Dizzy – The Ultimate Cartoon Adventure

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Dizzy - The Ultimate Cartoon Adventure
Dizzy inlay.jpg
Developer(s) The Oliver twins
Publisher(s) Codemasters
Platform(s) Commodore 64, Amstrad CPC, ZX Spectrum, PC DOS
Release date(s) June 1987
Genre(s) Arcade adventure
Mode(s) Single player
Distribution Cassette

Dizzy, or Dizzy – The Ultimate Cartoon Adventure, was the first video game featuring the character Dizzy, an anthropomorphic egg. The game was designed by two British brothers, Philip and Andrew Oliver, frequently referred to as the Oliver twins. Dizzy was published by Codemasters and was released in June, 1987.[1]

Name origin[edit]

Dizzy gets his name from the character's tumbles and somersaults while jumping, a feature inspired by the Oliver Twins' graphics software Panda Sprites which enabled them to rotate an image easily so each frame did not have to be manually drawn. The software distorted complex sprites so the character was required to be simple, hence the choice of an egg.

Gameplay[edit]

The game is a platform adventure where Dizzy must search the fairy tale land of Katmandu for a Leprechaun's Wig, a Cloud's Silver Lining, a Vampire Dux Feather, and a Troll Brew and deposit them in a cauldron to make a potion to defeat the evil wizard Zaks. The gameplay involves collecting items and moving to other locations where the item is required; for example, at one point a raincoat is needed to protect against damaging rain. This is made more difficult because only one item can be carried at any given time.

Unlike later games in the series, which focus more on the inventory-based puzzles, this game features a very large number of hazards that kill the player on contact. With only three lives initially to complete the game, this makes it a very difficult game to complete by today's standards.

Plot[edit]

Dizzy was exploring the haunted forest, looking for some berries, flowers and a piece of wood with which to make a club when he uncovered a mystifying stone slab. Brushing the dirt aside he was able to read (after a great deal of head scratching) the faint inscription "The Avawiffovee Potion".

Dizzy remembered his Eggfather had spoken of such a potion. "It is the only way to rid our land of athletes foot, and it can also be used to destroy the Evil Wizard Zaks." Dizzy trembled with fear as he recalled these words.

Zaks brought fear to the village, he cast spells that turned people old, made men blind and caused it to rain every Sunday afternoon during Cricket. Dizzy was determined to put a stop to all this, he would be the hero of the yolkfolk.

He read on... "Fill a potion bottle with cooked Leprechauns wig, cloud silver lining, Vampire dux feather and some troll brew - cook the potion and throw it at Zaks to dissolve his reign." He covered it up and quickly made ready to liberate the land of Katmandu.

Reception[edit]

The ZX Spectrum version was voted the 5th best game of all time for Sinclair computers in a special issue of Your Sinclair magazine in 2004.[2]

J. Milton Hayes[edit]

The game includes several lines from J. Milton Hayes' poem The Green Eye of the Yellow God on banners in certain screens, where they serve as clues on how to solve some puzzles.

Creation[edit]

  • The Oliver Twins said in an interview, on the British television show "When Games Attack", that Dizzy was originally not supposed to be an egg at all but just a face with hands and feet. They then said they accepted everyone thought he was an egg and decided to go with that.
  • In the same interview, they also said they used to plan out levels on the back of spare rolls of wallpaper.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "World of Spectrum". Retrieved 24 April 2012. 
  2. ^ "Top 50 Games of All Time". Your Sinclair (Imagine Publishing). November 2004. 

External links[edit]