Wampus

To discuss this game, please use this topic in the WoM forum, this Facebook post or this tweet.

Introduction

In 2019, John Vanderhoef created a funny M.U.L.E.- and Zelda-inspired game named “Wampus”. It is not a M.U.L.E. clone – rather it is an hommage to the M.U.L.E. universe, as it plays on the planet Irata and revolves around the M.U.L.E. characters.

Wampus title screen

The game was developed for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) and is available for purchase both as a ROM file and as a physical cartridge (without box though).

Story and gameplay

Who hasn’t had a bit of pity with the Wampus in M.U.L.E.? Yes of course, you got good money, but the hunting! Should we really hunt and capture those nice little creatures all the time?

Well, this is were the story of “Wampus” starts. The Wampus (Wampii?) on Irata are really, really annoyed by all those intergalactic settlers arriving on their planet, exploiting resources and hunting them.

The Settlers Union openly advocates Wampus Hunting. That is an outrage for the local Wampus population on Irata and cannot stand unopposed!

Therefore, one brave Wampus takes matters into its?his?her? own hands and starts to fight back. Another good game title may have been “M.U.L.E. – The Wampus Strikes Back” or “M.U.L.E. – Revenge of the Wampus”…

The Wampus will fight back!

A video will say more than a thousand screenshots (which you can find here if you prefer). I recorded a few minutes of gameplay:

Wampus – Gameplay

As you can see from the video, the game really is a Zelda clone, not a M.U.L.E. clone. You play the young Wampus who has started the quest to rid Irata of the evil invaders – meaning, the well-known M.U.L.E. species, as well as M.U.L.E.s. Through the course of the game, you start acquiring weapons which make this task easier and easier.

Review

The game plays fairly well. The controls and sprite collision detection are exact so that you don’t feel any unfairness. The “enemies” though don’t have any AI, they just move randomly most of the time. However, Mechtrons have learnt to first aim then shoot, so be careful here. 😉

The game is not up to par with commercial action adventure games such as Zelda, neither from a technical point of view nor from a playtime point of view (it only has about 1 hour of gameplay).

But that is not the point of the game. The point of the game is to make M.U.L.E. fans dive back into the M.U.L.E. universe and see it from the other perspective – the Wampus’ perspective. It is meant for M.U.L.E. fans, who will feel right at home in the game universe and will laugh at many of the humorous texts of the game.

That being said, all in all I can really only recommend the game for M.U.L.E. fans. All others who do not know the game may be disappointed. But for M.U.L.E. fans, the small price asked ($5) is worth it. In my humble opinion of course.

Final words

Thanks very much, John, for keeping the legacy of M.U.L.E. alive in this funny and creative way.