Episode Five: The Fortress of Ruin

Rating
9.8
Reviews:
34
Downloads:
3784
Date uploaded:
27 Jun 2009 at 00:38 (Minor update on 4 Aug 2009)

Download details

Re-upload/Edit Level
Author
EvilMike (More uploads by EvilMike)
Type
Single player
Version
1.23
Satisfaction
100%
Screenshots

File contents

devres59.j2l The Fortress of Ruin 4.41 kB 25 Jun 2009
devres60.j2l Nippius 19.22 kB 11 Jun 2009
devres61.j2l Devan's Fortress 15.96 kB 12 Jun 2009
devres62.j2l Tempest 17.38 kB 17 Jun 2009
devres62s.j2l Shadow Portal 1.34 kB 11 Jun 2009
devres63.j2l The Fortress of Storms 19.19 kB 17 Jun 2009
devres64.j2l The Schwarzenguard's Lair 3.88 kB 23 Jun 2009
devres65.j2l Devan's Fortress 27.81 kB 17 Jun 2009
devres65s.j2l The Void 2.77 kB 09 Jun 2009
devres66.j2l Deluge 34.45 kB 25 Jun 2009
devres66s.j2l Shadow Portal 1.34 kB 25 Jun 2009
devres67.j2l The Fortress of Floods 28.60 kB 20 Jun 2009
devres68.j2l The Crab Queen's Lair 5.42 kB 11 Jun 2009
devres69.j2l Devan's Fortress 30.11 kB 13 Jun 2009
devres69s.j2l The Void 3.10 kB 09 Jun 2009
devres70.j2l Blight 24.54 kB 25 Jun 2009
devres70s.j2l Shadow Portal 1.34 kB 25 Jun 2009
devres71.j2l The Fortress of Decay 23.37 kB 25 Jun 2009
devres72.j2l The Medieval Machine's Lair 5.83 kB 23 Jun 2009
devres73.j2l Devan's Fortress 29.99 kB 17 Jun 2009
devres73s.j2l The Void 2.97 kB 09 Jun 2009
devres74.j2l Oasis 19.79 kB 25 Jun 2009
devres74s.j2l Shadow Portal 1.34 kB 25 Jun 2009
devres75.j2l The Fortress of Sands 18.09 kB 25 Jun 2009
devres76.j2l Devan Shell's Lair 6.03 kB 25 Jun 2009
devres77.j2l Frozen Depths 4.12 kB 09 Jun 2009
devres77s.j2l The Void 1.84 kB 09 Jun 2009
devres78.j2l The Fortress 28.06 kB 17 Jun 2009
devres79.j2l The End 2.65 kB 09 Jun 2009
devres80.j2l Credits 2.31 kB 25 Jun 2009
Credits.j2t E.E.H Ending Credits 103.21 kB 08 Aug 2004
devres-ep5-text1.j2t devres-ep5-text1 222.67 kB 09 Jun 2009
devres-ep5-text2.j2t devres-ep5-text2 239.83 kB 09 Jun 2009
Dreempipes.j2t JJ1 Dreempipes 106.80 kB 15 Apr 2007
ICInfernoW.j2t Inferno 2.0 Water 246.89 kB 30 Nov 2006
j1Battleshipsv2.j2t Jazz 1: Battleships v2 52.97 kB 19 Mar 2007
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Temple.j2t Temple 41.60 kB 17 Jun 2006
WinterlandW.j2t Winterland Wonder 182.37 kB 30 May 2002
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Description

Version 1.0

This is part five of a five episode series.

Episode One: The Invasion of Deserto
Episode Two: The Rebirth of Evil
Episode Three: The Battle for Carrotus
Episode Four: The Resistance

Episode Five: The Fortress of Ruin

—-

The final confrontation with Devan Shell is near. You have traveled to the planet Nippius where it said that he is hiding, but something very strange is going on there. You’re going to need to take a few detours, it seems…

—-

Warning:

Many of the levels in this episode will crash if you try to save in them. This mostly applies to larger levels, but even some of the smaller ones might crash. You should only save in the levels where you are prompted to, or during cutscenes.

Also note that this episode is quite long. It will take several hours to beat.

—-

Notes:

The difficulty of this episode is very high. Easy mode is recommended for most players. Medium mode is for players who are quite skilled. Hard mode is intended to provide the greatest challenge possible. This episode is comparable to the others on normal mode, but hard mode provides an EXTREME challenge compared to episodes 1 through 4!

It is highly recommended that you play in 640×480, 16 bit colour, with low detail turned off, hardware acceleration off, and ambient lighting turned on. Many of the levels will look wrong or ugly under other settings, or may even be unplayable.

These will work in TSF, but 1.23 is recommended. These levels have not been designed with Lori in mind.

Some of the levels contain spike balls. Shooting these down is possible, but tends to crash the game. It is advised that you treat them as if they were indestructible objects.

Reviews are highly appreciated, even if they are short ones. When reviewing, please rate this as a whole instead of going over each level individually.

—-

Collection:

Most levels have 20 green gems, 10 blue gems, and 1 gem ring.

There are 8 powerups scattered throughout the levels.

