty, it doesn't always
kill it straight off. Some of the bigger ones need to
be shot several times. The gremlin, for example, splits
into two smaller creatures, which again have to be shot.
The smaller creatures then turn into a bubbling mess
that still gives chase until shot for the final time.
Thankfully you don't have to go through this rigmarole
every time you shoot something -- most, like the flames,
smaller sliding things and squat, toad-like creatures,
die with the first shot.
object of the game is to find and pick up the four super
antibodies (bible, hammer, cross and egg timer). Once
found you have to track down the four evil characters
which run the show (the monk, the skeleton, the ghost
and Mr Grimreaper) and throw the correct super antibody
at it. If you can do that then the village will be freed
from the evil which has ruled there for so long, and
everybody will live happily ever after . . . until the
next Ultimate game, anyway!
Nightshade comes in two versions, one black and
while and the other colour. The black and white version
is slightly faster than the colour, otherwise there
is no difference.