ESCAPE FROM HELL is an adventure role-playing game of a different color. Instead of trying to hook up with the good guys, everyone you meet is bad! After all, you are in HELL! But seriously, ESCAPE FROM HELL doesn't have super fantastic graphics or a really great interface, but it does have a novel and interesting plot and lots of non-player characters to talk to and interact with, but a disappointing endgame. The puzzles can, for the most part, be solved using several different solutions. The game is fairly non- linear, but each of the three levels of hell become increasing difficult, so fighting skills and weapons must increase as you progress further into the game. The graphics used in the game are tile graphics, with full portraits and animation during combat and npc-interactions. Hercules, CGA, EGA (512KB), TGA, and MCGA (640KB) graphics modes are supported, and all input is from the keyboard (no mouse or joystick support). Copy protection is off- disk (documentation) and consists of matching color bad-guy portraits with black and white ones in the manual. This may present some difficulty to players with CGA and Hercules displays.
One thing the player should be aware of is that the game maps are updated whenever a new location is entered. So even if you get a really neat item from a chest, save and exit the game, then come back another time, that chest will be empty. There is a way around this, and it will be mentioned later. This also goes for combat. Don't save your game and exit just after a big fight, because the monsters will be there when you return. Build up your hit points and wait to save until you are in a safe place.
The game manual has a very handy list of weapons with the damage that they do, as well as a list of available armor. The manual also has a handy map of the first level of hell. Fortunately, the second and third levels are fairly simple, so mapping is probably not required. Inventory management may present some problems as you are limited to 10 items per character, including weapons and armor. There are never more than 3 people in your party (30 items). Always give Richard (yourself) the best weapons and armor. Don't use up any good weapons (Dark Pistols, Dark Rifles, SMGs) because there is a location on level 2 where these weapons can be exchanged for new ones. Generally, don't fight friendly characters unless you can't avoid it: They are usually the toughest ones to beat. Golden tridents are scattered about the landscape of Hell. Touching these tridents changes the time frame of the game so that different monsters are more prevalent and certain weapons won't work (ie. Uzi and MAC 10 SMGs won't work before they are invented), but Dark Rifles and Pistols work no matter what time frame you are in.
For "DOS-heads" ONLY!!!: If you want to continue to pillage chests, do the following: Make a copy of your original map disk (for those playing from floppies). Copy map files ONLY into the Maps subdirectory of the Escape directory (for those playing from a hard disk). It is a good idea to make backups of the savegame, npcs, and history files to go back to a previous location. This can be done with the copy command (eg. copy savegame savegame.bak). The savegame file stores your location in the game. The history and npcs files keeps a record of your (Richard's) abilities and inventory and your party members', respectively.
Building a party, City on the Edge of Eternity, Limbo, Training Camp, Recruiting Cave, Lucifer's Landing
You begin the game in a small area just outside the entrance to City on the Edge of Eternity (center). Limbo, the city of Virtuous Pagans, is located at the bottom of the map in the middle. The Hell Guard Training Camp is located in the upper middle of Level 1. The Recruiting Cave is on the upper east side of the map, and Lucifer's Landing is in the lower east side of Level 1.
To begin, get the items in the chest (save the Holy Cross; you will need this item two times in the game! The handset, however, is usless), and head into the city. At this point, you will not be able to get past the skeleton guard, so talk to the damned souls outside the city, then enter the city. A party must be built before you can do much else, so add Khan to your party in the Court Waiting Room, but stay away from the receptionist. Stalin can be found in the Capitalists for a Free Hell building. Now exit the city (don't worry, we'll be back before too long), kill the skeleton, and head toward the place marked by the tombstone on your map. Talk to Horatio and pick up a skull. Head almost due south and find Hamlet. Take everything from Stalin. Talk to Hamlet, then while facing him, give him the skull. This jogs his memory, and he will ask to join (replace Stalin). Now take everything from Khan and give to Hamlet. Return to Horatio, and seeing Hamlet, Horatio wants to join (replace Khan). Your party for the bulk of the game now consists of Richard, Hamlet, and Horatio. Other combinations of characters will work, but other NPCs seem to leave at inopportune times (taking their entire inventory with them!), and Hamlet and Horatio have well-developed dueling skills.
Throughout this walkthru, I will tell you when other npcs will join. I played the game with Hamlet and Horatio, which I eventually substituted for Alan and Guderian. This is for your information only, so that you may try the game with other party members. It is a good idea to have Richard carry any irreplaceable items.
