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Wurm: Journey to the Center of the Earth puts you in the role of Captain Moby, commander of a special earth-boring combat vehicle. In the year 1999, strange earthquakes and violent volcanic eruptions gravely concerned world leaders and scientists alike. In an attempt to understand the problem, four earth-borers, nicknamed Wurms, were sent into the heart of the planet. None of them returned. Now as the leader of a team of Marines, you must pilot the fifth Wurm underground and discover the fate of the previous four missions. During the course your journey, you will encounter dangerous monsters, old comrades, and lost civilizations.
Wurm uses four different modes of action throughout its 20 levels. In the Horizontal Scroll Shooting Mode (HSS), your vehicle is displayed in profile and can be converted at will into one of three different forms. The Tank Form moves along the ground and consumes very little fuel. The Hover Form can fly, but is not particularly maneuverable and consumes a moderate amount of fuel. Finally, the Ariel Form is a speedy jet that is fast and consumes fuel very quickly. In the Vertical Scroll Shooting Mode (VSS), your vehicle, either the Hover or Ariel Form, is viewed from an overhead perspective. In both the HSS and VSS Modes, running out of fuel or shield power results in the vehicles destruction. Fortunately, shield energy regenerates over time and fuel capsules can be acquired from defeated enemies.
While the previous two modes are played from outside of your vehicle, the Cockpit Shooting/Role Playing Mode (CSRP) utilizes a first-person perspective that puts you in the gunner's seat of your Wurm. In each CSRP stage, you and your crew face off against a large enemy in single combat. Before fighting, you are given a chance to talk with your crew and discuss your foe's weakness. Correct assessment and exploitation of these weaknesses increases your Possibility Percentage. When this percentage reaches 100%, the enemy is destroyed.
Finally, Shooting Adventure/Role Playing (SARP) areas require you to get out of your vehicle and explore on foot as Captain Moby. These stages are also viewed from a side perspective and require you to make your way through a maze of sorts, usually to locate lost or captured allies. During these stages, you are armed with a variety of hand-to-hand combat moves, as well as a gun with limited ammunition. Defeated enemies occasionally yield useful items such as more ammunition or increased life.
In addition to all these different action modes, cinematic sequences elaborating the storyline appear between stages. Continues are unlimited, and a password is given for your current level each time you die. ~ Zachary Knowlton, All Game Guide