🐳 Featured Group: Gameplay feature: Auto-mapping

Hunchback

aka: El Jorobado
Moby ID: 23031
Oric Specs
Included in See Also

Description

Victor Hugo never could have expected that his creation Quasimodo, the Hunchback of Notre Dame, would run such an obstacle course as is dished up in this game, dodging fireballs and arrows while leaping over pits and pikemen, sometimes with the help of a swinging bell-pull rope, in hopes of rescuing his beloved Esmeralda from the top tower -- all while being slow-but-steady chased across the castle parapets by an invincible knight in full armour. Once you get the hang of any individual obstacle, the game starts throwing them at you in tandem, until toward the end you're tracking the swing of the rope, the thrust of the lance, the approach of the arrow and the advance of the knight all simultaneously. Succeed, against all odds, and you get to do it again, but faster! Even an able-bodied protagonist would have a hard time juggling all these threats, but the player must succeed controlling a handicapped person.

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Screenshots

Credits (Oric version)

Written by

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 65% (based on 14 ratings)

Players

Average score: 2.4 out of 5 (based on 25 ratings with 2 reviews)

Platformers have gone a long way since 1983

The Good
Some of the bells make sounds when you touch them. It's a competent platformer for 1983.

The Bad
Quasimodo has the strangest walking animation I've ever seen. The game is very strict on your jumps being precise when trying to get on a rope and jump over the guards with lances. There are sections where arrows and fireballs are shot at the left side of the screen just before Quasimodo gets hit which makes it almost impossible to dodge right away.

The Bottom Line
I'm probably spoiled by playing much better platformers released after this game, so I can understand why people have fond memories of playing this when it came out.

Arcade · by 45th&47th (851) · 2024

Excellent and addictive at the same time.

The Good
Ever since their inception in the early Eighties, Ocean Software has produced a handful of licensed games and arcade conversions. They tried and failed with original titles such as Mr. Wimpy and The Chinese Juggler. Their next title after that is Hunchback, and in my opinion, the game is pretty much faithful to its arcade parent.

The game opens up with Robin Hood (oops, I mean Quasimodo) jumping his way toward the starting point. You are trying desperately to rescue Esmeralda, but various screens full of obstacles stand between the two of you. Correct timing and precision are required to get past most of these, and a knight is chasing you to make sure you get a move on. A new screen appears once you ring the bell, and it appears below the orange line in the status bar; manage to get five of these and you will likely be awarded an extra life. A small map in the bottom-left corner shows your current position from Esmeralda. If you leave the game idle on the title screen, you are actually treated with a short attract mode, which ends with the text “featuring The Bells” as if the bells themselves are actually a music group.

While Quasi is getting to his starting point, the game shows you some of the screens you can expect to get through. In the first of these, you are just running toward the bell, jumping over a single fireball en route. The next screen after this has you swinging to the other side where a bell awaits. Timing is crucial to avoid falling down into the pit below. On screen three are gaps in the ramparts you need to jump over. In screen four, now the same gaps are occupied by knights that stick their lances up in the air. Screen five features the same knights with a fireball coming toward you. Screen six is the same as the second. In screen seven, you have to immediately jump to avoid the arrow coming at you from the left. Subsequent screens after this one are a mixture of these obstacles.

One thing that I like about the game is the ability to change direction while you are jumping; if you are jumping over an obstacle while facing right, and you are afraid that you won’t make it, you can turn left.

The graphics in the C-64 version are much better than its arcade parent, and I am glad that the game’s developer has put so much detail into it. Although inappropriate to the game’s theme, the rendition of “The Teddy Bears’ Picnic” is quite nice. The effect that plays when arrows or fireballs appear is akin to someone lighting a cigarette lighter. The lack of speech synthesis (as heard in the arcade version) is understandable, given that Hunchback was released long before the ESS became a thing.

The game is addictive. I found myself having just one more go in an attempt to get past the screen that has given me the most trouble. A colorful high score table is well presented, showing entries restricted to three initials. The further you get through the screens, the more chance that you get to enter your name.

The Bad
I could not find any faults about this game.

The Bottom Line
Hunchback is a great game from Ocean, in which you have to navigate screen after screen, avoiding obstacles, in an attempt to rescue your sweetheart. The graphics and sound are great, and it is highly addictive. Several rip-offs of the game were made to capitalize on its success, but most of them are crap. Definitely a title well worth checking out if you have a C-64 handy.

Commodore 64 · by Katakis | カタキス (43086) · 2021

Discussion

Subject By Date
PC version should be split out Игги Друге (46653) Jan 18, 2014

Trivia

Cancelled Atari 8-Bit version

Steven MacIlwee converted the game to the Atari 8-bit lineage, but this version never made it past the prototype stage.

Awards

  • ACE (Advanced Computer Entertainment)
    • February 1991 (issue #41) - Included in the list Greatest Games of all Time, section Platform-based Games (editorial staff choice)

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Hunchback 96
Released 1997 on DOS
Super Hunchback
Released 1992 on Game Boy, 2021 on Windows, Antstream
Hunchback of Notredame
Released 2001 on PlayStation
Hunchback: The Adventure
Released 1986 on Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum, Amstrad CPC
Hunchback II: Quasimodo's Revenge
Released 1984 on Commodore 64, 1985 on ZX Spectrum, Amstrad CPC
Hunchback 2: Rampart Rampage
Released 1998 on DOS
Hunchback of Notre Dame
Released 1996 on Windows 3.x, Macintosh
Hunchback at the Olympics
Released 1984 on Arcade, Commodore 64
Disney's The Hunchback of Notre Dame: 5 Topsy Turvy Games
Released 1996 on Windows, Windows 3.x

Identifiers +

  • MobyGames ID: 23031
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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Pseudo_Intellectual.

Dragon 32/64 added by Martin Smith. Antstream added by lights out party. Electron added by Игги Друге. BBC Micro added by formercontrib.

Additional contributors: Martin Smith, Patrick Bregger, Jo ST.

Game added February 19, 2020. Last modified May 5, 2024.