The netherworld is a variety of the many flavors of hell. The netherworld is basically a colorless gray void. Very boring.

Game for Commodore 64, released by Hewson in 1988. Later ported to Amiga and PC (and probably other major platforms of the time too).

The game was programmed by Jukka Tapanimäki and music was done by Jori Olkkonen - two big names of Finnish Commodore 64 scene at the time!

The C64 version has a pretty interesting packaging. It has a futuristic, cosmic, symbolic painting of stuff like planets and dragons and skulls exploding out of a smiling guy's head... ...and the guy in the picture is Jukka Tapanimäki himself!

The game's intro is minimal but still pretty impressive. First comes just the game's logo, and on the background there's some raster bars - thanks to multiple appearances of this thing in C=-lehti example programs, I call them Tapanimäki Bars, no matter who coded them. =)

The title screen is pretty cool, showing the skills of both the musician and the game programmer. Text on top of a very many layers of stars, floating by with the miracle that is the parallax scroll. And the music! Jori Olkkonen's heavy metal cuts right to the bones. While this section is irrelevant to the actual game, I noticed it's very hard to make work properly:

  • I have two real C64s. The music fortunately works (sometimes) on my older machine (C64C, but I prefer not to use it because there's some sound problems with other games. The C64G is what I normally use, and that has a fully-working sound, but regrettably this sidtune uses sample-like playing, which means it won't work here. Grr.
  • On emulators, the parallax scroll is not as smooth and beautiful as it is on the real thing. And, the sound is not properly emulated anywhere. Well, actually, it sounds just like the real thing when using reSID engine in VICE, but I can't say it sounds the best with SIDPLAY!

The idea of the game was pretty simple. You have probably realised by now: This is the Hell. (And I'm not the Devil.) You have a ship to fly around the place. There are a lot of nasty things around, various hazards... creatures spewing around poison and flames and stuff like that. Your time is very limited (but collect the hour glasses to get more time.) Since we are in pretty hellish conditions, your objective is to gather some diamonds from several places around the level before this aforementioned time runs out. If you defeat the hazards (shoot the enemies or stuff they spew), you can also collect additional bonuses (some are nice, some not so).

The game is very enjoyable and definitely action-filled enough...

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