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Gargoyle Games
Adventure: Graphic
ZX Spectrum 48K
Multiple schemes (see individual downloads)

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Phil South
Chris Bourne

With just a clove of garlic for company and a faded spellbook under his arms, Phill South trod the slime filled dungeon of Gargoyle Games' latest epic, Heavy on the Magick, and dragged himself back to quill this report.

Brrr. It's cold down there. Creepy. The very stones of the wall seem to radiate cold, and the constant dripping sound of fetid water leaking through the roof rings in your ears...

I wish I hadn't gone there. But as Axil's alter-ego I was forced to tread that fear-some way, fighting the terrible monsters and traps with the magick contained in my spellbook, The Grimoire of Gugamon. I really shouldn't have been telling off-colour stories about Master Therion, and then he wouldn't have sent me down there. But he did, and it was my quest to survive the trials of the catacombs and to escape.

The area of the dungeon is vast. There are about 255 rooms and 21 different creatures to do battle with, as well as 280 objects to collect and use to their best advantage. There are also demons to be invoked, but this is a hazardous business. They are all powerful and very impatient. No room for spelling mistakes here! You must speak clearly and quickly else they'll banish you to the furnace where you'll perish in mortal torment. (sob!)

Now if this sounds a bit ho-hum to you, as far as your experience of either Gargoyle or adventure games in general goes, then think again. The universe of Graumerphy is portrayed using real time animated graphics, so the game plays a bit like real life. Sometimes you have time to think, other time you have to act first and ask questions later.

The pictures are at first sight a bit on the chunky side. That's all down to the compression and expansion they have to go through to fit so many of them into the game. You soon get use to this effect, however, and it's then you begin to notice how mobile the characters are and how much personality the exhibit.

All in all, Heavy On The Magick is the best blend of arcade skill and adventure logic that I've ever seen, and it's a real showcase for the humble Spectrum's severely underrated (sez who?) abilities. A breakthrough, a hit, and a lot of fun besides.


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The Missing Pages.

Have you got the scrolls? No, I always walk like this!

As well as the spells in your grimoire (that's spellbook to you, neophyte), a litle skilful application of the grey matter and you can come up with some missing pages containing two further spells.

CALL This lets you CALL APEX, plus a host of sub-functions that make some problems easier to solve. Find it in the part of the Sothic Complex north of the guard troll in Trollwynd.

TRANSFUSION When you've accumulated enough experience points, you can give yourself a transfusion of stamina. You'll find this spell in Trollwynd south-east and in a southerly direction from the guard troll.

Heavy on the Hintsheet.

Hot from the quill of The Mage of Rathbone comes an additional page for your grimoire with hints to help you escape from the dungeon of Therion.

Rememberest thou the scene from Raiders Of The Lost Ark? Thou knowest, the one where Indiana Jones replaces an object he wants with one of equal weight to prevent the rock dropping down and crushing it. Throughout the adventure it is written that tables possess the ability to be key bearers, be the key mechanical or magical. Ask yourself this question. What is heavier or more portable than gold?

The demons you can invoke bow to different talismans. These will not be medallions or other such gewgaws. Nay, look you unto a nougat bearing the number 20, a sword indicating 1376 and a sunflower inscribed 443 to make the foul demons respond with alacrity and forgiveness.

For speed in moving around the dungeons of Therion, make you a map of prime areas of interest, for it is a wise man who knoweth what is in the next room -- or shouldst that be a wise guy?