A beautiful woman, captured by an evil beast - chained up in his castle and waiting for the brave knight to come and rescue her. The showdown - the knight fells the evil monster with an almighty blow, but himself is slain where he stands. The captured maiden falls to the floor, her hero and captor both dead by her feet. And this is where the game starts...
As you can see, Götzendiener is not your average game. Instead of rescuing the maiden, you ARE the maiden, with only the sword of your rescuer and a couple of magical spells to aid you, you have to escape from the castle you have been imprisoned in. The game looks and plays a lot differently from the usual stuff on the Engine. It's hard to categorize, but it's a sort of isometric puzzle-action-role playing game. The play area is split up into a series of maze-like levels that you have to travel through - from castle to caves to mines. Each level has a minimal selection of baddies that can be taken out with your sword (that is sheathed and unsheathed with the I button), and several puzzles that must be solved to progress. These are usually linked to your spells of which there are two. Pushing SELECT activates a spell - if there are burning torches or candles on screen you can summon a fire dragon, which is good for burning down wooden doorways. Alternatively, if there is a dead monster blocking the passageway you can either push it around or use your magic to possess them. Under possession, they follow you around or can be controlled by holding down button II and moving them. There are a few objects you can pick up - picks for breaking rock, broken pots, magical staffs for teleportation etc. There are no bosses in the game, but levels blend into each other as the game progresses.
Götzendiener is a game with a lot of potential. After all, it does come partly from the almighty anime studio of Gainax, who brought us classics like Gunbuster and Evangelion. But it has many flaws. The control is awkward - you move with diagonals instead of up-down-left-right and this can prove annoying and uncomfortable on your thumb. The game moves at a very sedate pace at times, seemingly slowing down for no good reason. Puzzles are pretty basic and there are as few puzzles as there are baddies. Calling it an action game would be wrong - it's more like an adventure, but it is so shockingly short it feels like the first few levels of a larger game. I would guess that this was a game that was only half finished when they decided to go ahead and release it - after all it was 1994 and the Engine was beginning to fade away. And to add insult to injury, the music in game is all chip generated - and not particularly good chip sound either, technically or in composition.
During play, Götzendiener isn't a poor game. I was a tad bored at times, but always felt compelled to get a little further - it's just hard to completely recommend such an unfinished and almost demo-length piece of software.