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The Warlock of Firetop Mountain (computer game)

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The Warlock of Firetop Mountain
WarlockOfFiretopMountainThe
Game Cover
Outline
Developer Crystal Computing
Publisher(s) Puffin Books
Designer Neil Mottershead and Simon Brattel
Platform(s) ZX Spectrum 48k
Release Date 1984
Genre Arcade: Maze
Media Tape (Compact audio cassette)
Book based on The Warlock of Firetop Mountain


For other uses of The Warlock of Firetop Mountain, see The Warlock of Firetop Mountain

The Warlock of Firetop Mountain was converted into a computer game by Crystal Computing and published by Puffin Books. It was deemed an "arcade" style game as opposed to all later conversions which were "adventure" style games.

ReleaseEdit

WOFTMscreenshot

Screenshot from the game

The December 1983 issue of magazine Micro Adventurer[1], reported that Penguin Books were about to move into the science fiction software market with its children's brand, Puffin Books, about to release The Korth Trilogy and The Warlock of Firetop Mountain. The release date was said to be December 8, 1983[2] and the January 1984 edition of Sinclair User[3] carried a full page advert for "The Puffin Personal Computer Collection" which was these four book conversions.[4]

One of the selling points of the game was that it would come in two styles of release, one with just the game, the other within a Software Pack which included both the game as well as the "original bestselling book". This was hailed by some quarters, citing it as displaying Penguin's experience in marketing by producing this "excellent packaging"[5].

The game was created by Neil Mottershead and Simon Brattel of Crystal Computing who had come to prominence with their game Halls of the Things in 1983. This game had been widely lauded and was awarded game of the year by Sinclair User. Following this success, Crystal were approached to convert The Warlock of Firetop Mountain into a computer game for the ZX Spectrum. The game they produced, however, was said to bear a strong resemblance to Halls of the Things, (in some cases being described as "almost identical to"), and had little to do with the book upon which it was said to be based.[6] However, although similar to Halls of the Things it was also described as being more playable and with better graphics.[7] The magazine Micro Adventurer whilst hailing the game also noted the similarities were so great that buying both games would be pointless. This magazine also echoed the Computer and Video Games magazine review by saying that the game bore little resemblance to the book.[8]

Notable features of this game were the fact that the screen scrolled in all four directions and that the computer generated the maze randomly each time[9]

A further impact of the game was that it meant that Fighting Fantasy was covered more readily in the increasing popular Spectrum-oriented magazines.[10]

CoverEdit

FF01softwarepack

ZX Spectrum Software Pack

The cover art used for the game was the same as used for the original book and was therefore by Peter Andrew Jones. The game was created so early on the life of Fighting Fantasy that it did not feature the Fighting Fantasy Logo because it had not been created at that time. However, "The Puffin Personal Computer Collection" tag that described the computer game series that the game was a part of continued with later releases of The Citadel of Chaos and The Forest of Doom. These later two games did not continue in the "arcade" style vein however, and were created as "adventure" games. This may have been in response to the criticism that the game was not true to the book. Perhaps it is the shift from arcade to adventure that terminated Puffin's relationship with Crystal Computing.

FF01softwarepackInside

Contents of ZX Spectrum Software Pack

All Variations within PlatformsEdit

  • ZX Spectrum 48k
  • "Software Pack" - ZX Spectrum 48k

See AlsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. Micro Adventurer - December 1983 (Issue 2, page 7)
  2. However, the game was reportedly released in 1984 according to World of Spectrum.
  3. Sinclair User - January 1984 (Issue 22, page 16)
  4. World of Spectrum
  5. Micro Adventurer - March 1984 (Issue 4, page 24)
  6. Computer and Video Games - March 1984 (Issue 29, page 151)
  7. Crash - February 1984 (Issue 1, page 12)
  8. Micro Adventurer - February 1984 (Issue 4, page 24)
  9. Sinclair User - (Issue 23, page 50)
  10. A particular interesting article on the beginnings of Games Workshop and Steve Jackson's and Ian Livingstone's early years can be found in the July 1984 issue of Micro Adventurer (Issue 9, page 8) which may not have appeared had the game not been released.

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