If you thought Ghosts ‘n Goblins was bad enough as being a highly difficult game, here’s Sega’s equivalent, a licensed game that has a small fanbase and I don’t understand why, but if you like it, all the more power to you. For the rest of us, welcome to Hell, Chakan: The Forever Man, developed by Extended Play and published by Sega and was released in 1992. It was based on an independent comic book created by Robert A. Kraus.
Game producer Ed Annunziata, who would also produced Ecco the Dolphin, saw the comic at a convention and was impressed by it and decided to make a game out of it, with the help of the creator himself. The game is best known for being the game that gave Sega a reason to have the quote ‘Sega does what Nintendon’t’ considering that this was based on a comic for adults, so Sega was pretty much pushing the boundaries on what it could put out onto the child-friendly market.
So there was a deadly warrior named Chakan, his skills were the best in the world. One day, Chakan declared that he was so good at battling anything and everything that he could even beat Death himself. So Death heard this and decided to challenge him. The rules state that if Chakan loses, he would be his servent for all eternity, but if Chakan wins, he is granted eternal life. But there is a reason for Death appearing. Apparently all the tribes feared Chakan, to the point where they made peace and figure out a plan to defeat him or even put him out of the way. However, they overhear him saying that he could defeat Death so they summon him and tell him of what has happened and ask him to defeat Chakan, making the whole plot come full circle. So Chakan and Death battled and it went on for several days. The long battle ended and Chakan was the winner. Death eventually gives him his wish of eternal life…but, because Chakan is an arrogant jerk, Death curses his wish and is forced to live forever until he defeats four ultimate supernatural evils, only then will he rest.
So we start in a hub where Chakan can pick a level, you go around defeating enemies, but sometimes you may need to leave a level to get a new weapon to progress it later, so you can access levels in any order, so long as you know what to do and how to get the items you need. Your weapons consist of the default two swords, but you can collect other weapons like a grappling hook, a scythe, a hammer, and an axe, each with many different uses and have advantages for different enemies. In addition to the weapons, you can also collect potions that can help him along the way, they can be used to give his swords elemental powers and give him other different abilities.
The graphics and level design are just fantastic, it’s dark and full of misery, each level contains that essence of gloom and doom; though since I haven’t read the comics I don’t know if it’s faithul to the original source material, but considering that the original creator was involved with it I guess it’s deemed respectful. I’m not too fond with the music, far too tiny and very noisy, it could be better but it’s decent enough for the game.
So why am I not continuing it? I don’t know. Well obvious reason that IT’S TOO DARN HARD, from the gameplay to the enemies, anything can hit you, you lose health very quick if you’re not careful but most of all you’ll die…A LOT! Luckily, to an extent, is that you have infinite lives, no Game Overs until you beat the game or ragequit and turn it off. And this was where I decided to use Game Genie for help. To give me powers of invincibility, super jump, few potions to start off with, infinite time and one unlocked weapon available…and I still couldn’t do it.
This game isn’t for me, you may get angry because I didn’t play it enough, but it’s for the tryhards, the gamers who grew up with an NES, if you’re a master at Bloodborne, I’d recommend this. Do I have time to try to master this? No! I look up to the stars and I see hundreds more games I want to try out, play, maybe even finish, they come ever so quick and life is far too short. I can only play as many as I can until I am told to have my eternal rest. Until then, rest will come another day and gaming will continue to be near enough my livelihood.
You can get it on the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis and the Sega Game Gear.