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Game info

Total Carnage

Total Carnage
GenreAction Shooter
Reviewed bypdial
Total Carnage is viewed-from-above multidirectional shoot-em-up (like Ikari Warriors, Commando, Mercs etc), and the sequel to Williams' superb 1990 "Smash TV", but with a much higher difficulty level. The game was originally released on the arcades in 1992 by Midway, then ported to the Commodore Amiga (OCS\ECS and AGA chipsets) on the same year. A couple of years later, also ported to the Nintendo SNES, Atari Jaguar, Nintendo Game Boy, and PC.
Out of nowhere, crazy, power-mad general Ahkboob became the sole military power in Kookistab (!) by creating a vast army of infantry, tanks and BioGenetic Mutants onto the world. With an endless supply of mutants forces (you will notice those endless hordes during gameplay) and the hostages in his possession, Ahkboob stands ready to spread devastation upon the entire globe. Only two men are brave enough to take on Ahkboob's army: Captain Carnage and Major Mayhem, both huge, muscular Rambo-type figures. You now need to guide them (if you play in two-player mode) through the evil General's awesome array of defenses to get inside his stronghold and go after the General himself.
There are three huge levels to complete (ALPHA MISSION, BAKER MISSION and CANDLESTICKMAKER MISSION), each one having it's own type of enemies and traps. Expect heavy resistance from ground troops you will cope with large numbers of mutant soldiers, machine guns nests, and light attack vehicles. Oh, you need also to take care of the civilian hostages held in many locations throughout the levels, keep rescuing them for bonus points. At the beginning, the available weapon is just your trusty machine gun, but you can find plenty of upgraded firepower (plasma guns, flame-throwers, rocket launchers etc) scattered in every location. Be noted though, each upgrade is limited, so you basic weaponry will come back soon enough. Fortunately there are also scattered bombs to collect and use them to wipe-out everything moving currently on screen (except the vehicles and...hostages of course...).
What is really nice with this game is that, you can toggle a preferred shooting direction while moving your character in all other directions. It’s pretty effective when a horde comes from a specific location on the screen, while avoiding vehicles at the same time. At the end of each level, there is always a big nasty boss waiting for you.
Total Carnage is a really addictive but a very tough game, that keeps you coming back for more even today! The gameplay itself is a breeze, just shoot everything except any hostages and collect everything you can lay your hands on. Of course there were several better titles to play back then, but still easily worth having a look.

Ok, much like the arcades version, the PC version features some nice visuals for its age without having to fill the screen with impressive details. Truth is that, the coin-op conversion from Midway is almost perfectly done on the PC (and Amiga), keeping most of the original level details, sports smooth and fast sprite animation and they are almost identical in terms of graphics. In general, the PC version sports a few more detail and of course, more colors here.
The in-game sound is equally ok, including the original music and an array of digitized sound FX and speech during gameplay.
  • Total Carnage
  • Total Carnage
  • Total Carnage
  • Total Carnage
  • Total Carnage
  • Total Carnage
  • Total Carnage
  • Total Carnage
  • Total Carnage
Comparable platforms
Commodore Amiga OCS/ECS
Hardware information

PC (ms-dos based)

PC (ms-dos based)CPU: Various processors from Intel,AMD, Cyrix, varying from 4.77Mhz (Intel 8088) to 200Mhz (Pentium MMX) and up to 1995 (available on this site)
MEMORY: 640Kb to 32MB RAM (typical up to 1996)
GRAPHICS: VGA standard palette has 256 colors and supports: 640x480 (16 colors or monochrome), 640x350 in 16 colors (EGA compatability mode), 320x200 (16 or 256 colors). Later models (SVGA) featured 18bit color palette (262,144-color) or 24bit (16Milion colors), various graphics chips supporting hardware acceleration mainly for 3D-based graphics routines.
SOUND: 8 to 16 bit sound cards: Ad-Lib featuring Yamaha YMF262 supporting FM synthesis and (OPL3) and 12-bit digital PCM stereo, Sound Blaster and compatibles supporting Dynamic Wavetable Synthesis, 16-bit CD-quality digital audio sampling, internal memory up to 4MB audio channels varying from 8 to 64! etc. Other notable sound hardware is the release of Gravis Ultrasound with outstanding features!
The PC (ms-dos based) (default) color palette
CGA: 16-color palette (4 on-screen)
EGA: 64-color palette (16 on-screen)
VGA: 256-color palette (256 on-screen)
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