Video Game / The Caverns Of Hammerfest

"More than 200 levels!
Loads of enemies!
More than 70 quests!
More than 350 items to collect!
A lof incredible secrets!"
Disclaimer from the website

Remember the time arcades were actually existent and all of the machines ended making you use up all of your allowance as you played those hardcore games they had to offer?

The Caverns of Hammerfest is a Flash game made by the French game developers of Motion-Twin in February 2006, and is the masterpiece homage to the good old platformers that made you yell Big No-s at the loss of your character's last life. Particularly inspired by gems like Bubble Bobble and Snow Bros, the insane difficulty it has to offer is notable (while also being very fair), but its real charm are the countless collectible items and the nice graphics you come across in your quest.

In it, you're a snowman named Igor brought to life when a sorcerer steals your carrot nose, who also happened to kidnap and enslave all the sentient fruits of the orchards of Hammerfest for no apparent reason. Now, Igor must venture to his subterranean hideout and go through 100+ levels without dying (did we mention there are no save points?) in order to recover his honor and free his fruity friends from the clutches of Tuber the evil sorcerer.

With the ability to throw bombs that freeze your enemies, to progress you have to clear the levels out of the bewitched fruits by sending them to the bottom of the level with them. It's not as easy as it sounds, unfortunately, as you'll see in latter levels. To help you on your way, though, there are the aforementioned 300+ items, most of which have twisted effects of all sorts that go from dandelions that make you flutter to trophies that summon a three-eyed-god to make your enemies dizzy. And these are among the weakest.

The game can be found here. There is a downside, though: you can only play once per day (you can buy more games if you're impatient). This marketing strategy may seem like a problem at the start, when your runs don't go past level 10 and they managed to get you addicted already, but once you're skilled enough and your plays start to, literally, take more than 1 hour, it won't bother you much anymore.

Note that there aren't even many hammers in the game, as it is rather named after Hammerfest, one of the coldest and nothernmost cities of the world.

This game provides examples of:

  • Ambiguous Gender: Not gender per se, actually, but there have been a lot of discussion whether the red fruits are apples or tomatoes. Even the dev team acknowledges it. Though if one thinks closely, he might remember that enemies are all fruits, while all vegetables (in the usual sense, not the botanical one) are items. Also, there is actually a tomato item.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: The hardest quests often lead to disguises.
  • Mook Maker: Tuber.
  • New Game+: Okay, aside from the fact that every time you play it it's a new game and you're ever slightly more experienced, it's how quests work. Also, once you beat the final boss, you get the even harder Nightmare Mode.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Bubble Bobble: The Trope Codifier gets a Parallel Dimension, in level 43, with levels being straight from it. Also, like the first game often had levels with the tiles making a drawing or words, Hammerfest has a few levels with tile-art too.
      • Special notice to the Baron von Blubba/Monsta at level 93. Worth mentioning that the level is full of watermelons, which behave exactly like the Monstas from the original Bubble Bobble.
      • The bubbles that wrap Igor, the umbrella items that make you skip levels and the big crystals that fall when you kill the fruits in a certain order.
    • Snow Bros: The protagonist's a snowman. That's all, interestingly enough.
    • Hare Nochi Guu: Pokutes, Mandas, Chourou's chesthair and a doll of Guu are items. One quest is based on collecting them.
    • Super Mario Bros.: Collect all of the four mushrooms and you get Mario's signature quest. Also, P.D. 16, the Secret Coins and the Koopa shell item.
    • Sonic the Hedgehog: P.D. 62.
    • One Piece: Chopper and Luffy's hats are items.
    • Half-Life: The Gordon's Key item is a crowbar identical to that of the first game.
    • Rick Dangerous: P.D. 51, which not only is styled on the game's first level's evironment, it also has the Ankhel Jewel as a reward at the end. And the Rigor Dangerous key, needed to get into said P.D.
    • Dr. Slump: In the French version, the poop item is called Arale's delicacy (literal translation). Arale, from the show, is known to have a fascination with feces.
    • Johnny 5, UFO Robo Grendizer, Ulysses 31, Star Wars, Robocop and Transformers: All get items on the robots-based family items.
  • Snowlems: Igor is one.
  • Socialization Bonus: Some items can only be acquired in 2P Mode.
  • Songs in the Key of Panic: The sped up music that plays after the first Hurry!, just like in Bubble Bobble.
  • Spikes of Doom: Made of wood.
  • Turns Red:
    • For all of the fruits after they unfreeze. In Nightmare Mode, they already start like this.
    • The Hurry! warnings.
  • Warp Zone: Primary way to get to the Parallel Dimensions.