Now, to really get started, head back into the City on the Edge of Eternity to pick up a few things. First, get mirror shades from Melrose Amber in the firepit; equip them to get some protection from psychic attacks. Head on over to the Court waiting room, and in the upper left corner behind the door you should pick up a garbage can lid for everyone. Trade your matches for a pistol to the guy who died smoking in bed. Talk to the Lawyers in the building next to the Courtroom for some vital information to help you in your quest. Exit the city and head over to Limbo.
Save the game before entering the city of Limbo. When you enter Limbo, the guards may fight you. If you lose the fight, you can restore the game. Pick up a 'Tudes tape. Go to the Library and get archery skill from Thucidides. If you can find Marc Anthony wandering around, he will teach melee weapon skill. Head over to the dorms and get a shovel from the northern dorm (man on toilet), and a wrist rocket (under the bed) and pistol (under the toilet) from the southern dorm. Don't give the pistol plans to B. Arnold. Exit the city and head over to the Recruiting Cave.
In the Cave, walk up to the desk Sergeant, talk to him, and when you sign up as a Hell Guard you get a Hell Badge. Having a Hell badge equipped will allow you to touch healing statues scattered about and get hit points back. Without an equipped badge, touching these statues will make you lose points. If you try to walk by the Sergeant, the others will attack. Leave the Cave for now (don't worry, we'll be back before too long!) and head over to the Training Camp.
Save the game and enter the Camp. Ideally, you should have a Hell Badge to keep the guards from attacking you. Go straight up to the Sergeant and get rifle skill. Enter the training area and touch the leftmost trident. The scenery changes, and you should practice your lockpicking skill. Now touch the topmost trident and the scenery changes again, this time into a graveyard. Make sure you have at least five inventory slots open before you do the following. Use the shovel on the third grave from the right in the second row form the bottom (under the rightmost trident) and you will find some good armor and weapons. The rightmost trident will change the camp into Dachau, and the bottom trident will restore it to "normal." There are eight chests in each of the northeast and northwest corners of the Training Camp. You may find a Hell Badge here, too. You are done here, so exit the Camp (you may have to fight) and head over to the northeast corner of level 1 and talk to the skydiver. Save before you talk, and ready your long-range weapons so that you can fight the warriors and archers nearby. Trade the 'Tudes tape for a parachute and parachute skill. Return to the Recruiting Cave.
Save the game before you enter; your toughest fight yet is coming up. As you try to walk by the Sergeant, the others will attack. Wipe out the bad guys, and build up your hits again before proceeding (DON'T SAVE). Take the corridor to the south and fight the loggers. These guys are mean, and their chainsaws wiped me out four or five times before I got them first. Check out the cabinets and find a book which will improve your pistol skill. Build up your hits again, and go up and around to the south. Use your lockpick skill and open the locked door. After another tough fight, open the chests (make sure you have one slot open for each chest). The item you really want is in the bottom center chest -- a Demonic Shield -- which will allow you to enter Lucifer's Landing.
Lucifer's Landing is a strange place. Messages are spelled out in the tiles: "Satan Rules" and "#666." It is okay to save inside. Chests abound, but you must fight to get at them. If you go north, you can talk to Flicka, a friendly Hell Captain, who will teach you SMG skill and give you a "care bracelet." You can get a clue to the location of "Flicka's Flame" (16N, 5W from Moriarty); you will need some kind of boat to get there, however (this is probably a red herring). You will find a lot of junk, so toss out anything worthless. The southern portion of the Landing has better items, and tougher fights. Don't step in the southern crater unless you are ready to go to level 2, and save before you jump.
Gangster's Guillotine, Los Diablos, Prison of the Damned, Satan's Halo, Capone's City, Return to Level 1.
The locations in level 2 are: Gangster's Guillotine, center (just north of where you dropped in); Los Diablos, middle east; Prison of the Damned, southeast corner; Satan's Halo, northeast corner; and Capone's City is in the southwest corner.
You land in the middle of a bunch of monsters. They aren't too tough: You can beat them with hand weapons, so don't waste your good stuff. And speaking of monsters Roaming Bugs or the like are about on level 2. They are very tough, but fortunately travel singly or in small groups. Take them out as soon as possible because they use Rocket Launchers and do heavy damage. After this long fight, go north to Gangster's Guillotine. WATCH OUT FOR THE QUICKSAND two tiles south of Gangster's Guillotine (the northernmost green tile, directly SW of the signpost). Enter the city and go to the Bank of Avernus. Make sure you have three inventory slots open, and get three gallons of blood from Bonnie and Clyde. Alan is also here, but is under the mind control of Capone. Ed the Electrician is here (no relation to me), and will teach you Electrical skill. After we do in that Arch Devil, Capone, we'll come back and pick up Alan. After you get the blood, head over to Los Diablos.
