Saturday, 7 July 2012

Endless Forms Most Beautiful (PC) (2012)


System Requirements

Endless Forms Most Beautiful (EFMB) was created in GM8.1 and therefore should work on XP, Vista and Windows 7 PC's. The game requires around 200MB of RAM (blame the Game Maker interpreter for that!) and 30MB of hard disk space.

I'm unaware of the exact system specifications (CPU, etc.), but any system capable of running XP or Vista should cope with this simple little game.


Download

Download EFMB (ZIP archive) HERE (End level bug fixed)!
Download the manual (PDF) HERE!

BONUS! Download the posters, DVD insert and disc artwork (ZIP archive) HERE!
BONUS! Download mp3 recordings of the soundtrack (ZIP archive) HERE!
BONUS! Download the original ZX Spectrum Version (Link) HERE!

The game and extras are also available from Locomalito's website.


Introduction

Imps exist all around us, just beyond the limits of our perception in a parallel universe of infinite variety and beauty. Co-existing with humankind, these pan-dimensional critters are the reason why the occasional sock goes missing from the laundry basket. They are to blame for the disappearance of yesterday’s leftover pasta, or moving your house keys while you sleep.

Two clans of imp herders are in a never-ending battle for ownership of the imps. The enigmatic Moebius clan from the 48th plane of existence are shrouded in mystery, as are their reasons for collecting the imps. The feminine Puckies however have always made their purpose clear - back on their home world in the Z80 quadrant imps are considered a unequalled delicacy (especially when coated in chocolate).

Jumping through space and time, Moebius and Pucky clan members warp from one bizarre reality to another, frantically grabbing as many imps as they can. Who will win today's battle?


Background Of The PC Remake

When discussing the rise and fall of the remake scene with our Locomalito we came to the conclusion that one of the main reasons behind this was that all the good, simple games had been done. However, an idea started to form... wouldn't it be cool if people were to remake modern 8-bit games on the PC, much like how coders on retro platforms like to demake popular flash and iOS games? Locomalito was intrigued and asked to see some suggestions of decent homebrew 8-bit software that we'd consider worthy of remaking. David Hughes' EFMB was amongst the games sent over - and it was at this point when Locomalito's love affair with Moebius and Pucky began.

Bringing on-board his usual team of Gryzor87 and Marek Barej as well as RGCD and David Hughes, it wasn't long before we had a working prototype. A few weeks later and multi-player and other extra features were up and running. Before long, this simple remake of a little known and quintessentially British platformer had evolved into a mock 1980's coin-op experience - and the initial betas were sent out for testing.

This is where the headaches (or braincrashing - to coin a term from Locomalito) began. No-one, other than fans of the original, could work out how to play it. In play-testing, EFMB with it's bonkers teleporting and screen wrapping mechanics failed catastrophically in exactly the opposite way to how it had triumphed on the Sinclair ZX Spectrum. It was simply too hard and too confusing for non-veteran EFMB players.

A major dumbing-down process began. The difficulty on the early stages was slashed. Instructions were added to the title screen. Levels were tweaked over and over to remove unfair deaths. Bugs were removed by the dozen.

Then finally, an accessible, fair and enjoyable version of the game emerged from the chaos. Hopefully you'll find the end result worth the effort!


Controls

The default controls are cursor keys for player one, WASD for player two and Enter/Return to start the game. These can be reconfigured within the included settings executable. Escape quits the game.


Playing The Game

Now, please pay attention. EFMB is a game that abides by no traditional platforming standards. You cannot jump. You cannot kill enemies by landing on their heads. The screen wrapping doesn't work like you'd expect.

There are some simple rules:


To use a teleporter to change levels, stand on it and push up or down.  Exiting the screen to the left ascends a level, whereas exiting to the right descends a level.


To complete each stage, grab all of the imps and bonuses.  But watch out! Some of the imps are hiding bombs. These detonate after a short while and temporarily destroy any enemies on the same level. They also kill you, so avoid them if possible.


Finally, imps will occasionally turn into bonus pick ups. As explained above, you still need to collect these to clear the stage.

Note that the time left after beating each stage is converted into imps, so be quick! Also, be warned - when you die some of your imps will escape! You'll have to be particularly careful in VS mode!

There are of course lots of dangers and nasty critters living in the hazardous imp fields, each with their own unique properties. It's up to you to learn these yourself. And be prepared, there is a big surprise waiting for you on the 15th stage!


Single Player Game / Two Player Cooperative

Guide Moebius or Pucky (selectable by pushing left or right at the game select menu) through 15 stages and collect all the imps.

Too difficult? Grab a friend and get them to help you beat the game in two player cooperative mode!


Two Player VS Game

In VS mode three stages are chosen at random. At the end of the third stage, whoever has the most imps wins the battle!



Credits

Original ZX Spectrum Version
David Hughes

PC Remake Design
Locomalito
David Hughes
James Monkman (RGCD)

Programming
Locomalito

Graphics
Locomalito

Sound
Gryzor87

DVD Cover, Disc & Poster Artwork
Marek Barej

Playtesting
Locomalito
David Hughes
James Monkman (RGCD)
Canoug
Alexey Zubkov
Andy Jenkinson (RGCD)
Jameson Wilkins
Rami Ismail (Vlambeer)