All your eggs in one basket
Back to the internet we go to seek out another cool person/game/thing etc to show off to the RGG readership.
This time Megatron goes after someone very specific indeed that is involved in a game franchise he loves so much that it appears on his website banners even though he is named after a Transformer.... Yeah he's weird like that!
So today we present to you the info on a fantastic website that concentrates all it's time and energy into a world created by two legends now tendered to by the fans.
Welcome to the most EGG-citing website on earth!
If you were lucky enough to be born in time to grow up in the Vintage era of gaming then consider yourself about to be happy in your pants! Because of all the games from this period of the micro computer one of the greatest game characters of all time was born...Dizzy!
Developed by the Oliver Twins this simple yet elegant character based on, of all things an EGG helped push the platform game into new grounds. Rather than the run and jump that Jet Set Willy etc started or the adventure games using text this new game from a very new studio called Codemasters took several existing genres and in some ways helped to create what would go on to be the beginnings of the point 'n' click game.
Spawning Nearly 20 official stand alone releases on multiple formats from the Spectrum to the Megadrive this giant of a game series has sadly been abscent since the days of the 16-Bit machines, well until the fans took over and changed all that. The most popular and best fan site for this get's visited today... Enjoy
Time to get cracking on this interview!
RGG: Ok listen up! RGG’s co-commander lord of the Decepticon army Megatron summons you before him to explain yourself fleshling….State your name and business human!
Andrew: Hi I'm Andrew Joseph, 29, Occupant of Yolkfolk.com – The Dizzy Fansite since mid 2001
RGG: Dizzy? Sounds like Optimus after I punch him in the face! Tell those not in the know who is this character and why have you decided to champion him so?
Andrew: Dizzy started off life as just another member of the Yolkfolk, but once he made friends with the good wizard Theodore, his life began to change dramatically. All his life Dizzy had lived in a treehouse village in the Enchanted Forest near the city of Keldor.
Dizzy often helped his friends dig in the diamond mines. When they had enough diamonds they would trade with the people of Keldor, mostly trolls, who worked for the kindly King Rockwart.However, when the evil wizard Zaks arrived in his castle perched upon a huge cloud high above Keldor, he brainwashed Rockwart and the rest of the trolls, who began to work for him. Zaks bore a grudge against Theodore, and began by doing little annoying things like making it rain every Sunday during the Yolkfolk cricket match, but went on to do really horrid things like blasting people with magic firestars until their eyes burned out.Dizzy made it his mission to get rid of Zaks. And he thought he had, until Zaks returned.
Since then he's been catapulted through a series of weird adventures, on a desert island, in a Fantasy World, in Magicland, in the Underworld beneath the Forest, lost near a castle in the Forest itself, and all around the kingdom of Zakeria.Dizzy is now Zaks' bitter enemy, and will stop at nothing to rid the world of his influence.
RGG: Was this egg and his friends/enemies the number 1 videogame draw for you when you were growing up? If so can you tell us your very first experience with him and if not what was your first love in retro videogames?
Andrew: The Spectrum computers were a big influence on my younger years. Growing up I had all kinds of gaming systems from Sega’s Game Gear to Amstrad CPC’s etc. I recall going into Woolworths with my Grandma and Dad. Walking through the aisles I noticed one of those rotating tape stands you used to get (For the generation of today you now see keyrings and odd trinkets on them now).On this tape stand was a copy of Kwik Snax.... I was immediately drawn to the Codemasters logo and then saw Dizzy in the foreground. I recall begging my Dad to buy it and my Grandma saying ‘Oh you’ll never play it’. I did play it, quite a lot, and is STILL one of my favourite Dizzy games to this day.
RGG: With a website dedicated to Dizzy and the franchise legacy what would you is your goal? To celebrate a piece of genuine gaming history or to keep the character alive?
Andrew: The original Dizzy adventures were in no means unique with its mechanics but with its visual look and representation they captured the imagination of its players. The Oliver Twins have always said they wanted to created this fantasy world and make it a believable cartoon adventure. I believe they did just that.The Dizzy franchise, in all of its gaming incarnations stayed true to its premise and when playing any of the Dizzy games you felt like you wanted to do well. Like you wanted Dizzy to save the day and rescue his friends. Yolkfolk.com celebrates the Dizzy franchise. The characters and worlds within the games are timeless. There are not many characters you can say that were created 30 years ago that are still as fondly remembered.
RGG: Ok so before we get into website specifics straight off the bat, what’s your favourite Dizzy game and why? Sell us this choice like you life depended on it fleshling!
