Atari 2600

Review by Rob "Dire 51"



Graphics: 8

Sound: 7

Gameplay: 7

Overall: 7

A girl of ancient name shall become queen. She shall choose a king, and together they shall rule our world. And their son shall rule the galaxy.

Sound familiar? If you watched a lot of fantasy films in the '80s, it should. Krull was one of the better fantasies to show up in the mid-eighties, along with such films as Labyrinth, The Dark Crystal and Legend. And like many other sci-fi and fantasy films of the era, Krull had several videogames based on it. There was an arcade game by D. Gottlieb and Co. (and here YOU thought they only did the Q*Bert games), and a VCS game by Atari. Both games are quite different from each other, yet both follow the story of the film fairly well. It's the VCS game I want to talk about here, of course.

Krull follows the storyline of the movie fairly well, starting off with the secret wedding of Colwyn and Lyssa. Just like in the film, the Slayers (the soldiers of the Beast) show up to kidnap Lyssa. You, as Colwyn, must fight them off. Unfortunately, although you can hold the Slayers off indefinitely, you'll never be able to stop them from taking Lyssa to the Beast. Watch out for their laser spears - one touch can kill you.

Once Lyssa's been taken, Colwyn must journey to the Widow Of The Web to find the location of the Beast's Black Fortress, which appears on a different part of the planet each day. You'll see Colwyn riding across the Iron Desert on a Firemare at this point. Two icons will flash by beneath Colwyn's Firemare - an icon that looks like a little man, and an icon that looks like a ninja star. Press the button as Colwynn rides over them to pick them up. The man icon is a one-up, and the ninja star icon is the Glaive, a mythical weapon that only Colwyn can wield, and one that you will need to destroy the Beast, once you finally find him. You can pick up multiple Glaives, which is a good thing, as you can lose them in battle with the Beast.

Upon reaching the Widow of the Web's stage, you'll find yourself in a giant spiderweb (which is either moving or is still, depending on the difficulty level you've chosen). The Crystal Spider is roaming the web, so be careful - if he catches Colwyn, it will kill him. Keep an eye on the hourglass at the top of the screen - should it run out before Colwyn reaches the Widow, the spider will rush him and kill him. Also at the top of the screen, you can see the sun rising and setting. This is important. Once Colwyn reaches the Widow's inner sanctum (the white rectangle at the top of the web) by jumping across the strands, you will see what path will take you to the Black Fortress. The correct path is represented by a white dot on one of the exits. Once you exit the Widow's sanctum, the dot will vanish, so remember where it was. You must reach the correct path and travel to the Black Fortress before the sun rises.

Once you've finally reached the Black Fortress, the final battle with the Beast begins. Lyssa is trapped in a prison behind the Beast, who is pacing back and forth throwing fireballs at Colwyn. You must use the Glaive (which looks near identical to the Swirl from Yar's Revenge) to hack your way through the prison wall and open up a passageway that is wide enough to send the Glaive through. Be warned, though, that if the Glaive hits the Beast, you will lose it, and if you miss the Glaive when it rebounds back to you, you will lose it - and then you'd better hope you have some in reserve, because if you don't, you have to use one of the exits on the lower right or lower left of the Beast's chamber and go through the whole collecting-Glaives-and-seeing-the-Widow routine again. Once you throw the Glaive into the prison, Lyssa will come down and give Colwyn the power of fire, just like in the film (which signified that their marriage ceremony was complete). Use the fire to destroy the Beast.

The controls are about as good as you can get, honestly. I had very few problems with controlling Colwyn, although it was difficult to pick up Glaives and one-ups at times. Musically and graphically, Krull falls into the "slightly above average" category. There's very little music - just a short wedding march at the beginning of the game - and the sound effects are your basic stock effects, with the exception of the sounds the Slayers and the Crystal Spider makes. Graphics... well, I've seen better on the VCS, but these aren't bad.

What more can I say? If you liked the film, you may get some enjoyment out of the game. I did. In fact, I enjoyed them both quite a bit. Krull, while not the best VCS game ever made, is still definitely worth a look.


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Last updated: Sunday, October 31, 2004 12:18 PM