Flimbo’s Quest is a scrolling platform shooter that basically recycles the gameplay from the classic C64 game, Hawkeye. Designer/programmer Laurens van der Donk was a member of demo scene coders Boys Without Brains (who created Hawkeye), which explains the connection. From what I can tell, though, van der Donk was not involved in creating Hawkeye, so I’m not entirely sure how or why Flimbo’s Quest came to be.
You play as Flimbo, who is trying to rescue his girlfriend, Pearly, from the mad scientist Fransz Dandruff. You must collect parchments, dropped by specific defeated enemies (the ones that are flashing brightly), and take them to the wizard “Dazz Bazian” who has a shop on each level. This shop can be accessed via a door somewhere on the level. Each parchment contains a letter that – when combined – forms a word that must be used to re-program a computer at the end of the game, to free Pearly.
Flimbo‘s shooting range is limited, but this can be increased by buying the ball and arrow power-up from the shop. Collecting (or buying) a potion bottle will make Flimbo invulnerable for thirty seconds, although this will not protect him if he falls down a hole or into a body of water. There’s also a time limit on each of the seven levels and this can be increased by buying hourglasses from the shop (two minutes per purchase). Coins are sometimes dropped by enemies when they’ve been destroyed, and can also be found inside rooms that are accessed through doors in the level, so that’s where your money comes from.
You can gain an extra life by collecting five hearts of differing colours and returning to the shop. When an enemy drops a heart you can change its colour by shooting it.
Flimbo’s Quest was first released for the Commodore 64 in 1990 by System 3 – late in the C64‘s lifetime. It was also converted to the Amiga, Atari ST and Amstrad CPC. A ZX Spectrum version was in development but was never released.
Technically, Flimbo’s Quest is very good, but the gameplay is simple and repetitive. I’d never played it until recently, but it did get released on the C64 Games System four-in-one cartridge, so at least got to be widely played at the time of its original release.
More: Flimbo’s Quest on Wikipedia
More: Flimbo’s Quest on CSDb
More: C64 Game System on c64-wiki.com