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Right! All you smarmy platform freaks have a bash at this monsterous game. The graphics are naff and the sound's appalling -- but it is such a great game. The random element is appealing, and it is usually a case of jumping before thinking. It's a hard task to complete a series of screens, because you have to spend time getting to know the layout of the platforms. Definitely a game for all platform addicts -- a Game Killer might prove helpful too!

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Believe it or not
Hercules is a great game. The action is fast and furious -- in fact I don't think there's a more frenetic and addictive platform game available. It looks abysmal, and the sound is even worse. But the game itself is brilliant. I love it. If it was female, I'd marry it.

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Welcome to Game of the Week! Each week there will be a new featured game on this page. The game may be good, average or diabolically bad, it really doesn't matter! Just look at the pics, read the text and enjoy the nostalgia! :-) Game of the Week! is open to contributions so if you would like to contribute a game article for this page you're more than welcome to! Every article we receive will be considered!
Hercules
1984 Interdisc
Programmed by Steve Bak
 
Most text of the present article comes from the review published in the seventeenth issue of the British C64 magazine ZZAP!64 (street date: July 21st, 1986).
 

HERCULES
Alpha/Omega (CRL), 4.95 cass, joystick only


Now you all know the legend of Hercules . . . No? Ah -- well then . . . Are we sitting comfortably? Then I'll begin. Once upon a time there was this guy called Hercules. One day he killed his wife and kids in a fit of mad rage, so overcome by grief and remorse he consulted the Oracle at Delphi to ask how he should earn his forgiveness. He was told to go and serve King Eurystheus for twelve years, performing all the tasks commanded of him. If Hercules survived he would become immortal and take his place among the Gods on Mount Olympus.

Hercules, the game, contains fifty platform screens and from these, eleven of the twelve quests are randomly selected (only when Hercules has completed all eleven tasks can he attempt the twelfth). Each quest is set on a platform screen which is usually infested by various nasties. But don't think the platforms are there to help you -- no, if you stand on them for too long they may burst into flames, or simply fade away, leaving Hercules a Kentucky fried Hero or a free falling clod.

Not all the platforms are that bad, though -- some of them actually help you. There you are, falling some great height when -- KAZAM! a platform appears and breaks your fall. Occasionally lurking amongst these self-combusting platforms are some helpful ropes which you can climb, although hitting the top of the rope causes Hercules to fall.

On each screen there is a target to reach. This takes the shape of an animal or object pertaining to the task, such as a lion or a hydra. Completing the screen transforms the beast into a door which leads to the next task.

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Don't be misled by the sick graphics and sound -- underneath this pixel abortion is a brilliant platform game just screaming to be let out. It's true to say that the graphics and sound are totally appalling -- just look at that screen shot and laugh! The game itself won't have you laughing though, it had me screaming and yelling in frustration, and I reckon the author of the game is a descendant of the Marquis de Sade. The screens are deviously thought out and most of them require a lot of perseverance before they can be completed.
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What I really liked was the fact that you could start on any number of screens, making it nice and varied to play. Everything is played at one hell of a speed, and although most of the screens have a pattern, split second reflexes are needed to actually complete them. As for addictiveness -- this game really has it -- it had me glued to the Commodore when I should have been doing reviews. It's a brilliant game which definitely shouldn't be missed.
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Presentation 79%

Naff title screen, but high score table can be saved for posterity, and the random accessing of 'tasks' is a neat idea.

Graphics 21%
The 64 should have been on the pill to prevent the graphics from being conceived.

Sound 20%
Does to the ears what the graphics do to the eyes
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Hookability 76%
Almost too frustrating to be worthwhile...

Lastability 94%
...but perseverence reaps its own reward.

Value For Money 96%
Less than a fiver for 50 action packed screens.

Overall 92%
Don't judge a book by its cover -- beneath the awful exterior lies a superb platform game.
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Htmlized by Dimitris Kiminas (28 Oct 2007)
Only the first of the above screenshots existed in the original review.

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