Platforms: ZX Spectrum, Amstrad CPC, Commodore 64
Whereas Dragons Lair was heavily changed for its home conversions, Elite decided to go one better. Originally starting out as a text only adventure, the plan for Scooby Doo grew to include pictures and finally extra interactivity to turn it into an 8-bit laser disc game.
The game was to be set around a castle belonging to Shaggy’s aunt, with all sorts of ghostly goings on. All the popular characters were to be present, and their job would have been to try and solve what was behind the mysterious occurrences at the castle. Various adverts and previews were shown in magazines, depicting a very impressive game.
It was to be something never seen before on any 8-bit. You would direct the action yourself, and not be restricted as much like with other games at the time. The game would feature around 8 action sequences, separated by descriptive scenes where the main characters would interact.
Action sequences would focus on Scooby and Shaggy searching the castle through different view points, helping them solve various problems occurring along the way. The action would be driven by the player, making decisions like a movie director might make. The breakaway to descriptive scenes would give hints and tips to aid your mystery solving.
All sound effects were synchronised with the action, creating the perfect illusion of watching a cartoon, but with interaction. For variety, each new game would present new problems and obstacles, creating a fresh experience each time.
It was never going to be easy trying to cram this game into an 8-bit. Accurate animations and scenes were made after plenty of research by the artists with the cartoons. Programmers had the hefty task of trying to squeeze it all into memory.
At the time, Crash magazine visited the developers and they were confident that they had everything ready and would be able to fit everything in.
Sadly their confidence was shattered, and Elite conceded that it couldn’t be done. It was too much, too soon and Elite had to back down on their ambitious project.
Now with all the costly advertising, Elite were stuck without a game to market, so Gargoyle Games were drafted in to do a quick game for them to make something back. Our promised Laser disc game was transformed into an average platform affair.
It is possible that the original game still exists, with Elite still going strong today in the mobile games market. Maybe well one day get to see it in action in one form or another.