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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 ZX Spectrum Karnov leaping from pillar to pillar. The golden shoe in the sky is a bonus / power up item. The green flying things are demons and any contact with them is fatal
Karnov ZX Spectrum The ladder has been collected and now appears in the inventory. There's a bomb power up over to the right near the baddie who's throwing great stone balls at Karnov
Karnov ZX Spectrum Karnov is one of those games that doesn't fit onto one side of the tape
Karnov ZX Spectrum Karnov is about to collect an item, a ladder that helps him climb walls

Promo Images

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Alternate Titles

  • "カルノフ" -- Japanese spelling

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User Reviews

There are no reviews for the ZX Spectrum release of this game. You can use the links below to write your own review or read reviews for the other platforms of this game.

Critic Reviews

Your Sinclair Jun, 1988 9 out of 10 90
Computer and Video Games (CVG) Jun, 1988 9 out of 10 90
The Games Machine (UK) Jun, 1988 88 out of 100 88
ASM (Aktueller Software Markt) May, 1988 9.2 out of 12 77
ACE (Advanced Computer Entertainment) Jun, 1988 612 out of 1000 61


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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.

Martin Smith (66801) added Karnov (ZX Spectrum) on Sep 14, 2004
Other platforms contributed by Trixter (9125), WildKard (12984), Pseudo_Intellectual (60344), Servo (57398) and Игги Друге (46434)