Summed up, E.V.O. Search for Eden is an experience-based action sidescroller based loosely on the process of evolution.Â It was released in North America in 1993 by Enix America Corp.
The intro of the game is a conversation with Gaia as she sends you on a mission to help evolution along.Â Strange crystals have suddenly appeared all over the world that, when eaten, cause creatures to suddenly evolve into extremely powerful creatures that no others can compete with.Â These unnatural animals are interfering with the natural course of evolution set forth by Gaia.Â She sends you to help her remove these obstacles to allow the natural course of life to continue.
The game begins with you controlling a minnow, small, toothless, with weak skin and not many health points.Â Nearby are the weakest creatures in the sea, jellyfish.Â At this point they’re a challenge, taking several bites to finish off, and you’re likely to be stung several times in the process.Â At this point you can only take a few tings before you die.Â When you defeat one it turns into a meat item.Â By eating it you replenish your health points and increase your evolution points.Â You can also eat plants to replenish your health points, but those don’t carry evolution points.
If you die in the game, you’ll never see a “Game Over”.Â Gaia resurrects you, taking away a portion of your evolution points as a penalty.Â This is good for those players who want to challenge themselves and take risks.
Besides these major generic forms, you can take more specialized tracks of evolution.Â Mastering the game doesn’t require you to become a bird, but you can become one.Â In this way you can avoid many of the conflicts, though that may not be the best strategy, as you don’t get evolution points unless you kill, and it may leave you unprepared for the boss battles.
Yes, you can become a human, and I’ve done it.Â It requires an obscure and unlikely series of upgrades that I won’t spell out here.Â There are clues in the game how to do it, or you can always look it up yourself.Â Me, I didn’t care for the form.Â The four-legged mammals in the game have the ability to bite or to kick with their hind legs, which is a major advantage.Â The kick knocks enemies to a distance giving you time to maneuver.Â The human lacks this kicking ability, so even though its rock hammer is powerful, I don’t like it as much.Â Me, I prefer more outlandish forms, with big needle-like teeth, horse legs for strong kicks, and nice tough rhinoceros skin.
The game can be as challenging as you want it to be.Â If you want it to be more challenging, then you can try making it through the game with minimal upgrades.Â In the later levels you’ll be fighting creatures far superior to you.Â If you can defeat the final shark boss in the ocean stages with just the minnow form, that is impressive indeed.Â Or you can make sure you’re upgraded to the highest form of every body part.Â This will take extra time because of the experience building necessary, but for most players the boss characters should not be insurmountable if you take some time to experience build.
The final boss of the game is a long, long battle, and takes a great deal of time and learning of the boss’s fighting patterns, but it’s that much more satisfying because of it.Â Overall this game is so unique and fun that I would recommend it to anyone.
If you want to find a copy of E.V.O., it will take a little work.Â Unfortunately, this game has not been added to the list of games available on the NintendoÂ Wii’s Virtual Console.Â It is still possible to find a cartridge of the game, but it will cost you.Â I found my copy in a pawn shop for $30, and that was 10 years ago, so I guarantee it will be harder to find and more expensive than that now.Â A quick eBay search as I’m writing this article showed two entries:Â a “buy it now” price of $70 and an auction with the current price of $44.Â It’s listed as “rare”.Â The best way to play the game is to find an SNES emulator and a ROM for the game so you can play it on your PC.Â This is often a challenge in itself, as many of the sites that have ROMs available are no longer maintained and suffer from link rot.Â It may take multiple tries to find sites that can provide a useable ROM.
But however you find a copy, it’s well worth the effort to play this amazing game.Â Enjoy!