LGR – Onesimus – DOS PC Game Review

LGR – Onesimus – DOS PC Game Review


[typing] It’s an interesting world we live in. At some point, somebody was like, Hey! Let’s take Jill of the Jungle, make her a dude, take out half the interesting levels and features and stuff a bunch of bible verses in there at random that have nothing to do with the gameplay at all. Yeah, if you think that idea is genius, then I’ve got the game for you. [VO]
Onesimus: A Quest for Freedom, developed and published by
Ark Multimedia Publishing in conjunction with Epic MegaGames in 1992. It’s an “ARK-ade” Game! Ha ha ha! Get it? Cuz Ark Multimedia… LOL LOL LOL. And yes, the text on the back really is this blurry but it doesn’t matter what it says because I’ll tell you what they won’t. This is Jill of the Jungle without Jill or the jungle. How this came to be isn’t exactly clear, but basically this company called Ark Multimedia was started by an ex-Marxist
revolutionary from Columbia who almost died in the jungle, fled to the USA, and was called to the Christian faith after
cleaning toilets in a New York Subway and finding his way over to a
Baptist church in New Jersey. I’m not making that up, either. So yeah, with his new faith in mind, he decided to start a company
to make wholesome games and become synonymous with family entertainment just like Disney. It goes without saying there’s a reason that Ark Multimedia Mouse is not famous today, which is pretty weird, considering games like Journey to the Promised Land and Bible Paint and Learn seem like sure-fire blockbusters. After several years of subpar
sales in the Christian market, they ended up releasing a bunch of
interactive multimedia products for Walmart and Walden Software before fading into obscurity. But anyway, back to Onesimus,
which was developed alongside the third Jill of the Jungle episode, Jill Saves the Prince, as a commissioned product for Ark Multimedia. If you’re familiar with Jill, this is some “Matrix”-level déjà vu. It’s the same gameplay, the same music, the same sound effects, the same overworld map, the same levels, the same graphics… except where it’s not, like the protagonist himself, Onesimus, based on the runaway slave referred to in the Epistle of Paul to Philemon found in the Christian New Testament. Spolier alert: this happens to him. But thankfully, the game
ends before you get there. Anyway, he’s just a simple re-skin of Jill with sprites that aren’t
drawn or animated as well, and even the same sound effects
when you get hurt and die. [sampled “oohs” and “ows”] Eh, maybe it’s not that odd. Perhaps he’s a eunuch. Or perhaps it’s just lazy and inconsistent, like the entire rest of the game. Now if you remember from
my Jill of the Jungle review, I like that game a lot, probably more than I should. So you’d think that this would
be just as awesome, right? Nope! For one thing, other than
the intro and outro levels, they’re just rehashes of
those found in the “Jill” trilogy. So if you’ve played through that,
then you’ve played this. Also, they completely removed the awesome ability to transmogrify yourself into an animal, so there’s another unique selling
point of the game that’s just gone. And finally, they’ve plopped these bible verses from the Book of Philemon into the game at random. Okay, so I have no problem with that in theory. After all, the original “Jill” included
pop-up text boxes, too, but– These are not just entirely pointless
in regards to the gameplay, but they don’t go away until an invisible timer runs out, which of course feels like forever. On top of that, they’re incredibly
common and totally unpredictable. They completely ruin the pacing of the game, which is already a bit worse
due to the lacking abilities. But seriously, these don’t matter in the least. They’re completely out-of-context verses which take you through the Book of Philemon– which, of course, hasn’t even happened yet because *you’re* still playing
though the story that happened, which led to Philemon being written. There are some minor changes, like your throwing star weapon
being turned into a rock, and certain enemies being re-skinned into something slightly more
fitting for the time period, I guess. For the most part, this has
no bearing on the gameplay, but the enemy AI sure does. What the heck was that? And how am I supposed to get
past this guy without getting hurt? He won’t move! Eventually, you reach the end and are greeted with the same style ending as Jill Saves the Prince. The Apostle Paul then asks you to marry him and– [fumbling pages]
Ah, wait, hold on. I, uh… I mixed up the games here.
[clears throat] So Paul is like, “Hey, you wanna be a Christian?” And you’re like, “Okay.”
And Paul’s like, “Congratulations. You are.” “Now, get out of here and go back to your master.” “You’re still a slave.” So, uh… Yeah, I guess that’s that. You escape the perils of Rome’s flying lava birds, giant snails and alligators, only to go right back to your old life of being a slave. But hey, at least you have Jesus. Uggh… So… maybe that’s holding true to the New Testament’s story and is missing the entire message of Philemon, but it sure doesn’t make for a satisfying
video game ending, I’ll tell you that. To sum things up, “Onesimus: A Quest for Freedom”
should have been called “Not Jill: A Quest for Marketshare.” This practice was all too
common back then and kind of still is. Take an existing secular product, toss some bible verses and a Jesus fish on it, and sell it to gullible religious types who just wanted something safe for their kids, and figure that since it’s sold in a Zondervan
Christian bookstore, that it’s a good idea. It’s just unfortunate. And granted there are FAR worse
offenders than Onesimus here and hey, if you had never played a “Jill” game, then this was still a pretty sweet platformer for its day. It’s just easy for me to be cynical
about something so underacheiving and so obviously meant to cash in, instead of provide anything new or valuable. With that said, it’s a hugely interesting oddity, if you’re a fan of Epic MegaGames
and the “Jill” series, so it’s at least worth grabbing
if you find a copy for cheap. Just don’t expect much and it will absolutely deliver on that. [sampled “ooh” and “ow”] And hey, if you enjoyed this video
on a bizarre Christian game and would like to see some
others, then let me know. Or let me know otherwise, too, if you
want to avoid this whole religious thing. I’d understand either way, but I find
this stuff absolutely fascinating and I’ve got a ton of them. So I would like to do some other
videos if you’d like to see them. And if not, then I’ve got a ton
of other videos already made and more coming in the future,
so subscribing is a thing. You can also follow and interact
with me on Twitter and Facebook, as well as support LGR on Patreon to help the show continue to get more sweet, and also get you some perks like being able to see videos
earlier than anywhere else. And as always, thank you very much for watching.

