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Video Game / AMID EVIL

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"Once branded a HERETIC. Now YOU have been chosen. Reclaim our sacred weapons. Take back our ancient lands. If you can stand... AMID EVIL."
-The game's description

AMID EVIL is a retro-styled First-Person Shooter inspired by Heretic and Hexen, developed by Indefatigable and published by New Blood Interactive, who also published DUSK. The game, along with its first three episodes (out of seven episodes planned), was released in Steam Early Access on March 12, 2018. The game released out of Early Access along with the seventh and final episode on June 20, 2019.

The game is set almost entirely within strange arcane locations, long since abandoned by time and now ravaged with an insidious evil. Playing as a champion summoned to the Lands of the Gods to purify them from various evil influences, you do this by destroying any monster than stands in your way with a variety of strange, arcane weapons. The whole setup is an Excuse Plot to send you into varied and strange locales anyway, so don't think too hard about it.


Gameplay is fast-paced, with an array of strange weapons and fast movement speed. The game rewards successful play through the Soul System, where killing enemies in quick succession and consuming their souls can send you into a Super Mode that changes the properties of many of the weapons and makes them much stronger for a brief amount of time.

AMID EVIL received a free Downloadable Content pack in November 2019 called Ancient Alphas, consisting of five early alpha builds of the game. A prequel expansion, The Black Labyrinth, was announced on September 6, 2020.


"Champion, new Tropes await you!":

  • Abnormal Ammo: The Celestial Claw uses planets, drawing them into the weapon as its projectiles. When your Super Mode is active, it shoots stars.
  • Achievement Mockery: There is an achievement earned by dying in the Gateway, the icon of which is an image of the Statue of Cain.
  • An Axe to Grind: Your starting weapon is a big double-edged axe called the Axe of the Black Labyrinth. Soul Mode makes its blades spin to shred enemies, not unlike the titular weapon in Painkiller. Unlike most melee weapons in FPSes of this sort, which are last resort weapons that you're forced to use when you run out of ammo, this weapon is quite useful. A single blow from this axe is more powerful than most of your early ranged weapons, and it has the ability to pull enemies towards you at close range. It's more than capable of dealing with most of the basic mooks you fight early in each chapter.
  • Alien Geometries: All levels in the Arcane Expanse (Episode 6). Special mention goes to the Hexed Passage (E6M2), which is pretty much an Eldritch Location. The Void (Episode 7) takes this to a new level.
  • Apocalypse How: Played for Laughs. You can fire the Earth out of your Celestial Claw, which the HUD will note:
    ''Uh... You just blew up the Earth..."
  • Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: Once you defeat Evil in episode 7, you ascend to the Haven of Ancients. You are welcome to stay there, or continue on your journeys.
  • Arc Number: 7. There are 7 weapons to wield, 7 worlds to save, and 7 evils to vanquish.
  • Audible Sharpness: The Whisper's Edge emits a loud "shing!" sound when selecting it.
  • Bag of Spilling: Warrior mode forces you to start every single level with your starting Axe only, similar to Intruder Mode in DUSK. Regardless of mode or difficulty, you will also lose all of your equipment between episodes.
  • Barbarian Hero: Your character has shades of this. Just listen to that angry roar upon engaging Soul Mode. Bonus points for wielding an Axe for your melee weapon. The ending screen reveals him to dress the part, too.
  • BFG: The Aeturnum. Fire it at a group of enemies, and watch them evaporate, or being sucked into a black hole in Soul Mode. Just be careful with those black holes, because you can get killed with them too. In fact, you get an "Obliterated" message if you do.
  • BFS: The boss of Episode 5, the Forgemaster, wields a sword almost as big as he is tall. In flames. And he towers over the player character.
  • Black Knight: The bosses of episode 1 and 4, the Moon Guardian and the Solar Saint, fit this trope despite actually being clad in silver and golden armor respectively.
  • Blade on a Stick: The Moon Guardian wields a crescent moon shaped halberd, which he can use either to slice you in half at melee range or to fire crescent-shaped, bouncing energy projectiles at you.
  • Boring, but Practical: The Staff of the Azure Orb is the first ranged weapon you acquire. Due to its high rate of fire, its ability to stunlock certain enemies, and its limited tracking abilities, it remains a useful weapon throughout the game even when more powerful weaponry is available.
