|"Far away on a planet similar to Earth a new life form emerges. A life form that ingests other creatures, absorbs their DNA, and then somehow is able to assume the characteristics of their prey. These greedy, merciless creatures are without conscience. They are the most purely evil and dangerous of all known life forms in the universe. What fate awaits these amoral predators, which soon will come to be known simply as...
....So goes the opening to the little-known 2-d shooter, Chimera Beast. Horrifying alien monsters are nothing unique to this genre, but Chimera Beast does something different: YOU play an "eater!" Yes, it's you versus an entire planet, clawing and gnashing your way up the food chain.
|Your Eater's basic weapon is a nondescript energy blast that can be charged to fry everything on-screen at once, but its most important asset are its jaws; they can be launched like a boomerang, to chomp down on whatever they hit and drag it back in a shower of blood. Your body, tail, and energy weapon change according to the things you eat, and all three cause damage to your enemies. This is one of the most imaginative shooters I've ever played, and just a damn cool game all around. Sadly, it was never officially "released" and is only available online in prototype form. It certainly seems finished, though, even featuring two alternate endings!|
|Stage 1 - Microorganisms|
|Stage 1 Boss:|
|Neither a lamprey nor a hagfish, but definitely some sort of Agnathan. You don't see a lot of those in video games! You'll fight against two of these at once. When their heads are exposed, they suck you in like a vacuum.|
|Stage 2 - Fish|
|Stage 2 Boss:|
|A comical pink cephalopod that spits ink-clouds, it will occasionally extend its head on a gooey, pulsating "neck", which fires small red shots from its segments. When the head retracts, the segments of the neck break apart and fly off.|
|Stage 3 - Birds|
|Stage 3 Boss:|
|A very interesting, super-evolved looking bird that keeps itself aligned with you as it floats around the screen, periodically opening its mouth to fire orange rings of energy.|
|Stage 4 - Reptiles|
|Stage 4 Boss:|
|The big baddie of this jungle level is a massive crocodile-like water reptile with a vicious fanged tongue that spits needles from its mouth and back (which arcs out of the water when the head submerges)|
|Stage 5 - Mammals|
|Stage 5 Boss:|
|The boss of mammals is one mean-looking beastie that you'll fight in an underground chamber half-filled with magma. The beast leaps from wall, to ceiling, to wall, to floor and tosses fireballs.|
|Stage 6 - Mankind|
|Woo, that's right! The final level has you demolishing a city! My, how you've grown since the first stage. Buildings crumble as you fly through them and tiny (EDIBLE) humans fall from the vehicles you trash! Mid-way through the level you'll face a tower of assorted cannons and later end the stage - and pretty much everything else - by attacking their nuclear reactor.|
|Stage 7 - Catastrophe|
|Destroying the reactor takes you to your final battle, where you'll fend off swarms of your fellow eaters in what appears to be the center of a raging mushroom cloud! In the midst of it all is an immense human space-shuttle (think you can escape, huh!?) and a flurry of missles coming at you from below! The final boss, a king-sized eater, attacks with green fireballs and his own homing bug thingies. When the boss flies off screen, you'll have to dodge energy beams from all sides.|
|Chimera Beast features both a "good" and "bad" ending. I'm not entirely sure how they're chosen. While both are just text beneath the same three backdrops, they're rewardingly inventive and the "bad" ending is clearly the most desirable of the two. Below are the exact transcripts. Don't read any farther if you ever intend to play this game!|
| "Good" ending text (highlight to read)
EATERS have destroyed the entire ecosystem of the planet, which is now in ruin. Now the EATERS will roam the universe in search of more victims. Repeating their pattern of destruction on each planet they find. Eventually, they'll undoubtedly reach the Earth. And you'll have to live with the knowledge that what led them there was...you.
| "Bad" ending text (highlight to read)
The EATER is defeated. The remaining EATERS now prey on each other. Soon they will cause their own extinction, returning peace to the planet. Gradually, the damaged ecosystem will restore itself. And the creature that has created chaos by eating every living thing in its path has finally perished at eating itself!
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