4. Developer Box
5. Body copy
6. Press Pass boxout
A slap from a studded glove wakes me with a start. The room is tar black, and I appear to be hanging from my arms. “Funny”, I think “I don’t remember ordering a BDSM-o-gram today.” Then I remember the sealed train carriage, the closed underground station, and the blindfold and gag, and realize it must be the Evil Genius preview event at their top-secret location (74-80 Camden Street, Camden.) A projector screen flickers into life and, over silhouetted footage of divers performing a creepy water ballet, the disembodied voice of Demis Hassabis, founder of Elixir and the real genius (the jury’s out on evil – see the interview on page xxx for more info) starts telling us about his masterplan.
“As an Evil Genius, the aim is simple. To build up enough infamy, power and technology to construct a Doomsday Device, and bring the world to its knees.” Fair enough. The first step is establishing your base, of which there are two in the game; the first is located on a desert island, the second in the heart of an extinct volcano. There are twenty other locations around the world, but the Evil Genius isn’t involved in them. Instead his hencmen siphon cash from these regions, or research acts of infamy, allowing you to steal the Eiffel tower, capture a top ballistics expert, empty the Prado, and so on.
Your half-dozen henchmen are a key part of your army; ranging from Red Ivan (performer of the Cossack grenade jig) to the Matron, an elderly mace-wielding psychiatric nurse, they are key to your success, controlling regions away from the base and defending you when at base. They reign over your minions; expendable, flexible colourfully-coated fellers who do everything from researching mutants to entertaining guests in your luxury hotel (which acts as decoy on your island).
Increasingly tough agents sent by governments balance your army; everything from low-level thieves and saboteurs, to Rambo and Amazon-style super-agents will arrive, depending on how notorious you are. “Research allows you to discover the superagent’s weakness – John Steel (James Bond) has to be strapped to your Doomsday device, the Bruce Lee hero has to be defeated in a Kung-Fu tournament, and so on.” The lower-level agents can be deterred by.
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There are three evil geniuses to choose from; a Blofeld type called Maximillian, a femme-fatale, and a third one who might just be wheelchair bound. Your genius inspires his minions to work harder, is key to several set-pieces (like taking over the global underworld) and if killed means Game Over. (Though you’ll want to see them killed just for the overwrought death sequences.)
Buil up enough infamy, power, tech to construct doomsday device and bring world to kn ees. Start with a hollowed out-volcano island.
Minions frequently get killed, can buy from guetmala or south Africa. Can go research, military or social. Henchmen – comic book heroes – right-hand men – probably have about six of them, and they don’t always get on. The matron – mace, EST, . Minions do defect and steal gold on way out. Any item can be used for interrogation. EG Gloat. Self-destruct button/ abort button.
Global view – send henchmen round world to set up support cells – five regons each consisting of four regions -can either siphon off cash – can start plotting acts of infamy – stealing Eiffel tower, or kidnapping head Russian scientist. Tie into research tree or make you to more notoroious (makes better henchmen want to work for you) Support cells can be attacked by forces of justice.
Ehole research angle to game for building doomsday device. Each territory has five levels of agent – right up to super-agent (invincible), Rambo, Amazon – can only trap them or fob them off with distraction techniques. Come in to assault, steal, sabotage, assassinate. Research allows you to discover agent’s weakness – John Steel has to be strapped to rocket, Bruce Lee beaten in Kung-Fu tourney. Circling divers.
Three types of evil genius. Two islands to move between. Island disguised as tourist location, used to camouflage operations. Main operation inside volcano.
Typical dungeon keeper room carving technique – labs (research anything on island – will give you different stuff as do), canteen, security room, vast cavern, inner sanctum, armoury, control room (global domination), prison, cold-room (body-bags.)
Red-alert, research – freak from bio-goop and corpses. Traps (jet engines and false floors) with sensors just like DK. Venus man traps, saw blades, mutant bees, mutant monkeys, faulty cash points, . Training number based like DK. Diplomats bribe agents to leave.
Heavy on the set-piece, surprisingly short and without any multiplayer, Evil Genius might have limited replay value. Yet the swingeing humour, classic camp, and original theme should make Demis’ masterplan hard to thwart.