Gish

Gish

Imagine yourself being a ball of tar, and suddenly you have to rescue your lady friend who has been kidnapped by some dark fiend. Into the forgotten sewer world you go and use your tar-ness to your advantage!

This cute 2004 indie game by Alex Austin was open sourced on 29th of May 2010. A week later a MorphOS port was made. Gish is a platform game where you roll around and try to complete enviromental puzzles and defeat enemies unarmed. To this end, you have 4 powers:

  1. Stick. You threw out spikes all over you in order to stick to most surfaces.
  2. Slide. You make yourself slippery so you can flow through small spaces.
  3. Heavy. You turn solid. Good for breaking stuff.
  4. Jump. You jump (duh!). Pressing the jump button in a timely fashion makes you jump higher.

The goal is to go from start to finish, alive. You collect coins and extra lives and defeat or avoid enemies. You have a health metre that starts from 100. You also have a timer. You get extra points for beating a level quickly. There are also plenty of secrets apparently, but I have yet not found even one.

This is what level one looks like:

gish_level_1

It’s really simple to get into the mechanics of the game. The enemies I’ve encountered range from small doggie like creatures to huge humanoids (so far I’ve played):

gish_monster

But they are not too hard to defeat (in the beginning that is):

gish_monster_defeated

And so this goes on. More puzzling environments, more enemies, more fun! Though the game is open source, the graphics and music etc are not. You still have to buy a copy. But there is a nice surprise waiting for you at the seller Chronic Logic homepage. You can pay how much you want. If you are cheap, 1 dollar or less is enough. For a direct download I thought 5 dollars was a fair price. Follow the instructions and buy yourself a copy (remember that Paypal doesn’t work with OWB at the moment due to the heartbleed business). You will get a mail with a download link and a code (that works for endless downloads. But don’t be a jerk and pass it along). For MorphOS, be sure you download the Linux version. If you do, you don’t have to install the game on another machine first.

Next, go to MorphOS Files and download the MorphOS executables. Then you unpack the original game to whereever you want. And after that unpack the MorphOS executables and copy the files over the original game. Now it should look something like this (show all files):

gish_drawer

Now everything should work (yes, no hazzle!). Double click on the SDL marked Gish icon and the game is on. You can also go to the option menu to go full screen. Since I have a G5 with a pretty fast Radeon X800 graphic card I can go 1920×1200 in 32 bit without any lag at all. The game runs pretty nicely even on slower computer as well. But it doesn’t work on an Efika 5200b due to lack of memory (256 MB is probably the minimum). You might experience some minor graphic glitches but none that should bother you while playing.

Note, the demo version does not work with the MorphOS port. You need the full game.

Commercial games on MorphOS are a rarety. Good ones doubly so. Gish is a very simple game, and the graphics is also simple but pleasing looking which fits its indie background. The music is repetative but gives this feeling that this is what platform game music is all about. If you like cute platform puzzle games with plenty of humour then you should do yourself a favour and buy yourself a copy of Gish!

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