Heart of Darkness
Windows - 1998
Description of Heart of Darkness
Heart of Darkness is an excellent, but little known, platform adventure game Last PC game by Eric Chahi, designer of sleeper hit Out of this World (OOTW). Under development for over five years, Heart of Darkness features the same surreal, stranger-in-a-strange-land setup as OOTW, but it is decidedly much more light-hearted in tone-perhaps to appeal to younger gamers.
You are Andy, a Dennis the Menace wannabe whose greatest fear is the dark. After an eclipse of the sun whisks away your beloved dog, Whiskey, you quickly fly off into another dimension in a homemade spaceship you built. Yes, it is far-fetched, and yes, it makes little sense. But since most of us don't play platform games for good stories, this is somewhat forgivable. Armed with a trusty laser gun, you must blast screen after screen of unspeakable horrors to find your dog.
While it sounds simple, Heart of Darkness is much, much more difficult than OOTW. Even side-scroller veterans will find themselves dying more than usual after only a few minutes of play. This is a game that requires patience, flawless reflexes, and lots of trial and error to complete. Although you have virtually unlimited lives, you will have to start over either at the beginning of the level or certain "restarting points" when you die. These points are few and far between, and there is no telling where you will restart. This leads to hours of backtracking and grinding teeth, and you may be too frustrated to play it through to the ending.
Fortunately, Andy has the ability to run, double-jump, and shoot his way through multiple screens, and the action is more thought-out than other platformers. Rather than mindlessly jumping for coins or power-ups, this is a true action adventure, and survival relies on wit as well as reflexes. Light and shadow, along with subtle audio cues, play major roles in the game, as seemingly innocent reflections come to life. Though the enemies are cartoony, several of them are quite disturbing, and this probably isn't the best game to give your kids. After all, Andy gets beaten, snapped in two, swallowed whole, torn apart, immolated, and crushed in a variety of grisly fashions.
Though the quality of the animation is quite good, it's not entirely smooth. Jumps and other split-second moves are way too fiddly. This problem carries over into the game's poorly compressed cutscenes. Even though the cinematics have been rendered with the utmost attention to detail, they also suffer from a choppy frame-rate and poor resolution -- and just like the rest of the game, it's not even full-screen! But the upside is that those five-year-old graphics translate into five-year-old system requirements - the game runs smoothly on a 486/66 and a dual-speed CD-ROM drive, as long as you've got Windows 95.
Overall, if you're a big fan of action adventures in the style of Out of this World or Abe's Oddyssee, you will probably enjoy Heart of Darkness. Be warned, though, this game is extremely difficult for all but the most dexterous gamers. Make sure you know what you are getting into before you buy this brutal game. Thumbs up!
Review By HOTUD
Comments and reviews
nostalgiakid 2021-07-13 0 point
had this game on ps1 as a kid and never for to goddamn life of me could i ever get passed the first screen XD
Undead Exile 2021-06-18 0 point
I downloaded both the RIP and ISO versions. I followed Miankot's suggestions but the executable didn't work. Then I did the following steps:
- Downloaded the HODE source code as Sahus mentioned, and copy-pasted all the source code files into the RIP folder.
- Downloaded the HODE Win32 executable and took its .exe and placed it in the RIP folder.
- Downloaded the x86 version of the SDL2.dll as Jezze mentioned, and also placed it in the RIP folder.
I don't know if the above is the right way, but the game worked, complete with cinematics and movie sequences/transitions. It auto-saves progress normally. However the ESC button doesn't bring me back to the main menu, it straight closes the .exe. Also, when I access Options, I cannot access Controls and I cannot change difficulty level. But everything else works normally.
Motrakik 2021-06-18 0 point
Ok here I am...
Jezze is right all along expect for supporting the cinematics... :(
1-installing the game
2-Copy/Paste "hode-0.2.9-win32" into the instal folder of the game
3-Copy/Paste the SDL2.dll into the instal folder of the game
makes it work on my Win10!
just missing the cinematics now... Cheers!
Cristiano 2020-12-05 2 points
Ok so I did Miankot's instructions but I cant figure out how to run it now that I'm done.
Jezze 2020-10-10 4 points
HODE (http://cyxdown.free.fr/hode/) a rewrite of the game's engine works perfectly on Windows 10. No need to mount the ISO and it supports the video sequences. Just place the hod.paf in the same folder, not in a sub-folder. The hode.exe required the x86 version of the SDL2.dll (https://libsdl.org/download-2.0.php).
Deb 2020-07-30 -2 points
I have an UN opened heart of darkness that still has the plastic seal on the Box. How much is that worth?
Ali 2020-06-03 4 points
So what is the last file i should press to start the game!?
and is it on iso or rip!?
i did all the steps in the 2nd comment
sahus 2020-04-06 12 points
You can use source code of the game http://cyxdown.free.fr/hode/ to play it on modern machines
MIANKOT 2019-11-22 15 points
To play this game with cutscenes:
1. Download both RIP and ISO
2. Extract RIP contents to whatever directory you like
3. Mount ISO (or extract contents) and copy the HOD.paf file from paf folder. Paste it into the paf folder of the RIP version.
4. Copy the contents of bin folder from ISO and paste it in folder of RIP version. Allow overwriting.
5. Run HOD.REG from RIP folder.
You can now play game with cutscenes without mounting iso.
Note: If it still still doesnt work, try running hod.1.reg from folder as well. Also I highly recommend peixoto patch if you are getting graphical issues.
Krok 2019-04-09 1 point
For those who can't run the game just change the compability to Windows XP (Service Pack 2) it worked for me.
Krok 2019-04-09 1 point
I got this to run but i have no cutscenes (ISO Version)
It supposed to have cutscenes right?
ArdAvedis 2019-01-08 3 points
Can't run the gmae from the full iso. I can only run the rip version but then I lose all the cutscenes.
I've even tried on a win 98 virtual box
zenron 2018-08-28 -1 point
you can't play if you don't have the emulator or disk? what is this crap???
Fernando, Portuguese 2018-04-14 -3 points
Good website, good games and now its back to play them...
boh 2017-10-03 3 points
non va, quando schiaccio "start game" mi si chiude la finestra, qualcuno può aiutarmi?
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