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Quick Reviews Average: 9.9

RecommendedAnakin DarthWalker rated 10.0

I played it, its cool, the music is cool, the gameplay rocks and the eycandy looks good. I cant give less rating than 10.0! Good work EvilMike!

RecommendedFalcury rated 10.0

I just finished playing, and knew that any rating below 10 would not do. Fantastic work.

RecommendedSuperjazz rated 10.0

This is an episode where a stunningly interesting storyline and overall excellent playing experience meet. As a betatester I must admit this episode might just be a bit too hard for an average solo-player, which is the only bad thing about this episode. However, for me the difficulty was a fun challenge, and I finished it with Medium in 5 evenings.

RecommendedSebek aka Slayer rated 10.0

The best SP ever
[Review changed to quick review. For more information, see Review Rules. – Violet CLM]

Recommended>CelL< rated 9.0

Truly an amazing piece of work. As an avid fan of oldschool 2D platformers and sidescrollers this pack contained a lot of resonant elements for me and almost felt like a whole new game rather than just a new single player episode. The difficulty level is brutal but the sense of accomplishment from beating it is worth the effort. A must download.

Recommendedsnzspeed rated 9.5

not perfect, but still really awesome. what i like most here that the levels connect together really well, and the difficulty levels are great. atleast for someone looking for a challenge. :)

RecommendedCobra NF rated 10.0

good lvls!!!!!

RecommendedSt. Louis rated 9.5

I noticed that for some extremely peculiar reason I had not reviewed this, although I was going to review it.

I won’t be writing a humongous review, which this’d certainly deserve, so I’ll just summarize it in a few words.

This is the best or at the very least, the second-best single player release so far and everything about it kicks ass.

RecommendedNarsist rated 10.0

Just 100%

RecommendedRon97 rated 10.0

I still don’t understand why I didn’t rate this before. I just say: Good job! This pack is awesome!

RecommendedBlackraptor rated 9.7

Probably among the very best packs uploaded to this site. There isn’t much to say that hasn’t already been said, although I still think the difficulty level of these levels is insane. A fitting end to a pretty remarkable series of episodes.

RecommendedFOX292 rated 10.0

OMG, this is such a great finalle for this great episode :D

EDIT: I thought, as a skilled SP player, that this episode is the most difficult SP episode. Then I saw Blackraptor’s “Dreamscape”…
(Not so related, but I’m here to chill the people here who died a lot here)

RecommendedPanther rated 10.0

I cant find anything wrong….

RecommendedbestALEX4u rated 10.0

nice work dude :)
Best levels ever

RecommendedMoonblaze rated 10.0

I forgot how awesome it is to just sit down and play Jazz Jackrabbit. You get that feeling when you play Mike’s levels. He manages to pull off some amazing level designs and tricks that you’ve never seen before. I’m honored to have contributed to this amazing project with a tileset.

RecommendedSarahQ rated 10.0

This is one of the most fun filled single player JJ2 activity ever. You must download.

RecommendedAxu285 rated 10.0

Amazing. The best single player pack I’ve ever played.

RecommendedM y l e s rated 10.0

Absolutely love it. Best storyline, amazing scenery and gameplay, as well as the secret messages you could find in JCS on some levels.
Absolutely sublime from start to finish and I will jam forks into my eyes if I ever use those words to describe anything else ever again.

P.S. I’m not actually gonna jam forks into my eyes. It would be fatal.

jjs1240 rated 10.0

goooooooooood job


User Reviews (Sort by Helpful Index or Date Posted) Average: 9.7

Review by White Rabbit

Posted:
27 Jun 2009, 15:17
Auto-Reviewing Zombie (435 Points)
Number of reviews with ratings268 Featured reviews15 Average helpfulness85%
Rating
N/A

I was hoping to provide some feedback as a betatester before the release, but it seems I spent too long trying to say something other than ‘it’s too hard’.

There’s a sense of adventure about this episode, brought out by the portals in the three towers. Most of the episode doesn’t actually take place on Nippius, so you never know what lies ahead. In many ways, Devan’s Fortress is Mike’s take on the Central Cave. However, there are two things which detracted from my enjoyment of The Fortress of Ruin:
One is Mike’s chosen style of level design. The other is JJ2’s technical limitations.

While individual levels each have their own theme in terms of obstacles and puzzles (and of course eyecandy), I’d go so far to say that gameplay is unvaried throughout the episode. The balance shifts between fighting enemies and avoiding traps from level to level, but there is usually plenty of both. As a result, there is always something in the way, always something to avoid or watch out for.

How do I deal with ravens? I shoot them from afar, or I get their attention and uppercut them. How do I deal with skeletons, turtles, and other ground enemies? I shoot them from afar or buttstomp them. Fish and crabs? I use seekers if I don’t want to take the time getting the angle right. Of course, it would be too straightforward to shoot at things on level ground, so half the time I’m jumping up and down from the same spot to clear my path, only to repeat the process again and again.

The traps and obstacles are more cerebral. Sometimes things will look very intimidating, but you can get past most without getting hurt, provided that you pay attention. Whether it can be achieved for all of them, I personally don’t know, as I passed some of the more difficult ones by deliberately ‘bouncing’ off spikes. There’s also far too much instant death in the levels, further aggravated by the inability to save in bigger levels. A good knowledge of both rabbits’ abilities is essential.

