Iron Maiden: Ed Hunter - the Computer Game Content from the guide to life, the universe and everything

Iron Maiden: Ed Hunter - the Computer Game

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Ed Hunter is the official1 PC game by Synthetic Dimensions, based around popular heavy metal band Iron Maiden and has a 15 rating2. Released in mid-1999, the game received rather negative reviews from PC magazines, who complained about poor graphics, sound, gameplay and repetitiveness.

The Game - How it Plays

Ed Hunter is an on-rails (meaning you have little freedom over where you go), arcade shoot-em-up game, much like Virtual Cop and Time Crisis. You are Ed Hunter, a former roadie, freelance journalist and private investigator, and have been given a packet of cash to free somebody. This somebody is Iron Maiden's mascot, Eddie. There is a two-player mode, but this is largely unused. You and a friend take turns to do a level, which means that the game takes twice as long to finish - a fact that the critics didn't like.

Graphics and Music

In December 1998 the Official Iron Maiden Website ran a contest to find out what were the fans' top 20 favourite Iron Maiden songs. These songs were used as the music on each level of the game. The track listing is as follows:

  • Iron Maiden (live)
  • The Trooper
  • The Number Of The Beast
  • Wrathchild
  • Futureal
  • Fear Of The Dark
  • Be Quick Or Be Dead
  • 2 Minutes To Midnight
  • Man On The Edge
  • Aces High
  • The Evil That Men Do
  • Wasted Years
  • Powerslave
  • Hallowed Be Thy Name
  • Run To The Hills
  • The Clansmen
  • Phantom Of The Opera
  • Killers
  • Stranger In A Strange Land
  • Tailgunner

Another complaint from the PC mags was that only one song is played on each level. This is okay for the first level, as Phantom Of The Opera is over seven minutes long, and is heard one and a half times while playing the level. But with shorter songs and longer levels, the music can feel repetitive. This may put off non-Maiden fans.

The graphics are almost completely 3D, and are of good quality. Close-up enemies come out a bit pixelated, however, and have jaggies - a technical word for rough lines in close-up images. But this hardly ruins the flow of the game.

Ties With the Band

The levels relate to album covers, but most of these will not be immediately obvious: On the first level you see places like The Horse And Cart, Ruskin Arms and 22 Acacia Avenue. The first two are places where Iron Maiden played in the 1970s. 22 Acacia Avenue is the home of 'Charlotte the Harlot'. 'Charlotte the Harlot' is a song on Maiden's first album, Iron Maiden, and '22 Acacia Avenue' is another song, on their third album The Number Of The Beast. Also, on the first level are posters of the covers of Iron Maiden and Killers, Maiden's first two albums. To get extra lives, you have to shoot the disembodied heads of band members.

The tips section of the manual uses a song title to summarise each point.

1There are no unofficial Iron Maiden games.2Meaning that nobody under 15 may purchase it or should play it.

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