When you enter Los Diablos (The Devils) don't step on the pentagram (the star) unless you want to go to the Prison. The Bank of Undead is to the left, Satan's Speakeasy is north of the Bank, Satan's Sauna is to the right, and Al's Automatic Answers straight up. Al's is the place where you can get weapons recharged. From left to right, they are
Simply face the appropriate table and G)ive the item. A new one will be returned in the first empty slot of the party. For every gallon of blood you give Count Dracula in the Bank, he will give you a bulletproof suit. In the south graveyard, Wyatt Earp will teach you Rifle skill. In the north graveyard, Wild Bill will join the party and is well-equipped. Don't take a drink in Satan's Speakeasy- you will lose hits. Finally, visit Satan's Sauna and grab a copy of Rolling Bone Magazine (The hottest mag in Hell!- fun, but not neccessary) and a Petrify Rod (a handy-dandy weapon) which is holding the toilet paper near the toilet (where else?). Now it's time to visit the Prison, so recharge all your weapons and step on the pentagram outside.
In the prison are lots of Hell militia. The Hell Lieutenants and Captains carry some heavy firepower, so use the same on them. There are also police in the north of the city. SMGs are required to kill them. If you have a sledgehammer, U)se it on the aquarium in "Abe's Tanks" to free the man who will give you an Asbestos Suit and Bluffing skill. If you don't have a sledgehammer, I found mine after some of the other prisoners attacked me. Sparticus is a prisoner here and will join the party. Give Harry a Dark Rifle and he will raise your picklock skill to 20. A Reload Shotgun can be found in the building to the left. In the building to the right, Abdul will teach you Explosives skill, you can get bombs from the terrorist here, there is a Dark Rifle in the bookcase and a Dark Pistol in the toilet.
You can head over to Capone's City and take out the Bad Guy if your defense is around 15. I hope you still have your Holy Cross from the beginning of the game- now you will need it. As you near Capone's City from the north, there is a group of Evangelists who can freeze you with guilt. Take them out quickly because frozen is a good as dead. Equip your Dark Rifles and Pistols; in Capone's City, SMGs will not work. After you are in the city and find Capone, T)alk to him. Capone will be friendly at first, but not after you attack. Capone can wipe out your party in one round, so get him first. Save the game before proceeding. Now, A)ttack this group of monsters. Let the party member who hits first U) the Holy Cross on Capone, and let the second fastest party member U) the Petrify Rod on Dillinger. The Holy Cross seems to work every time, but the Petrify Rod does not. The last party member should attack the other Killers. After Capone and Dillinger are finished off (they have Tommy Guns and can do serious damage), take out the rest of the monsters. This entire encounter can be deadly; success will require a great deal of luck. If you are successful, smash the mind control device (although the game says that a heavy object is required, it isn't), and open the vault. Be sure you have three open inventory slots before opening the vault, and one for each chest. The bedroom has several Dark Rifles and Pistols. The Fallen Angel Cafe has a table in the back (the one with lines) that will restore all hit points. Capone's City also has transporters to levels 1 and 3.
Satan's Halo is an interesting place. I should mention here that if you have Kahn in your party, he will leave you before you enter the city. Behind the guarded door, Billy Bob, an Arch-Devil in training, will join your party for a pair of shades. Items are hidden in nooks and crannies of this city, so explore everywhere. Phu-do's has some good SMG weapons, but if you have Ah- chu in your party, he will leave you here. Over in Club Moranda, a Blonde will join your party, but you will be attacked upon leaving.
Return to Gangster's Guillotine and talk to Julius Caesar. He will give you a database program to take back to level 1. There are also some other weapons in here that you should pick up. Go over to Bonnie at the Bank and she will give you an Uzi. I recommend that you add Alan to your party now so that he can gain some experience before going to level 3. Alan is fast, and if you give him an SMG (don't use it up!), he will get lots of experience quickly. Wander around on level 2 until Alan's hit points are about 150, recharging your weapons as needed in Los Diablos. When you are ready to return to level 1, get new bulletproof suits via the bank as described above. Return to Capone's City and take the transporter to level 1.