Andrew: My favourite ‘adventure’ Dizzy game would have to be Magicland Dizzy. For one it was the first Dizzy game I completed without the aid of a ‘Sinclair Crash’ magazines walkthrough and had a catchy bouncy tune and story that kept me glued to the game. I got to rescue the Yolkfolk, battle the Devil, get rid of the Evil Wizard Zaks and in a nod to the Pacman series – destroy ghosts by eating a power pellet. In the ‘arcade’ section, its always been Kwik Snax for the ZX Spectrum. Such a fun game to play and maintains unique while also taking a nod from Bomberman and pacman style games.
Sunny side up folks, let's talk Dizzy!
RGG: For people new to the game series which title would you recommend as the perfect jump in point?
Andrew: For the inexperienced player, Prince of the Yolkfolk would be a great game to start on. Its relatively small in world size and has the right balance of puzzles and action without too much head scratching.
RGG: How has the reaction been from Dizzy’s creators, What have the Oliver Twins said about this website that champions a series they created?
Andrew: Both Andrew and Philip have been eggstremely supportive towards myself and the website. They have and continue to support the site throughout all of its reincarnations and projects. I am very grateful that we do get this level of direct support as you cannot say that about many other fansites on the internet.
RGG: How important do you think the character of Dizzy was to Codemasters during the 8-bit era?
Andrew: Dizzy was to Codemasters as Sonic and Mario were to Sega and Nintendo. Okay you could say that Cosmic Spacehead and for a short time Seymour could have been ‘mascots’ for Codemasters but Dizzy led the way. Much like Sonic and Mario, Dizzy was a character with a story. He had a life, a purpose. He wasn’t just a sprite in some random one hit wonder game that didn’t go anywhere. After the fans wrote to Codemasters demanding more adventures, Dizzy started to appear everywhere. Posters, merchandise, and cameos in other Codemaster games.
RGG: Do you believe that the 16-bit machines such as the Megadrive and Amiga harmed the character and franchise or was the decline of popularity due to changes in gamers attitudes at the time?
Andrew: I blame the Super Nintendo and Street Fighter 2. Only joking. Certainly as we moved into the 16 and 32 bit era, the more choice that became available to gamers didn’t help the Dizzy franchise. The Dizzy games were re-released onto various formats and without offering anything different to the gamer who already had the same game on another format, they wouldn’t buy it. You could say that about anything.
Myself, I only kept buying the Dizzy games because I was a fan of the series from the 80’s. As a ‘new’ gamer in the 90’s, if I saw Dizzy up against the likes of Turrican or Street Fighter 2. I’d have to say that those would probably get my money. There was never anything wrong with the ‘Dizzy format’, just there was never anything new that kept its head above the rest of the rapidly increasing gaming market at the time.
RGG: As most retro fans know the recent Kickstarter reboot of the character failed, what would you now lie to see happen to make sure we do in fact get another official game in the series and what format would you like to see it on the most. Feel free to go nuts on this one buddy!
Andrew: It was sad to see the Kickstarter reboot fail. It had its reasons, to which I wont go into here. Its a never say never situation. As I mentioned earlier, if Dizzy were to come back on say the Xbox One or PS4’s of today. It would be up against some pretty hefty competition. Paul Ranson recreated Dizzy – Prince of the Yolkfolk for Android and IOS devices some years ago and that got the greenlight by Codemasters and did reasonably well with re-ignighting the older gamers who grew up with the series.
If it were up to me. I believe the best way to really see Dizzy return would be to make a compilation of his classic adventures (with unlockable arcade games) on a handheld or Indie platform, such as Xbox Live Arcade. Sonic did it, even Mario did it, and I believe Dizzy game do it too. Even using the franchise in education, such as Dizzy teaching typing... (Okay, Mario did that... even Noddy did that I think) Dizzy has the potential to be really big. Cartoons, merchandise etc. Grab the current gaming market while they are young. Just as they did in the 80’s.
RGG: Random question….. As a lover of Dizzy how much do you love Easter?
Andrew: Chocolate Eggs... Yes please :-)
The Hard Boiled fans keep cooking!
