Hunchback, ZX Spectrum

Hunchback is a conversion of the 1983 arcade game by Century Electronics. It has been written that Hunchback is loosely based on the 1831 Victor Hugo novel, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, because it features Quasimodo running along a castle wall, trying to rescue Esmeralda from a tower at the end, but that is disputed by some who claim that Robin Hood is the main influence. Regardless, at least in this conversion the main character does actually look like Quasimodo

There are twenty screens in total and the gameplay is very simple, requiring Quasimodo to negotiate a variety of hazards in order to ring the bell on the far right of each screen. The only thing missing from the original in this is the final screen, where Quasimodo collects bells and climbs ropes to rescue Esmeralda.

Ocean Software licensed the game and released a number of conversions in 1984. The ZX Spectrum version was the most successful, reaching number one in the sale charts at the time. Looking at the game now it’s hard to understand how it was so successful, because – frankly – it’s pretty lame. That said: I was one of the suckers who bought it back in 1984, and I can only put the game’s sales performance down to a lack of decent software available for the Spectrum at the time.

As Hunchback was so successful, Ocean later released two sequels – Hunchback II: Quasimodo’s Revenge and Hunchback: The Adventure.

More: Hunchback on Wikipedia

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