Sinclair User28th February 1987
Published in Sinclair User #62
Nemesis The Warlock
If you're the slightest bit squeamish, then forget about getting Nemesis The Warlock.
If, on the other hand you get a kick out of hacking armies of alien warriors to pieces with a sword, or blowing them in half with a laser pistol and can stomach having to climb on top of them, you'll probably be playing it well into the early hours.
Nemesis The Warlock is the fourth 2000AD character to find himself made into a computer game. And he's certainly made the most smooth transition.
Set on a world ruled by the arch loony Torquemada, the comic strip is a constant tale of mortal combat fought on landscapes of broken bones and horrible drippy bits of things that are very hard to make out.
Nemesis (the hero) is the leader of the resistance organisation, which is constantly attempting (and just failing) to overthrow the tyrannical reign of Torquemada who is busy killing all the non-humans on the planet.
The game follows the same plot. You control the weird alien shape of Nemesis, who looks a bit like a cross between a horse and a man, guiding him over various screens of platforms, killing the Terminators - Torquemada's henchmen.
It's not sounding particularly interesting, is it? Well, you're completely wrong.
While Nemesis The Warlock isn't the most inventive game concept in the world, it's executed with such style as to make it stand head and shoulders over most of anything else about at the moment.
The graphics are extremely finely detailed, and the animation is great. Nemesis stalks around, jumping and ducking in order to avoid the onslaught of the bad guys. Not being a wholly pacifistic, you can dispatch the ever more vicious fiends with a swift swish of your sword instead of just disappearing in a puff of smoke, the bad guys double up and fly back through the air. When they hit the deck, they begin to pile up, forming a rather grotesque platform on which you can walk.
The main problem with walking over the corpses of Torquemada's fallen army is that after a few seconds (depending on how close you are to T, and thus how strong his influence) they will twitch and jump and gradually turn into zombies who are very, very unpleasant and decidedly dangerous.
The zombies wander around, wielding scythes which will - on contact - drain your stamina points at a rapid rate. The only way to bump off a zombie is to spit acid at him. You only get one mouthful of acid per screen, so you'll probably have to stagger around for quite a while with it sloshing about. No wonder, Nemesis is in such a bad mood all the time.
Should you be fortunate enough to come across a pile of bullets, you can waste a few guys with the gun. The graphics here are just as detailed as with the sword-swinging section. Hitting Fire once causes you to raise the gun to shoulder-height. Hit the Fire button a second time and you'll unleash a bolt of photon plasma ray death (or something) which is quite sufficient to kill anything in its path.
Once you've wiped out your quota of terminators - which increases according to your progression - you must look for the exit and once you've found it you'll move on to the next screen which is even tougher.
Finally you'll find yourself 'face to face' with big bad T himself and that promises to be quite a fight.
Nemesis is probably the most enjoyable killing spree I've had for a long time.
This is one fantastic (and very violent) conversion. 2000AD finally comes to life! One of the stronger games around.