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Evil Dead: Hail to the King is a survival horror video game developed by Heavy Iron Studios and published by THQ released for the PlayStation, Dreamcast and Microsoft Windows. The game also acts as a sequel to the 1992 film Army of Darkness.


Gameplay

Evil Dead: Hail to the King functions much like a Resident Evil game, containing similar features such as pre-rendered backgrounds and semi-fixed camera angles, as well as limited ammunition and fuel for the chainsaw. The player controls the character by pushing the d-pad or analog stick left or right to rotate the character and then move the character forward or backwards by the pushing the d-pad up or down.

Enemies the player faces include the Deadites, animated Skeletons, and possessed "Hellbillies" and Wolverine scouts.

Plot

The game takes place eight years after the events of Army of Darkness. After regaining his job at S-Mart and beginning a new relationship with fellow employee Jenny, Ashley "Ash" Williams begins suffering from recurring nightmares about the Necronomicon and the Deadites, which haunt him for years. Wanting to help him, Jenny decides to take Ash back to Professor Raymond Knowby's old cabin to help him face his demons.

However, shortly after arriving, Ash's possessed severed hand appears and plays Knowby's old cassette containing the Necronomicon's incantation once again. Despite Ash's attempts to stop it, the evil once again awakens in the woods, smashing through the window and kidnapping Jenny. When Ash goes to grab an axe above the mirror, his evil twin, Evil Ash exits the mirror and knocks him unconscious. After awakening, Ash quickly goes out to the workshed and reassembles his chainsaw-hand before going out to stop the Necronomicon and save Jenny.

After reading some of Professor Knowby's notes, Ash learns of a priest named Father Allard, whom Knowby was working with to decipher the Necronomicon and send the evil back to where it came. Upon consulting Father Allard at his church, Ash departs to gather the five missing pages from the Necronomicon and the Kandarian Dagger, the latter of which he obtains from a possessed Annie Knowby in the cabin's fruit cellar. After the two come across a possessed Jenny, Father Allard use the pages and the dagger to create a portal and exorcise the demons from Jenny's body. However, Allard then reveals himself to be Bad Ash in disguise, who promptly kidnaps Jenny and jumps into the portal with Ash in hot pursuit. 

Ash arrives in Damascus in the Year 730. He sees the evil has consumed the city and meets an imprisoned poet named Abdul Alzeez. Alzeez explains he used to part of a group known as the Guild who studied the Necronomicon. The Guild grew mad as Alzeez translated the pages and became otherworldly beings. Alzeez tried to stop them but the Guild had him imprisoned to keep him quiet and they are now working with Bad Ash who has the book from the present. Ash breaks Alzeez out of prison and helps him as he translates the rest of the past Necronomicon. Alzeez tells him the Guild intend to open the rift and release the Dark Ones to rule humanity again and use Jenny as a sacrifice. They listen on their conversation and Bad Ash betrays the Guild and takes Jenny to ancient cathedral. Alzeez completes the translation of the past Necronomicon and open the door to the cathedral he is devoured by a monster and Ash runs to the cathedral with pages that were torn out during Alzeez's attack.

Ash finally catches up with Bad Ash, who intends to let Jenny be consumed by the Dark Ones and cross over into this world while Bad Ash will kill Ash and use him as a 'calling card'. The two fight, with Bad Ash transforming into a giant scorpion-like deadite. Nonetheless, Ash still defeats him and manages to uses the pages of the past Necronomicon to pull Bad Ash into the portal. With Jenny now free from possession, Ash uses another of the spells to open a portal and send them back home.

Upon arriving, Ash and Jenny discover to their horror that they've arrived in a version of Dearborn, Michigan that is ruled by the Dark Ones. Seeing several various necronomicon books in a shop window, Ash screams as the game ends.

