Magic Knight, who previously starred in Finders Keepers,
is back on the small screen with the release of Spellbound.
This time the hero in a tin can is in a spot of bother
with his pall and tutor, Gimbal the Wizard. Though adept
at his craft, the poor magician is getting a little
bit senile as old age creeps up on him, and as a result
he made a slight mistake in casting a rice pudding improvement
rune. Instead of having a something nice for afters,
Gimbal and Manic Knight were zapped a million miles
and years away to the mythical castle of Karn.
the tutor and scholar were not the only ones to be mystically
teleported -- a whole bunch of characters were ripped
out of the space-time continuum and deposited within
the castle. Since none of the other characters were
really of the heroic type, Magic Knight decided that
it was down to him to place all the different chaps
and chapesses back into their respective times and homes.
are eight other characters, including Gimbal, around
the place and although they won't actively come to MK's
aid -- due to the lethargy induced when they were warped
across mind staggering amounts of space/time -- their
help can be obtained by clever interaction. As a result
the different persons within the Spellbound universe
have to be looked after, and without the correct intervention
it's all too possible to have one of them go and die
on Magic Knight. The game ends if this happens.
is a full implementation of an adventure within an arcade
framework. The joystick is used to move MK between different
locations whereas more complex actions are achieved
by a person/computer interface known us Windovision.
Pressing fire calls up the first menu, and allows access
through it's various branches to a whole range of commands.
The system is wholly dynamic, as the commands available
to Magic Knight depend upon the objects within his inventory.
A handy hand shaped pointer is used in conjunction with
up and down to select a command and fire selects it.
As the pointy-fingered paw passes various options, they
highlight. The main commands available are those found
in any type of text adventure: get, drop, give, take,
examine, read and so on.
any real person, Magic Knight has to look after his
energy reserves. Using the examine command upon himself
results in a fairly detailed resume of his current state
of health. His physical state also affects how many
objects he can carry -- picking up an artifact when
in an exhausted state causes the 'TOO HEAVY' message
to appear. All the other characters have their own energy
status and MK must also look after them. With their
wits dimmed by teleportation, the poor souls don't even
know when to sleep; it's up to MK to tell them.
castle itself is a fairly interesting sort of place
and is displayed as a series of flip screens, as our
hero heroically bounds between them. The screens are
labelled to make them easier to remember, and there're
seven floors to castle Karn. To get between them a lift
must be used and the commands needed to manipulate the
lift pop into the window when appropriate. Neat, eh?
complete the game, Gimbal must be rescued from the king
of the castle who is holding him and then the senile
sage will be able to bestow upon the player the happy
ending he deserves.