  • Blob Monster: The Scrounge, the boss of the Domain of the Sentinels (episode 2).
  • Boss Arena Idiocy: A soft version since the arena wasn't designed with your presence in mind and it isn't clear which side got to pick the location (this could be Benevolent Architecture instead), but the final boss confronts you within a structure serving as a focal point for collecting various kinds of energy - including all five types you can use. The tight space also plays to your own strengths both in focusing power at a nearby point and at dodging; a lot of the boss's attacks would be equally accurate and much harder to avoid at greater range and/or with a more obstructive architecture making it harder to see them coming.
  • Boss-Only Level: The final level of each episode.
  • Chain Lightning: If you shock an enemy until it explodes with the Voltride, nearby enemies will also get electrocuted and explode.
  • The Chosen One: According to the lore in the Codex, the player character was chosen as the Champion of the Gods when he was able to survive the trial of the Black Labyrinth and retrieve the Axe within (which is your starting weapon). He also was the first mortal in a thousand years to overcome this task.
  • Classic Cheat Code: A large list of cheat commands can be found in the Codex. Similar to Doom, they're all prefixed with "AE".
    • The game also reacts to a few of the cheat codes from Doom, though all they do are bring up messages poking fun at you for trying them.
  • The Corruption: Something evil has corrupted the Lands of the Gods, turning their denizens into the creatures you fight in the game. In the Pilgrim's Temple (E3M3), you can find inscriptions telling the story of a Pilgrim who came to these realms to gain wisdom but was instead taken by this evil. It's heavily implied he's the Corrupt Spirit you fight as the boss of the Sacred Path episode.
    Inscription in the Gateway of the Ancients: The evil force came thousands of years ago. Like a cancer, it spread silent, unseen.
  • Crystalline Creature: The Arcane Expanse is home to several varieties of crystal monster, including spider-like beasts with sharp crystal forelimbs, venom-spitting crystal snakes, multi-eyed crystal sharks, and an equine Power Up Mount for the Crystal Masters.
  • Degraded Boss: Two serpents resembling the Twin Terrors make an appearance as mini-bosses in The Enigma Gate (E7M3), with the ability to fire both kinds of projectiles from the boss fight Both the Codex and messages in the originating episode did imply said boss was the result of summoning a creature whose natural home you're now in, and that there were others of its kind.
  • Developers' Foresight:
    • Using the Axe underwater while Soul Power is active will make it work as a propeller.
    • All boss fights are designed to be cheese-proof:
      • You might be tempted to hide behind the crescent-shaped steps in the first boss arena, but the projectiles fired by said boss will bounce towards you, forcing you to move.
      • Think you'll be safe from the second boss in the upper platforms of his arena? Think again. It will jump up there and force you to come down.
      • The third boss arena has a couple of alcoves where it seems to have a hard time hitting you with its projectiles, so you're safe in there, right? Wrong. As soon as the boss' health reaches a certain point, the floor on those alcoves literally turns to lava, forcing you out of your camping spot.
      • The fourth boss arena is a bunch of platforms floating above an endless void. If you fall in, you die. If he falls in, he just teleports back to the main platform.
  • Developer's Room: The Haven of the Ancients has a hidden shrine under the island, accessed by stairs behind where the Ancients are resting, that has the signatures of everyone on the development team inscribed on the walls.
  • Difficult, but Awesome: The Soul Mode for the Celestial Claw causes a massive explosion that damages everyone in the vicinity- including you- for staggering amounts of damage. Its large blast radius means that judicious use of it can clear entire rooms just as effectively as the Aeternum.
  • Doomy Dooms of Doom: E2M3, the Halls of Doom. This being a dark fantasy game, the word had to pop up somewhere.
  • Drop the Hammer: The Solar Saint (boss of the 4th episode) carries a huge sun-shaped warhammer.
  • Dual Boss: The boss encounter of Episode 6 is against a pair of demonic serpents aptly named the Twin Terrors.
  • Dutch Angle: Many of the platforms/areas of Episode 7 are tilted, having this effect as a result. It adds to the bizarre quality of the episode as a whole.
  • Easter Egg:
    • E3M1 features not one, but two of them. One of them is a hidden message telling you to "Buy DUSK, only $20 on Steam!", the other is in a secret area and it says "Call Aardwolf, say Apogee", which is a reference to this hidden message in Wolfenstein 3-D.
