De­vel­oper: Hit­maker/crazy Games Year: 2002 Genre: Light­gun

Retro Gamer - - A MOMENT WITH -

It feels like An­cient Egyp­tian themes aren’t re­ally used enough in videogames – we’ve seen enough Romero-style lum­ber­ing zom­bies to last a life­time and Castl­e­va­nia’s got the vam­pire scene sewn up pretty well, but we don’t of­ten find our­selves in a life or death con­fronta­tion with a mummy. Fear not though, as The Maze Of The Kings casts you as an ar­chae­o­log­i­cal trea­sure hunter ex­plor­ing the pyra­mids. Along the way you’ll be at­tacked by skele­tal guards, crawl­ing crit­ters and of course a va­ri­ety of bosses.

The game’s con­cept came from Shinya Nishi­gaki of Crazy Games, who wanted to make an ar­cade hor­ror game af­ter fin­ish­ing the Dream­cast hor­ror games Ill­bleed and Blue Stinger. Hit­maker staff in­clud­ing The Lost World: Juras­sic Park direc­tor Shinichi Oga­sawara as­sisted in or­der to en­sure that the game would work well in the ar­cade en­vi­ron­ment.

Each game be­gins with the player se­lect­ing a weapon, with higher power weapons need­ing more fre­quent reload­ing, and a spe­cial item. You’ll then be sub­jected to re­lent­less at­tacks from skele­tal guards, creepy crawlies and myth­i­cal an­i­mals, which you have to shoot to sur­vive. How­ever, scor­ing points re­lies on gath­er­ing trea­sure – and for that you’ll need to shoot pots and other con­tain­ers. If you shoot larger trea­sure tar­gets be­fore they dis­ap­pear, they’ll bounce and their point val­ues will be bumped up, but of course you run the risk of be­ing at­tacked while do­ing so. What’s par­tic­u­larly ex­cit­ing about The Maze Of The Kings is that your route is ran­domised – each time you play you’ll be sent to dif­fer­ent rooms, which in­creases the re­play value of the game con­sid­er­ably.

It’s not hard to see why The Maze Of The Kings never came to Dream­cast – 2002 was a bit late to be con­sid­er­ing that, even if a NAOMI port would have been fairly sim­ple. How­ever, we’re not sure why it never came to Playsta­tion 2 or Xbox, as Sega pub­lished light­gun games for both ma­chines and it was cer­tainly no worse a can­di­date for con­ver­sion than The House Of The Dead III. Still, that just means it’s well worth stick­ing some cred­its in if you see a cab­i­net in the wild.

Th­ese pots in the back­ground are full of pointscor­ing items. They’re the only way you’ll boost your score, so smash them when­ever you get the chance. En­e­mies in this game aren’t too sub­tle – they’ll run right up to you and try to stab or bite you. It’s their speed and num­bers that pose more of a threat.

The tar­gets you need to hit to at­tack the boss and pre­vent dam­age change colour to rep­re­sent dan­ger. Orange in­di­cates that an at­tack is im­mi­nent. The flames that Tu­tankhamun is breath­ing here are pretty haz­ardous to your health. Whether or not he fires them de­pends on your aim.

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