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by J. Molloy, P. Kemp, P. South, R. Steggles, R. Huddy
text of the present article comes from the Amiga review
published in the forty fourth issue of the British C64
magazine ZZAP!64 (street date: November 10th, 1988) and
the C64 review published in the forty eighth issue (street
date: March 16th, 1989).
Scrolls/Rainbird, Amiga £24.95
you were the sole goldfish in the bowl, didn't you?
Cod, what a prawn! You didn't anchovy think that Mission
HQ would let an international information shark like
you spend his well-earned rest mackerelling about in
any old place. And you were looking forward to dace
and dace of inactivity, too! Some bream! Well, Rear
Admiral Sir Playfair Panchax has his rays (ways, moron).
When a tacky plastic castle plops into your bowl, you
know you're in for a bass-ically active time. Oh well,
you were starting to get a bit chubby, anyway. Perhaps
you'd just better talk to Panchax -- eel sort something
demonstrates the usual range of options and
some beautifully designed and conceived graphics
who didn't laugh at those fishy puns can come and discuss
the fine details later. Meanwhile, it turns out this
is no ordinary crisis. In fact it's pretty damn serious.
An inter-dimensional gang of anarchists -- the Seven
Deadly Fins -- have warped themselves to a planet inhabited
entirely by fish. Well, fish people to be exact. Er
. . . yeah . . . apparently they have perfectly human
torsos and thoroughly fishy legs -- tails, I mean. Weird!
(those concerned about the menial health of the programmers
should apply direct to Magnetic Scrolls). The fins are
a dead nasty lot -- they're planning to sabotage well-laid
plans to build a device deigned to irrigate Aquaria,
a planet in danger of drying out. You need to recover
the stolen parts of this secret device before it's too
picking up this offensive creature -- but you
need to take a pew first
for nothing are we called the greatest espionage organisation
in the . . . er . . . well, in the near vicinity. Careful
research into warping (a painful form of molecular travel,
more painful than being tricked out of your lunch by
a billy-goat in red pyjamas) has made it possible for
you, agent extraordinaire 10, to travel to four different
locations. As you (the parasite) pass through each of
the warps (the last one is only accessible if you've
solved the first three), your mind is transferred into
the body of a living thing (the host) from the appropriate
dimension . . . no wonder it hurts!
you're still an inexperienced warper, you need a slightly
gentle start -- so the first three scenarios, accompanied
by some melt-in-the-mouth graphics, aren't all that
difficult to complete. All you have to do is avoid a
maniac junky with a tendency to become angry (and boy,
does he get angry!), weedle your way past an extremely
loudmouthed record baron and avoid the infamous Fins
while dicing with death in the bowels of a crumbling
abbey. Easy as falling off a log.
uncle Ripperbile lives in a forest like this -- but
wouldn't catch him wandering around in the daylight
noises and flashing lights break down the host-parasite
interface, but when this happens you just get thrown
back into the bowl, an older and a wiser fish. Fish
don't have any arms, wise guy, so don't start trying
to take anything back with you into the bowl -- it doesn't
work. Back among the pondweed, you just muster your
resources and get ready to try again.
the time you make it to warp 4, the going starts to
get really tough. As Dr Roach, an eminent individual
of some social standing (like me) you can take a paddle
to Padlington station, visit the local guppy pub for
a snifter (don't forget your fishofax), groove on down
at the disco, or just buy yourself some new and nifty
clothes. Trouble is, the Fins are hot on your tail --
unless you outwit them and manage to avoid all
situations designed to break down your precious interface,
you might end up suffering a fate worse than sharing
a tin with a tin of skinhead sardines or being mashed
into a pot of anchovy paste.
can't hear music, can they?
(They can if they're as cool as me -- Ken)
a top inter-warp spy with more letters to your name
than you can remember (let alone write), no puzzle is
too hard for you. That's lucky because this is one goldfish
bowl that has more than the average number of wicked
twists. Just when you think you're getting somewhere,
you become a candidate for entry into the next tin of
catfood -- and you won't get any holidays there. Even
the sub-games have enough substance for you to get your
teeth into. There's always some kind of logic to a solution,
even if occasionally the reasoning is pretty warped
parser is up to Magnetic Scrolls usual high standards.
Most variations of a command are recognised and there
are loads of abbreviations: L for LOOK, X for EXAMINE
and so on. You can even summon up a list of pronouns
available at any one time by typing PN. There isn't
all that much scope for interaction but then
interaction isn't always all what it's cracked up to
be. What's the point of having loads of potentially
interactive characters when they don't actually contribute
that much to the game? You can never really converse
with NPCs (just ask them questions) so there's no reason
they should be included just for their own sake.
finless? I like my fish with their fins on!
still have to enter a separate command to open specific
doors, when it's quite obvious you can walk through
them (I'm really sick of bashing my nose against doors),
but as there aren't as many fiddly situations as you
find in, say Jinxter, that doesn't matter too
much. Who cares anyway when almost anything you type
in gets an appropriately fishy response?
getting a bit boring really. Every Magnetic Scrolls
adventure gets praised to the skies, wins a thousand
(or thereabouts) awards and gets an incredibly high
mark in all the magazines. You'd think they could produce
a dud once in a while, just for variety's sake (what
do you mean, you can't imagine that -- just use your
brain, will you?) Well, so far they haven't, so Fish!
is just going to have to get another rave review. Altogether,
it's slick, subtle and sparkles with subaquatic humour.
