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A
Frankie game? Would it be as good as their records, I wondered as I put the cassette into my C2N. A few moments later I was quite surprised to hear a brilliant version of 'Relax' as it loaded. The loading screen popped up seconds later -- great, how will the game play? Once the music had stopped, I pressed the fire button with anticipation and found myself in a boring old street full of terraced houses with the bassline from the start of the 'Two Tribes' 12 inch pounding from the monitor. On entering the house I was still more surprised, what nice decor and furniture. The attention to detail on household items is ridiculously meticulous. Once I'd got into the game, I started to enjoy myself.

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Running round other peoples' houses was quite good fun, although I don't know why they keep herrings in their washing machines. Once I'd got a video, I put it into the telly and was astonished to see this window thing iris from the screen. So surprised was I that I didn't enter it, although next time I did. When you start getting things worked out, you can whizz from situation to situation quite swiftly. There are many games within the game, some of which are really quite difficult. The music when you get inside the Pleasuredome is brilliant but the piece on the arcade screen called 'Flower Power' is just beyond belief! The graphics are truly marvellous, with the screen irising in and out at huge speeds.

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The subject matter of the game is very deep with realistic surroundings and surreal, abstract overtones, almost with dreamlike qualities, especially on the Flower screen. This piece of software is brilliant -- the only trouble being that once you've started you can go on forever, so as you get deeper into the game you just don't want to finish. (Just for the record: Saturday night 4.30 am Sunday night 6.30 am)! This is a stunning piece of software and unless you've got several spare hours (like all night), don't buy it or play 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!
Frankie Goes to Hollywood
1985 Ocean
Programmed by Denton Designs
 
Most text of the present article comes from the review published in the fifth issue of the British C64 magazine ZZAP!64 (September 1985).
 

FRANKIE GOES TO HOLLYWOOD
Ocean, 9.95 cass, joystick only.


SEPTEMBER


Here arrives Frankie, who steps into your 64 to give you adventures and experiences yet unimagined ... Welcome to the Pleasure Dome.

You play the part of an average member of the public in Mundaneland, an average suburban surrounding. Starting devoid of personality, you have to build up a character by completing the many tasks and objectives littered throughout the game. There are four factors to your

personality, sex, war, love and religion, and these all have to be built up to their maximum before you become a real person. You also have to build up pleasure points -- these are awarded for completing objectives. The ideal score is one of more than 87,000: when you get this you usually have a 99% personality and can enter the Pleasuredome.

Being Mr Joe Public in the urban wasteland of washing machines and videos is a boring one, inspired only by the fact that if you can build up enough of a personality and become a 'real' person then you can enter the Pleasuredome.

Playing the game is quite odd -- you can walk round the streets of suburbia and enter houses, sitting rooms and kitchens at your will. In these rooms are the objects of boring, everyday life, like comfy chairs, drawers, cupboards, videos, fires, fridges, flying ducks etc. You can reel and explore these and open them up. Sometimes 'feeling' an object will give you an experience and add valuable points to one of the four factors of your personality.

If you explore a drawer or cupboard then a 'window' will open up on screen. In this window will be a hand-like icon. Move this over one of the objects in the window, press the fire button and you can pick it up. It will drop automatically into your inventory (which you can access at any time). Depending on what the object is that you pick up, you are sometimes awarded personality points or a pleasure bonus. The objects that you collect can be used to help perform a task or may be used to lead you into the Pleasuredome maze.

Throughout the game you are presented with objectives, these happen quite strangely and unexpectedly. For example; pick up a video-cassette, move to the TV/video, access the inventory, move the icon over the video and press the fire button -- this will insert the video into the cassette. You gain points for this and a big window irises out of the centre of the screen. You're behind this, so run round and enter the window. You have to be quite fast otherwise the window will close, leaving you in front of the telly. If you do enter the window then the window grows bigger, filling the whole screen. You can then take part in whatever is happening on the screen, usually a game of some sort.

If you complete these games then you'll gain pleasure and character points and another window will open allowing you to get further into the game (and sometimes into the Pleasuredome). If you don't complete the game then you'll lose points all round and be put back into Mundanesville.

