Sep 012010

[Richard Tarjan continues his journey through the Spectrum’s twilight years to tell us that there was, and still is, a thriving homebrew scene after the platform’s commercial demise. In previous editions (issue’s 2 & 3), we touched on the subject of new generation games, making and distributing of new software. In this edition we take a look at Dizzy clones… ]

Presented by Richard Tarjan

What is the quickest way of creating games? Using the level-editors, of course. Using this technique, new Russian episodes of the famous Dizzy games were developed. Here, we saw our famous egg hero exploring Russia or Ukraine, after taking a high level Russian language exam.

However, Dizzy was not only released on Spectrum but also on numerous other platforms, although the ZX has the most releases. The countless clones and variations made Dizzy a so-called cult figure, not only in Europe, but also in the area of ex-Soviet Union. That is the main reason of countless unofficial continuations. Dizzy games after 1993 include Dizzy X (1994), Dizzy X-2 (1995), Dizzy Warehouse (1996), Dizzy 8 (1996), Home Island Dizzy (1998), Dizzy ‘A’ (2000), Dizzy ‘B’ (2001), Dizzy XII (2001) and Dizzy Forever (2005).

Although there have been many Dizzy games released, just as many did not get past the demo stage, including Drunk Dizzy (1995), Dizzy XX (1995) and Dizzy in Rainbow (1996). One of the better looking of the unreleased games could be the game of n-Discovery: Dizzy: The Main Day. Development of the game was interrupted and, unfortunately, never finished, with only screenshots proving its existence. In contrast to the previous Dizzy games, The Main Day would have taken advantage of full-screen backgrounds, AY and General Sound effects. The quality of graphics was planned to improve by the Gigascreen method.

Other variants of Dizzy-clones – when the main character is replaced by someone different – were also developed. Fizzy was the creation of the authors of Dizzy X and X-2. Here we control a hearth instead of the egg. 48 Irons and Operation R. R. are the games of Galaxy. In these cases, the developer went further by not only transforming the hero but the outside of the playing area. Similar methods were applied to Adventures of Winnie Pooh 1 and 2 and the Zunny 1 and 2 games, as well in the case of Bolsevnik Stranu Oz.

A Russian folk tale figure, Kolobok, could not avoid the transformation into a Dizzy adventure game. The demo version of Softwarrior stands far closer to the original Dizzy games, like A. Bazarkin’s interpretation: this one has fairly primitive graphics. The hero of Smagly trilogy, Smagly in the first two episodes also appearing in a Dizzy-like game, and in the final part transformed into the aggressive main character of the crack of the Spanish action game, Astro Marine Corps. Hamon IV and Sliders are also Dizzy-clones.

The pinnacle of the variations is the Crime Santa Claus series as previously mentioned. After releasing the first episode, the follow up was cancelled and instead Crime Santa Claus: Deja Vu came out four years later.

[For more information on these games and emulation software, visit the excellent World of Spectrum website]

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