The Dink Network

Eternal Suicide Chapter Zero : Wasted Life

May 19th, 2003
Score : 9.2 exceptional
Peasant Male Belgium
Nitronic's Eternal Suicide Saga has been in development since early Octobre and now the first chapter, chapter zero, is ready. It introduces a whole lot of original characters and many mysteries, most of which aren't even resolved in this chapter. This is exactly what's so attractive about the d-mod. The story is well-built and seems to follow a certain theme. I won't go into any details, but the main goal of Chapter Zero is to kill the last slayer on the planet.

The gameplay elements are quite limited, but on the other hand, what's in there is usually pretty original. There's an arcade minigame you're required to do in the beginning of the d-mod that's really fun once you get the hang of it. The downside of this mini game is that you need to get a certain amount of strength boosts in order to reach 18 strength. In the readme it says you can't finish the game with under 18 strength, so if you're not good at the mini game you'll have a hard time getting through. Having said that, even with 18 strength this d-mod is rather hard. There is only one part of the map where you can actually run around and kill enemies. Aside from that, fighting is mostly reserved for boss battles and some predetermined skirmishes. The bosses usually require some strategy to win against as they're balanced to survive with only little HP left.

Okay, so there isn't much gameplay to it, then how does he fill almost 2 hours of playtime you ask? Simple.
Chapter Zero includes a great amount of cutscenes that can take anywhere from 5 to 30 minutes without skipping text. The cutscenes are excellent tools to proceed into the story and never become tedious in any way. If you succeed in finding the secrets you don't only get a cutscene referring to the next chapter for every secret you find, but also an extended ending. Herein lies a disadvantage however. In my opinion, most secrets are insanely hard to spot, unless you find the secret note which presents you with some hints to find them.

Chapter Zero contains about 50 midis and every one of them fits the mood exactly. There are also some new sound effects, not only for simple stuff like rocks moving, but also in the form of vocal spells. As some of you may know it's particularly difficult to add timing to events and sound effects, but Nitronic has done a great job here too. The only bad thing about this is the engine's way of handling wait commands. If you were to play this d-mod on, say, a laptop you'll be in trouble.

Not much spectacular in the graphics department, except for some animated gifs ripped from the net. They do look nice though and take away the feeling of just being an ordinary d-mod.

Overall, Chapter Zero surprised me in many ways. It's an alternative way of telling a story and playing a d-mod. Nitronic describes the story as being a linear story-driven d-mod. I must agree with this and together with Cycles of Evil they make a great new genre, one worth to explore.

Can't wait for the next chapter.