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Code Masters Ltd
Arcade: Adventure
ZX Spectrum 48K/128K

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Linda Barker
Chris Bourne

Robin Hood is a complete and utter hero, his good deeds have gone down in folklore and have been passed on to each generation. On film and television we've had Errol Flynn, Richard Greene, a red fox, Michael Praed, Jason Connery and Kevin Costner. And on the Speccy there was Super Robin Hood. But now there's a new hood in town, he's lean, green and he's got one hell of a cute smile. Welcome to the Codies' latest hit - Robin Hood: Legend Quest.

Legend Quest is a cutie horizontally-scrolling collect-'n'-beat-'em-up with plenty of platforms (moving and stationary) for you to jump around on. The main idea is to collect the treasures which, I think, belong to good King Richard. The action is set in a castle which is home to hundreds of fast-shooting archers who are out to get the feather in your cap. They're blimmin' good shots as well, so you're going to have to do a fair old amount of duckin' and divin'. Various dark bits of the castle also hide absolutely massive monsters whose white eyes shine out of the darkness, warning you to steer clear of those scary spaces under the stairs. (Err, they're the background graphics, Linda. Jonathan) There's also the most ridiculous little guard who stalks up and down relentlessly, like a wind-up Christmas pudding fitted with everlasting batteries. Let this little blighter bump into you and... Wham! That's a life gone. There are also various flying things, and maces on chains that go up and down.

To aid you in your quest for treasure there are hearts to give you more energy and keys that open up parts of the castle that were previously inaccessible. As you run through the castle, you'll often come to a platform which goes nowhere. But, pick up a key and a moving platform will miraculously appear so you can jump on and travel to the next bit of the castle.

Legend Quest looks lovely, even Andy O was smitten by the screenshots we gave him. (They're lovely grabs to work with. They're so colourful! I'm particularly fond of the title screen, is that what it's called? I'm going to incorporate that in the page design. Andy O) He's right, you know! The graphics are some of the nicest we've seen in a while. Robin's all green and the backgrounds are loads of other colours, yet there's virtually no colour clash to write of (ho ho). The castle looks suitably mediaeval and the dank, dark bits look jolly spooky. When Robin (a very cheery sort of chap who turns and grins at you now and then) dies, all these incredibly cute hearts burst out of his body in a terribly sweet circle. Then he flashes and disappears back to a previous point in the game. This is so much better than being put back to the beginning of a level - it's far less frustrating, more user-friendly. This explosion of hearts also takes effect when Robin picks up a heart, or a piece of the treasure. It's such a nice little touch. and sometimes it's the little things in games that sneak into your heart. (I think she's got a bit too much goodwill left over from Christmas, Spec-chums. Jonathan)

Robin Hood is famous for his courage and valour, with nary a thought for his own safety he swings through the trees kicking Nottingham's guards and laying traps for the tax collector. There isn't a lot of this kind of thing in Legend Quest, the action seems to consist mainly of avoiding the nasties' arrows and shooting your own in the desperate hope that they'll hit the enemy archer before his one hits you. Fortunately, the enemy archers do shoot off their arrows in some kind of pattern, so you can suss out just when a pointed piece of metal is going to come skimming past your ear and clamber up, or down, a ladder whilst the archer's busy placing the next arrow in his bow. As it were.

All this dodging and jumping of arrows takes time to perfect. At first Robin Hood: Legend Quest seems quite easy and then (ho ho ho) you skim past the easy bit and suddenly you lose two lives in a row and you think. "Hang on, this is a bit of a toughie." Jon... sorry, Jonathan (I'll sellotape it to your forehead if you want. Jonathan) actually got to the next level before saying, "In the big scheme of things, if you make a basic distinction between easy and difficult, this is a bit on the difficult side, isn't it?" or Hmmm. He's right.

Doubtless, some of you lot will float through this game and send detailed maps into Tipshop, making Jonathan and I look a bit ridiculous in the process. But hey! Maybe you won't. Robin Hood: Legend Quest is a lovely-looking game and there's really nothing wrong with the gameplay apart from the fact that it's a bit hard. But perseverance isn't difficult as it's got that addictive factor that makes playing the same bit of the game over and over again quite enjoyable. I really found myself looking forward to the next bit of the game and, when we've finished this issue, I'm going to have another go. Smart!

Uppers: Smart graphics and nice touches that are funny and pretty. There's nowt wrong with the controls at all. Downers: The only thing I can possibly pick holes in is the difficulty level. Super! Pick up a copy and become a Merry Person riding through the glen.


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The quest for the great leg end.

The leg end can be found in one of two places, usually. Take a look at your leg... done that? Good. You'll probably have noticed that your leg is joined to your body somewhere near the bottom area. At the other leg end is a mass of bone, flesh and sinews called a foot. So the bottom and the foot are the leg ends - your quest is at an end. (Groan. Jonathan).

Despite what you may think, this quest plays absolutely no part in the Codies' version of Robin Hood.

Robin Hood - did he really exist, or what?

According to some legends, Robin Hood is...

Jesus Christ

King Arthur

A thief and murderer

A magician

A great and good man fighting the nasty Normans (Lamont, Stormin' and Bates)

A revolting peasant

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"Come in and make yourself at home," boomed a deep voice from somewhere within the bowels of the castle. So Robin did exactly that, he was a calm and law-abiding chap and he didn't want any trouble.

Robin sat down at the table and waited for his dinner. And waited. And waited. Eventually a key came and apologised for the delay. His tripe and onions was on its way.

Robin's recurring nightmare was dead spooky. Keys, keys! Everywhere Robin looked there were golden keys. And strange gargoyles rested on every mantelpiece scowling and holding out strings of sausages. It was getting a bit too much, Robin had already decided to go and see a therapist.

Have you ever had the feeling that somebody's watching you? Godfrey felt like that all the time, and d'you know why? Well, it was cos something was watching him. All the time. Agh!