Forgotten Old Games – Deep Fear

Hi everyone, it´s me Danilo with a brand new old game!

This week´s game is one of the most memorable Resident Evil clones of all time! Ladies and gentlemen, hold your breath for Deep Fear!

(Sorry for the low quality pics, my Saturn emulator didin´t worked this time so I took the pictures directly from the console version.)

Deep Fear is the best survival horror besides Resident Evil available on Sega Saturn and yet one of the most overseen. Some people say that´s because the game was never released on US, others say that´s because Sega Saturn wasn´t a successfully console. I´m not really sure why this happened with a such nice game like Deep Fear but at least I can tell why this game is so amazing.

Deep Fear was released in July 1998 in Japan and as soon as October was released in Europe. Sadly, the North American version was never released. [technical and politically questionable talk] Lot´s of people today can play Deep Fear in US Sega Saturn using accessories like Pro Action Pack but yet the PAL version of Deep Fear has some compatibility issues in NTSC-U consoles, so if you has an modded Sega Saturn and the original PAL version of Deep Fear or even the Japanese version I recommend to you download an unreleased NTSC-U version of Deep Fear available on internet, works fine on modded Sega Saturn without any compatibility issues, so google it, I can assure that´s pretty easy to find. [/technical and politically questionable talk]

Now let´s talk about the game itself!

Deep Fear´s plot is a mix between the movies “The thing” and “The abyss”. In a not distant future, a small UFO descended from space and fall into the ocean very close to a submarine station called “Big Table”. So, the USA government  dispatch the “Seafox”, a very fast nuclear submarine to collect the UFO and refuel at Big Table. Everything was going fine when the Seafox mysteriously crashes into a sector of Big Table called “Navy Area”. Clancy, the captain of Big Table, dispatch John Mayor, a former navy SEAL, to the navy area in order to reestablish the functions of the Navy Area.

When John arrives at the Navy Area, he encounters a wounded officer who suddenly transforms into a some kind of mutant creature. Of course, John immediately kills the creature and  later realize that the situation is far deeper that he thinks. Soon, everyone aboard the Big Table is threatened  by a mysterious alien life form, which is highly contagious. It´s a little cheesy but I really consider this game very exciting despite of the terrible voice acting. The plot is very well-developed and also there are LOTS of FMVs during this game that really make things very interesting.

Now you know your mission! It´s time to play!

Deep Fear´s gameplay is heavily based on Resident Evil. Your character moves around in a pre-rendered environment with fixed camera angles and you have an action button to check things, shoot (if in weapon mode), pick items, open doors and of course you have a draw weapon button however different from RE you character can run and shoot at the same time. You don´t need to stop to shoot an enemy and I consider this a great step ahead Resident Evil´s gameplay.

Here´s the control scheme:

During the game you´ll notice that´s a numerical counter on the top-left edge of the screen, that´s your oxygen counter. Lots of rooms in Deep Fear have a limited amount of oxygen so the player must be alert because if the oxygen is depleted, John will put an oxygen mask that´ll consume his personal oxygen thank and when the tank becomes empty you´ll start to lose HP and finally die.

There are some countermeasures to take against the low oxygen. In almost every room you´ll find a yellow box, if you use your action button in it a menu will pop in the screen showing some options like:

AIR SYSTEM => restore room´s oxygen

R CHARGE => restore your personal oxygen gauge

You also can pop some oxygen grenades, these grenades can restore a little of the room´s oxygen. There are rooms that have no oxygen at all, like flooded rooms and rooms with toxic gas.

Also in flooded rooms is very difficult to move your character or shot; the only way to shot an enemy in flooded rooms is using a arpon weapon.

Speaking about weapons, your ammo in Deep Fear is practically infinite. If you run out of bullets you just need to go in a storage room and replenish your them. You also can carry only two kinds of weapons: a standard weapon and a special weapon and these weapons can be changed if you´re in a storage room.

For example, if I´m carrying a handgun as a standard weapon and a sub-machinegun as a special weapon then when I find a storage room I can swap my sub-machine gun by a shotgun.

There are also health restore items like medical sprays and resurrection kits, they´re pretty easy to find too.

Enemies in general are easy to kill but they can drain lots of your HP. Some enemies are very tough and demands lots of gunshots to be killed while others simply jump of the roof right in front of you making things very unexpected, so you must be aware.

Deep Fear has 2 discs so it´s a pretty long game.

The graphics are good for its time: pre-rendered backgrounds are great but character models aren´t that good, in my opinion staying somewhere between Resident evil 1 and Resident Evil 2 models. FMVs are pretty good too, they´re not top quality but as I mentioned there´re lots of them. One thing that really impresses me is the creature design, monsters in this game are very well done and very creative too.

And finally the sound… As I mentioned the voice acting is terrible, one of the worst voice acting that I saw in a video game but that´s my only complain about the sound because the rest is incredible!

Sound effects are really scary and the music, yes, the music is awesome. I highly recommend to everyone to look for this game´s sound track, my favorite track is the opening theme.

That´s all that I have to say about Deep Fear if you want to revive the old style survival horrors you MUST play this game, it´s awesome and one of the best games that I´ve played in a Sega Saturn!