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Martech Games Ltd
1987
Arcade: Platform
£7.95
English
ZX Spectrum 48K/128K
Multiple schemes (see individual downloads)

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114
Mike Dunn, Gareth Adams, Ben Stone
Chris Bourne

The very latest in licensing deals finds MARTECH transforming 2000 AD's Nemesis the Warlock from pen and ink into pixelated state. As ever the struggle between good and evil forms the plot, with Nemesis as Clint Eastwood, Thomas de Torquemada as Lee Van Cleef and Torquemada' s castle as the wild west.

Defeating evil is the name of the game, and taking the part of Nemesis, the idea's to top the man at the top by infiltrating his bastille. Not an easy trick that, as Torquemada's whacky fanatics are on the loose. Being a sensitive, socially aware type of superhero, the warlock finds that the only way to get to the heart of the problem is to hack a fair few minions to bits. Not that Nemesis needs to hack them apart with his bare hooves; equipped with a swinging sword, venomous acid spit (look out Jan Leeming) and a death dealing firearm, our hero can blow 'em away with the best of them.

On screen this is how the action happens: left and right controls Nemesis in those directions while Up and Down means jump and duck. Platforms are the backing for the big man's heroic exploits, with his movements limited by the screen's boundaries. Only when an alloted number of denizens are destroyed is the passageway to the next level opened - however, this doorway is not obvious and must be searched for. As the bodies pile up it's possible, and sometimes necessary, to use the corpses as stepping stones to new heights.

If you're lucky enough to have bullets in your gun, pressing the fire button sends them in the general direction of your enemy - otherwise it activates a swiping sword. Extra ammunition can be picked up about the landscape, but quantities are finite so it's nifty to be thrifty. A display at the bottom of the screen keeps you informed by delivering a host of useful information. This includes the amount of ammo remaining, the required number of terminated terminators and a particularly gruesome depiction of a hand squeezing a heart. This bloody graphic relates to Nemesis' strength, each time he comes into contact with a terminator the hand squeezes a little tighter - eventually wringing out all of the warlock's life blood, and thereby ending the game.

Also worth attention is the ever changing icon of Torquemada, which dictates his spiritual presence. This affects his minion's fanaticism so that even after disembowelment Torquemada's goons are often prone to transformation into axe wielding Zombies when their master is near.

As the levels progress new hazards threaten our hero. Flying swords appear and bottomless pits open, waiting for a careless step. Torquemada's terminators are fanatical.in their quest to purify the universe - so be pure, be vigilant... but most of all BEHAVE!

CRITICISM

'Fans of the 2000 AD comic strip may be a little disappointed by this release from MARTECH, as all it really amounts to is a simple shoot 'em up scenario, worked around the cut' characters. Even when viewed as such, it's only an average hacking game, the action being ultimately repetitive. The attribute clash as figures walk along the platforms is really annoying, and leaves the screen looking messy and unfinished. Unfortunately, there is little real connection between the game and the comic strip: gone are Grobbendonk, Ro-Jaws and the ABC Warriors, and possibly any lasting interest with them' MIKE

'Dear me! Nemesis the Warlock must be one of the most pitiful platform games I've ever seen. The graphics are so horrific that w Nemesis is walking, his head disappears into the bottom of another platform. The mighty sword Excessus looks more like a bamboo cane, and flickers on and off when fighting. The computer-nasty graphics are certainly not for the weak stomached, and I found them to be in very bad taste!' GARETH

'Although a lot better than MELBOURNE' S Judge Dredd, Nemesis the Warlock is still not as good as it could (or should) have been. The bloodthirsty comic-strip style is adequately recreated, but the graphics still leave a lot to be desired. Fighting off the Terminators offers no real challenge as they don't do much damage - if you obliterate enough of them fast enough there shouldn't be any real hassle, until the later levels where deadly swords and bottomless pits make an appearance. Nemesis the Warlock is a slightly above average platform hack 'em up, with the added attraction of a big name licence' BEN

COMMENTS
Control keys: definable, left right. duck/jump, fire and spit fiery acid needed
Joystick: Kempston, Interface 2
Use of colour: basic colour scheme with appalling clashes
Graphics: indistinct as sprites merge with background
Sound: below average, but an excellent Rob Hubbard 128 tune
Skill levels: one
Screens: thirty
General Rating: Somewhat disappointing licence with just enough game to be above average.

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