You can get to two of the games by going into certain rooms and touching the posters (mini representations of the games) on the wall. Both these games are quite tricky though, and unless you know what you re doing I wouldn't advise trying them. . . .

THE GAMES

Sea of Holes
Move your man into the holes to warp about the screen. Getting to the bottom of this isn't as difficult as it seems.

The Terminal Room
Plenty of things to see but what to do? This time it's got to be floppy to stick it in. A pass to pass and plenty of windows to enter, if you can get there.

Cybernetic Breakout
Just a good ol' fashion breakout, but a little bit harder . . . there's only one 'brick'!

Cupid's Arrows
Difficult one this . . . ride from hell to heaven on a cloud to become a saint. If you complete your task then you'll pick up something important.

Raid Over Merseyside
Shoot planes and bombs before Liverpool and Birkenhead get flattened.

Talking Heads
Reagan and Gorbachev (Or should it be Gobachev) spit it out. Go left or right to choose your politics.

Shooting Gallery
Don't miss a thing, so take your time. Really you should free the ducks before tackling this one.

War Room
Shoot everything . . . you need to be a real angel to complete this.

Flower Power
Simply pick a bunch.

ZIT Room
You can get out of this without completing the puzzle. Solving the puzzle is very hard but you can do it with a reasonable knowledge of the multiplication of matrices.

If you manage to enter the Pleasuredome, then try to map it. It becomes quite important to do so -- the doors which it contains lead to all the games AND back to the outside world. You don't want to enter a game room which you've completed, as this usually ends in the loss of points. When you are exploring the Pleasuredome then beware of the floating sparks, the ones which emerge from the manhole covers become a pain, but are easier dodged than the former. You can shoot the sparks, but be careful -- if one touches you then you'll lose points and end up back on the streets.

Within the game there is a little sleuthing 'sub game'. This comes in the form of a murder which happens sometime during the game. When a murder happens, every new location you visit thereafter will give you a clue. Using these clues, through a process of elimination you can find the murderer. Once you are confident that you have discovered the killer's identity, you can return to the room. When you re-enter the room you are given a list of the suspects and choose which one you think committed the crime. If you're right then you'll get a big bonus, guess wrong and you'll lose rather a lot of points!

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After a rather long delay and a fair bit of hype,
Frankie has at last made it to the 64 -- and it's certainly been worth the wait! What with the brilliant and original Shadowfire and now this . . . Denton Designs have done themselves proud and look set to become the household name in computer entertainment.

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The game is a doodle to get into with excellent graphics, outstanding soundtrack (which is atmospheric) and easy to use icons and windows. The many problems very between simple and complex in both conception and play and the fact that you aren't too heavily penalised for repeated failure makes things that much more addictive.

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I've never played anything so compelling as this -- it really was a case of not wanting to turn off once I'd started. I dunno quite what it is -- there's just something about
Frankie that makes you want to keep playing and playing and playing and . . . Relax! I can't explain it!

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    Presentation 92%
Superb loading screen, excellent instructions and easy to use control.

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This is a real stunner! Denton Designs seem bent on producing some of the best Commodore games around. Shadowfire was good, but this is absolutely superb!!! Although seeming weird at first, the game is very easy to get into and within a few minutes I found myself getting involved with an incredibly strange sort of game. The graphics are truly marvellous with plenty of attention to detail, the sound is just superb -- all my fave Frankie tunes compressed and implemented brilliantly into my micro. This game is a real classic and I'd strongly recommend you buy it now!
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Graphics 96%
Fabulous definition and colour all round, wonderful windows and easily identifiable icons.

Sound 98.5%
The Pleasure Dome LP comes to your micro in style
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Hookability 99%
Enforced addiction -- once you start, you won't wanna turn off.

Lastability 95%
A tough and pleasurable challenge in finding your personality.

Value For Money 97%
Great new game, re-mix and price.

Overall 97%
ZZAP! say . . . Yes!
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Htmlized by Dimitris Kiminas (24 Nov 2002)

Important Note: Due to some unorthodox methods used in its programming, this game has a habbit of crashing the various emulators. At the time of writting this, the game won't run with CCS64 but only with the latest edition of VICE.

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