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Moby ID: 77
PC Booter Specs
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Description official descriptions

Jinborov Karnovski (also known as the titular Karnov), is a Russian circus strongman who is collecting all of the pieces of a treasure map so he can become a wealthy man. This Lost Treasure of Babylon is being guarded by the evil dragon Ryu. While the gameplay is basically the same as the other versions, the story for the Famicom version is different. It involves Karnov, who comes from a small town called Cleamina, being called by God to be his envoy. Karnov is tasked with getting rid of the evil troublemaker known as Alakatai.

Karnov features nine stages of side-scrolling action. Karnov's main attack is to breathe fireballs at his enemies. Karnov can collect power-up orbs which can increase the amount of fire he can breathe out. Karnov is also able to jump, with the height being increased by collecting boots. Other items Karnov can carry and use include bombs, ladders, boomerangs, clappers (which destroy minor enemies that are currently on the screen instantaneously), and shields. Occasionally, Karnov will be able to make use of certain items such as wings which let him fly in the air and a scuba gear helmet which lets him swim underwater. Also, scattered throughout the stages are K icons. Collecting 50 of these will reward Karnov an extra life.


  • カルノフ - Japanese spelling

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Credits (PC Booter version)

6 People



Average score: 64% (based on 15 ratings)


Average score: 2.7 out of 5 (based on 56 ratings with 3 reviews)

There's a reason nobody has bothered to review this game...

The Good
I'll do the honors... The coin-op version of this game was much better but the NES version sucked. I think you're supposed to be this fire-breathing circus runaway who fights monsters with his flame breath. And thats about it, a pretty mediocre side-scrolling waste of time. I think the fact that you have unlimited continues and you get to keep your items really saved this game if there is really anything worth saving.

The Bad
Boring side-scrolling game. Shooting fire from a fat circus man at a T-Rex really wasn't my cup of tea.

The Bottom Line
Would be fun to check out these days just as a joke, that's about it though.

NES · by OlSkool_Gamer (88) · 2004

Someone said something about a 2nd disk?

The Good
Now, Karnov is not a name you hear very often. Unless you've heard of this circus dude who throws fireballs for a living (in this story). Which is a strange choice for the hero of the game...any game for that matter.

Well, anyway I do recall being totally addicted to this game. There were a lot of bonuses/ power-ups that you HAD to not miss. Love those power-ups. Sound effects were kinda crappy, but whadya expect from PC speakers. The graphics were alright...though one would expect better...considering other games at that time, but not so much a hassle to effect the overall game play.

Takes a lot of trial and error to find all those power-ups. Was worth it though.

The Bad
Someone said something about a 2nd disk?

It turns out, after I reach this Dinosaur boss and kick the prehistoric age outta him (or was it before that), suddenly it says "please insert disk 2". Disk 2? What disk 2? I don't have a disk 2! Well, I got the game from my friend, he didn't have it. No one I knew had it. That's the first time (and only time) I got a "incomplete game". Strange...come to think of it.

The Bottom Line
A platform classic, obviously.

PC Booter · by Indra was here (20755) · 2003

A faithful port of the original arcade gameplay.

The Good
The gameplay of Karnov is very fair--nothing is too hard to avoid, but still challenging. The power-ups are worthwhile picking up, and some are even hidden, for extra challenges. (Of course, all of this is identical to the arcade game, which speaks volumes for Quicksilver's efforts in porting it to the PC.)

The music and sound effects are better than adequate, considering only PC speaker output is supported.

The Bad
While the sprite graphics are fairly good, the background graphics are terrible. I know that the EGA and CGA color set were limiting, but other games in this genre have done more with less, so there's no excuse.

Of course, this doesn't affect gameplay too much, so it's not that important an issue.

The Bottom Line
If you like arcade platformers, you'll like the PC version of Karnov.

PC Booter · by Trixter (8952) · 1999


C64 version

The Commodore 64 conversion was poorly received, visibly resembling a port of the Spectrum version. A more colourful version was previewed by both Zzap! and Commodore User magazines, but it is unknown what became of this, or who was developing it.


A closer look at the decrypted program binary shows Karnov's program flow:




Some error messages are also in there:


sprite bummer! Total loss of precision. Partial loss of precision.



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Identifiers +

  • MobyGames ID: 77
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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Trixter.

NES added by Shoddyan. ZX Spectrum added by Martin Smith. Arcade added by Pseudo_Intellectual. Commodore 64, Amstrad CPC added by Servo. Macintosh added by Игги Друге.

Additional contributors: Martin Smith, Игги Друге, Patrick Bregger, nicholas mccolm.

Game added March 5, 1999. Last modified November 21, 2023.