With so many creative ideas being successfully implemented, why must there be a constant? Why is essentially the same deathtrap over and over again?

It would not be 100% hyperbole to say that every level is Mike’s take on Central Cave. Progress was laborious and repetitive, with too many sections thay could easily have been taken from test levelss. I think arjan’s review is quite perceptive, in that the episode is indeed heavy on arcade gameplay. You meet some static characters in your journeys, who provide useful hints or just small talk, but the actual story is played out in cutscenes. However, ‘fast paced’, is the last phrase I’d use.

I have been thinking that The Fortress of Ruin would be less extreme if the entire lives and saves system was rid of, and replaced by checkpoints and infinite lives. The game would be saved when you reach a checkpoint, and reloaded when you die. The two problems of excessive saving and losing your progress would both be eliminated. This doesn’t change the levels in any way, but I do know many people enjoy the kind of gameplay present in episode 5.

14 of 16 users found this a good review. Did you? Yes/No

Review by EvilMike

Posted:
27 Jun 2009, 07:19 (edited 27 Jun 09, 08:57)
Jazz Jackrabbit (216 Points)
Number of reviews with ratings101 Featured reviews16 Average helpfulness84%
Rating
N/A

Well that’s a matter of time zones, really. It was ready to be uploaded, so I decided to upload it on the 27th based on CET, since that’s a good a time zone as any. Never mind that I’m 8 time zones behind it.

Mortalspaz: It crashed because the levels are big. That’s why I put a warning in the download info. Sorry. You don’t have to start all over though. You can cheat (jjnxt) to get to where it crashed. It doesn’t really count as cheating if you’re just skipping to where you left off.

8 of 8 users found this a good review. Did you? Yes/No

RecommendedReview by sonicnathan 1

Posted:
27 Jun 2009, 06:11 (edited 29 Jun 09, 06:32)
Spaz Slackrabbit (136 Points)
Number of reviews with ratings99 Featured reviews6 Average helpfulness70%
Rating
10

Well after much turmoil and pain, I’ve completed to final episode and all I have to say is, wow.

Story
The story takes place right after the events of Resistance. You are on your way to Nippus to stop Devan once and for all and to get your revenge. You are told to keep Eva’s ring on at all time. When you arrive, you are greeted by Devan’s armies and you right to get in his fortress. There, you have to disable 3 seals that seal Devan form you. You find strange portals that suck you in and the rest is great. Trust me, there were times when I was tempted to jjnext the levels so I could see what was going to happen next. The story sucks you in and never lets you out. The plot twists along the way are great and I never saw them coming. The ending is a little bit a cliffhanger, but nun the less great. Overall, great story and a great way to wrap up the Invasion of Deserto.
10/10

Eyecandey
The eyecandey is definitely up to Mikes standards. The backgrounds are awesome in every level but the jungle level and storm level really sticks out in my mind. The levels look great. Lots of layers are used and it looks like. Now for layer 4. The first levels look great. The Fortress that Devan is hiding in looks well and it designed greatly. Lots of animations make it look great. When you go through the first portal, we go to the jungle level which looks great! The lighting really adds to the mood and the castle looks nice. The fortress look great with a nice background and a really advanced look. The island levels looks great as everything looks natural and looks like what a real island would look like. The next level fortress is a little plain, but still looks nice. Acid lake looks nice but it doesn’t look natural. It think it was meant to look that way but the eyecandey is still nice. The third fortress looks incredible. I mean really the WTF tileset was used greatly here and it looks so cool. Oasis looks great but the layout looks weird. Still nice with lots of eyecandey. The forth fortress looks great, with a nice use of the Temple tileset. looks nice and really looks nice a fortress at times. The platforms that move are also cool. There’s more levels, but they basically re-use other levels which is ok since they are meant to connect to each other with some areas connecting to other areas. All these levels have 0 tilebugs and the amount of Eyecandey sets the standards. Nice work Mike!
10/10

