Heavy On The Magick, ZX Spectrum

Heavy On The Magick is a side-scrolling adventure game published by Gargoyle Games in 1986. In some respects it is a relative of Tir Na Nog, Dun Darach and Marsport, although it plays somewhat differently.

Graphically, it’s fairly obvious that Heavy On The Magic‘s main character – Axil the Able – is a descendent of Cuchulainn from Tir Na Nog. In terms of the animation I mean. Although Axil wears a cape and you never see his face…

Axil is trapped inside some dungeons below a castle and must escape. To do that he must solve various puzzles, have a number of conversations, and also invoke a demon or two along the way.

The programmers used a technique in this to blow up the size of the graphics in the main play window, effectively lowering the available resolution but allowing them to compress more into the game. It works well and is in fact a technique that became more common on the Spectrum after this game was released.

Playing Heavy On The Magick is simply a case of directing Axil with key-presses. North, South, East, and West by pressing the W, S, E, and W keys respectively, and also unique commands such as Invoke (I), Freeze (F), and Blast (B). At certain points, too, the player will have to type in text commands to do specific things, like picking stuff up, or talking to things. The player is encouraged to talk to anything – even doors!

That said: some of the inhabitants of the dungeons are not interested in talking and just want to suck Axil’s blood, so you must defeat them with magick, or do whatever is necessary to kill them.

Heavy On The Magick is an interesting game but will not appeal to everyone. If you’re interested in The Occult then this game is worth a play as it is one of the few games to actually portray the subject in a reasonably serious manner.

More: Heavy on the Magick on Wikipedia

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