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Video Game / Evil Dead: Hail to the King

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"Who's laughing now, you primitive screwhead?"

Hail to the King is first of the three licensed Evil Dead games published by the late THQ.

Eight years after the events of Army of Darkness, Ash decides to face his old fears by visiting the cabin where everything started with his new girlfriend Jenny. Soon, deadites are once again released. Now Ash must hack his way through them to find his disappeared girlfriend, and a way to send the bastards back to where they came from.

The game is an early Survival Horror game, with 3D-polygon characters moving over fixed 2D backgrounds, often from dramatic camera angles, similar to the first 3 installments in the Resident Evil series.


This game has the examples of:

  • An Axe to Grind: An axe on the wall is one of the three available weapons at the start. It is weaker than the chainsaw, but it has infinite use.
  • Big Bad: Evil Ash, who tries to bring all the deadites back for good.
  • Big "NO!"/Skyward Scream: Ash's reaction to the ending.
  • Chainsaw Good: Ash's signature weapon is back. It is strong, but it needs gasoline to work. Later in the game, it can be upgraded to a circular saw one.
  • Continuity Nod: Several in regards to the film trilogy:
    • The end of the opening cutscene depicts Ash assembling his classic chainsaw hand just as he did in Evil Dead II.
    • One of the bosses Ash fights is a possessed Annie Knowby, who still has the Kandarian Dagger sunk into her back.
    • Linda appears as a unique Deadite enemy, rising from her grave.
  • Cutting the Knot: Ash comes upon a locked door guarded by what seems to the worst puzzle in the game yet. The game changes perspective to the standard, pre-rendered "puzzle screen" and the instructions tell you to find seven rare earth elements and then balance them against each other by their specific weight to open the door. Then Ash suddenly jumps in, aims his trusty shotgun at the wall-mounted puzzle and simply shoots the door open instead.
  • Dem Bones:
    • Common skeletons appear as enemies in the forest maze and the church area.
    • Armored variant is an early enemy in Damascus.
  • Demonic Possession: Some of the enemies are flying possessed humans.
  • Disco Sucks!: Invoked with Ash's Give My Regards in the Next World taunt.
    "Say hi to disco for me."
  • Dual Wielding: Ash can hold two weapons at the same time.
  • Equipment Upgrade: In the second half of the game, there are item boxes containing upgrade parts you can use to power up the guns. Ash's chainsaw also gains a new blade after beating the second-to-last boss.
  • Evil Knockoff: Alongside with Ash's evil mirror image, the fourth boss is a skeleton dressed like Ash.
    Ash: Great. 'Cause two of me just weren't enough.
  • Face Your Fears: The plot of the game is Ash facing his old fears.
  • Flying Face: Skulls with wings are enemies in the scout area.
  • Full-Boar Action: Hellbillies pig pen feature deadite-possessed swine with tusks.
  • Giant Spider: The old hillbilly lady in her bed reveals herself to be a giant deadite spider in disguise.
  • Helping Hands: Ash's possessed hand is still scurrying about, and it releases the deadites by playing the record of Professor Knowby's incantations.
  • Hide Your Children: Averted; the enemies in the first half include Deadite-possessed boy scouts.
  • Human Sacrifice: Evil Ash kidnapped Jenny to sacrifice her to the Dark Ones.
  • Humanoid Abomination: Evil Ash. Looks much like a deadite but is something more than that. In the final boss battle against him after you kick him around a bit... he proceeds to take it up a notch and reveal his true nature.
  • Idle Animation: A variation- if you wait too long on the title screen, Ash's annoyed voice will start demanding that you press the Start button.
  • Long Neck: Once possessed Annie take enough damage, she extends her neck for long range attacks.
  • The Magazine Rule: A specialized magazine for Hillbilly Moonshiners can be found in the Hellbillies house, which provides tips to create fuel and healing items with mushrooms.
  • Oh, No... Not Again!: Ash's word-for-word reaction when his evil hand plays Knowby's recorded incantations again.
  • One-Winged Angel: The very final boss battle is against Evil Ash who turns himself into bizarre pile of limbs and mouths.
  • Puzzle Boss: The heavily armored boss with a hammer in Damascus cannot be damaged by conventional means, and must be defeated by dousing him with molten metal and cold water twice.
  • Respawning Enemies: Defeated enemies eventually return, sometimes right in the spot where you killed the last one.
  • Sudden Downer Ending: Ash defeats Evil Ash, reseals away the evil and saves Jenny. But the time travel trip back home sucked the translated Necronomicon along with it. When the two get back, it's be around long enough that it's a popular sell in bookstores. Ash is understandably upset.
  • Time Travel: Ash has to go "round two with the primitives" when a time portal sends him into Damascus 730 AD.
  • Unintentionally Unwinnable: At the start of the second disc, you're supposed to save the game at a save point immediately upon arriving in Damascus, then leave the area, fight some skeletons for the parts needed to open the town gate, and then proceed. If you do this, then reloading the game if you fail triggers the second disc's opening cut scene, and all's well. However, if you run to the area with the skeletons, then turn back around and then save the game and reload it, the enemies will vanish - along with the items you needed to collect from them. You're now stuck outside the city with no way to get through the locked gate, and with the game saved at that spot.
  • Vertigo Effect: Emulated when the spider boss reveals itself.
  • When Trees Attack: Second boss battle is against a possessed man-eating tree.
  • Wrench Whack: One miniboss battle is against a mechanic with a big wrench.