Gameplay
I have to say one thing right now, this is one of the most original packs I have ever seen in my life. Ever other level something is introduced that i have never seen done before in any pack before. The difficulty is also very high, even harder then the Rebirth of Evil which was hell to get through. There will be times when you want to throw something at the screen. That being said, it’s still very fun to play. Next thing is the size. Every level takes a while to complete. Average level length is 10 minutes or longer, meaning that this won’t be done in one sitting. (It took me 4 days!) Lets start with level one which is pretty basic. Nothing special but still fun. It’s a little hard, but not to bad. Nice puzzles involving find crates and breaking them. When we get to the Fortress of Ruin, the difficulty spikes. It’s hard with lots of spikes and traps. It’s very wide open though and still fun. Once you find the portal, you go to the jungle which has some nice twists with playing as the frogs and the birds. It’s hard, but fun. Fortress of storms is still hard, but has a great concept of being strong winds on the roofs, making navigation harder. The puzzles are still nice with lots of exploration needed. For the first boss, I was hard! It was a tuff boss but you first have to him. Once there, the wind is going which means on hit my the boss or the turtles, and your going over. I was happy that it was hard and I even got a continue screen! Beat, you go back to the castle where you find some freezers which have something so cool. You use them as a light in the dark tunnels which is such a cool idea. Second portal takes you too the island. This has a cool concept of finding gems to open a path. Then you find shoes and using a glitch, you have now walk underwater! This is a great idea and i loved it. The bottom part is very hard, using lots of crate puzzles a clever shield puzzle to get to the end. Dreampipes is next which is by far the hardest level in the pack. You have to race the water to get to the top and destroy the blocks using the toaster. This is hard and it takes MANY MANY MANY MANY attempts to get it right. This one isn’t as fun but the originality is so great, it out ways that. Next boss is Ultres and it hard. This time you are doing the opposite buy race the water down while avoiding spikes. I got down there with one health. You then fight the boss on a small platform. It’s hard and it’s wise to get down there before the waters gone as I just spammed seekers until it died. It’s hard, but not impossible. Next portal takes us to acid lake. This is a great concept where you have to ride a rock down the lake while dodging obsticals. It’s fun but hard. If you fall in, you loos a heart and you can try again. You can avoid loosing a heart by buttstomping as soon as the warp is done. Then we go to the WTF level which is very hard. It uses mainly Spaz as you have to time your jumps to go up the springs while dodging spikes. It’s really hard, but once you figure it out it isn’t that bad. You also have to dodge pools of toxic chemicals buts that can be impossible sometimes. Then we have a concept where if you fun to fast on the bridges, there break and you fall. It’s a great concept and it’s fun to do. The puzzles are nice as you have to find crates to open paths and to go to different parts in the levels. The boss isn’t hard that hard as long as you have lots of freezers. Then you go through the srpings without setting them off. The concept before the boss is that if you butstomp, you die. which is hard but like I said freezers and your fine. The platforms break away in the boss room if you fall and there’s spikes on the roof to stop the buttstomp trick. After a trip through the castle we end up at Oasis where we have to find 50 coins to complete the level. It’s a fun concept and there’s more then 50 coins to be fair. Takes some searching, but it’s fun and challenging. The 4 fortress seems unfair at times with spikes coming out of no ware. Still that doesn’t way down the fun factor with find more crates and jumping across disappearing platforms. It’s a hard one, but not as hard as some of the other levels. The battle with Devan is hard. Lots of carrots are there on easy. There’s two Blisy bosses throwing fireballs at you which adds to the challenge. Defeating him then takes you to rocket turtle which you fallow to the castle. there all you tricks will be put into affect where you chase the boss threw the fortress. If you beat him, you’ve beaten the episode. The rocket turtle is hard and it took me a couple of attempts. When you do defeat the boss, it’s rewarding. Some other things to say. First, I love of how I used me other ammo. You will be put in situations where you will want to use you special ammo which is something i don’t so much. Even in the first 4 I played through most of the game using only my blaster. Second, we have problems with saving but no marks off as that’s Jazz 2 problems. The music is also well choicen. It stays with the mood and it’s kick ***! Overall, this gameplay is great with good puzzles and some great level design and the secrets in the game will bring to back for more.
10/10

Enemy Placement
This pack proves that the enemies in jazz can be hard to deal with. The enemies are put in hard locations and you have to somethings think about how you want to kill them and what to do to get by. This adds a lot as it helps the difficulty and doesn’t make the pack boring. The enemies fit pretty nice and there’s quite a few of them. The enemies are also used in some boss battles which add to the difficulty. These enemies are put in great locations and they managed to give me a continue screen.
10/10

Pickups

Carrots: The carrots are put in nice locations. You will be running around with one heart a lot, but the carrots are nice and put in locations where if there’s going to be a challenge, enough carrots are given. They can be few at times, but the placement is great meaning that you will survive.

Ammo: Ammo is again nice. There’s a lot more then in other episodes, but that’s good because a lot of the time you will be using it. Enough is given to survive and there are put in great locations.

1 ups: they are all hidden but a lot of the time they are put in easy locations which is nice because you will need them so you don’t get a continue. Nice locations and there’s enough to help out.

Food: There’s lots of it and I have to thank Mike for that because I got through a lot of locations using Sugar rushes. Lots is given but you will only get one every 3 or 4 levels.

Coins: A lot of levels have warps with coins which add to the replay. they are well hidden and they really add to help with the replay. Nice work there.

Powerups: I only found one but I know there’s more. This is great as it adds more replay to try and find these powerups which I may do.

Other Stuff: Gems are here which is nice. There’s lots of them but not a gem overflow. Nice verity of reds greens and blue even though you will find lots of reds. Save points are a problem but that’s not a problem in some cases as it’s level design and most levels not have save points you can save in without crashes. Overall, the pickups are in great locations and trying to find them add to the replay value which is very important. Great work!
10/10

Final Score: 50/50
Rank: S
Score: 10
DR? I know some parts of this review can seem biased, but it’s hard not too. This pack is so fun and has so much originality that it deserves a ten. The pack is hard but fun and the replay is great, meaning you will want to go back and find all the secrets. This gets a DR and is a great way for Evilmike to end his series. Bravo and I thank you for your hard work to bring us this pack. Nice work and I hope you don’t stop making levels!

