|Head Over Heels|
Cover art of Head Over Heels
|Designer(s)||F. David Thorpe (loading screen)|
|Platform(s)||Amstrad CPC, Amstrad PCW, Atari 8-bit, Atari ST, Commodore 64, Amiga, MSX, ZX Spectrum|
|Release||1987, 1988, 1989|
Head Over Heels is an action-adventure video game, released in 1987 for several 8-bit home computers, and subsequently ported to a wide range of formats. The working title for the game was Foot and Mouth. It uses an isometric engine that is similar to the Filmation technique first developed by Ultimate.
Head Over Heels is the second isometric game by Jon Ritman and Bernie Drummond, after their earlier Batman computer game released in 1986. In 1994 another isometric video game by Ritman and Drummond, Monster Max, was released for the Nintendo Game Boy.
The player controls two characters instead of just one, each with different abilities. Head can jump higher than Heels, control himself in the air, and fire doughnuts from a hooter to paralyze enemies; while Heels can run twice as fast as Head, climb certain staircases that Head cannot, and carry objects around a room in a bag. These abilities become complementary when the player combines them together after completing roughly a sixth of the game. Compared to its predecessors, the game offers unique and revolutionary gameplay, complex puzzles, and more than 300 rooms to explore.
Drummond contributed some famously surreal touches, including robots (controlled by push switches) that bore a remarkable resemblance to the head of Prince Charles on the body of a Dalek. Other surreal touches include enemies with the heads of elephants and staircases made of dogs that teleport themselves away as soon as Head enters the room.
Headus Mouthion (Head) and Footus Underium (Heels) are two spies from the planet Freedom. They are sent to Blacktooth to liberate the enslaved planets of Penitentiary, Safari, Book World and Egyptus, and then to defeat the Emperor to prevent further planets falling under his rule. Captured and separated, the spies are placed in the prison headquarters of Castle Blacktooth and must first escape, then break through the market to the orbiting Moonbase where they can teleport down to the planets to locate and reobtain the stolen crowns. Liberation of the planets and defeat of the Emperor will allow Head and Heels to return to Freedom as heroes.
Ritman admits that the storyline lacked real connection to the gameplay. In an interview for Edge, he stated that he "made the whole game up and then added the bullshit in the last ten minutes."
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