Characters

Monsters

  • Flying Deadites: These guys are real pests. They show up everywhere, hitting you and vomiting green stuff on you. On a path you can sometimes dodge the attacks; they'll dive back into the ground after a while. If you try and kill every single one, you won't last long. When you do fight, use whatever weapon you have the most ammo/fuel for, and run away when it's about to puke on you. It'll disappear or die, and hopefully leave you a medipack. There are three kinds of legless deadites, the red deadites being the most powerful. Even they don't pose much of a threat, but they do spawn quickly, making it easy to be overwhelmed by them. They're back for a second disc and every bit as annoying as they were on the first disc. Physically, they're exactly the same as before.
  • Linda: When you go to pick up the shovel, your old girlfriend may pay you a visit. Don't waste your time and health, just run away and she'll disappear eventually. Linda has the same attacks and strategies as the skeletons, but moves slower. She only makes one appearance in the game.
  • Hellbillies: You'll meet the hellbilly family when you stop by their humble abode. There aren't too many of them, and they aren't too tough. Much like the scouts, but won't run away from Ash when damaged. There are two kinds of hellbillies and four hellbillies in the game.
  • Deadite Pigs: You find them in the pigsty, where else? A few shots will kill them. Also one in the living room. They look scarier than they fight. There are only four in the game and they're all in the hellbilly shack.
  • Skeletons: You'll meet these guys in the woods and in the churchyard. They spin around and can do a lot of damage. Worse yet, you can't lose them like you might lose the flying deadites; the skeletons will just keep following you and will possibly gang up. Bad situation. Use the chainsaw, or the gun if you have enough ammo. They'll ambush you, chase you, gang up on you and run away when they're about to die. A pain to deal with, but they're only found in the maze of trees.
  • Wolverine Scouts: "Arg! I hate these kids!" You'll meet them in the campground. Some of them have bows & arrows, they're all fast, and it takes too friggin' long to kill the suckers. Just run around and hit/shoot them like a maniac. If you try and outrun them, they follow you. They look really cool on the end of your chainsaw... Quick and deadly, but they don't respawn and there aren't many in the game. There are two kinds: one carrying a knife, the other bow and arrows.
  • Flying Skullbats: These things are pretty laughable. You'll see them on the way to the mine and in the cemetery. Just outrun them, or, if you must kill them, use the pistol. Two shots will knock 'em dead. You're better off ignoring them though. They're not worth the gas it'd take to kill them.
  • Skeleton Knights: Just like in Army of Darkness. These boneheads are a lot like the skeletons in the woods, except they have swords. That's a problem, but at least they don't do that spin-attack thing. They tend to gang up also, try using a combination of the pistol and chainsaw. Much like the forest-skeletons, but not as quick. They'll play dead, leaping back up when you let your guard down.
  • Nether-Beast Familiars ("Chickens and Lizards"): These show up in the temple, and they're actually harder to kill than they look. If you can, just run away and don't waste your time. Otherwise, try the chainsaw or axe. It's kind of tough to aim at them with a gun, and they'll avoid your hits and jump up to bite your face. Ouch. Strange, almost-cute creatures summoned to serve the Guild. There are three kinds of nether beasts, but they're all pretty harmless--just use your axe and build up your health-kit supply with them.
  • Guild Monks (Blue/Red-Robed Deadites): These deadites are hiding around the Temple in Damascus. They show up in pairs, and can throw fireballs and make magical explosions. Use a gun if at all possible and keep your distance. They generally give you goodies like rock salt or rifle spikes. The red-robed share the same abilities as the blue-robed deadites, but a bit stronger. There's a pair of them in the library. Again, try to use a gun. They can be devastating, but they aren't very bright. The red monks only have long-range attacks so stay close and keep hacking at them. The grey monks have long and short range attacks--watch your health during the fight.

Bosses

  • Spider Granny ("Grammy")
  • Tree-Monster
  • Wolverine Scout Leader
  • Bone Ash
  • Deadite Annie
  • Purple Toga High-Priest
  • Armor Creature
  • Skeleton Captain
  • The Dark One
  • Evil Ash

Weapons

Critical reception

Evil Dead: Hail to the King was met with mixed to negative reviews. Aggregating review website GameRankings and Metacritic gave the PlayStation version 51.31% and 51/100, the Dreamcast version 49.00% and 49/100 and the PC version 46.19% and 40/100.


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