Dizzy (series)

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The Dizzy series of computer games, published by Codemasters, was one of the most successful European computer game brands of the late 1980s. The games were based around a central figure: an intelligent egg-like creature called Dizzy. The games would typically involve Dizzy trying to save his friends and family, the Yolkfolk, often from the schemes of his nemesis, the evil wizard Zaks.

Most of the games in the series were platform games, with an emphasis on puzzle solving, similar to graphic adventures. Dizzy would roam around various fairytale-like locations, collecting objects, interacting with other characters, and solving logical puzzles. Rather than jumping in the conventional platform-game way, Dizzy would somersault and roll around the landscape; hence the name "Dizzy". The eight games which follow this style, usually referred to as the arcade adventures, are considered the 'core' games in the series; however, several spin-off titles were released, including Fast Food, Kwik Snax and Dizzy Down the Rapids.

Four games in the series were included in the Top 50 best games of all time in a special issue of Your Sinclair magazine in 2004.[1]

Development[edit]

Dizzy was created by the Oliver Twins (who later formed Interactive Studios). The Oliver Twins left the series after Fantasy World Dizzy, and the remaining games were developed by Big Red Software.

The first game in the series, called Dizzy - The Ultimate Cartoon Adventure, was released in June 1987.[2] At this point, Dizzy was not specifically intended to be an egg; the shape had been chosen because it was easy to rotate and animate.[3] The Yolkfolk characters were not introduced until the third game, Fantasy World Dizzy.

The earlier games were all programmed primarily for the Amstrad CPC and ZX Spectrum, with most of the games converted for the Commodore 64, Atari ST and Amiga at various stages. A few games were also converted for the NES, Mega Drive, Game Gear, and DOS. Some were unofficially ported to the Russian Electronics BK-0010 and Radio 86RK.

Games in the series[edit]

Core series[edit]

The first screen of Treasure Island Dizzy, ZX Spectrum version

Spin-Off games[edit]

These are games which feature Dizzy but have puzzle or action oriented gameplay which is substantially different from that of the main series.

1987

1990

1991

1992

Compilations[edit]

1992

  • Dizzy's Excellent Adventures
    • Kwik Snax
    • Dizzy Panic
    • Dizzy Down The Rapids
    • Dizzy: Prince Of The Yolkfolk
    • Spellbound Dizzy

1993

  • The Excellent Dizzy Collection
    • Go! Dizzy Go! (Previously unreleased)
    • Dizzy the Adventurer (A renamed conversion of Dizzy: Prince Of The Yolkfolk)
    • Panic Dizzy (A renamed conversion of Dizzy Panic)

1994

  • The Big 6
    • Dizzy: Prince of the Yolkfolk
    • Crystal Kingdom Dizzy
    • Fantastic Dizzy (in an enhanced AGA version)
    • Treasure Island Dizzy
    • Spellbound Dizzy
    • Magicland Dizzy

The Excellent Dizzy Collection (available on the Sega Master System and Game Gear) was originally intended to include the 9th game in the core Dizzy series, Wonderland Dizzy. However the Codemasters marketing team were unhappy with the idea of two similar games in the same package, and it was decided that since Dizzy The Adventurer (a renamed Dizzy: Prince Of The Yolkfolk) was already almost completed and was generally agreed to be the better of the two games then it should be the one included. Following this decision work on Wonderland Dizzy was effectively halted. Wonderland Dizzy's place in the compilation was taken by a conversion of Dizzy Panic. The third game in the pack was Go! Dizzy Go!, an action-oriented game which had not been previously released.

Games available on cover tapes/disks[edit]

1986

  • Dizzy - Crash Special Edition

1987

  • Treasure Island Dizzy - Crash Special Edition

1988

  • Dizzy - Amstrad Action Special Edition

1990

  • Dizzy 3 And A Half - Into Magicland (A short game which acts as a prologue to Magicland Dizzy)

1993

  • Easter Eggstravaganza (An Easter themed variation on Fast Food Dizzy given away with Amiga Action and ST Action magazines)[4]

1994

  • Christmas Dizzy (Given away with the January 1994 issue of Amiga Power)

Unreleased games[edit]

Parody games[edit]

This game featured similar gameplay to the Dizzy series (although the game was much shorter) and stars Giddy, an egg very much like Dizzy except that rather than wear boxing gloves he simply had very large hands.

There was a sequel, Giddy 2, also on Amiga, and a third game, Giddy 3, made in 2000 for DOS, then ported in February 2009 to Windows, Mac OS X, Wii, AmigaOS 4 and MorphOS.