100 Comments on "LGR – Onesimus – DOS PC Game Review"


  1. Lord, please, PLEASE tell me Morelos was not a hand-selected prophet.  Give us a sign, I'm begging you!

    Reply

  2. Thanks once again LGR! I did enjoy your review, and I'd definitely watch more bizarre Christian game reviews. 

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  3. If you like bible games look up some the avgn reviews but watch everything by lgr he is the best ever!

    Reply

  4. Fantastic LGR, now where is my Scorched Earth (dos) / Scorched Tanks (amiga) review. Seems so fitting for you to do…

    Reply

  5. Well seeing as how you reviewed this and Jill Of The Jungle seperately, I'd say you have a good enough reason to review Xargon in the future!

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  6. Alright, what is with bible games sucking? There is so much material to make something good. Like the story of Samson with him going around God of War style, beating the crap out of Philistines. Or making an RTS out of Joshua's conquest of Canaan.

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  7. Why do people rip off games instead of being original? They could've at least used new sound effects and putting work into the character animation so it could be cooler than Jill. Yet they failed…

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  8. This is amazing! I had no idea anyone built other games using the Jill of the Jungle engine. That's a crazy little bit of game history!

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  9. I actually lmao'd in RL when you told the story of how ARK was started, I think there needs to be a movie made about this company because that is just hilarious.

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  10. I'd have to think a LOT of that bonus text would repeat over and over with stuff you've already read throughout the game, if it was from the book of Philemon (aka one of the shortest books of the Bible.) Seriously, I've written BSing paragraph essays on school tests longer than Philemon. 😛

    Come to think of it, I've probably written comments on Youtube longer than the book of Philemon.Why pick a Bible story so obscure? Why not do something "religiously cool" like a RTS campaign of Joshua. Joshua: Total War? I smell an idear! Or…a lawsuit.  😉

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  11. I love reviews of "Chistian entertainment" and edutainment series games, so I'd be happy to see more reviews of those kinds of titles. I'd also love to see a historical piece on two edutainment companies: The Learning Company (and their A.D.A.P.T software), and the fall of Creative Wonders.

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  12. This is as bad as Bibleman…and yes that is a real American TV show.

    On another note, has there ever been a game made by a slightly mad Christian, don't deny that the creator of this game was a bit nutty, which was good?

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  13. How about a review on Below The Root.  One of my favorite games as a kid (even if it was ancient by that time)

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  14. I kind of wish someone would make a Bible game that is actually good.
    Just because there's been so many and as far as I know, they've all been terrible.
    They could probably make a decent God Of War rip-off starring Samson, or even some kind of free roam game where you go around healing people and performing miracles as Jesus.

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  15. Ya know, I'm surprised there hasn't been at least one good "Christian" game. The material is there to make a cool one, David and Goliath, Ehud the Judge (an assassin), Samson, David and his warriors, ect. I guess the major publishers don't want to take that risk and cause people to get in a tizzy. 

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  16. More terrible Christian games please! Noah's Ark 3D, Bible adventures, etc. I find them all wonderfully awful. They are the gaming equivalent of a car wreck. You know it's bad but you just want to look.

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  17. I'd like to see an LGR take on the flaming turds from Wisdom Tree, due to your focus on the game, rather than the religious nature.  Too often, I see someone spend 2 minutes on the game, and 8 bashing the religion, only picking the game to have justification to bash the religion.

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  18. This could be a very sensitive subject to a lot of viewers and I think you did a phenomenal job keeping the review relevant and on point.

    Another awesome job, LGR! Cannot wait for the next. (:

    Reply

  19. Hey LGR, is there any way you could review and/or play a old game called 'Warblade'? I don't know if you played it, or even heard of it, but you should check it out.

    Reply

  20. I'd definitely watch more videos on religious-themed games. Catechumen and the Wisdom Tree games are the only ones I know about.

    Reply

  21. Why does that scream sound like the one Prince makes in his "Alphabet Street" song? It's the first tune that comes to mind with that style of scream in it.

