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Pandemonium (known as Magical Hoppers and Miracle Jumpers in Japan) is a series consisting of two platform games, published by Crystal Dynamics (or Bandai in Japan) and developed by ToysForBob. Initially the series was for PlayStation, Sega Saturn and PC. Later years saw the series being rereleased for Nokia N-Gage, N-Gage 2.0, iPhone OS and the PlayStation Network.

In the PlayStation and Saturn versions, rather than using a memory card as in most games released at the time, progress is saved using the older password system.

The two stories centre around two wild characters known as Fargus and Nikki, the one being a psychotic jester, the other being an attractive sorceress.

PlotEdit

The series takes place in Lyr, a magical kingdom borrowing heavily from medieval fantasy, but certainly not limited to it - with locations set in space, strange dimensions and technological labs.

In each outing, the characters must travel through a set of worlds to right the wrongs either they have created at the beginning of the game or solve current wrongs within Lyr. The first game centres around travelling to the Wishing Engine to wish away a badly thought through spell Nikki conjured; whilst the second is focused on stopping an evil Queen from harvesting all the wishing power in the world from a strange Comet in space.

GameplayEdit

The Pandemonium games are well known for incorporating 2D gameplay mechanics in a 3D world, what is commonly known as 2.5D Gameplay. The levels twist and curve around the linear path you're guided along, often overlapping in places, making for a unique gaming experience for games of the time. Collecting coins in the games add up to level completion and regaining lives. 300 coins in the first game replaces a life, 500 coins in the second game replaces life.

Depending on how much treasure you collect within the level, you are later rewarded with minigames such as:

In each game you get three tries to complete the minigame (which are separate from lives in the main game).

There are three unique powers in the first game which both Fargus and Nikkishare and two powers in the second game that alter the spells cast depending on the character you're playing as. Spells shoot a concentrated energy beam, of limited range, forwards, affecting the first enemy it hits in a multilude of ways including: burning, shrinking, freezing, electrifying and transforming.

Shapechanging is another aspect of the first game. Passing through gateways will transform you into a frog, rhino, turtle or dragoon; the level's completion will then depend on the powers of that animal. In the second game, a similar gameplay device is used when you take control of two of Queen Zorrscha mechanical robots. The first being a missile-firing Tank and the latter being a Mech. A third device, Jet Boots, will enable the player to leap far higher than before by holding down the jump button.


Pandemonium! uses Hearts as a means of life, taking damage reduces your heart count, resulting in death. Pandemonium 2 uses a Life Piece Ring, taking damage often results in the wedges vanishing, death comes once all are depleted.

GamesEdit

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