    • A secret in E4M2 has a message which says "El Zee wuz here". "El Zee" is a reference to Leon Zawada, one of the main developers.
    • You can pick up a golden statuette of the Dopefish in the secret level, after which you're immediately attacked by an army of little Big Johns.
  • Eldritch Abomination:
    • The Sentinels in the Domain of the Sentinels (episode 2), with the expected eyes and tentacles. Judging by the statues of them laying around the levels in said episode, it seems they were once human or at least humanoid. The boss of the episode also counts.
    • The final boss, who is literally evil incarnate in the form of a huge, tentacled cosmic entity.
  • Eldritch Location: DEAR LORD, the Void. All levels are chaotic, deeply surreal mazes that look as if designed by a joint effort between Salvador Dalí and M. C. Escher, both on copious amounts of drugs.
  • Encyclopedia Exposita: The Codex, accessible from the main menu, which contains lore and info about your weapons, enemies, and pickups.
  • Endless Game: The game's horde mode, which is essentially killing as many as you can in a large area until you die.
  • Energy Weapon : Featured in Episode 5 as an attack used by certain enemies and as an environmental hazard. Both hurt a lot.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": The player character is only known as "the Champion".
  • Evil Tower of Ominousness: E4M3, The Tower of Light. See Light Is Not Good below.
  • Extra Eyes: The ending image reveals that the protagonist has four eyes.
  • Foreshadowing: The above image which also appears in the level completed screen? That is actually how you finish the final boss.
  • Flying Face: The Fire Visages in the Sacred Path are giant flying stone heads that can deal continuous damage with their fiery Breath Weapons. There are also the Umbers, skull-faced spheres that live in the Void and float around using Magic Missile Storm attacks.
  • Gameplay and Story Integration: The Episode 4 boss, the Solar Saint, is completely immune to the Celestial Claw's Soul Mode because it shoots miniature suns, which aren't exactly the guy's kryptonite.
  • Gemstone Assault: The Star of Torment is a crystal mace that fires nail-like crystal shards when swung. The Arcane Expanse (Episode 6) also features living crystal enemies and beast riders that wield evil versions of the Star.
  • Genre Throwback: To 90's first-person shooters, especially fantasy-themed ones, such as Heretic, Hexen, and Witchaven.
  • Glass Cannon: The Painmaster from Episode 5 has the least health out of the Huge enemies, being able to easily be killed by a single Aeternum shot, but it will quickly shred your health if you're not careful.
  • Half the Man He Used to Be: The Whisper's Edge will do this to enemies if you "overkill" them with it. Very common when Soul Mode is active.
  • Harder Than Hard: The hidden Evil difficulty, which is hidden for a reason.
  • Have a Nice Death: Dying in specific ways will prompt a message related to how you were killed to appear in the Game Over screen. For example, "Sliced", "Splat!", "Cooked!", "Obliterated"...
  • Healing Spring: The water pools in the Gateway of the Ancients will restore your health if you dip into them, so you don't have to start a new episode with low health if you had trouble with the previous boss.
  • Heroic Mime: Normally played straight, as the only noises the Champion makes are various grunts of pain and a roar when activating his Soul Power, as well as a Big "NO!" if he falls into a bottomless pit. Averted in the secret level, where he'll utter "Ooh, shiny!" upon collecting the Dopefish statue, and will do a short Arnie imitation after killing the Wee John Clan.
  • Hub Level: The game has a hub area (the Gateway of the Ancients) where you select the difficulty and episodes via navigation, not unlike Quake.
  • Humanoid Aliens: The Champion is revealed to be one in the ending after taking off his helmet, revealing a mostly human appearance, but with four alien-looking eyes and more pronounced cheekbones.
  • It's All Upstairs from Here: The Pilgrim's Temple (E3M3) and the Tower of Light (E4M3). Both levels consist in ascending the eponymous buildings to reach the exit at the top.
  • Large Ham Announcer: The horde mode has a female one who gets louder the more chains of kills you deal.
  • Light Is Not Good: The enemies in the Solar Solstice (the fourth episode) are sun worshippers, and the whole chapter has a very prominent sun/light theme. However, The Corruption affecting the realms has turned them into Ax-Crazy cultists, hell-bent on killing any non-sun worshipping heretic. Namely, you.
