Stormlord, ZX Spectrum

Stormlord is a scrolling run-and-gun platform action game designed and written by Raffaele Cecco and Nick Jones, with graphics by Hugh Binns, and was published for the ZX Spectrum by Hewson Consultants in 1989. In it you play the titular Stormlord, a Norse-style warrior who is fighting to rescue fairies from the evil Black Queen.

The game is known for its excellent graphics and presentation, and for the ridiculous controversy it generated due to its depiction of the female form. In the game there are visuals of naked fairies with (very tiny, single pixel) nipples shown on their bare breasts, and this had the forces of the ‘moral minority’ up in arms about this “nudity” in a “children’s game” after release. It seems stupid to me that some mild cartoon nudity is defined by these people as somehow ‘morally bankrupt’ or unacceptable, which just goes to demonstrate how repressed these critics were. Especially when what we’re actually talking about here are tiny, one-pixel nipples!

Gameplay in Stormlord is a mixture of shooting, platforming and item-collecting in order to rescue small fairies that you find dotted around the levels, and you must do this before the time runs out. Remaining time is shown as a sun turning into a moon on the bottom panel and the number of fairies that remain to be collected is shown in the bottom right.

Picking up an item is done by simply walking into it. You can only carry one item at a time and they usually do useful things, like holding an umbrella to protect you from falling raindrops, honeypots to distract bees, or using keys to open doors, and so on. There are springboards that Stormlord can use to warp to new places, and the remainder of the gameplay is mostly about shooting or avoiding hazards. Because Stormlord has wings he can jump higher than you might expect and also float slowly as he descends back to the ground.

In bonus levels you blow kisses at flying fairies and collect the tears they drop. For every ten tears you collect you are awarded an extra life.

Gameplay is the same throughout the levels, although the graphics and hazards do vary a little as you progress. The horizontal scrolling is fast and smooth and visually the game is vibrant and colourful. It can get a bit repetitive, though.

Stormlord was followed by a not entirely nipple-free sequel, Deliverance: Stormlord II, in 1990.

More: Stormlord on Wikipedia
More: Stormlord on World of Spectrum

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