You will land in Lucifer's Landing, and you see that it is destroyed. The only monsters left are undead types, and there are no chests. If you go back to the north end where you met Flicka previously, you can pick up a "care bracelet" and read the message: "Dust of Fantasy + Flicka's Flame = Healing Force." Exit Lucifer's Landing and make your way back to the City on the Edge of Eternity. Get a Laptop Computer from the Office of Redundancy. Enter the Courtroom (again, avoid the receptionist!) and give the database to the woman at the north desk. She will be dutifully grateful and tell you the DTI number to get to level 3 [(666) 555 - HELL)]. She will also tell you to see her sister to get a consultant's badge and a Superior's Cloak (you can do this more than once, but you only need one Consultant's Badge). While you are in the Courtroom, give the "care bracelet" to Juliet. A divine voice then tells you that you now have Angelic Power to escape from Hell. But wait! We need to get Allison from level 3 first! You can use the DTI phone in the Courtroom to go directly to level 3. Alternatively, you can return to level 2 via Lucifer's Landing. If you don't have a Demonic Shield, you should get one in the Recruiting Cave or from a Hell Guard wandering about before going to level 3.
Dachau, Dismal Land, Death Alley, Satan's Fortress (Endgame)
If you used the DTI phone in the Courtroom, you enter level 3 near a phone booth. I hope you didn't forget anything, because you can't easily get back to level 1 or 2 from level 3. If you do need to return to level 2 or 3, unequip all armor and weapons to avoid wasting ammo and damage to armor, and let some handy monsters kill the whole party, and restart the game from the beginning. You are returned to your starting point, but with experience and items intact (and opened chests still empty).
Dachau is in the southwest corner (directly west of where you dropped in), Dismal Land is in the east, Death Alley in the northwest corner, and Satan's Fortress somewhere in the north slightly northeast of Death Alley (this will become clear later).
Dachau should be your first stop. Talk to Guderian, then free him with your lockpick skill. Talk to everyone in Dachau -- unless attacked, they are friendly, and may teach you some skills. Model will teach Rifle skill, and Rommel will teach Rocket Launcher. Talk to the Charon, the Arch Devil who is chained up to learn of Hitler's plans. In the command post, Himmler will give you access to the storeroom. Hitler will join if given a copy of Mein Kampf, found in the bookcase. Although Hitler has some good items, don't let him join; he hates Guderian and is flaky to boot. The supply depot has some good weapons and armor, so clean it out if you have inventory slots available. Save your game before exiting Dachau.
Head up to Dismal Land where you should get the Phreaker Box from Scrooge. Blackbeard is willing to join your party, as is Dr. Jekyll (for a Dark Pistol). Jekyll is no good -- if he is in your party, the stars will drain you of skills, so don't let him join. However, you will need to give Eric the Viking a Dark Pistol to learn swimming. Here, you will also learn that Allison is being held in a cave to the northeast. This is a TRAP!! Allison is NOT there! If you enter, you must fight your way back out, wasting ammunition (good for exp points, though). You may now exit Dismal Land and head over to Death Alley.
By far, Death Alley holds the toughest fights in the game. Fortunately, there is a healing statue halfway across the river of fire: USE IT! At the end of the bridge are a phone booth and two chests. One of the chests holds Superior's Cloaks which can be obtained repeatedly for each party member. Bump into the phone booth, and if you have both the Phreaker Box and Laptop Computer, you will phone yourself into Satan's Fortress.
As I said previously, Satan's Fortress is found somewhere in the north of level 3 surrounded by rivers of fire. You may be able to enter it with some item like an Asbestos Suit without benefit of the Laptop Computer and Phreaker Box. If you enter by way of the phone lines, you begin in the center of the fortress. There are many, many weapons in cabinets to the north, along with some tough fights. The exit to level 3 is to the southwest. All the important stuff is to the east. The Consultant's Room is the small gray room and is entered by sing the Consultant's Badge. When you walk over to the desk, you get a message about needing a microprocessor. Not True! Another red herring from Richard and Alan! Allison is in the room to the west, but before we let her join, let's knock off Ol' Lucifer first! Continue southward until you see the Bad Ol' Boy himself. U)se the last charge on the Holy Cross and He vanishes in a puff of smoke: How anticlimactic! Go back and get Allison (replace Guderian-thanks, big guy!). Follow the corridor around through and past Satan's office, and eventually you will see a red portal. Bump into that and the game's over. That's right, that's it. No modestly animated sequence, no congratulations, no boot out into DOS. I had to reboot to get out. The mediocre ending left a bad taste in my mouth, but I'm sure Richard Seaborne's next effort will be better. You may want to try PROPHECY (1989) -- Alan Murphy participated on the artwork, which has a more arcade-like feel, and is also easy.
ESCAPE FROM HELL is published and distributed by Electronic Arts.
This walkthru is copyright © 1991 by Ed "Buzzard" Reedy. With assistance from Dave Konkel and Patricia Raymond. All rights reserved.