> GAME INFO

Spellbound Dizzy

• Publisher: Codemasters
• Developer:
Codemasters
Release Date: 1991
Code: Andy Torkington

GFX: Unknown
Music: Allister Brimble

Our Game Rating: 87%
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FILE: spellbounddizzyend.zip


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> SPELLBOUND DIZZY by Codemasters


• Completed & 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.

The Lite version...


The old Sinclair computer is now wired to be plugged in. Go, electrical engineer Dizzy!


One keystroke is all it takes!


A kickstart from a kick star.


Dizzy announces what is happening to him before we see it happen.


Vacuumed headfirst across the table!


Squeezing through a pipe!


Look at that bulge!


Out into a well?


Phew! Made it in time for tea.


The End.

The Full version...


Let's select the drill bit to use on it.


Dizzy, expert on machine parts I didn't know existed. What's a "flange grommet"?


Ready to drill!


Getting there...


Almost at the top...


It's where all of Dizzy's friends are, awaiting the big reunion!


"Yaaaaaaaay"


Out of the ground, safe and sound. The End.

HOW WAS IT COMPLETED?:

The Lite version: 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.

The Full 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?:

The Lite 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!"

The Full 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 the title.

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!

COMMENTS:

Lite version:

  • Ryan: Well, the escape through the pipe certainly was different. A simple ending like this doesn't seem so bad after such a short game, but I could see many players being disappointed that they didn't get the more challenging hundred-screens version.

  • Vinny: I disagree! I think this ending is really cool...

    Back in the day, I used to own this version (though I had no idea it was the 'lite' version) and played it for hours on end trying to complete it. I finally gave up as I was convinced that there wouldn't be an ending - or at least one worth seeing. Twenty odd years later, Ryan sends us the ending and I am actually quite shocked! On this site, we have become quite blasť about Codemasters' lacklustre endings and so it's refreshing to actually see one of their games with a good one. This has definitely got my vote.

Full version:

  • Ryan: The whole game leads up to your return home well, and the surprise twist with having to find the drill was interesting, but just seeing everyone stand around in one room left me cold. Perhaps I was a little underwhelmed because the story is essentially just Dizzy cleaning up his own big mistake, rather than achieving something new or righting someone else's wrong. It's not really my kind of video game story.

  • Vinny: Again - I wasn't expecting any kind of animated sequence and just the typical 'WELL DONE' message. I like this ending and know that I would have been very excited to see it after playing through the whole game. All in all, both endings are very satisfactory and have certainly made an impact for me.

Both versions comments:

  • Andrew Fisher: I've only briefly played Spellbound Dizzy Lite, for me the best of the series was Fantasy World Dizzy (with Crystal Kingdom Dizzy a close second because of its much better graphics and better control).

    But this is interesting - two very different endings, and both well put together with lots of extra animation and screens. Would make completing the game quite satisfying, and worthy of high marks.

  • Brenda Phoenix: Well who would have thought it? Codemasters plus a satisfying ending - the two just do not go together!

    I too was unaware that there was a Lite version of this game. Good little endings though and shows they can do it when they want to.

    I still fancy a play with the adjustable flange!

  • Andy Vaisey: diZzy mUst DIE...

  • Gaz Spence: The endings bring decent closure to both versions, that's for sure. Never really got into the Dizzy games myself, but different strokes for different folks, I guess.

FINAL SAY: Two cool endings for the price of... erm... two games ;)

G.E. RATING: 8 / 10

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Copyright ©Vinny Mainolfi