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The Fantastic Adventures of Dizzy

aka: Fantastic Dizzy
Moby ID: 3142
NES Specs
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The evil wizard Zaks has cast a spell on the peaceful Yolkfolk, and while many fell under his spell, others have other problems to deal with, including Dizzy, who saw his girlfriend Daisy kidnapped and taken hostage by Zaks, and it's up to him to restore the Yolkfolk to normal and rescue Daisy from the top of the Cloud Castle's tower.

The most technically-advanced of Dizzy's adventure games in many ways, it was the only one to feature actual scrolling rather than a flick-screen system, the only one not to be released for the 8 bit computers the character originated on, the only one to originate on a console, as well as featuring many mini-games, such as Bubble Dizzy and an Operation Wolf clone.

Gameplay involves walking Dizzy through the levels, picking up objects and using them to solve simple puzzles. There are plenty of tests of arcade skill along the way as well, as gaps must be jumped and baddies avoided - starting with a limited number of lives, the player can earn more by completing Theodore's puzzle. Before rescuing Daisy the player must capture all stars that unlock the gates of the tower.

This game was later re-released on the NES with an updated Aladdin cart version. Updates include the number of collectible stars have increased from 100 stars to 250 stars, Dizzy now walks at a brisker pace, there are small terrain differences, some item placements have been rearranged, and the inventory system has become more simplified.

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Credits (NES version)

8 People

Game Design by the Oliver Twins
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Reviews

Critics

Average score: 67% (based on 30 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.1 out of 5 (based on 29 ratings with 4 reviews)

Dizzy went out with a bang!

The Good
This is the biggest and most varied Dizzy game (at least when only counting the original games - some Dizzy AGE fan games, for example "Illusion Island Dizzy" by Jamie Douglas, can take even longer to complete). As most Dizzy games, it isn't too complicated in terms of storyline, but makes nice use of ideas from previous games. Parts of the plot or at least just item uses from pretty much all previous games are repeated here: "Jack and the Beanstalk" inspirations and the cloud castle - "Fantasy World Dizzy"! Frozen Denzil or Dora turned into a frog - "Magicland"! Standing on a chest to jump on a cliff - "Treasure Island Dizzy"! Also one of the minigames, with Dizzy jumping on bubbles to get out of the water, has been used as a separate game, part of the "Dizzy arcade series".
In almost all Dizzy games there are some "collectables" beside usable items - Dizzy has to collect a given number of something to be able to proceed in the end. Some of them were hidden - coins behind the leaves in "Fantasy World Dizzy", cherries in a treehouse or behind a radio in "Prince of the Yolkfolk". Here there are a whole 250 magic stars and luckily none of them are hidden. Which doesn't mean they are always easy to find - it's not unlikely to overlook some of them - especially in the mine cart minigame. Usually stars "tell" you which direction to choose, but a few junctions aren't that well made - maybe they weren't tried out by the developers from the point of view of star visibility? Anyway, sometimes you need to choose direction without yet being able to see any stars in one of these directions. And it isn't obvious if you can retry it - see "The Bad".
Anyway, as I have pointed out, it's the most varied Dizzy game. It consists of several "worlds": the Yolkfolk village, the town, the mine, the sea... It also includes three minigames: "Bubble Dizzy", crossbow shooting and the mine cart ride, plus the sliding puzzle to win extra lives. It's a pity that yet another minigame known from the two NES versions, "Dizzy Down the Rapids", wasn't included in other versions. When you move between various parts of the game, the change is also mode clear by a change in music.
By the way, the melodies are really beautiful. The graphics too. This game has the most detailed backgrounds of any Dizzy game and is the only original Dizzy game to have a day-night system. The sky and other parts of the background change color as time passes - the sky is yellow and blue in the morning, yellow and pink in the afternoon, blue and orange-brown in the evening and dark blue in the night. However, this beauty comes at a certain price: no more versions for 8-bit computers. "Fantastic Adventures of Dizzy" only had versions for computers and consoles that allowed excellent (DOS, Amiga, Genesis) or at least good (NES) graphic quality.

