Gameplay: Platform, Puzzle elements
Published by: WizardWorks Group
Developed by: Utopia Technologies Inc.
The second and final part of the adventures of Max Montezuma, a soldier with ancestry descending from the emperor of the ancient Aztec people. Due to the breakdown of his plane, Max crashes on one of the islands not marked on the map. To get out of the trap surrounded by rocks, he is forced to go through the Aztec pyramid, keeping the secrets and mysteries of his ancestors. The interior of the pyramid is a vast network of passages and rooms that store untold treasures, guarded by dangerous beasts and evil creatures.
Among the animals, insects and birds that live in this closed world, there are friendly ones, such as swimming turtles. But mostly these are aggressive and dangerous predators, with which Montezuma will have to fight throughout his journey through the labyrinths of the ancient pyramid. Giant rats, bloodthirsty birds, huge dragonflies, vicious foxes, clawed tigers, stupid monkeys will sting, scratch, bite and beat an unarmed soldier, however, capable of hitting back. After all, Max has his arms, legs and fighting spirit. In addition to beasts and their enhanced varieties (mini-bosses), strange-looking goblins with clubs, blacksmiths with hammers and golems with heavy stone fists are very common. Our hero is opposed even by the skulls blocking the path in the narrow corridors. True, in fairness it is worth admitting that not all enemies are so terrible. On the contrary, many of the creatures are funny and comical, which gives the game a pleasant atmosphere. But, of course, the most dangerous opponents will meet at the end of some levels. Any of the bosses requires a special approach in the battle with him. In almost every battle, you have to solve, albeit not very difficult, but still a kind of puzzles. And the plot itself requires logical solutions in the process of searching for key items with their subsequent application. So it will not be boring, but, on the contrary, exciting and interesting.
The game in its plot resembles the first part - Montezuma's Revenge, but, unlike it, it is made three-dimensional, with a first-person view, and acrobatic elements: climbing vertical and horizontal ropes, moving on moving platforms, using air currents from fans for lifting , trampolines - for very high jumps upward or long jumps to the sides, diving from a great height into the water and swimming - create an absolutely unique gameplay. Such gameplay as here does not exist in any other arcade, and, perhaps, in other game genres.
In addition to his acrobatic skills, Montezuma possesses the ability to fight with his hands and feet. Each time you use your fists, a fatigue indicator appears. With the minimum value of this red stripe, Max will also be able to wave his arms and kick with his legs, but much less often. If the enemy hit has reached the target, a life scale will appear for a while. Initially, the screen is clean, the interface elements appear for only a couple of seconds and disappear from view without interfering with the game. But if desired, by pressing the "r" key, you can call up for a while all the status indicators. When Max's health level decreases to a catastrophic value, and his life hangs in the balance, then this remainder will begin to blink warningly. Bananas and watermelon slices found in the labyrinths of the pyramid will help you to recuperate. But the enemies of our hero in this edition of the game during the battle do not have any approximate data by which it would be possible to determine the status of their vitality.
By the way, the version presented on the site is Montezuma's Return v1.13, where, in addition to the absence of the enemy state scale, there are other restrictions. For example, cheat codes do not work here, and therefore you will have to overcome all difficulties honestly, not hoping for help and indulgence. In addition, Montezuma has only three lives, and an additional, bonus, appears only after the bar of 50,000 points for the collected treasures in the form of valuable stones, coins and pearls, placed in various hard-to-reach places.
To collect treasures (as in the game all the aforementioned types of treasures are designated), sometimes you have to sweat. Very often this is done in a jump with the help of peculiar trampolines. Somersaults here are both just upward and in different directions. And in order not to miss the suspended pearls, you have to use four correction keys, which allow you to maneuver directly in flight. At the same time, the sight through the eyes of the hero affects the perception of the game to such an extent that you literally begin to help with your whole body, fidgeting in your chair and deviating in one direction or another in order to precisely fit into the desired trajectory. If you collect 100% of treasures, then after successful completion, an additional level will open, which will immediately be fixed in the menu opposite the main one, so that in the future you can choose one or the other. After the bonus stage has been played, the game will evaluate the quality of the gameplay as a percentage. It also keeps track of the time spent on each main level, and the total duration for which all parts were completed. There are statistics of scoring for collected treasures and killed enemies, as well as for completing bonus stages. The points awarded for all individual levels add up to the grand total. If you are interested in knowing what will happen when you collect the maximum possible amount, then you need to try to kill all enemies, collect all the treasures and go through all the additional stages at 100%.
The graphics are surprising, which even today looks decent, but you need to remember that the game was created back in 1997. The voice acting is also great. Practically everything was taken into account: steps, sounds of blows, waving hands and feet, creaks and grinding from the movement of stone slabs and even a splash when entering the water, and even more so all the shouts of Montezuma himself and his enemies. There are many good music themes that fit perfectly into the gameplay and create a special atmosphere.
The physics of the main character's movements is very interesting and complex. Jumping from platform to platform, which are moving towards each other or, conversely, in different directions, it is important to remember about inertia. You also need to remember about sliding on inclined surfaces, choose the right moment of repulsion in jumps on complex rotating structures, accurately take into account the take-off time when jumping from a rope to the floor or onto another rope. After all, you have to do this very often and a lot, each time risking an inaccuracy or a fatal mistake leading to the loss of life. When swimming underwater, you need to keep an eye on the breath holding counter. Using a trampoline, it is often difficult to jump to the desired height.
The combination of all these moments and fights with enemies at first may seem not only difficult, but completely frightening. Sometimes it's not at all clear how to overcome some ingenious obstacles, but after hard training everything falls into place. The complexity of Montezuma's Return, if not outrageous, then, in any case, very, very high. And therefore, watching the game of different people, you notice differences in the level of preparation and the style of passing. And the launch of such parts as "Lair of the Lavalord", "Monkey Madness", "Aztec Circus", "Halls of Montezuma" resembles entering the circus arena as an acrobat, athlete and equilibrist. So you have the opportunity to show off your skills if you, having tried this wonderful arcade game, bring your style and unique manner of play to perfection.