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Video Game / Pandemonium!

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Pandemonium! is a 1996 platform game, published by Crystal Dynamics, originally for the PlayStation and later ported to the Sega Saturn and PC. It features Fargus, a joker, and Nikki, a young sorceress, who unwittingly casts a spell that destroys the town. The goal of the game is to reach the Wishing Engine, where they can wish the town back to normal. For each level, the player can choose which character to be. Each has a special move — Fargus can deliver a special spinning attack by throwing his talking stick-puppet called Sid, and Nikki can double jump.


A sequel, Pandemonium 2 was released in 1997, for PlayStation and PC. This one features the characters dashing to the Comet of Infinite Possibilities to make their wish. However, the evil Queen Zorrscha has set her sight on the comet as well, and it is up on our characters to defeat her.

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


This game series contains examples of:

  • Acid-Trip Dimension: While for the most part the levels in both games are not that strange like the name would imply, the things you see in the last world (notably first two levels) in the sequel are not, for lack of better term, from this world.
  • Bare Your Midriff: Nikki in both games.
  • Blow You Away: Both Honcho's Airship and Storm Temple feature some annoying wind currents you need to pass through.
  • Bonus Level: Collect enough of treasure in the level and you get to play a special bonus level afterwards (surfing game or a pinball version) that allows you to get some extra lives.
  • The Cameo: Nikki appears, in her Pandemonium 2 incarnation, in the ending of Gex: Enter the Gecko.
  • Cap: The sequel caps the number of lives to 32. The maximum HP you can have is also capped, obviously. Strangely enough the cheat code in the sequel gives you 8 HP more than you can get via normal playthrough.
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  • Cloudcuckoo Lander: Fargus, in the sequel.
  • Collision Damage: Pretty much anything that moves and is not a platform (and sometimes even them).
  • Double Jump: Nikki only, which is why she is seen as superior to Fargus.
  • Deadpan Snarker / Servile Snarker: Sid.
  • Dub Name Change: The Japanese version of the first game was published there by Bandai who also changed the two main characters, as well as the game's title to Magical Hoppers.
  • Early Game Hell: The first game can get pretty frustrating while you're struck with only two hearts and two lives. The sequel too until you pick some health upgrades.
  • Evil Laugh: Zorrscha, every time she appears as a miniboss.
  • Eternal Engine: Most of the third world in the sequel qualifies.
  • Everything Trying to Kill You
  • Eyes Do Not Belong There: Lick The Toad from the sequel has a path from the eyes.
  • Faceless Eye: The Wishing Engine. Also the eyes in Lick The Toad from the sequel that form floor.
  • Fake Balance: There's really no reason at all to use Fargus in the first game, as Nikki's mobility is far more advantageous in every scenario.
  • Freeze Ray: One of the power-ups, that allows to shatter frozen enemies.
  • Gimmick Level: The first game transforms you into some creature like a frog on some occasion. The sequel lets you control a tank, a turret and a giant mech in some occasions.
  • Goomba Stomp: A common way of dispatching enemies, especially by Nikki.
  • Goomba Springboard: Most of enemies and also those weird eggs in the sequel, which also make funny 'Yay' sound every time you jump on them.
  • Here We Go Again!: The ending of the first game, to an extent. "Oh boy, I think we're gonna need another wish!"
  • Hot Witch: Nikki. Which version of her is hotter varies from person to person.
  • HP to 1: What mouse-like-and-not-wizard-enemy does. As collision damage.
  • Kill It with Fire: Nikki's power she can pick in the sequel.
  • Market-Based Title: Pandemonium! and its sequel were imported to Japan by Bandai under the titles Magical Hoppers and Miracle Jumpers, the former also receiving something of a Cut-and-Paste Translation.
  • Mad Bomber: Fargus, but only in the sequel.
  • Marathon Level: The penultimate level of the sequel, The Bitter End, which is both sprawling and full of backtracking.
  • The Maze: The Bitter End again.
  • Multiple Endings: The ending of the second game depends on which character the player uses to complete it.
  • Nintendo Hard: Stages can be really damn long, the camera often goes a little wild and easily disorients the player, or zooms too far in so that the player can't see oncoming enemies, and extra lives are prohibitively expensive (300 gems per life.)
  • No OSHA Compliance: The Eternal Engine levels in the sequel. Yeah, run through the fans, that seems safe.
  • Our Monsters Are Weird: Seriously, what some of the creatures in the both games are supposed to be?
  • Progressively Prettier: In the first game, Nikki is fairly plain-looking and innocent. In the sequel, she has become Hotter and Sexier, sports a completely different hairstyle (not to mention a different face), and a new, more ruthless, personality.
  • Pyromaniac: Nikki in the sequel, according to the manual.
  • Screen Crunch: The N-Gage port had bad draw distance and low frame rates on top of the screen problems.
  • Shrink Ray: One of the power-ups, that allows to even kill Invincible Minor Minions by stomping on them.
  • Shock and Awe: Storm Temple. There are also Plasma Balls in Zorrscha's Lab and Lightning power for Nikki in the sequel.
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: The aptly named Ice Prison.
  • Tank Goodness: Hate Tank level in the sequel lets you control a tank not far into the level.
  • Timed Mission: In the sequel, there is race for a health upgrade and for the level's end.
  • 2½D: The first game has 2D mechanics in a 3D environment. Most of the sequel qualifies as well.
  • Unexpected Shmup Level: Some parts of Collide-O-Scope and the battle with Mr. Schneobelen
  • Weakened by the Light: Storm Temple features the demons that are lethal in the darkness, but become completely harmless should you light the lamp that is (hopefully) nearby.


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