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  22. Wow, very interesting video! I really enjoy weird games like this one (well, at least I enjoy watching reviews). They're quite funny, and actually inspiring. Well, not that I'd do something based on that, but seeing weird things always helps when writing scenarios for stories or roleplay games, for example.

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  23. What if there was a Christian themed Doom reskin in the same vain as Chex Quest? I wonder how you could make it work without it feeling totally antithetical to the concept. Heh, probably couldn't.

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  24. You have to give companies like these credit.  At least they actually TRIED and made their own games to try to appeal to their intended audiences (well, sometimes, although most of the times they just reskinned other material as seen here).  SJWs/Feminists don't even have THAT level of ingenuity,nor do they even try to make their own original games, and instead try forcing their ideas onto big name companies.

    Also, thanks for taking the high road with this review.  I imagine many people doing reviews on this would have just spent the whole time wailing on Christianity.

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  25. Hey, I would like to make a request. (I apologize if there is a place for this. I couldn't find it). I love watching your reviews because they are awesome. So, I was wondering if you could play Alley Cat! It was the first game my bf ever played and he suggested that I request 😛

    Reply

  26. I was going to say that this must be the only channel able to cover something religion related without the comments section descending into the 5,264,458,352,657th fruitless argument over the existence or non existence of a creator.

    Then I looked down and saw that +Gareth Dean had fixed that. Actually I wasn't going to mention the creator part, I was going to carefully allude to it because obviously mentioning it would spawn a stupid argument about it.

    So just for the record, nobody wants to hear whether you do or don't believe in a God. Nobody wants to hear your thoughts on religion. I don't care which group of humans is responsible for the worst anything because this is a computer games channel and so I in fact just want to talk about computer games.

    Reply

  27. I think you shouldn't do religious games too often. Once in a while, yeah, it's fine but, if you do them periodically the comment section will eventually turn into a religion flame war, and you'll be known as either that guy who hates religion (if you make jokes, because religious people will get butthurt) or that boring guy who plays religious games.

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  28. I disagree, sir.  If there's one thing the Jill-ogy needed it's a moonwalking, fireball throwing heathen.

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  29. Another great video, who would have thought there was a christian jill of the jungle knock off.

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  30. dude i love that you always fully explain the stories behind these products, you're basically a video game/computer historian

    Reply

  31. Watching your back catalogue and found this video. You should do a video with more games that put a christian robe on other games. At least a top five, but I'd love to see more.

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  32. I played this game as a kid. Even at the time I didn't think it was a very good game. Haha.

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  33. I actually found this game at a Goodwill a couple years ago. Still shrink-wrapped in plastic.

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  34. "Sell it to gullible religious types"

    Um.. Believing in a magical all powerful being who created everything with the only "proof" being a book written by humans. I think that encompasses all religious types 😡

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  35. This game was so much fun that I installed and beat it multiple times EVEN THOUGH IT BRICKED MY COMPUTER WHEN YOU BEAT IT lol

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  36. I'm Mormon so I'm all to familiar of how much these games suck. Thankfully I am allowed to play any thing that is not to violent now. Skyrim and dark souls are Great but doom(2016) is not. I have played the first doom though and I do like it. Also because of lgr I think I'm gonna ask for a dos computer for my birthday. Don't know what computer yet but I want early 90s. Any sugestions?

    Reply

  37. Evry think connectid whit epic game .
    Is epic even the bible games .
    So i can triggerd some athiest on net

    Reply

  38. They probably chose the story of Onesimus because his journey from Philemon to Paul isn't recorded. All we know is that he found Paul and Paul sent him back with a letter telling Philemon to treat him like a brother, rather than a slave. So, really, the entire game could be whatever the maker wanted it to be without needing to align with an actual Bible story. If they had used Joshua, Moses, David, etc, they would have needed to have it make sense along the way. It was an easy out… Still, I played the game as a kid and LOVED it – for the gameplay, obviously not the story. I am a Christian, and that's probably why my parents got it for us to play, but I never felt cheated. Sure, it was a cheap adjustment of another game, but the game itself actually holds up pretty solid for enjoyment. I have to agree about the Bible verses though – they interrupted the flow of the game, and should have let you skip them if you wanted. They could have easily incorporated Scripture in a better way… I actually differ from the reviewer in that I like Onesimus better than Jill. Not because it earned it; I know it stood on the shoulders of Jill. But because Jill being an earlier game understandably seems to have more bugs in it (to me, anyway). It feels more chaotic with maps, level structure, etc, while Onesimus's use of map/levels/music choices feels more natural. Yes, Onesimus didn't use all the animal magic stuff, which was neat; but I still liked it better overall.

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  39. A Marxist revolutionary who took something that someone else made, then made it worse to pass off as his own product–that figures.

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  40. I’ve been watching all his vids. By his I mean LGR. By LGR I mean “Large Glittered Reptilians.”

    ~flesh creature

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  41. You missed the point about the ending my friend , he IS free !! 😀 Thank you for the great channel , God bless.

    Reply

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