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  Invasion of the Blobs II

Previously on More Mazeguy...

In my last article I shared an old PC game I made called "Invasion of the Blobs". I talked about the characters, the storyline, the software I used to create it, and where to find more games like it. There's no reason to repeat those details here, so please read the article if you'd like to know about them. This page will focus only on the sequel to "Invasion of the Blobs".

Ten Years Later

It's graduation day for high school seniors Rob (formally called Bobby as a kid) and Melissa. Rob is about to receive his diploma when a round, green spaceship appears from behind the clouds. A strange creature descends from the craft, grabs Rob, and pulls him back up and aboard. Melissa immediately realizes the blobs that abducted her a decade ago are involved, and sets out to rescue her rescuer.

Since her previous ordeal, Melissa has trained to defend herself from any future attacks, alien or otherwise. She can unleash mean roundhouse and sweep kicks to give invading blobs the boot:

"Invasion of the Blobs II: The Evolution Revolution" consists of 20 levels. Each one requires a different style of play to complete. Most of the time will be spent kicking blobs, but there are also several puzzles to solve and unusual environments to navigate, including underwater and zero gravity. As the title implies, the enemies keep changing and get tougher as you progress. The same is true for the game itself.

Level 1: School Hallway

Melissa needs to board the blob ship that is hovering overhead. The only way to reach it is from the school's rooftop. She starts on the ground floor and finds it swarming with blobs. In the lockers, the ceiling, everywhere!

Melissa cautiously yet speedily clears a path as she runs down the hall. You would normally get in trouble for running in a school hallway, but luckily school is out for the summer. Unluckily, no one told the blobs about that. At the end of this level is a door leading to the boiler room.

Level 2: Boiler Room

There's a ladder and a catwalk leading to the roof in this room. However, the path is blocked by hot steam spraying out of a broken pipe. With no shut-off valve in sight, Melissa improvises.

An endless parade of bouncy blue blobs emerges from a tube. When kicked, they fly upwards and stick to the underside of the catwalk. They can absorb the steam and make it safe to cross the catwalk above. The extreme heat eventually causes the blobs to melt, so Melissa needs to plug the holes and climb the ladder quickly before the situation becomes to hot to handle.

Level 3: Rooftop

The first signs of evolution are on display up here. Some blobs have grown hands, and they know how to use them! They work in pairs to supply sticky ammo and throw it at Melissa.

A larger blob sits at the end and uses its arm in a different way. It acts like a catapult, tossing smaller blobs that are falling from the ship. If Melissa can dodge the harmful hailstorm, she can get close enough to the chucker to deliver a kick that will clear the air.

Level 4: Hang On!!

As soon as Melissa reaches the blob ship, its eyes warp engines ignite. She grabs the tongue cargo loading cable before it can get away. What follows is a high-speed, high-altitude game of dodgeblob!

A squadron of red blobs launches a kamikaze attack against Melissa. They dive out of the ship and try to knock her off. The longer she keeps her grip, the more reinforcements they bring. If she can dodge the blobs long enough without letting go, she'll gain access to the ship.

Level 5: Ship Entrance

Melissa is glad to have her feet back on the ground, even if it is in hostile territory. The blobs won't roll out a welcome mat for the intruder. Many guards roam the corridor leading deeper into the ship. Melissa's combat skills will be put to the test here.

After kicking her way past a gauntlet of crawling, hopping, dropping, and rolling blobs, Melissa bounds over the coil of "cable" and continues her search for Rob. He and his captor must be somewhere inside the ship!

Level 6: Transporter Maze

Bad memories flood back when Melissa sees the familiar layered flooring and glass walls of the blob ship's interior. She bravely continues forward until she is stopped by a dead-end with a glowing floor tile. Upon stepping on the tile, she suddenly finds herself in a new spot that looks only slightly different than the previous one.

It takes a while for Melissa to realize she is moving between two mazes, each connected to the other via corresponding transporter pads. After a series of de- and rematerializations, she finds the correct path and warps to an entirely new area.

Level 7: Zero G

Melissa suddenly finds herself floating in mid-air. She realizes that the ship has left Earth's orbit and is now flying through space. Even if she finds Rob, will they ever be able to return home?

