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Overview

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.

Story

A screenshot from the game's introduction.
A screenshot from the game's introduction.

A time traveler takes a journey back to Victorian England, bringing fabulous technology. However, his futuristic technology falls into the hands of the evil Baron Fortesque, who retrofits the equipment for his own personal means, thereby creating an alternate timeline. The Baron creates what comes to be known as the "Chaos Engine", a terrifying machine with the potential to alter the matter of time and space. After prolonged use, the machine absorbs the Baron, making him a part of the machine. This turns out to be the last the world would hear of the vile dictator. However, things don't end there, as the ramifications of the machine echo, as it turned humans savage and feral, creating terrifying androids and resurrecting prehistoric beings. The English countryside changes forever. Out of panic, what remains of the government hires the best soldiers of fortune in the world to shut down the Chaos Engine and save humanity.

Now, six greedy guns-for-hire, motivated by money, set out to destroy what remains of Fortesque's empire. This is where the game begins.

Gameplay

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 include speed, power, and intelligence. Each playable character had specific weapon types, be it The Scientist's weapon which can pierce through enemies, to Mercenary's fast but weak gatling gun.

The game has 4 worlds, each consisting of 4 levels. The worlds are "Forest"; "Workshop"; "Fortesque Mansion"; and "Sewers", where the player faces off against the Baron.

After beating the game, it is revealed that the narrator of the plot is, in fact, the Baron, trapped inside the machine until it was to be destroyed.

Characters

Brigand

"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.

Gentleman

"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.

Thug

"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.

Mercenary

"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.

Navvie

"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.

Special Items

NameDescription
ShotburstSends 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 CocktailSends a circle of fire at enemies in the direction that it is thrown. Can go up and down levels.
BombSends several detonations across the screen in random direction, and kills anything close on detonation
DynamiteKills every enemy on screen, save for boss monsters.
ShieldMakes both characters invincible for a short time.
Land MinePlants a mine that destroys the first enemy to walk over it.
AirburstSame as the shotburst, but it fires on the level above. Useful for reaching usually un-hittable enemies.
Party PowerThe most powerful item in the game. It increases the player's weapon power and speed to maximum for a short duration.
First aidRecovers a large amount of HP to both player characters.
MapShows the map.
Repel MonsterWhen this blinking light is placed on the floor, monsters will run away from it for a brief time.
Distract MonsterAll enemies will rush to attack this special ability, including all missiles fired by the Chaos Engine. Incredibly useful, but situational.
Freeze MonsterAll enemies on screen are frozen. Useful to clear out rooms in a short period of time in a safe and efficient manner.
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