& Reviewed by Ryan Ferneau
Spellbound Dizzy was the fifth Dizzy adventure game
by number, although the chronology gets a little
confusing at this point, as Prince of the Yolkfolk was
released as a companion game based more on MagicLand
Dizzy's style, and Fantastic Dizzy was being developed
for systems other than the old "8-bit" computers. This
may be why Spellbound Dizzy was also the last Dizzy
title to receive an official number.
This adventure is one of the longest in the series, but
mainly through tedium: most areas in the game are
accessed via a long column of air flowing from the
centre of the earth, and every time you want Dizzy to
visit another one of them, he must bounce up and down on
a trampette to cross a pit to and from a quarry to fetch
rocks that will weigh him down enough to fall low enough
through the stream of air. And not only do these rocks
take up valuable inventory space, but they can't be set
down for later in most areas, because they instantly
crumble away to nothing when dropped on normal floors.
It takes a lot of patience to go through this routine
with the rocks in a game where one false move can lead
to death by surprise, and thus Spellbound Dizzy's
overall enjoyability is pretty debatable.
The game still includes the hunt for well-hidden
collectibles, this time 40 magic stars, but changes
things up by having Dizzy expend 5 of those stars on
each of Theo's spells in conjunction with a belonging
from the YolkFolk Dizzy intends to rescue. It's not the
end of the game when he finishes fetching all those
items, either: Theodore leaves Dizzy behind to find a
way to escape without magic, which requires locating
some objects found inside secret passages throughout the
game and combining them to form a kite. Like the
umbrella, the kite will carry Dizzy even higher up the
windy shaft, to the final object puzzle on the ceiling
of the cavernous world.
Perhaps responding to
criticism that Spellbound Dizzy was too long and boring,
or just to try to save disk space, CodeMasters released
a very different version of Spellbound Dizzy for the
Commodore 64, known as the "Lite" version. The idea is
that it's a shorter and easier quest, taking place in an
all-new smaller game world layout.
old Sinclair computer is now wired to be plugged in. Go,
electrical engineer Dizzy!
keystroke is all it takes!
A kickstart from a
Dizzy announces what
is happening to him before we see it happen.
across the table!
Squeezing through a
Look at that bulge!
Out into a well?
Phew! Made it in time
Let's select the
drill bit to use on it.
Dizzy, expert on
machine parts I didn't know existed. What's a "flange
Ready to drill!
Almost at the top...
It's where all of
Dizzy's friends are, awaiting the big reunion!
Out of the ground,
safe and sound. The End.
HOW WAS IT COMPLETED?:
Just played it through. It's not very long, and the
puzzles are easy to solve. But the game is coded
very sloppily in many places, and a lot of bugs have
been found in it, so the greatest challenge may be
avoiding a fatal bug, such as jumping over the edge
of the Evaporator screen into an endless void.
Like the other version of Spellbound Dizzy, this
game can be completed without sending all the
YolkFolk home, as the wizard Theo doesn't bother to
check that you've given him all of the other seven
characters' possessions once you collect the 16th
star. He will actually send himself home and give
you the plug while leaving the rest of the gang
behind! Therefore, if you want to see the complete
ending, you should leave one easy star uncollected
until Theo's performed the first seven spells.
version: No cheats, but I made memory snapshots
of the game frequently, as it is a very long game,
and I wanted to avoid unnecessary damage. This
Commodore 64 port is rather slow and poorly
programmed, and it lacks the additional dialogue of
the other 8-bit versions, or the Lite version, for
that matter. So although it's easier in a couple of
ways, such as by removing the fall damage and fixing
the flipper mechanics, I don't recommend playing
this version. If you do, don't put a firefly in the
jar until you use honey in the jar to collect all
the objects behind the bear, as it won't let you
take the firefly back out! Don't jump too high in
the upper-left regions of the cave, either...
SO WHAT HAPPENS?:
version: After wiring the plug to the computer
with the screwdriver, you can plug it into the large
wall socket to start up the pump in the Control
Centre as in the full version. But the pipe in this
room immediately sucks up Dizzy and sends him out a
wishing well on the surface world, and from there
Dizzy somehow finds all his friends on the next
screen. "WELL DONE!"
version: At the top of the game world are two
rooms, one containing a large drill bit, and another
containing a strange machine shaped like a cone with
the top missing. By carrying the drill bit to the
machine, Dizzy will attach it and climb inside. The
machine extends upward and bores through the ground,
eventually arriving at the same forest area everyone
else was sent to. Unlike the ZX Spectrum and Amstrad
CPC versions, Dizzy doesn't wander and jump around
this area as on the title screen, but you can freeze
Dizzy's idle animation by pushing left or right if
you want. Other action buttons will send you back to
I should note that the clouds have such broadly
defined collision boundaries that it's possible to
jump all the way to the top of the cavern without
the aid of the kite and the air currents. This would
give you an "alternate ending" where any characters
you didn't send home would not be there to greet you
in the forest village, though otherwise it works
like the standard win. You can also muck up the
ending by standing too close to the acid raindrop
when you use the drill bit so that it kills Dizzy
even though he's not visible there. Use the drill
bit again on your next life, and you may see a great
mass of sheet metal rise up with the drill!