Magicland Dizzy is a platform adventure game published in Europe in 1990 by Codemasters for the ZX Spectrum, Commodore 64 and Amiga platforms. By 1992 there were also DOS, Atari ST and Amstrad CPC versions available. It is the sixth game in the Dizzy series, and the fourth adventure-based Dizzy title. The story, set in a fantasy world called Magicland, follows on from the events of Fantasy World Dizzy, the previous adventure title. In Magicland Dizzy the player controls Dizzy, an egg-shaped character, who is trying to save six of his friends who have been placed under spells by the Evil Wizard Zaks.
The game was the first Dizzy game not to be developed entirely by Dizzy's creators, the Oliver Twins. Instead, whilst they were focusing on other projects, Magicland Dizzy was designed by Neal Vincent and coded by external developer Big Red Software. The Oliver Twins retained design-approval oversight.
The game is sometimes alternatively known by its development title, Dizzy 4, with the Roman numeral IV visible at the top of the game screen, behind the player's score. A prequel, Into Magicland, was released to promote the game and featured a new character that was never seen in any of the series games again. The game was widely acclaimed by critics across the platforms with scores typically in the 80-95% region. Criticism was leveled at its similarity to previous games in the series and the awkward inventory system. By November 1991 it was noted that the Dizzy games had sold more than half a million units across all platforms.
In Magicland Dizzy the player guides Dizzy, an egg-shaped character, through a large maze in an attempt to rescue his six friends who are held captive under the influence of various magic spells. The locations are all located in the titular 'Magicland' and are fantastical in nature, many inspired by fairy tales. They include a field of standing stones called Weirdhenge, a witch's island and Prince Charming's castle. Movement from one screen to the next is enabled through flip-screen such that when Dizzy touches the outer edge of one screen he is transported to the next. The individual screens consist of platforms and ladders with Dizzy able to both walk and jump to navigate the maze and its obstacles. Dizzy can collect up to three items at once which are then used at specific locations to solve puzzles and advance through the game. At the start of the game the player has three lives and a health bar which can be replenished by finding and collecting diamonds scattered throughout the maze.
The Evil Wizard Zaks, the primary antagonist of the series, who Dizzy defeated previously in Fantasy World Dizzy, has returned having 'made certain arrangements against his premature demise'. He has cast spells on six members of the Yolkfolk, egg-shaped friends and relations of Dizzy, and transported them to Magicland. At the beginning of the game Dizzy teleports himself to Magicland and must set about lifting the spells from his friends. Following their introduction in Fantasy World Dizzy, this game again features the Yolkfolk. Each of them has had a spell cast upon them by Zaks: Dylan is transfigured into a thorny bush; Denzil is frozen in ice; Dozy is put into an enchanted and perhaps everlasting sleep; Dora is turned into a frog; Daisy is enlarged and imprisoned inside Zaks' Oubliette; and Grand-Dizzy trapped inside a magic mirror.
Throughout the game Dizzy meets and interacts with many of Magicland's inhabitants. These include the Queen of Hearts, the good witch Glenda and Prince Charming, along with various other creatures who can help or hinder Dizzy's progress. During the course of the game Dizzy comes across the legendary sword Excalibur and has the opportunity to awaken Sleeping Beauty.
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