Spellbound Dizzy Lite

1991 Codemasters

Platform: ZX Spectrum 128k

Also known as Diz564, our next entry isn’t technically an ‘unreleased game’ – but an ‘unreleased cut down version of a released game’.

Spellbound Dizzy Lite
The Commodore 64 version of Spellbound Dizzy Lite

Spellbound Dizzy was one of Dizzy’s last adventures on the ZX Spectrum back in 1991 (with Crystal Kingdom Dizzy still to appear) – first released through the Dizzy’s Excellent Adventures pack (which is how I first played the game in January 1992). Unfortunately, Commodore 64 owners felt a little bit short changed when they finally got playing their copy…

The game was a little light on the old screens, and not quite containing as many as originally promised. You see, the Commodore 64 edition had hit some development woes, and the usual programmer (Ian Gray) who did all the Dizzy conversions wasn’t available at the time. So, Andy Torkington would have to step in and convert over from scratch, and one of the most ambitious Dizzy titles yet too.

When it became clear that the game wasn’t going to be ready in time, a cut down version was swiftly created instead. It wasn’t perfect and had a number of bugs, but it was something at least. Commodore 64 owners wouldn’t get to play a version with all 100 or so screens until its budget release a little while later.

What is interesting to learn is that Spellbound Dizzy Lite was quickly knocked together first on the ZX Spectrum, and handed to Andy to convert. It wasn’t a case of Andy just chopping out screens quickly, with the Lite edition being carefully constructed from its original source code. This means that out there somewhere is a different Dizzy game for the ZX Spectrum… sort of…

Of course, a significant chunk of this cut back version is going to be the same as the full Spellbound Dizzy release, and you could even consider something like this to be merely a “preview”. However, the map and puzzles have been changed quite a bit to compensate for the smaller size – and so it would be a very interesting curiosity to try and recover.

We got in touch with developer Fred Williams, and he suggests that he may still have something of the Lite edition. As GTW looks to sort out a 3″ Drive rig for backing up disks, we hope to some day catch up with Fred in person to try and preserve something in the future.

With thanks to Fred Williams for talking to us briefly about the Lite edition.

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