The only way Melissa can move in this weightless environment is by grabbing her ponytail and throwing herself around. As if that isn't painful enough, electrified fences pack quite a jolt. When she starts drifting towards one, it's hard to stop, and whirling fans just add to her momentum.

Level 8: Meet Yarna!

Gravity finally returns in the ship's cockpit, but it's not all good news for Melissa. She comes face-to-face with an alien named Yarna, who admits to kidnapping Rob. She also wields a magical wand that protects her from Melissa and her kicks.

Yarna demonstrates her powers by transforming ordinary drops of slime into hopping monsters! All Melissa can do is fend off the advancing mutants. One of the blobs she kicks flies into the pipe above Yarna and creates a small crack. She continues to target the pipe until it breaks off and falls onto Yarna's wand, destroying it and neutralizing her magic.

Level 9: Planet Ooze

Before Melissa can move in against the defeated Yarna, the villianness sabotages the ship's propulsion system. The spacecraft spirals towards the blob's home planet and crashes. By the time Melissa escapes from the wreckage, Yarna is gone.

Melissa sets out to find where Yarna has taken Rob on this new world. More advanced blobs with both arms and legs are spread out over the surface. They run and throw rocks in groups. There's also an active volcano that spews a river of goop that Melissa must cross.

Level 10: Ogre's Cavern

Melissa falls down a hole and lands in a tunnel occupied by the biggest, meanest, toughest, and ugliest blob ever! Her kicks bounce right of its body, while it shows some footwork of its own by kicking rocks towards her head.

All Melissa can do is run from this behemoth. Her path is blocked by boulders, but if she ducks, the ogre will kick smaller rocks over her head which smash the obstructions to bits and allow Melissa to flee for at least a little while longer. At the end of the cavern is a pool of acid, the only thing strong enough to stop the monster.

Level 11: Volcano

It's out of the frying pan and into the fire! Melissa first saw this volcano off in the distance. Now she's inside it, and it's about to blow. The bubbling lava steadily rises to the top. Careful jumping between ledges is needed to beat the heat.

Once Melissa reaches the top of the mountain, she realizes she's stranded with no way down. The inevitable eruption fires her out of the volcano like a cannon. She flies through the air for about a mile before splashing into an ocean.

Level 12: Swimming with Slime

The cool water feels nice after escaping the hot volcano. The blobs have attacked by land and air, and now by sea. Fish, starfish, jellyfish, urchins, and squid-like creatures all await Melissa in the watery depths. She is literally out of her element, so it's wise to quickly swim past them.

There's another reason to resurface as soon as possible. Unlike the blobs, Melissa can't breathe underwater. She has to replenish her supply of oxygen by finding air bubbles, which are usually found where healthy seaweed grows.

Level 13: Factory

So far, Melissa's tour of planet Ooze has only consisted of its natural "beauty". So when she returns to dry land and finds a towering steel structure, she sneaks inside to investigate.

This building houses all kinds of mechanical marvels. Spinning gears, moving conveyors, mashing hammers, and grabbing cranes all power assembly lines that crank out an unending supply of new blob fighters. As Melissa ventures deeper into the machine, the blobs become more and more advanced.

Level 14: It's Alive!

Melissa is confronted by Yarna again in a mine shaft beneath the factory. This time she takes credit for using her powers to bring the blobs back to life. And she has another surprise in store for our hero!

The room starts filling with slime. Yarna infuses the rising muck with magic that causes hands to rise to the surface. They try to grab Melissa and pull her under. She leaps over the appendages and kicks them when they slither under a loose girder. The steel beam is eventually punched skywards by the flying fists and renders Yarna's wand useless once again.

Level 15: Guts

Yarna is still not ready to give up. She pushes Melissa into the pool of ooze into which she is literally swallowed by a giant mouth. It seems that Yarna's magic has caused more than hands to sprout from the slime.

Exploring this sickening, subterranean world is like passing through the bowels of a giant, misshapen monster. Watchful eyes, biting teeth, pounding fists, sniffing noses, and dripping acid all serve as biological defenses as Melissa hops between bones and fat cells.

Level 16: Surf's Up!

