comic-style adventure games

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serietecknarskolan

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Apr 3, 1998, 3:00:00 AM4/3/98
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Hi!

I just had a minor fit of nostalgia, and remembered those old comic-style
adventure games that graced the Commodore 64 for a short while back in the
mid-eighties.

The game I think of first and foremostly is one called "Stifflip & co",
which was all about this british pilot and his crew going on a treasure
hunt in a middle american banana republic [insert sardonic comment about
originality here]. The interface was a combination of icon-clicking and
"pick-verb-from-list", and it had an infuriatingly primitive combat system,
the like of which I (luckily) haven´t seen since then.

What was great about it, though, was this: The whole thing looked and felt
very much like a comic book. The panels/locations were monochrome, with all
characters visible in the foreground. Player characters and npc:s spoke and
thought in balloons, and some locations had captions too. You had all the
usual adventure-game commands, and the puzzles worked accordingly. There
was some graphic interaction too, i.e. things disappearing from the
background when taken, doors opening, etc, but no animation as I can
recall. Dying usually provided more spectacular graphic/audial results,
though, like bullet holes appearing all over the screen or a big "ARRGH!"
covering the panel. There was also a page-turning effect each time you
switched characters, and the obligatory "meanwhile..." caption.

There was also a German game (in German, naturally, which I understood very
little of at the time), about a biker trying to puzzle together his
motorcycle which had been scattered across a city by a gang of thugs. Hard
as I try, I can´t remember the title. This one had a traditional
joystick-driven interface, and some "pick-the-alternative" dialogue, but
not much problem-solution. The graphics were monochrome, and beatifully
drawn, with the main character wandering among run-down old houses, picking
up pieces of the motorcycle, talking to people, and trying not to run into
the thugs, who unavoidably beat you into a pulp. Each scene was like a
panel of its own, and the perspective would vary from first to second
person (the latter being a two dimensional, straght-from-the-side view).

Since I was, and still am, a fan and practitioner of the art of comics, I
very much enjoyed this comics style approach to adventure games, and I
think that the concept is well worth re-introducing, as a breath of fresh
(though recycled) air in this era of multimania. Does anyone agree?

By the way, if anyone could tell me where to find disk or tape images of
these games (or even just tell me the name of that german game), I would be
very much obliged.

/Johan Cedmar-Brandstedt
(JohanCB AT hotmail DOT com)

Michael Piotrowski

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Apr 4, 1998, 3:00:00 AM4/4/98
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"serietecknarskolan" <serieteck...@swipnet.se> writes:

> [...]


> There was also a German game (in German, naturally, which I understood very
> little of at the time), about a biker trying to puzzle together his
> motorcycle which had been scattered across a city by a gang of thugs. Hard
> as I try, I can´t remember the title. This one had a traditional
> joystick-driven interface, and some "pick-the-alternative" dialogue, but
> not much problem-solution. The graphics were monochrome, and beatifully
> drawn, with the main character wandering among run-down old houses, picking
> up pieces of the motorcycle, talking to people, and trying not to run into
> the thugs, who unavoidably beat you into a pulp. Each scene was like a
> panel of its own, and the perspective would vary from first to second
> person (the latter being a two dimensional, straght-from-the-side view).

> [...]


> By the way, if anyone could tell me where to find disk or tape images of
> these games (or even just tell me the name of that german game), I would be
> very much obliged.

The German game you're referring to was actually based on a comic
book, namely "Werner" by Brösel (see <http://www.werner.de/>).

I think I saw it on the Amstrad CPC at that time: good graphics but
otherwise lame :-) "Werner" isn't really my type of hype, anyway.

Hope this helps

--
Michael Piotrowski <m...@linguistik.uni-erlangen.de>
Department of Computational Linguistics --- University of Erlangen, Germany
You know, basically, I'm no good at either linguistics or computer science.
--Larry Wall

andreww

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Apr 6, 1998, 3:00:00 AM4/6/98
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serietecknarskolan <serieteck...@swipnet.se> wrote in article
<01bd5f1d$35f85780$49ee...@win95.swipnet.se>...

> Hi!
>
> I just had a minor fit of nostalgia, and remembered those old comic-style
> adventure games that graced the Commodore 64 for a short while back in
the
> mid-eighties.
>
> The game I think of first and foremostly is one called "Stifflip & co",

Stifflip is rather good; anyone got a solution for it? Other great comic
style titles for the C64 included "Redhawk" and Accolades "Comics" (which
was simply brilliant), but they weren't really graphic adventures.