  • Logical Weakness: Some enemies are noticeably weaker to certain weapons than others. Enemies made of fire are particularly weak to the Staff of the Azure Orb (which turns enemies into water), and solid enemies like the Golems are particularly weak to the explosive Celestial Claw.
  • Living Shadow: The enemies in the Void (Episode 7) are all this. They can still be whacked with your axe, though.
  • Losing Your Head: Sometimes, when killing the grey armored Sentinels in Episode 2, their heads (which are actually multi-eyed flying squid-like things) will pop out and try to explode in your face. Additionally, most of the basic enemies get beheaded if they're killed with the Axe of the Black Labyrinth.
  • Lovecraft Lite: The general theme seems to be that some evil has infected the lands of the Gods themselves, overturning their rule. This is highlighted with the second episode and the finale of the third. Of course, not that it's gonna stop you, as they can be destroyed with a bit of magic, and you're for the most part a superpowered wizard gameplay-wise.
  • Ludicrous Gibs: Not only is this very possible to do with most weapons, but you also get an "Overkill!" message in your HUD every single time you do this to an enemy.
  • Lunacy: The inhabitants of the Astral Equinox (the first episode) are evil Moon worshipers.
  • Magic Knight: The player can be described as this, being adept at both weapons and magic. You even wear armor too. Some of the mages in the Arcane Expanse develop in that direction as well, wielding (still magic) weapons, acquiring shields and some armor, and training and riding steeds.
  • Mana: In the finest Hexen tradition, you use mana as ammo for your arsenal. There are four kinds of mana:
    • Blue: For the Azure Orb and the Voltride.
    • Green: For the Whisper's Edge and the Star of Torment.
    • Orange: For the Celestial Claw.
    • Purple: For the Aeturnum.
  • Malevolent Architecture: While most levels contain traps of some sort, Episode 5 makes this it's trademark.
  • Mayincatec: The third episode has this theme in its levels, though it mixes somewhat with Build Like an Egyptian.
  • Nail 'Em: The Star of Torment is a mace that flings nail-like projectiles at enemies, pinning them to walls with the killing blow.
  • Pinball Projectile: The Whisper's edge beam starts to bounce off walls once Soul Mode is activated.
  • Portal Crossroad World: The Gateway of the Ancients has a total of six portals connecting to four other worlds and another ruin on the same world. When the evil force finds the Gateway, it forces open a seventh portal to the Void in the basement.
  • Pun-Based Title: It's probably no coincidence that the game's title is pronounced nearly identical to "a medieval".
  • Purple Is Powerful: The Aeturnum, the most powerful weapon in the game, is a weird, purple crystal artifact which also happens to be the only weapon that uses purple mana.
  • Puzzle Boss:
    • The Episode 2 boss, The Scrounge. The first thing you'll notice is that it's quite resistant to all your weapons in their standard fire mode. His main weakness is the overcharged Star of Torment, so you'll need to focus on killing the flying kamikaze blobs it spawns to get their souls and wail on him with said weapon once you're ready.
    • The Forgemaster, boss of Episode 5, is a more straight example. He's invulnerable to all your attacks unless you manage to splash him with acid using the buttons scattered across his arena.
  • Retraux: The game uses a combination of sprites and lower resolution graphics to emulate the look of early 90's games, combined with modern lighting and effects. This ends up giving a rather distinct and striking look.
  • Rocket Jump: Or Planet Jump in this case, since you can use the Celestial Claw to do this.
  • Rock Monster: Featured in Episode 3, they come in two sizes: big and really big.
  • Rule of Cool: The main justification for the Celestial Claw, a Rocket Launcher equivalent that shoots entire planets instead of missiles. Using your axe as a propeller while underwater also falls under this.
  • Secret Level: There is one secret level in the game, hidden somewhere in the Gateway.
  • Sequel Hook: In the Haven of the Ancients, a "Pool of Prophecy" shows the Haven sometime in the future, set aflame and seen through a blood-red filter. What this means is anyone's guess...
  • Shock and Awe: The Voltride, a trident that fires electric bolts and turns into a powerful Lightning Gun when Soul Mode is active.
  • Shield-Bearing Mook: Featured in Episode 4, their shields will reflect most of your attacks back at you, making them quite dangerous.
  • Shoot the Bullet: The game design tries to make it obvious as early as is practical that a Whisper's Edge Sword Beam can stop those of its lesser counterparts, and a few other weapon-like projectiles can be intercepted as well. Similarly, the Staff of the Azure Orb fires tracking water projectiles and has a chance at extinguishing a few of the weaker fire-based attacks.
