missing cover art
DescriptionHorace Goes to the Tower is an unofficial game starring the iconic Horace character from the Horace series. Horace was once a well known computer game star, but money troubles have driven him to other computer systems. The transfer went largely unnoticed and did not make him wealthy, and he was slammed in the gutter press on top of it. In shame he turned himself in and the police put him in the Tower of London where he would be beheaded. There he meets Sabreman who offers him a way out. As a sellout he would go to gamer hell after his death, but he can avoid it by burning the master copies of his C64 games and other sellout titles. Sabreman opens the door for him if he promises to destroy the C64 master copies of Sabre Wulf and Underwurlde as well.
This 2D platform game has a single level composed of several single-screen rooms connected both horizontally and vertically using the flip-screen mechanic to offer an amount of exploration. Horace needs to collect ten master tapes and then the game is won right away. He has no means to attack and needs to complete platforming sections while dodging enemies and hazards such as spikes. Some sections are locked and first require an unlocker (a key) to be found.
He starts with 40 health and every encounter with an enemy or a hazard drains some. By returning to previously visited screens a large red heart can sometimes be picked up, restoring some health. There are also some small environment based puzzle elements involving pushing blocks (checkered and green) to create platforms leading to areas you can otherwise not reach. When stuck pushing platforms the R key can be pressed to reset the room.
There are no ZX Spectrum user screenshots for this game.
There are 8 other screenshots from other versions of this game or official promotional screenshots.
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DevelopmentThe game was created on a single Saturday as a short project between the larger games. The inspiration was provided by the user ewgf who wrote the plot to a fictional game in the Horace series in a forum thread on the World of Spectrum website in August 2011. The design of the iconic Horace character is also used in the game. The thread was started by someone linking the C64 version of Hungry Horace for sale on eBay. Another user then suggested that Horace was a traitor because he is considered a mascot of the ZX Spectrum. This prompted ewgf to write this plot:
Actually, you know how traitors in Britain used to be sent to the Tower (the Tower of London), where they were imprisoned until they were beheaded? Nowadays we just give them a *huge* pension and pay for their body guards for life (*cough* Tony Blair *cough*), but that's another topic...
Anyway, how about a game called Horace Goes To The Tower? The story is that Horace, whilst drunk and pining for the fame and the wealth of the old days back when he was a well known computer game star, gives in to the evil councils of that rotten old egg, Dizzy, and stars in some games on the (forgive my language) Commodore 64. In his defence, Horace was very low at the time, really drunk, and he really needed the money. Plus Dizzy had probably spiked Horace's drinks, the utter bast.
Tragically, not only did the C64 games not lead to a revival of Horace's Spectrum career (well it wouldn't, would it, as Horace realised only too well when he'd sobered up), but the C64 games, which he'd so desperately would be unnoticed by all, were announced to all and sundry in the gutter press!
"Horace sells out in C64 shocker" went the headlines, to Horace's utter dismay. Suddenly, no one in the street would look at him, shops refused to serve him, all the pubs and clubs had barred him. He felt like Katie Price, only without the placky tits, but with a brain.
He was so miserable that he didn't even wait for the coppers to come and arrest him, instead going to the nearest nick by choice and giving himself in. The police, after spitting at him for a good ten minutes handcuffed him (wearing gloves so as not to touch the C64ness of him, of course), arrested him, and put him in the Tower of London, telling him that the next day he'd be beheaded.
Left alone in his cell, the wretched Horace reflected on his coming fate, and eventually said to himself "Oh well, at least when I'm dead my suffering will be over".
"It bloody won't be", said a voice, and Horace whirled around to see the ghost of Sabre Man standing in the corner of the room. Horace jumped back in terror, and Sabre Man continued "There's a special corner of gaming Hell reserved for C64 characters, and that's where you're heading, and you'll spend gaming eternity with me, and Dizzy, Rockford, and the other C64 characters, surrounded by loading errors, eleven thousand SID chip tunes that all sound bloody identical, and huge rectangular pixels so big that you can't climb over them, so you can't escape from gaming Hell". He paused then added "whooo-ooooooooooooo" to bring home just how scary Horace's post death future was going to be.
"N-N-No I won't", stammered Horace bravely, "I-I'll escape from gaming Hell, that's what I'll do. I will escape and then I'll get to gaming Heaven somehow"
"No chance", laughed Sabre Man, taking the same sadistic delight in Horace's plight as he had when he'd witnessed thousands of kids spending their hard earned pocket money on that crappy excuse for a game Sabre Wulf, "There's about as much chance of someone escaping from gaming Hell as there is of Joefish getting his lazy bottom in gear and finishing Buzzsaw."
At that Horace's heart fell, as he knew Joefish would never finish Buzzsaw (see, computer game stories can be socially relevant), but his insides rose with hope as Sabre Man added "Actually, there is a way to help both of us. If you escape from here, and burn the master copies of your C64 games, then you won't go to gaming Hell".
"Fecking wow!", cried Horace in delight, and he jumped up and ran to the door. He tried to open it, but it was locked, being a prison cell and all. "6502" swore Horace uncouthly, and Sabre Man said to him "I'll agree to open the door if you agree to find and burn the master copies of my two C64 games, Sabre Wulf and Underwurlde so that I'll be freed from gaming Hell too."
"Fair enough", nodded Horace, and the door disappeared and Horace exited the screen (no scrolling here, it's a Speccy game!)and emerged into the corridor. Jumping over the first fatally deep gap between the floating platforms (if they had those in real prisons then they wouldn't be over populated!) Horace began his escape from the Tower...
The game: Help Horace escape from the Tower of London, past the Beffeaters, the crows, and other vaguely appropriate sprites and go to both Sinclair's and Ultimate's HQ's to find and burn the master tapes, whilst avoiding the relevant-game-related enemies that will try and stop you from burning the casettes of evil. Do this, and you will free both Horace and Sabre Man, and who knows, perhaps then Sabre Man and Horace will team up on a quest to find Mire Mare. We'll never see that game any other way (bloody Stampers...).
Sounds difficult? Well you made it through this looong and tedious excuse for a back story, so you'll probably waltz through the game...
Related Web Sites
- Horace Goes to the Tower (official website)
Credits (8 people)
7 developers, 1 thanks