Odallus: The Dark Call Gets Blood Boiling Veteran Mode

If you’re into bastard-hard 2D retro platformers, you may have enjoyed Odallus: The Dark Call [official site] earlier this year. Against the waves of pseudo-old school throwbacks that have spawned over the last few years, Odallus not only captures the late 80s/early 90s ala mode Castlevania-esque aesthetic with aplomb, it backs it up with genuine challenge, solid platforming and thoughtful AI. If you missed it before, it’s well worth a bash. If you beat it before, developers JoyMasher have just released a ‘Veteran Mode’ in a free update. It’s tough. Bloody Hell, it’s tough.

So tough I had to get up from my chair, leave my desk and wander into the kitchen for a break when I realised my HP didn’t restore itself upon entering a new location. So tough I nearly screamed when I lost ALL of my orbs after running out of lives. So tough I can feel my hands trembling, my pulse quickening, my temples throbbing right now as I recall the salesman’s price hike; the new enemy placements; or the fact that the bosses are a shit-sight harder now than they ever were before. Dear reader, you’ll have to excuse me.

Ah, deep breath. Right. Better now. If you manage to beat Odallus in Veteran Mode you get a new skin for protagonist Haggis, apparently. Let me know what it looks like, will you?

Odallus: The Dark Call is out now on GOG for £9.89, and on both the Humble Store and Steam for £10.99. Veteran Mode is unlocked free of charge after first beating the game. Good luck.


  1. Ansob says:

    Oniken was also pretty fantastic. Joymasher have pretty rapidly turned out to be one of the best makers of 8-bit retro games.

  2. InternetBatman says:

    I think it’s valid to question if that aesthetic should have been captured. It’s possible to make much prettier pixel games.

  3. Premium User Badge

    syllopsium says:

    To be picky, that’s a 16 bit look, not an 8 bit look. 8 bits can’t throw around that many sprites (apart from the PC Engine : that doesn’t count with all the custom chips).

    I tend to think it looks too much like a 16 bit arcade machine, though. Games such as VVVVVV and Retro City Rampage look sort of retro, but in reality at least some of their effects are a tad more modern.

    • Mr_Blastman says:

      Nope. That’s totally 8-bit. Source: A the games I grew up with playing.

      • JimmyG says:

        I’m sure there’s probably technical definitions for 8- and 16-bit whatevers, but I dunno what it is. To me, the screenshot above looks like SNES-level pixelation with an NES color palette. There’re only three colors in the floor/statue, but the density and detail just look
        more advanced than the player-character.

        • Premium User Badge

          gritz says:

          It looks about on-par with later NES stuff like Ninja Gaiden 3.

      • Person of Interest says:

        You’re both right. The graphics and palette are NES-style, but sprite sizes and parallax effects are 16-bit equivalent, according to the developer blog: Odallus and NES: a graphic love letter.