Into The Eagle's Nest (Pandora) Review | Commodore User - Everygamegoing

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Into The Eagle's Nest
By Pandora
Commodore 64/128

Published in Commodore User #43

Into The Eagle's Nest

Gott in Himmel! Donner und Blitzen! Ze Englishcher pigs are at it again!

The title of Pandora's arcade-adventure, Into The Eagle's Nest, should be enough to warn you that you're about to enter Alistair MacLean Land, and just in case there's still any room for doubt, the title screens are accompanied by a fairly dreadful variation on the theme tune from '633 Squadron'.

In the hilltop fortress called - as all German castles seem to be - the Eagle's Nest, enemy troops are gathering. Three crack Allied saboteurs have infiltrated the schloss, and have been captured after concealing explosive charges at key points in the building. You've got to rescue them before the Huns get the thumbscrews out, and then detonate the charges, incidentally, escaping with as many art treasures and jewels as possible. After lunch you can blow up the Guns of Navarone.

The Eagle's Nest is constructed on four floors, all connected by lifts, and all viewed from above in familiar Gauntlet-style. This allows us to see into all rooms and corridors, but unfortunately, reduces the massed bands of German Stormtroopers to lots of walking grey helmets. Our hero wears a conspicuously camouflaged green helmet, standing out a mile from the grey stonework and cobbled floors.

Given the limitations of this perspective, the graphics are nicely detailed and quite realistic. Only a tiny part of each floor can be seen at once, but as you move the joystick, the screen scrolls swiftly in the appropriate direction.

The ground floor - which is where your commando starts his mission - and most of the other floors are a maze of corridors, cells and larger rooms full of German soldiers standing around doing nothing. One or two can be seen sitting at desks and dining tables, but the rest shuffle excitedly as you approach. If you stand outside a door, the enemy conveniently forms a crowd on the other side, getting ready for you to mow them down as soon as you burst open the door.

In fact, the Germans are remarkably stupid, and throughout the game are forever lining themselves up in your gunsights, only occasionally sneaking up from behind. As you pump the schweinhunds full of lead there are lots of suitable bands and ricochets, but when they shoot you, all you get is silence. You'll only know you've been hit by watching the 'hit' score on the righthand menu. If it reaches 50 you're kaput.

Surrounded by kamikaze Nazis, you'll soon run out of ammo, but there's usually a convenient stack nearby. Less easy to find are the first aid kits and cold food which will heal the damage you've sustained from enemy fire.

Stolen art treasures lie all over the place, awarding lots of points, and shooting the tops off containers sometimes reveals jewels. There again, sometimes it reveals explosives, so be careful.

Little white dots are lift passes, enabling you to use the lifts, taking you to the floor of your choice. The first floor's a good place to visit, as there are only two soldiers to kill when you exit the lift, and heading right takes you to a large room packed with oil drums and ammunition. Shoot the drums away and get to the treasures and first aid kit beyond.

Somewhere there are the three prisoners waiting to be found, but I've yet to clap eyes on one. The trouble is, when you finally get clobbered, you're sent right back to the beginning again. Maybe I'm getting old but nowadays I look for the Save Game option. The lack of one in Into The Eagle's Nest puts me off somewhat.

Still, most people will probably take that in their stride and enjoy what is really quite a neat, fast and violence slice of Gauntlet masquerading as WWII fantasy.

Bill Scolding

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