The Bad
Definitely the biggest drawback is no save options. Maybe the authors thought: "This HAS to be difficult!". Or maybe: "Dizzy games are adventure-arcade hybrids and arcade games usually don't have a save option". Anyway, what was OK in smaller games that could be completed in an hour when you already know what to do, is quite problematic in such a large game. For me a game of this size seems clearly too big not to allow saving.
(Let me compare it to the situation with a few other games. I have a set of Amiga Dizzy games with an in-built emulator. However, it's pretty hard for my computer, which tends to overheat like all laptops. I can complete the whole Amiga version of "Prince of the Yolkfolk" in one go, but it's completely impossible with bigger games such as "Spellbound Dizzy" - the computer will sooner overheat and shut itself down. Luckily, the Amiga emulator allows saving. If my computer found DOS games as hard to process, I wouldn't be able to finish this one.)
As I already mentioned, there is a problem with repeating the mine cart ride if you complete it without collecting all stars. It may be just a bug - anyway, I've had this situation once and I discovered that the first mine lift remained on the lower level and couldn't be called back. So when you go to the mine cart, better find a map on the Internet, complete all other tasks in the mine and have one free slot in your inventory...
The game is sometimes too easy. Lots of items are just laying about, close to the place where they are used. Of course, not all of them - there are items you have to carry a long way before you can use them - but some are just too close. To free Denzil you need a bit of wood and a match - OK, the match is found quite far away, but the wood is almost next to Denzil's hut. For me it seems too many items are just scattered about and too few are won through actions.

The Bottom Line
This game is different than most Dizzy games. It features some purely technical changes, such as side-scrolling instead of separate screens (in most Dizzy games those screens also have their titles) or several melodies in one game. However, first of all it's so varied it often feels like several games in one. This was already the end of official Dizzy games for many years, so fans can at least be happy that the series concluded with such good games as "Fantastic Adventures of Dizzy" and "Crystal Kingdom Dizzy". And it were fans who kept the "Dizzy brand" alive despite the official publishers for years not showing interest in bringing Dizzy back.

DOS · by Nowhere Girl (8680) · 2012

Different to be sure!

The Good
When you fire this game up, the first thing that strikes you is the clean, almost stick figure character rendering. The backgrounds are more lush than the characters, throwing them in contrast. It is strangely refreshing. While most game makers were trying to outdo each other in graphics, this game is almost elegant in it's minimalist character and item rendering.
The game play is straight forward. Save your kidnapped sister from the evil nogoodnik through exploration, item recovery and puzzle solving. The game itself is a two dimensional side to side/up & down scrolling game. Dizzy's world is surprisingly large, and you have a lot to do. Some area's are locked until you get items to help you gain entry.
The puzzles offered are simple (picture puzzles) to fairly difficult logic puzzles. They are somewhat diabolical in that you don't know how to solve some of them until you come across an item later.
You meet other friends who give you tips and other "monsters" that range from simple fire, spiders, rynos, spitting mini volcano's, and many more.
The fun is getting clues, finding items and figuring out how and where to use them!

The Bad
At the most you can only carry 3 items, you can drop them anywhere so you can make an area your "staging" area, storing items for future use, food, etc. The problem is sometimes you don't have enough room to carry all your booty you've found or need. The problem is compounded when you travel far and through dangerous areas only to find "I shoulda taken that rope/ladder/poison etc. instead!” You now have to go all the way back and restock. That gets a bit boring, especially when you loose lives doing boring things!
Dizzy is a bit wonky to work with. His movements are basic walking and jumping. It takes a lot of practice to get a feel on his jumping. Being an egg, basketball ain't his sport! He don't jump high and when he lands, he tends to roll, just like an egg! This is annoying when he rolls off a ledge or rolls into something dangerous!
One other thing, the music while charming at first gets repetitive fast and will grate on you early. It is oddly electronic and makes you itch.

