( Somer Assault )
game Cover
game HuCard
©1991 Atlus Ltd.
Release : 1991-10-04 (¥6800)
HuCard (4 Mbits) AT03001
Action / Platform game

American Version
Released in America as
( TGX040089 )
Mesopotamia (aka Somer Assault in the west) is a fairly unique platform game by Atlus. An evil witch took over the world and used her powers to control the mythical realm of the Zodiac. The player takes control of a weird looking creature sent by the gods to counter her plans of domination. The creature moves by sticking one of its ends to walls, in a way similar to a caterpillar. It can also contract and jump on adjacent walls, as long as they are within reach. The goal of each level is to find the guardian's lair and to defeat it - they are all based on Zodiac signs and the game therefore consists of twelve different stages. To spice up the action, the player must find each level's guardian and send it to oblivion within a time limit. Other creatures also crawl around each maze and try to stop the player and our little caterpillar-like creature is equipped with a special middle ring that can fire bullets of energy at these annoying critters. Defeated enemies sometimes drop power-ups that range from extra continues, extra life, super speed to extra shots and bouncing shots. Mesopotamia consists of thirteen stages and is single player only.
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Teaser text from the American version:
Here begins the story from a time and the world not of our own... A sorceress used her evil powers to fulfill her conquest to rule the world. "Go my dear slaves to trample and ruin the world which will belong to us!" Your are the only one who can crush her wretched plans! Each stage is controlled by a boss who portrays a sign of the zodiac. Going through a maze, you have to find and destroy the boss before your time runs out.


Mesopotamia - manual Mesopotamia - Registration Card Mesopotamia - Advert
Click on picture to enlarge

Surprisingly, Mesopotamia has a plethora of hidden cheats and menus! Here are some of them.

Additional lives:
The best cheat, by far, is the option to gain additional lives during the game. To activate it, just pause and up-pause the game a hundred times! When activated, this cheat will force enemies to drop extra lives when defeated. You can only store a maximum of fifty lives at the time though.

mesopotamia - sound test Sound Test Screen:
After you start the game, at the screen where you are asked to enter your birth date, hold Up and I, then press Run. If done right, it will activate the Sound Test Screen (picture on the right). There you can play any music or sound effects from the game .

mesopotamia - mysterious screen Mysterious second hidden screen:
Well, that's not the end of it. At the Sound Test Screen, press Select, Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, II and I. A second mysterious screen should appear, but it is hard to tell what this one actually does... (picture on the right).

mesopotamia - mysterious screen Hidden Mini Game:
Now things get really interesting! At the mysterious screen, wait until the screen flashes and press II, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, II and I. It is rather tricky to get right, but it will unlock a simple and hidden vertical shooter! (picture on the right).

Add your Pov here !

Mesopotamia is a fairly unique game and the gameplay mechanics are very interesting and will definitively intrigue you at first. The creature you control is very well designed and being able to 'stick' to the walls inside of each maze as well as the outside is a really original and incredible gameplay mechanic. Sadly, as you progress, you realize that the game is not as rosy as it seems... controls are a little clunky and you're never really sure which direction the creature will shoot at. Additionally, the time limit is really frustrating and will kill you more often that the creatures that roam around each maze - which is a design flaw in my opinion, most levels are designed around exploration and having a time limit definitively kills this very concept. Boss battles are also included within the time limit which is atrocious and forces the game to be a lot more difficult and frustrating than it should. I'm not even talking about the last level (spoiler alert!) which forces you to fight all the bosses again in an unfair and frustrating boss rush! The graphics are more than correct and are incredibly detailed (the bosses are exquisite!) but enemy variation is fairly poor - the game features a handful of different enemies recycled ad nauseum. All in all, Mesopotamia is a fun experience overall but it is really shallow and the clunky controls make the game feel like more trouble than it's worth.

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