5 of 7 users found this a good review. Did you? Yes/No

RecommendedReview by Tik

Posted:
27 Jun 2009, 17:04
Bee Boy Swarm (42 Points)
Number of reviews with ratings17 Featured reviews5 Average helpfulness93%
Rating
9.5

Episode Five serves as a climax to EvilMike’s slowly and arduously produced saga, and it fits the role to a tee. If you’ve played the previous episodes before then you have a good idea of what to expect – a detailed, important storyline, coupled with extensive gameplay that usually manages to balance combat and platform challenges. You also will know to expect that it is no picnic.

If you haven’t played any previous episodes, well, I highly recommend that you do so before this, but you certainly don’t have to. If all you’re after is gameplay then you will not finish this unhappy.

Just to reiterate the warning: THIS IS HARD. I played it on Normal mode and it was frustratingly difficult on many, many occasions. I’m planning to play through all five episodes sometime soon, and I will be doing so on Easy.

Now, Episode Five is highly detailed. Each level usually features unique gameplay aspects that won’t be repeated in the next level. There is one exception but it doesn’t become monotonous as each instance is unique in its own right. The levels start out slowly, in my opinion. They start with basic challenges you’ve probably encountered a few times – although maybe in different ways. As the pack goes on it gets progressively more interesting, difficult, and unique.

Many of the levels are not linear which is very refreshing. You will have to explore, often aimlessly, sometimes back and forth where you thought you’d already been countless times. While frustrating, it’s nice to have that freedom. It also means that save points are on the dry side which is rough if you’re like me, but such is a necessity with open levels. It also means that if you die and you’ve already completed most of an area, you’ll have to do it all over again. Play through carefully the first time and you’ll know what to expect if (and often when) you die.

Changing subjects, there is no generic theme as far as tilesets and music go. Don’t worry if the level you’re stuck on doesn’t have too much to look at, the next one may be similar on some levels but it’s never the same (with a single obvious exception). No JJ2 tilesets are used either, an obvious requirement these days but not always adhered to. The music is usually appropriate and interesting to listen to as well, but it gets old quickly after it repeats enough. No fault of the author’s that.

By the way, there are lots and lots of secret areas. Many aren’t even hidden besides their entrances. Many levels have bonus areas if you can find all the coins, but that’s a choice if you’d like that element. The gems are actually used with a reason (even if they don’t really matter).

Mike also makes use of the Cucumber event (someone had to).

So, in conclusion: This is excellent and unique. Please play it, and maybe even from Episode 1 – 4 first. Take your time, savour it. Things like this don’t come along very often – they never have, not even during the days when JJ2 was new (especially not then, come to think of it). I actually wonder if this is something of JJ2’s swan song as I doubt Mike or anyone else with his skill will ever again take the energy and time to make something so diverse, detailed, unique, difficult, and long. Now, it isn’t perfect either. It’s often irritating and there are glitches to be found. But it’s mostly an experience to be had.

Have it.

5 of 8 users found this a good review. Did you? Yes/No

RecommendedReview by mortalspaz

Posted:
28 Jun 2009, 09:06 (edited 27 Oct 09, 21:06)
Turtle Goon (70 Points)
Number of reviews with ratings43 Featured reviews4 Average helpfulness76%
Rating
9.7

edit: I deciderd to re make the review.

The Fortress Of Ruin Ep 5 by EvilMike.

STORY:
After Jazz fighting for Deserto , defeating the turtle boss, saved Deserto by destroying the orbital base, fought for Carrotus but the battle for it was lost,and he was helped by the Resistance chasing Devan, the colonel gave him the mission to kill Devan.
EvilMike finished the last episode of this series, Jazz being on Nippius trying to reach Devan’s Lair but,he found out that the Lair has 3 seales.To unseal them, he has to defeat 3 bosses in three fortresses in a large castle.

EYECANDY:
These levels are very good. Thery have all sorts of things like spikes, spooky houses, acid lakes,icy fortresses, snow, rain, even thunders.Like arjandevries said some levels are colorfull, they are creative, but in only ones you can enjoy things like a thunder.

GAMEPLAY: Gameplay was good. The whole episode is challenging, you have to get to Devan’s Lair but the seals are locked, and you have to fight 3 bosses untill that.
In Tempest you have to fly over obstacles being a bird,In alvl you have to race against a water flowing level, to destroy some blocks.
Anyway the pack is hard, I died 3 times, and most of the levels are harder than the other series.
A level had so many spikes that i had to use a cheat to get past them!But Even if it’s a hard pack it ins’t frustrating.
btw The pack takes kinda 2 hours to complete.

PICUPS:
This time i was actualy surprised about the pack.
This time you actually put gems!Purple gems (20) but i also found the other kinds as well.
There were lots of food especially in Nippius. I had 6 S-Rushes in all.
Carrots: I noticed that in Easy Mode are some carrots but in Normal mode there are enough so a quite skilled player can finish these levels. I did tried to play in hard mode but i died too many times.