What more could your average haddock want?
I have my turbo-powered totally infallible and hyper-guaranteed
billy-goat flame-thrower now, Anita?)
else starts Spring cleaning about this time -- dusting
away all that lovely dead skin, wiping off those crusty,
slimy bits, washing off the things that make a home
what it is. Me? I see Spring as an opportunity to increase
the amount of filth around. It's a time of renewal and
regeneration, of enjoyment -- what better way to celebrate
than giving the house a good sliming, putting a firm,
new layer of soil on the table and breaking a few billy
goats' legs? Nothing. Right, let's get on with the Fish
Scrolls/Rainbird, C64 £19.99 disk only
are a small scaly fish with fins and a natty little
tail. Tres chic.
chic my toenail. It just takes one look at Ken D Fish
to convince me that I'd prefer to live the rest of my
life without any kind of tail whatsoever hanging off
my back -- especially not one with spotty scales, thank
you very much. Count yourself lucky that you only get
to see pictures of him -- that smell would put you off
for life. Phwoar!
if you can't beat 'em, eat 'em, that's what I always
say. And if you can't eat 'em . . . well, you might
as well throw in yer lot with the gurnards, haddocks,
pickerels and gudgeons of this world and have a go.
Use your imagination and throw yerself headfirst into
this fishy stuff an' all that an' everyfin' (geddit?).
I'm a dab hand (hur, hur) at that.
is just the sort of place I'd hate
to live in -- it's far too clean
you didn't see the Amiga review or wouldn't be seen
dead reading anything to do with that nasty machine
anyway (no sirreee, not if you put a shotgun to my head
and shouted moo moo) then here's another butcher's at
what it's all about.
-- bright, bold, brilliant, star of the Department of
International Espionage (yes, that's you, honest salmon)
and otherwise known as agent 10, are having a bit of
a holiday. In fact, you're just swimming around on your
back in a goldfish bowl, when you receive an interdimensional
summons from that bigwig bloke who runs the tank --
Admiral Sir Playfair Panchax, the man himself.
low-down is this: a band of deadly interdimensional
terrorists -- The Seven Deadly Fins -- has stolen the
vital components of a vital irrigation machine all set
to bring water and life to the dying planet Aquaria.
Your mission (and you decide to accept it, or else)
is to warp to the four relevant areas and recover all
the right bits. Easy.
I had too much to drink or do things
look like this all the time?
not that easy really, not while you're a fish. Now there's
a fing. Lucky for you that the adventure is divided
into four parts (three mini ones, and one biggy) in
all of which you're allowed arms. In the fourth one,
you don't have legs (just a fishy tail) but in an underwater
sort of world, it's absolutely wunnerful to see what
you can do with that.
got to complete the mini sagas (set in a recording studio,
a wood inhabited by the insane interdimensional espionage
agent, Micky Blowtorch, and deep in the bowels -- oo-er
-- of a ruined abbey) before you've got enough interdimensional
experience to get into the big one -- and then you're
really in the swimbladder.
a trip to Padlington? A night down a guppy pub? A day
at the museum? Shopping for just the right gear? A peek
in your fishofax for the address of the best local snifter?
Well, me old mullet, courtesy of your very own Aquaria
travelcard, valid till Thursday, except on Dogger Bank
holidays, you can do all that and loads, loads more.
Better tread carefully though, or you may end up mashed
and battered in somebody's cocktail glass -- and then
you wouldn't half look a prawn.
parser's up to the usual Magnetic Scrolls standards
(well, aren't most big release parsers nowadays?) and
lets you type in all the usual alternatives and options
(there's all that shifting graphics up and down the
screen, turning the graphics off and on mularkey) but
what really makes this so much fun to play is the action.
It's packed tighter than a tin of sardines in tomato
juice and if you like your jokes fishy (well, what else
can you do with Ken D Fish -- not eat him?) there's
more than enough to keep the giggles messing up your
me hearties -- what about the price? Personally, I thought
Corruption was pretty bad at 18 quid but £19.99
-- a bit stiff! You don't even get the kind of juicy
billygoat graphics that made Guild of Thieves
and The Pawn a great run for your money. These
are just 'quite nice', really -- not worth waiting all
that disk accessing for, if you ask me.
about though, 'cos the gameplay is definitely worth
it, and if you haven't got the dosh right now, scrape
a lot of slime around in the bottom of your piggy bank
until you find it. If it weren't for the shock, horror,
hand me a dram of lizard's blood price and the pretty
average stone the crows graphics, I'd be awarding this
a Sizzler. As it is, it's getting a Chuck Vomit thumbs
up. And that's not bad coming from me -- especially
when it's a net full of fish. Gloop, gloop.
you want a walkthrough, visit
Jacob Gunness' Classic
Adventures Solution Archive or
C64 Adventure Game Solutions Site
Complete Artwork Gallery!
Pictures Count: 
Kiminas (7 Oct 2007)
The screenshots in the Amiga review were replaced by
their C64 equivalents. Only the first two screenshots
of the C64 review existed in the original.
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