  • Shout-Out: The "Soul" mechanic works identically to Painkiller (picking up souls from enemy corpses and hoarding them until the time is right for a Super Mode).
    • The soundtrack for the level E2M3 "Halls of Doom" starts as a homage to E1M9 from the original Doom.
  • Shattered World: The Arcane Expanse is the remains of a planet torn apart by mages experimenting with gravity and space manipulation, now floating in a nebula.
  • Signature Laugh: The player character has one upon acquiring a new weapon, much like Corvus in Heretic.
  • Solar and Lunar: The Astral Equinox and Solar Solstice are on opposite sides of the same world and home to fanatical moon and sun worshipers respectively. The Many of the enemies in the Solar Solstice are fiery counterparts to the ones in Astral Equinox.
  • Spiritual Successor: To Heretic and Hexen.
  • Sprite/Polygon Mix: An example that blends very well. The game is generally 3D, but on a closer look, one can see that it uses sprites for weapons and their projectiles. This also applies for the collectibles.
  • Standard FPS Guns: Much like Heretic, the game has a magical variant of the old-school shooter formula, albeit with a more unique twist to it.
    • Axe = Melee attack / Chainsaw in Soul Mode.
    • Staff of the Azure Orb = Pistol / Plasma Gun in Soul Mode
    • Whisper's Edge = Shotgun
    • Star of Torment = Super Shotgun
    • Voltride = Chaingun / Lightning Gun in Soul Mode
    • Celestial Claw = Rocket Launcher
    • Aeturnum = BFG
  • Stationary Boss: The Corrupt Spirit, the boss of the third episode, who stays at the center of its arena the whole fight. The final boss, as well.
  • Super Not-Drowning Skills: You can actually stay underwater indefinitely without losing health.
  • Super Mode: Soul Mode supercharges your weapons and gives them bonus attributes, similar to using a Tome of Power in Heretic.
  • Sword Beam: How the Whisper's Edge works, launching green beams when used.
  • Temple of Doom: The Sacred Path and the Easter Egg level are respectively a pilgrim's path and an obstacle course ruins on the same world as the Hub Level.
  • Theme Naming: Most episodes have some form of theme naming in its levels:
    • Astral Equinox (Episode 1): All level names are moon/night related (Selenicnote  Stronghold, Bastion of the Blue Moon, Vaults of Midnight, Lunar Sanctuary)
    • Domain of the Sentinels (Episode 2): All level names are buildings/fortifications of some sort (Citadel of the Watchers, Forgone Fortress, Halls of Doom, Sentinel's Sanctuary)
    • The Sacred Path (Episode 3): All levels (except the boss level) are the "Y's X" (Journeyman's Way, Apostle's Shrine, Pilgrim's Temple)
    • Solar Solstice (Episode 4): All level names are sun/light related (The Bright Pass, Illumination Complex, The Tower of Light, Solar Sanctuary)
    • The Forges (Episode 5): All level names, save for the boss level, are the "X of Y". They all, boss level included, sound rather uninviting (Ruins of Rust, Crucible of Pain, Gantlet of Torment, Forsaken Sanctuary)
    • Also, all boss levels (except the Episode 7 one) are "Sanctuaries" (Lunar Sanctuary, Sentinel's Sanctuary, Ancient Sanctuary, Solar Sanctuary, Forsaken Sanctuary, Unholy Sanctuary)
  • Throw Down the Bomblet: The red armoured Astral Defenders from Episode 1 attack by throwing bombs at you. They do quite a lot of damage and are especially dangerous if they got the high ground.
  • Underground Level: Save for E1M2, the entirety of Episode 1 takes place in massive structures carved in equally gigantic caverns.
  • Underwater Boss Battle: The Twin Terrors in Episode 6 are a very weird example. The fight takes place in a gigantic water bubble floating above an endless void, instead of your typical body of water.
  • Unrealistic Black Hole: The Soul Mode for the Aeturnum fires a black hole that sucks all nearby enemies into it... and you if you're foolish enough to get near it. You even get a special game over screen if you die this way. The other way to get this Game Over screen is to die from the final boss' purple mana attack.
  • Your Soul is Mine!: Every enemy you kill will drop its soul. Collecting enough enemy souls allows you to unleash your Super Mode.