Abadox: The Deadly Inner War (NES)

Abadox Box Art

Abadox: The Deadly Inner War

System: NES

Release Date: March 1990

Developer: Natsume

Publisher: Milton Bradley Company

Genre: Shoot ‘em Up

Natsume brings us an incredibly difficult, precision demanding game with Abadox: The Deadly Inner War. I’ve been playing a lot of shoot ‘em ups in the past couple weeks, or at least, it feels that way. In the far flung future, a massive deadly, formless mass named Parasitis swallows your home planet. The World Alive Force attacks, but is wiped out by the monster. As the lone survivor, it’s up to you to fight your way to the monster’s core and destroy it, saving Princess Maria and the universe!

Armed with space suit and jet pack, you press start and find yourself in a side-scrolling shooter. Lots of flying skulls and eyeballs fall prey to your gun, which is fired with the B Button. Amidst your firing spree, blue lobster looking enemies fly on screen. When destroyed, these drop a power up. There are four different guns, starting with the Tresbeam. This is your three way spread giving 45 degrees of shot up, down, and straight ahead. Next up is the Star Beam, which is a five-way spread adding two more shots at nearly vertical angles. The Pandora Gun shoots a large ring projectile that can be fired rapidly. The Laser Gun is single beam shot straight ahead, and is quite powerful.

Other powerups include a stacking speed powerup, which will help you maneuver more effectively. Twin missiles that fire along with your normal weapon and can be upgraded to homing missiles. The Orbiting Barrier Shield, which intercepts projectiles from harming you. The distance of the shield can be altered by pressing the A Button. These disappear after taking too much damage. The Hi Density Power Protector is a shield that gives an extra hit point. I assume these same colored enemies aren’t really getting a shield powerup, too. These powerups are very important and you’ll miss them greatly when you inevitably die.

There are six stages of this space-faring monstrosity. They each come in two segments split by a mid boss. The mid boss tends to move around the screen in set patterns, trying to catch you off guard with projectile fire. You want to beat them, because if they kill you, it’s back to the beginning of the level to try again. If you win, you get a check point and move on to the second part of the stage. At the end is a stationary boss that tries to overpower you with projectiles, but they typically require you to find a safe spot to retreat to between firing shots.

The even stages mix things up by changing to vertical scrolling. In a change I don’t think I’ve experienced up until this point, you move down the stage instead of up. The enemy layout is unforgiving and requires you to become an expert, because there’s no way anyone will have the reflexes or knowledge to make it through any of the levels on the first try. Then when you start your new life without any powerups, you’ll be ruing the day you decided to try and save the universe from destruction. Luckily, you have unlimited continues, so you can keep trying until you smarten up and quit.

Graphics: 2.0

While editing, I noticed both flickering and slowdown that I had forgotten. Sprites are detailed and there are many colors on screen at once.

Sound: 2.0

The music is pretty good, but the sound effects get annoying.

Gameplay: 1.5

It works when you have powerups, but when you’re slow and underpowered, you have to play over and over to learn where the enemies will come on screen.

Difficulty: 2.0

You’re going to die a lot. That’s just how Abadox was designed. Unlimited continues will keep you trying “one more time.”

Fun Factor: 1.5

Outside of getting stuck in a death loop, this is an enjoyable time.

Overall Grade: 1.8

Abadox: The Deadly Inner War earns a C. This is a run of the mill title. There are better examples of the genre out there, but this at least deserves a shot.

Abadox: The Deadly Inner War Video Review on YouTube