Monday, January 20, 2014

"Vanity Waltz"...?

Five things I can remember about the ZX Spectrum game Planet of Death:

1 Adventure A: Planet of Death is a text-only adventure based around the scenario of the player character (YOU!) marooned on an unfamiliar world.

2 It came free with the machine we bought, and as this was a common practice at the time, I believe this adventure has a certain association with a generation of computer fans.

3 It has this awesome cover which I thought was one of the most awesome things ever and, I regret to add, has absolutely no bearing on the events of the game. A world of disappointment at owning a ZX Spectrum may well have begun with this stark, simple fact.

4 Artic Computing strikes me as a most unusual name for a business, and perhaps as far from the world of high adventure computer games as you could get. But their logo totally does what it says on the box - it's in the shape of an articulated lorry, wheels and all!

5 I never completed the game despite many tries, and found its infamous clue "VANITY WALTZ!" utterly impenetrable for a thirteen year old. The answer lay in a means to pass a force field separating you from your captured ship, the only thing that will take you off the titular benighted, but lamentably storm-lashed, skull-rocked world.

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