ENEMY PLACEMENT:
The levels had a balanced no. of enemies:It was rather challenging for me and i think for everyone who played.
But it isn’t enough to stop me. I died 3 times in the whole game.(Once because of a CTF Trick)
There were many flying enemies(floating lizards, ravens, rapiers ,float suckers) but also many different land enemies(even a crawling sucker)and they make it harder to complete.
But leaving the placement, The spike balls were quite a challenge most of it in The Medieval Machine’s Lair. Where i had to use jjnowall once to have enough hearts to fight Bolly .

MUSIC:
The music is fine chosen for the pack. It’s exactly what it’s suits best with, making you feel like you are actually there instead of playing. Even if I like it, it’s a bit bad for me because I don’t like shadowy music.

CONCLUSIONS:
I waited for this pack for a long time and after i finished it i was satisfied.The pack is fun to play, and even if it takes long to play it, it worths the time spent on it. You must have the pack!

Levels: GOOD
Music: GOOD
Original: YES
Hard: YES
Long YES
Fun: YES
Rating: 9.7
DL Rec? YES
Must Have? YES

Edit: Yes ,Mike of course… It just took me a while to get there…
No big deal. Thanks.

4 of 6 users found this a good review. Did you? Yes/No

RecommendedReview by fearofdark

Posted:
1 Jul 2009, 21:47 (edited 1 Jul 09, 21:55)
Spaz Slackrabbit (185 Points)
Number of reviews with ratings159 Featured reviews4 Average helpfulness64%
Rating
9.8

I must say, an epic end to one of J2O’s bestest and hardest SP series. The Fortress of Ruin is the longest episode out of the 5 (and took me a good 5 days to complete properly on easy.). Judging by the fact that this has already recieved 12 reviews, I think that I could be repeating what everone else says. Nevertheless, I shall give my opinion…

Starting off with the eyecandy, as usual, all the levels are excellently made with pretty much no faults to the eyecandy. All the levels have good atmospheres, and the lighting effects are used well too (particularily for the dark caves and the portals in Devan’s Fortress). There are also several styles of levels, and each level contrasts another (with one or two exceptions). Pretty much all I have to say about the whole pack to do with eyecandy. Pretty much bugless and creative in most levels.

The gameplay, and to re-re warn everyone here, it’s very hard to say the least. Episode 5 is probably the hardest out of the 5 episodes, particularily towards the end.

What is also outstanding about this episode is the awesome gameplay in the levels, particularily the layout of the levels themselves. There are several secret areas and routes in each level, and I think I got lost at one point trying to find Devan’s lair. Possibly the most unlinear levels I’ve ever played, so the player has the job of exploring. Also makes the episode fun to play again. Evilmike uses obstacles throughout the episode, particularily time-based obstacles which are overused (as everyone else has mentioned). Most of the obstacles require patience, particularly the classic Spike Boll obstacles and the unstable bridges, but there are a couple where you have to run like hell (the floating platform and most of the ones in the Fortress of Floods), so there is actually a variety of gameplay, just most of it timebased.

The gameplay isn’t perfect, there are some very stressful obstacles (the Fortress of Floods took me quite a while to complete, although that may be due to the fact that I am very bad at JJ2), and I also got stuck twice in the walls (whilst walking underwater, and in the Fortress of Sands in some rising spikes, although I died anyway). However, there are a variety of challenges held in this episode, and even if they’re not the first to be presented on the site, they’re quite rarely used, and even if most of them are timebased. Most of the levels are stretching JCS to its full potential.

Finally, the story (which is another crucial element to the series) is just fantastic. Makes the episode very fun if you pay attention. I won’t say anything else, cause I’ll end up spoiling it. Music and tilesets are also nicely used.

FINAL RATING: 9.8
DOWNLOAD?: That’s not even a question, just play it (the others too to get full understanding of the story). It’s a shame I couldn’t have written a longer review, seeing as most of the stuff that had to be said has been said. It’s very hard to fault, apart from repetitive time challenges and a couple of gameplay glitches. Any JJ2 fan should download this, and if they don’t, then they should be frowned upon until they do because it’s just excellent.

I sorely hope this isn’t Mike’s last episode, but if he does return, this should be a tough act to follow.

3 of 4 users found this a good review. Did you? Yes/No

RecommendedReview by minmay

Posted:
1 Jul 2009, 18:14
Turtle Goon (52 Points)
Number of reviews with ratings15 Featured reviews7 Average helpfulness80%
Rating
9.2

Apparently comments get deleted after a few days in JAZZ2ONLINE 2009, so I’ll write a full review.

Obviously, this is the last of five episodes of the Devres (or whatever you want to call it) series. And, obviously, prior episodes were very well received by most everyone, as well as this episode, for that matter.

Nonetheless I think it suffers from a lot of flaws, and those are what I’ll mention in my review, since it seems everyone else has covered everything else.

The first level reminded me of Dreamless (a much lower quality level pack). This was because I fell into a death pit after three seconds, and because it was full of float lizards. Fortunately, it turns out that unlike in Dreamless, all but a few death pits have a lot of warning of their existence (the beginning of the first level is one, and pretty much all of Tempest is another; expect to die once and exactly once to not knowing where they were). Nonetheless, I did not really appreciate this.

One thing to note is that the pack is filled with time-based challenges. Your first experience with this will be rushing up the tower to the first boss, but once you reach The Fortress of Floods you’ll see what I really mean.
Honestly I think these were overused and overdone; if you say that they wear thin after about three of them, then you will probably agree with the rest of my review.