The Yolkfolk[edit]

The yolkfolk were the egg characters who make up Dizzy's friends and family, and as such were the main characters in the series.

  • Dizzy was the main character of all of the Dizzy games, and was the one controlled by the player. Like all of the yolkfolk, Dizzy was an egg with boxing gloves, and had no identifying features. First seen in Dizzy: The Ultimate Cartoon Adventure.
  • Daisy was Dizzy's girlfriend in the series, and the object of several of the games was to rescue her from some terrible fate. Daisy was identified from the rest of the yolkfolk by her hair. First seen in Fantasy World Dizzy.
  • Denzil tried his best to be the 'cool' one, and was never away from his music. Denzil could be identified from the rest of the yolkfolk by his walkman and shades. First seen in Fantasy World Dizzy.
  • Dora was a late addition to the yolkfolk, and one of the youngest. Dora could be identified from the rest of the yolkfolk by the bow in her hair. First seen in Magicland Dizzy, she is Dizzy's sister.
  • Dozy was the sleepiest of the yolkfolk, and was almost never awake. Dozy could be identified from the rest of the yolkfolk by the fact that he was always asleep, and often had floating Z's to show this. First seen in Fantasy World Dizzy.
  • Dylan was a Hippie, and very interested in nature. Dylan could be identified from the rest of the yolkfolk by his headband. First seen in Fantasy World Dizzy.
  • Grand Dizzy was a yolkfolk elder, and Dizzy's grandfather. Grand Dizzy could be identified from the rest of the yolkfolk by his walking stick and white beard (originally a black moustache in his first appearance in Fantasy World Dizzy).
  • Danny was Dizzy's nephew from a neighbouring village. He appeared only once in a ZX Spectrum exclusive, Into Magicland - a five screen mini-adventure given away with the Christmas edition of Crash magazine in order to promote Magicland Dizzy.

The future[edit]

The Oliver twins and Codemasters who both own 50% of the intellectual property have expressed interest in resurrecting the series, although the twins concede;

The Oliver twins' software company, Blitz Games (with the permission of Codemasters) have experimented with their artists to demonstrate what the Dizzy series might look and feel like if revisited and produced a one minute video clip with an online petition to see if there was consumer interest. The online petition was later moved to Yolkfolk.com.

The creators have also expressed interest in re-releasing the existing titles to handheld platforms such as mobile phones.

In October 2011, the website EggCitingNews.com[5] was registered by Codemasters Software Ltd. The main page on the site featured a pair of eyes peering from an egg carton, accompanied by the phrase "Guess who's back?".

On November 23, 2011, the website DizzyGame. com was opened, featuring details of the new release. The first game to be released on a mobile platform will be Dizzy: Prince of the Yolkfolk, developed by Paul Ranson, who worked on the original 1991 title, with updated music by Codemasters' sound designer Mark 'TDK' Knight.

Codemasters released a remake version of Dizzy: Prince of the Yolkfolk on December 9, 2011 for iOS and Android.[6]

On November 23, 2012, the Oliver Twins launched a Kickstarter project titled 'Dizzy Returns', the game was to be the first official sequel in over 20 years.
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/theolivertwins/dizzy-returns
The Oliver Twins asked Dizzy fans to help pledge £350,000 into the Kickstarter campaign in order for the game to be made.
Unfortunately, on 21 December 2012 (which was the Kickstarter project's deadline) only £25,620 was pledged into the campaign. The Oliver Twins announced on the same day that 'Dizzy Returns' is no longer in development.

Fan created games[edit]

The Oliver Twins have explicitly stated that they will normally tolerate fan created games based on the Dizzy franchise that are made freely available, respect the brand and include a prescribed license message.

Although Codemasters have not spoken about their approach to the property, other than not to allow free distribution of the genuine titles, and Blitz make clear that they do not consider their statement a definitive or binding legal text this has led to a comparatively high number of fan titles for the Dizzy series.

In 2006, a specialised game engine was released called DizzyAGE,[7] enabling fans to easily create their own games in the style of the original Spectrum games. Fans previously had to use other game engines, which were not always suited to the puzzle style of the Dizzy games. The makers of DizzyAGE continually update the engine,[8] and run a competition each year to find the best game from the previous year. There are currently over 90 fan games listed on the DizzyAGE website.[9]

See also[edit]

Seymour series, a similar franchise, also from Codemasters.

References[edit]

  • Games, No. 27, pp. 104–109, Australia

External links[edit]