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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.


Karnov Arcade Title screen
Karnov DOS A giant stone head
Karnov PC Booter CGA - Damn!!! Another evil stone head!!
Karnov DOS High Scores (CGA)

Promo Images

There are no promo images for this game

Alternate Titles

  • "カルノフ" -- Japanese spelling

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

Someone said something about a 2nd disk? PC Booter Indra was here (20848)
There's a reason nobody has bothered to review this game... NES OlSkool_Gamer (102)
A faithful port of the original arcade gameplay. PC Booter Trixter (9115)

Critic Reviews

Your Sinclair ZX Spectrum Jun, 1988 9 out of 10 90
Computer and Video Games (CVG) ZX Spectrum Jun, 1988 9 out of 10 90
The Games Machine (UK) Amstrad CPC Jul, 1988 81 out of 100 81
Quebec Gamers NES Jul 26, 2006 7.9 out of 10 79
Classic-games.net NES Mar 30, 2020 7 out of 10 70
Random Access NES 2005 5.3 out of 10 53
Questicle.net NES Jun, 2012 C 50
The Games Machine (UK) Commodore 64 Jul, 1988 44 out of 100 44
Commodore User Commodore 64 May, 1988 4 out of 10 40
Power Play Commodore 64 May, 1988 2 out of 10 20


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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.

Contributed to by Trixter (9115), Shoddyan (14412), Martin Smith (79835), Pseudo_Intellectual (64556), Servo (57355) and Игги Друге (46309)