Soldier of Fortune

by David O'Connor
Firebird Software Ltd
Crash Issue 57, Oct 1988   page(s) 24,25

Looking for tablets in a labyrinth of caves

Producer: Firebird
Out of Pocket: £7.95 cass
Author: Graftgold

Sarnak has been summoned to retrieve the Zodiac Power Source stolen by evil Krillys. The brave adventurer's quest begins in the mysterious Ebbledown Forest, which lies above a vast cavern system, populated by hordes of Krillys's terrible demons.

Luckily for Sarnak, a network of magic platforms exists, created by Krillys for his own convenience. Using these, Sarnak is able to explore the demon-patrolled caves in search of the four elementals with which he can summon the Zodiac Power Source.

These are constructed from six pieces of magical tablet, scattered around the many caves. and can be used to defeat the powerful Guardian to allow escape from the current region.

Soldier Of Fortune looks and plays rather like a cross between Beyond The Ice Palace, and Ghosts And Goblins - even down to the great patience needed to master the pixel-perfect jumping skills necessary to reach some of the more inaccessible ledges.

The various areas of the land are linked by magic portals which transfer Sarnak to a different region. Also littering the land are the skeletons of other unfortunate adventurers; their trapped souls can be freed by contact with Sarnak, and they may gratefully reward him with a clue to the hidden location of the Guardian's chamber, accessed via a portal.

To start you are armed only with a simple bow and arrow, but more powerful magic weapons may be found, such as throwing daggers and swinging axes. Further aid is found in glowing crystals - collect eight for an extra life.

Soldier Of Fortune contains some cute, colourful characters patrolling a fairly large playing area of lifts and platforms. The hero is effectively animated as he leaps and runs through a multitude of caves. Although jumping around shooting demons is good fun, the lack of variety kills the appeal, especially when most of the screens have been explored.

PHIL [69%]

Joysticks: Kempston, Cursor, Sinclair
Graphics: well-drawn sprites patrol a colourful landscape of lifts and platforms
Sound: catchy Steve Turner title tune, plus plenty of spot FX

Even though much swearing is heard, and frustration is felt at first, patience and practice soon has you merrily bounding across the colourful, and well-drawn screens. Overall, despite the fact that Soldier Of Fortune is playable, I feel it adds little to the existing platform and ladders format.
MARK [68%]

Roaming around a scrolling landscape collecting bits and pieces and fighting off various nasties isn't very appealing on its own, but with the added attraction of teleports, the game becomes quite addictive. If you're looking for a good excuse to lock yourself in your bedroom for a couple of hours, here it is…
NICK [73%]

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Presentation: 69%
Graphics: 70%
Playability: 69%
Addictive Qualities: 64%
Overall: 70%

Summary: General Rating: Very unoriginal, though playable, platform and ladders game lacks lasting appeal.

Transcript by Chris Bourne

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