I can’t help but be annoyed by the number of people praising the originality of the challenges. These are not the first implementations of these concepts. Mike made extensive use of frogs in his Platform Jumping levels (they’re not on J2O, to save you some time looking for them); BlurredD implemented the rock-riding in a very similar way with the Jazz Unleashed mini-pack; Violet used rising water in a race level or something (okay, not sure about this one). I really don’t need to mention where the inspiration for The Fortress of Decay’s bridges comes from.

There is also a lack of variety in enemies. Expect floating suckers, float lizards, Tuf Turtles, and more floating suckers. You are going to get sick and tired of shooting ravens. Sick and tired.

However the important question is always is the pack fun? And that it is, as the hordes of 9.7 ratings will tell you. Quite a few things are going to annoy you to no end while playing, but the fact is that this is a really, really well made pack despite its flaws.

Again, I’m not bothering to mention the stuff that’s really great because everyone else did. Download the pack and play it. That is the recommended course of action.

3 of 5 users found this a good review. Did you? Yes/No

RecommendedReview by Puffie40

Posted:
7 Jul 2009, 12:01
Frog (16 Points)
Number of reviews with ratings16 Featured reviews0 Average helpfulness69%
Rating
9.5

The ending episode of Evilmike’s amazing series is, as usual, mind blowing. Mike pushed his creative skills to the limit, creating what can be easily considered the most challenging levels this side of Jazz Unleashed.

mike had said on IRC that he aimed for “Old NES Platformer” difficulty. oh boy. If this series is anything what those games are like, then I don’t want any part of them!

Difficulty is not the only thing that this episode excels at. Eyecandy is amazing. The levels have an atmosphere few levels or even games can achieve. ideas abound in this episode, and evilmike once again impresses me with his mastery at JCS.

The story is the strongest part, though. I had to suppress the urge (Which was actually rather strong) to jjnxt and see the ending. Part of the reason is obvious: This is the denounment of the series (The main climax happens, I believe, at the end of episode 3) and mike is trying to tie as many ends as he can. In fact, he explains everything, answering the many questions forming since the start of the series, and letting Devan’s second form fit into the storyline, which is a rather clever trick.

I feel the ending does not provide full closure for what is supposed to be a ending of a series, but I remind myself of what the intro said “This is a story of someone caught in (The empire’s) downfall” and the theme of the title, primarily on “Devan Shell” It sort of makes sense then on your characters action. The main antagonist is defeated; He is one small rabbit, and cannot alter what has been done. and so, the cycle of life continues.

This series has made a drastic influence in the jj2 community, and i would therefore be nuts NOT to give it high mark!

2 of 3 users found this a good review. Did you? Yes/No

RecommendedReview by Rokk

Posted:
20 Jul 2009, 21:02
CTF Bug (1 Points)
Number of reviews with ratings1 Featured reviews0 Average helpfulness66%
Rating
9.5

After about 6 hours, I finally beat this episode. The whole series was just awesome.

Story:

In the story of this episode, you had to travel to the ice cold and remote planet nippius. In there, you had to solve simple but hard and long puzzles to get to the top of the towers, to fight bosses, but not before having to solve another level. Once clearing all 3 bosses, you had to enter devan’s lair, where you fight him. Once you beat him, you have to chase a rocket turtle.

It’s a very good story. It totally immerses you in it. It’s more than I can put in words. You’ll have to see the awesomeness of it for yourself.

Story: 10

Eye Candy:

The eye candy is very good. The levels are beautiful, and obviously, a lot of work has been put into the eye candy itself. You have forests, poison rivers and lots more. The eye candy really fits with the level itself.

Eye candy: 10

Gameplay:

The gameplay was very good, too. The levels were challenging, and if it wasn’t enough of a challenge on easy, there was normal and hard. It was very challenging. Although sometimes it was a bit TOO challenging. At least
it’s a break from all the easy levels. It’s not just a level where you can just hold/tap spacebar, hold shift/press caps lock and just run and jump. I lost all my lives at least 4 times, but it was fun. The pack is very fun. About the most fun I had in years with this game.

Gameplay: 9.5

Music:

The music was very good. Not only was it good itself, it fit with the levels and game. It was a bit dark and shadowy at times, which is exactly what the whole atmosphere around this pack is. Not much more to say about it.

Music: 10

Enemy Placement:

The enemy placement was also very good. It was one of the things that made this challenging. The enemy placement fit well with where you were, and it wasn’t always the same enemy or the same action to defeat them. You had to do all sorts of things to defeat them. Not just tapping spacebar.

Enemy placement: 10

Pickups:

Not much to say about the pickups. They are very balanced, not much seekers, and also very innovative use of the freezer to illuminate the cave. There wasn’t too much ammo, so it was quite challenging.

Pickups: 9.5

Conclusion:

Story: 10
Eye Candy: 10
Gameplay: 9.5
Music: 10
Enemy Placement: 10
Pickups: 9.5
Download recommended: Highly!