The Bottom Line
In the world of games this one is unusual. The game and characters are fun and cute. Halo it ain't of course, but if you like to solve puzzles this is a fine game to have in your collection.

NES · by Oblio (97) · 2006

Adventure-exploring at its best

The Good
Fantastic Dizzy is one of those games where everything seems to be in tune, with nothing looking bad or terribly misplaced. Starting with the graphics, they make the most from the machine. All scenarios and characters have vibrant colours and are well detailed, from the guillotines in the town to the trees in the graveyard. Then, there are some smaller details: Dizzy puts a sad face when it's raining or when he enters Daisy's house, there is a day/night cycle, occasionally it rains or as the player goes deeper in the pirate ship, the water gets darker, just to name a few examples. Objects to pick up are all well visible and it's unlikely anyone passes by one and misses it.

Passing to sound effects, they are almost nonexistent, but music makes up for it. Anyone who thinks the YM2612 can't produce nothing but white noise should really hear the work of Matthew Simmonds in this game - from the Caribbean-sounding tune of Bubble Bobble and the organ sounds in the graveyard to the very suiting underwater theme, music plays a large part to get the player immersed into the game world, and in this case it is a success.

The Bad
There's a nuisance about dealing with the inventory: you carry three objects at once, one of them (the rope) pretty much everywhere. While this just makes planning a necessity, having to press "B" five or six times to bring an object from the bottom to the first slot could have been worked out by using the A button to select the object to be dropped / swapped, and then the start button to pause and display the inventory.

There is only one problem with graphics: the lack of vertical scrolling. Of course, the areas are huge, but in some parts in Yolkfolk village you jump, wait one second to load the upper area, miss the jump by a bit, wait another second, back to the area you started the jump, wash, rinse, repeat.

Finally, there are some problems inherent to the genre. With a total of 250 stars you might well miss one or two, and will have to trace the levels, screen by screen and minigame by minigame until every one of them is caught. It's also possible to be in an unwinnable position if an object like the rope or the flippers are left somewhere that can't be accessed without them.

The Bottom Line
Fantastic Dizzy is one of those games that some gamers will love, others won't. The plot is simple, and will require some "Fedex quests" to solve, some of them immediately required to complete another.

*** SPOILER START ***

cf. Getting the mushroom, vial and flower to get medicine, heal Grand Dizzy, get egg and finally trade egg for golden cloverleaf.

*** SPOILER END ***

These steps solve three puzzles, and must be completed in this order), yet thanks to the music and lush graphics, travelling around gets less a chore and more about exploration. How many games let you explore a giant tree house, the depths of the ocean, a castle, a pirate ship and then let you walk in the clouds?

Genesis · by Luis Silva (13443) · 2005

[ View all 4 player reviews ]

Trivia

NES version

The Fantastic Adventures of Dizzy for the NES was available in two different formats; the first was a regular cartridge, and the second was a compact cartridge which required the Aladdin Deck Enhancer. The idea behind the compact cartridges was to take circuitry that was common to all NES cartridges and remove it placing it in the Deck Enhancer, leaving the game cartridge containing only parts that were unique to each game (mainly the game code.) Since the game cartridge now contained fewer parts, the manufacturing cost (and thus the cost to the consumer) was to be lower. To play the game you would plug the compact cartridge into the deck enhancer which would form a complete NES cartridge which could then be used in the normal fashion. Very few games appeared in compact cartridge form (seven total, including Dizzy the Adventurer which came with the Deck Enhancer. All of these games were by Codemasters, who also invented the Aladdin Deck Enhancer.)

Awards

  • Game Players
    • 1991 - Best NES Adventure Game
  • Parents Choice
    • Award

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  • MobyGames ID: 3142
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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Kartanym.

Amiga added by B.L. Stryker. Game Gear, SEGA Master System, Genesis added by Martin Smith.

Additional contributors: Martin Smith, monkeyislandgirl, Patrick Bregger, ZeTomes.

Game added January 26, 2001. Last modified June 15, 2024.