Wrath of the Demon is one of those types of games that I used to plug quarters into endlessly at the arcade, absolutely refusing to let the thing get the best of me. I guess times haven't changed that much because they usually did get the best of me and this game wore me out. Wrath of the Demon, a game developed by ReadySoft, is a 2D side scrolling game that gives you few weapons, precious little health and some very difficult adversaries.
The story behind the game is one of an evil wizard, Anthrax, who in an attempt to take over the kingdom, summons an evil demon with a magic spell. Anthrax commands the demon to kill the king but the demon decides to not only kill the king but also to kill Anthrax and take over the kingdom for himself. The demon lays waste to the land and all seems lost. Tired from his efforts the demon falls into a prolonged sleep and a new king ascends to the throne.
Meanwhile, far away, a fairy dreams of the demon re-awakening and sends the new king a message that he should send a servant to find a noble warrior able to rid the land of the demon. The fairy began creating potions and spells to aid the warrior on his quest but the demon caught wind of the fairy's plan and had her captured by his minions and sent his evil servants to find the messenger and kill him.
This is where the game begins as you, the would be hero, are strolling through the streets of a village looking for lodging when you see an evil beast swoop down upon an unsuspecting messenger and tear his throat. Horrified you rush to help the poor man only to find him dead with the king's urgent message clasped in his hand. You read the message and travel to see the king where he charges you with saving the kingdom and promises you his daughter's hand in marriage should you succeed. Your quest begins ...
Throughout the game (as least as far as I have managed to get) you will find yourself riding horses as you are attacked by evil flying creatures, navigating caves, fighting dragons, green swamp monsters and numerous other demon servants. Along the way the faery will occasionally assist you and you will collect health potions, shield spells and zap spells from the monsters you kill. There in lies the problem, for me at least. The monsters become incredibly tough and you will be given too few health potions. You are only allowed to carry three of each of the spells and potions and you must use them very judiciously as they become more and more valuable as the game progresses.
The game turns into a series of action sequences each tougher than the last. Fortunately you are allowed to save your game after each action sequence so that you don't have to relive your previous frustrations. As you may have guessed I have not been able to finish the game and may never accomplish that. I want to kill that swamp monster so bad I can taste it. Oh well, it looks like the kingdom is doomed. At least the princess is spared from having to marry me. If you can make it past the green swamp monster, then you are a better hero than I.
Between action sequences, when the text is rolling across the bottom of the screen, you can save the game by typing ctrl-S. You can load a saved game only during the opening sequence when the king is requesting your help. Ctrl-L will bring up the load screen. There is a file in the game folder named wrath.txt that will give you more details on game controls and features. Good luck.
Since the first action sequence is very challenging, let me give some advice. Don’t worry so much about dodging the rocks etc while on horseback. Just collect as many of the potion/spells as you possibly can. They are very valuable and are much harder to come by later.
The game runs fine in DOSBox. Run the wrath.bat file. You will be asked for the game display mode. Select VGA. You will be asked to select the sound card. Select AdLib. Finally select "no" when asked if you are using a joystick and you are on your way. (You may want to use a joystick, I didn't.)