An escape hatch allows Melissa to exit the innards. However, opening the door lets the slime rush out, which carries her along with it. Before being swept away, she is able to plant her feet on a wedge-shaped rock and ride the wave.

As she surfs her way through a cavern, Melissa must dodge stones that can toss her off of her makeshift board. The deeper she travels into planet Ooze's rocky core, the rougher the terrain. After hanging ten for a while, she wipes out on something other than a sandy beach.

Level 17: The Core

This place used to be very beautiful and serene. Waterfalls helped flowers grow as gemstones twinkled in the darkness. Then Yarna ruined it all by imbedding pipes to pump slime into her factory. Leaking sludge has killed plantlife and polluted pools.

But Melissa spots a sight for sore eyes. It's Rob! But something's doesn't seem quite right. Her suspicions are confirmed when "Rob" melts into a colorful puddle. Other replicas try to attack Melissa. It seems Yarna has perfected her blob-building technique.

Level 18: Wordlocks

Melissa finds what looks to be an entrance to Yarna's underground command center. The force fields protecting it can only be disabled by answering a series of questions. By spelling out the correct responses, the path forward is opened.

(The idea for this level came from another PC game called "Betrayal at Krondor". It was an RPG that included some unique treasure chests. They had riddles engraved on them and tumblers with letters. The treasure inside is yours once the riddle is solved. It was my favorite part of the game!)

Level 19: Rob Clones

These Rob blobs don't just look like the original, they act like him as well. They're fighting with the tools he used as a boy to foil the first blob invasion. Only this time, they're behaving quite unlike the real Rob by fighting with Melissa.

The first phony Rob fires a flame-thrower. Then another clone attacks and defends using ski poles. A rocketship unleashes its firepower in another room. Next, a plasma gun drops puddles of acid all over the floor. Finally, a bulked-up blob puts up its dukes.

Level 20: Final Battle

Yarna's plan is finally revealed. She abducted Rob in order to engineer millions of blobs that could mimic his abilities. She didn't anticipate Melissa being equally as tough, but now that she's here, Yarna will use both of them to create an invincible blob militia!

Yarna uses her magic to hover in the air. Rob can only watch helplessly as his evil counterparts charge at Melissa. A laser cannon automatically tracks and shoots at her, but a second one can be controlled manually. Can Melissa put an end to Yarna's diabolical operation and rid the universe of menacing blobs once and for all?

Of Course She Wins!

After trashing the production facilities and grounding Yarna, Melissa and Rob grab hold of their foe's wand and wish themselves back home. Meanwhile, the beat-up remnants of the blobs stage a coup against their fallen, former leader. Upon reappearing on planet Earth, the two high school graduates finally receive their diplomas. It's a happy ending for the past and present heroes!

Would you like to play "Invasion of the Blobs"?

Well, you can! If you have Java installed, you can play within your web browser. Or, if you have experience using a DOS emulator such as DOSBox, you can download a ZIP archive containing all of the files needed to play the game.

The game had to be split into two parts due to size restrictions. Be sure to play in the correct order!

"Invasion of the Blobs III"?

I tried to complete a trilogy, but it never came together. The third game would have starred the friendly blob from part one, whose name happens to be Zib. I experimented with a couple of different ideas. One had a "Marble Madness" theme and had Zib rolling through courses filled with hills and obstacles. Another attempt was a "Breakout" variation using the blob as the ball. I still have the title screens for both titles:

The Game-Maker software just wasn't designed for these kinds of games, so I gave up on trying to make them work. But my efforts didn't completely go to waste. Years later, I was able to realize my idea in the form of my Flash game, Bash and Smash Demolition. Here is a side-by-side comparison:

In a way, Zib and the rest of the blobs do indeed roll on!

More Game-Maker Information

A prolific G-M user named Eric-Jon Rössel Tairne (aka Aderack) has started The Game-Maker Archive. You can read about hundreds of other games, and even play some in your browser if you have Java installed.

G. Andrew Stone, the lead programmer of Game-Maker, has shared some thoughts on the program at his website, effluvia of a scattered mind.

Video Walkthroughs

I recorded gameplay footage of both games. Take a look if you need help on a particular level or can't get the games to run smoothly on your computer.