The Chaos Engine is a top-down shooter that was initially created for the Commodore Amiga. It was later ported to other platforms, including the PC and SNES.
A remake of the game was released on August 29, 2013 for PC, Mac and Linux. It is currently available for download on Steam and GOG.com.
A time traveler takes a journey back to Victorian England, bringing fabulous technology. However, his futuristic technology fell into the hands of the evil Baron Fortesque, who retro engineered the equipment for his own personal means, thereby creating an alternate timeline. The Baron created what was known as the "Chaos Engine", a terrifying machine which could alter the matter of time and space. After prolonged use, the machine absorbed the Baron, making him a part of the machine. This was the last the world heard of the vile dictator. However, things didn't end there, as the ramifications of the machine echoed, as it turned humans savage and feral, created terrifying androids and resurrected prehistoric beings. The English countryside was changed forever. Out of panic, what remained of the government hired the best soldiers of fortune in the world to shut down the Chaos Engine and save humanity. Now, six greedy guns-for-hire, motivated not by bravery, but by money, set out to destroy what remains of Fortesque's empire. Our story begins.
The object of the game is to traverse levels while destroying as many enemies as possible. Scattered throughout each level were various one time powerups, special abilities, food, and money, which was used to purchase upgrades every second level. These upgrades ranged from Speed, Power, Intelligence and so on. Each playable character had specific weapon types, be it The Scientists weapon which could pierce through enemies, to Mercenaries fast but weak gatling gun. The game had 4 tilesets, each consisting of 4 levels. The worlds were "Forest", then "Workshop", leading on to "Fortesque Mansion" and finally ending in "Sewers", where the player faced off in a terrifying encounter against the Baron. After defeating the game, it is revealed that the narrator of the plot was, in fact, the Baron, trapped inside the machine until it was to be destroyed.
"This mercenary is in the business purely for the money. The Baron has stashed away large sums and Brigand is willing to risk his life to find the loot. He has average abilities and begins the mission with a Rifle and Shotburst."
Brigand is an average character, the basic jack of all trades. His weapon is powerful when upgraded, and his Shotburst can be useful if used in the right situation.
"The intelligence and speed of the Gentleman keeps him at the top of his game. While he's not very strong, the Gentleman can avoid a lot of trouble with his quick moves. He starts with a Flame Pistol and mapping abilities."
Gentleman is very similar to Brigand, only with a faster movement speed and less damaging regular shots. He has the map, which is useful to navigate through the levels.
"The ox-like Thug is a mutant powerhouse who can withstand a big beating and still fight back with a mighty force. His Shotgun fires several small shells and the Molotov weapon that he begins with sends out a circle of flame"
Along with Navvie, Thug is one of the 2 "Heavy Duty" characters. Boasting impressive firepower, they are somewhat limited due to their incredibly slow movement speed.
"Experience is on the Mercenary's side. This fighter is a veteran of many battles and a good leader. While his abilities are average, Mercenary does make good use of a Gatling Gun and he is an expert with explosives"
The Mercenary is a very useful character, and one which is often advised to select as an AI partner, due to his "First Aid" ability, which heals both players instantly to full health. His firepower is sub-par, especially in the later stages, being outclassed by several other characters.
"The strongest fighter of the group got his physical training by building roads and canals. He also had a stint with the army where he learned to make weapons. Navvie begins the mission with a powerful Cannon and Dynamite"
Navvie is the most powerful character in-game. Boasting the highest firepower in-game, which also encompasses knockback, he is one of the most powerful characters. However, like Thug, he suffers from painful movement speed. He also boasts "Dynamite" as a special weapon, which clears the entire screen of enemies.
Scientist (Preacher in other versions)
"The Scientist is the brains of the bunch. He is smart and fast. While his homemade Lightning Gun may not be the toast of the town, the First Aid Kit with which he begins the mission makes him a good member of the team"
The Scientist often comes off as the most specialized character. Featuring a weak weapon which can pierce enemies at higher levels, and the fastest run speed in-game, he is a powerful yet difficult character to master. He also has the most powerful special attacks in-game, such as Freeze and First Aid.
|Shotburst||Sends a wave of bullets in a 360 degree angle around the character, killing everything in its path. It is limited to the current floor.|
|Molotov Cocktail||Sends a circle of fire at enemies in the direction that it is thrown. Can go up and down levels.|
|Bomb||Sends several detonations across the screen in random direction, and kills anything close on detonation|
|Dynamite||Kills every enemy on screen, save for boss monsters.|
|Shield||Makes both characters invincible for a short time.|
|Land Mine||Plants a mine that destroys the first enemy to walk over it.|
|Airburst||Same as the shotburst, but it fires on the level above. Useful for reaching usually un-hittable enemies.|
|Party Power||The most powerful item in the game. It increases the player's weapon power and speed to maximum for a short duration.|
|First aid||Recovers a large amount of HP to both player characters.|
|Map||Shows the map.|
|Repel Monster||When this blinking light is placed on the floor, monsters will run away from it for a brief time.|
|Distract Monster||All enemies will rush to attack this special ability, including all missiles fired by the Chaos Engine. Incredibly useful, but situational.|
|Freeze Monster||All enemies on screen are frozen. Useful to clear out rooms in a short period of time in a safe and efficient manner.|