>
> By the way, if anyone could tell me where to find disk or tape images of
> these games (or even just tell me the name of that german game), I would
be
> very much obliged.

Stifflip can be found here:

ftp://arnold.hiof.no:6502/pub/games/s/

serietecknarskolan

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Apr 6, 1998, 3:00:00 AM4/6/98
to

> The German game you're referring to was actually based on a comic
> book, namely "Werner" by Brösel (see <http://www.werner.de/>).
>
> I think I saw it on the Amstrad CPC at that time: good graphics but
> otherwise lame :-) "Werner" isn't really my type of hype, anyway.
>
> Hope this helps

Thanks for trying to help, but I´ve read some Werner comics, and I'm pretty
sure that that wasn't it. The main character in the C64 game looked nothing
like Werner, more like Gaston in a leather jacket and with a big greasy
forehead lock. "Werner" isn´t my type of hype either.

/Johan Cedmar Brandstedt
(JohanCB at hotmail dot com)

serietecknarskolan

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Apr 6, 1998, 3:00:00 AM4/6/98
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--8<---

> Other great comic
> style titles for the C64 included "Redhawk" and Accolades "Comics" (which
> was simply brilliant), but they weren't really graphic adventures.
>
--8<---

Tell me more! BTW, have you seen the 1991-or-so SEGA fighter/platform game
"Comics"?

Joe Mason

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Apr 6, 1998, 3:00:00 AM4/6/98
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In article <01bd6179$3f8ec460$4e6d...@win95.swipnet.se>,

serietecknarskolan <serieteck...@swipnet.se> wrote:
>Tell me more! BTW, have you seen the 1991-or-so SEGA fighter/platform game
>"Comics"?

On a PC-Gamer coverdisc I saw a demo of a game called, IIRC, Comic Zone which
may have been a port of the one you mentioned. I fighting game, not a
an adventure, but it definitely used that comic-book style.

Joe


Michael Piotrowski

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Apr 7, 1998, 3:00:00 AM4/7/98
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"serietecknarskolan" <serieteck...@swipnet.se> writes:

Ok, I'll give it another try :-) If you say the character had a big
greasy forehead lock, I think it was a French or Belgian comic called
something like "Lucien". The game was probably by the French company
Infograme <http://www.infogrames.fr/>, which also adapted other
comics, most notably "Les passagers du vent", which was quite
revolutionary at this time; you could maybe even call this interactive
fiction.

andreww

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Apr 7, 1998, 3:00:00 AM4/7/98
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serietecknarskolan <serieteck...@swipnet.se> wrote in article
<01bd6179$3f8ec460$4e6d...@win95.swipnet.se>...

> --8<---
> > Other great comic
> > style titles for the C64 included "Redhawk" and Accolades "Comics"
(which
> > was simply brilliant), but they weren't really graphic adventures.
> >
> --8<---
>
> Tell me more!

Well, Redhawk I never really played much (my brother bought it). It was
about a man who could turn into a superhero by saying "Hawk!" (and back
again by saying "Kwah!"). I have a vague feeling that it started out as a
Spectrum game, and being a specrophobe, I avoided it! Then again, it could
have been because I never bothered to read the instructions, so I never did
much good at it!

Accolades Comics was much more impressive. It came on 3 double-sided
disks, so it was quite a big game. You played Steve Keene, private spy.
The screen was presented as a comic book, with 4 panels per screen (each
panel appearing as the story progressed). At certain points you got to
choose what Keene said, or what direction he went in, but really it was
just an excuse to link 8 arcade-style games together. But it was amusing,
had lots of little animations going on in the background, and had a comic
book format. The only things that took away from it were the long
disk-access times on the C64, and that sometimes it appeared a little
squashed - 4 panels per screen didn't give a great deal of room, compared
to the wider 2-panel layout of Stifflip & Co.

Then there are the games that were based on comic strips - Spy vs. Spy,
Andy Capp, Dan Dare, etc.

But none of these relate to adventure games....(though there were some
Scott Adams adventures based on Marvel characters, I think - the Questprobe
series with Spiderman, the Incredible Hulk, etc)

Regards,

Andrew.


BTW, have you seen the 1991-or-so SEGA fighter/platform game
> "Comics"?
>

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