2 of 3 users found this a good review. Did you? Yes/No

Review by Zoro

Posted:
12 Sep 2009, 06:43 (edited 20 Dec 10, 23:16 by cooba)
Bee Boy Swarm (32 Points)
Number of reviews with ratings16 Featured reviews4 Average helpfulness62%
Rating
N/A

GAMEPLAY

So, gameplay is good but too hard… I waiting for continue of Devres… But bad what this is last episode. Anyway gameplay is good…
WARNING: Devres is too long and i review only two levels. Becoz that is my first normal review…
FIRST STAGE NIPPIUS – Oh i bad knows english, anyway ill try write it. More enemies how skeletons, lizards and suckers, oh i forget about ravens… Okay go and kill enemies, go to edge, destroy trigger crate, go up again. Go on tree tops, BE CAREFUL: dont fall… Go and get bonus…
Oh…
Second stage is Devans Fortress – Good place, but room with faster spike bolls is too very hard.
That is all… Sorry for too smart review and sorry for bad english…

Oh, short about eyecandy…
TILESET, EYECANDY, MUSIC!
1st stage – Good tileset by Disguise, good eyecandy, good
happy music… I like this… Eyecandy is very cool…
2nd stage – Nice tileset, but who make it? Good eyecandy, nice music… :D

I give 9.7… This is MAXIMUM RATING for me…

P.S. sorry for bads :)

[Please don’t review and rate like 10% of the full pack. ~cooba]

1 of 1 users found this a good review. Did you? Yes/No

Review by WaterRabbit

Posted:
4 Dec 2018, 06:08
Bee Boy Swarm (33 Points)
Number of reviews with ratings33 Featured reviews0 Average helpfulness45%
Rating
N/A

I’m not sure if this is just me but I wanted to warn that with JJ2+ the crystal puzzle on devres66.j2l (Deluge) seems to be broken. I activated the three crystals and the door still won’t open. I tested it in non-plus and it worked fine.

0 of 0 users found this a good review. Did you? Yes/No

RecommendedReview by plunK

Posted:
27 Jun 2009, 01:14
CTF Bug (9 Points)
Number of reviews with ratings9 Featured reviews0 Average helpfulness44%
Rating
9.7

So i have played through the final release in the Ressurection of Devan Shell series, The Fortress of Ruin.

This was a very well put together single player pack, and it far tops its four preceding episodes.

Eyecandy 10/10
The eyecandy throught all the levels is excellently done, even the saving area zones look attractive, and for that i give a perfect score.

Story 10/10
The story is this final episode was very well done, in fact i would say it was the best done of all single player packs i have played up till now, and leaves you asking no questions in the end.

Level Layout and Aspects 10/10
The levels through Fortressof Ruin were very well thought out and organized, and had very cool design features. I especially liked the fortress featured throughout the levels, especially the speech interludes.

Playability 8.5/10

Overall this pack has very good playability but some parts can be very difficult, especially traversing the fortress and the 5 boss fights.

This is a very very good pack and i would 100% recommend downloading it, even if you havent played any prior episodes.

4 of 10 users found this a good review. Did you? Yes/No

Review by DennisKainz

Posted:
4 Sep 2011, 19:41
Bee Boy Swarm (25 Points)
Number of reviews with ratings25 Featured reviews0 Average helpfulness32%
Rating
N/A

LEVEL 1
The first level is actually an intro. It is made with a classical JJ1 tileset, Battleships. I do not think the classical tilesets fit in JJ2. Anyway, it is supposed to be a cutscene, and unfortunately there is another problem: The text string event is used for the talk. It is way different from the classical JJ2 level style, even though it is probably supposed to. And the spaceship does not look really elaborated, since you used someone else’s tileset.

LEVEL 2
This level is in a huge tundra. What I do not like of Disguise’s tileset is that it has one only BG layer, the purple mesas. Anyway, you made a very good usage of this tileset, by placing occasional enemies all around, and 4 silver crates to open the gate … even though it does not really look like a gate, but just like cubes of ice. Anyway, it is fun to struggle through the tundra, I mean, It is challenging! If you do not watch your step, you risk to fall off, and Devan’s goons just do not help you. By the way, this level has a bonus with coins!

LEVEL 3
This is Devan’s fortress in Nippius. Unfortunately, you use the classical Nippius tileset. Classicas tilesets are awful in modern levels. This level is very hard, and you need a good timing! It is challenging, because there are a lot of secrets to discover, like the ice cave and the portals to parallel universes. And the music … is weird! i do not like it at all, mostly because it is imported from somewhere else.

I will stop here. This episode is way rich, yet way poor. And when you try to save, the savefiles breaks down! Anyway, I saw Kejero’s tilesets. Theyr parts are mostly imported from Donkey Kong. They suck! Donkey Kong just does not fit into Tomb Raider! And simply Nick Stadler did never import stuff from other games. He always made the tilesets 100% by himself!

My final rating … I will not give one, because I probably do not have enough good reasons to rate it good or bad.

0 of 4 users found this a good review. Did you? Yes/No

Review by StarLORD

Posted:
30 May 2010, 13:03
Frog (13 Points)
Number of reviews with ratings13 Featured reviews0 Average helpfulness15%
Rating
N/A

Is interesing for hosting it on other servers.

2 of 9 users found this a good review. Did you? Yes/No

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