RGG: Yolkfolk.com keeps the Dizzy brand very much alive and thriving due to some superb fan made games, which ones stand out for you and why? Give us at least 3 examples
Andrew: The fantastic DizzyAGE engine created by Alexandru and Cristina Simion has enabled so many fans to create their own Dizzy adventures that every week we have a new game from the community. One problem I have foreseen with the quantity of fan created games is that its now saturating the market for perhaps potential new official games. I am by all means not discouraging any creators and contributors out there but a few years ago I could have easily picked 3.. now... take a look for yourself. We are overwhelmed by the enthusiasm of the Dizzy community and its testament to how popular the franchise is.
RGG: We noticed that you do an annul competition for these new games, explain to us how that came about?
Andrew: The annual competition is run over at the DizzyAGE page. It came about as an incentive for more games to be created by the fans for the fans in the interim of a potential new official game.The community enter their created game within a set time. The community then vote for the best game out of the entrants. The winner(s) get prizes donated by the community. Alexandru is very instrumental in setting this up and I personally would like to thank him for his contribution to the community.
RGG: Speaking of fan made games how do you feel about the many clones of Dizzy that exist now such as the amazing Spud’s Quest.
Andrew: Oh Spud’s Quest is defiantly an amazing game. On the site we mention ‘Dizzy Clones’ but in reality they are just games that could potentially use the same game mechanics. Today there must be thousands out there. This makes even more of a point that with so many games out there that are just as popular as each other and each with their own fans, Dizzy is not out of place.
RGG: If you were to make your own Dizzy game crossover what world from a retro videogame would you like to see our heroic egg roll around in?
Andrew: Way back when I did indeed create a few Dizzy games. I dabbled in creating a bat and ball (similar to Arkanoid) game featuring Dizzy. At the time this went down quite well. I thought well, if Sonic can do it, why not Dizzy.Dizzy could very easily stand his own against Gannon, Doctor Robotnik (Eggman) and even beat Mario to the post in any of his Karting series.
RGG: We see the name Peter Teal on your site a lot, who in the name of Denzil is this hero?
Andrew: Yolkfolk.com would not even exist if it weren’t for this man. Peter opened Yolkfolk.com’s doors way back in the early 2000’s and I joined not long after. Peter has the same passion for the character as myself and I own many a beer to that man. Peter has now since left the site to pursue other projects, although we still see him from time to time and is very welcome. On that note, I would like to say a massive thank you to my entire team that help make the site what it is today.
Adam Markey is a huge asset and helps update the massive influx of fan games and our Facebook page. He also helps prune the sites pages and makes sure there’s no bag eggs. Alexandru Simion, for his time and effort for the DizzyAGE engine. We no longer have to rely on The Games Factory and now have a dedicated engine. Lastly the entire Dizzy Community.. but more on that later...
RGG: Guardians of the galaxy 2 should have Dizzy in it, if this insane idea ever came to pass who would you like to see voice the film version of him?
Andrew: This would never happen. Dizzy doesn’t share screen time with anyone else. Although, if he were to feature in a film then you’ve got to look at someone like Jaleel White. His vocal talent he lended to the Sonic the Hedgehog cartoons would be great.
Scramble Andrew's eggcellent brain!
RGG: So we now know a lot more about your fantastic dizzy website (nice pun) but RGG wants to know more about you and your love of retro so can you tell our readers your very first gaming experience such as first machine you played and first game?
Andrew: I only remember snippets of what I used to play. I recall playing Jumping Jack on the Spectrum. Being brought Professional Ski Simulator (Also by the Oliver Twins) when I came out of hospital from one of the many times I cracked my head open as a child..Being part of the ‘duplication scene’ (who wasn’t) back in the 80’s and early 90’s I have played many games. I loved the Intellivision with Astrosmash. My mum and brother ganging up on me playing Utopia. My first experience with a Sega Mastersystem (There’s a SNAIL MAZE GAME!!!!!).
The Amiga A600.. Batman the Movie, Wiz-kid.I really really could be here for a very long time if I were to go on. :-)
RGG: Your walking your girlfriend home when an evil wizard appears and instead of stealing your lady love instead whisks you away onto some sort of Treasure Island (nice pun) What 5 games do you hope are waiting for you when you get there?
Andrew: 5 games... *Thinks*
1. Thundercats for the ZX Spectrum
2. Wiz-Kid for the Amiga
3. Magicland Dizzy for the ZX Spectrum
4. Super Mario World for the Super Nintendo
5. Tetris for the Gameboy
RGG: If you could send out a message (in a bottle) to the internet regarding Dizzy what would that message be?
Andrew: Play Dizzy. Its Eggcellent. Cracking! (Its a small message)
RGG: Site plug time…. Tell us all why the next thing people reading this should do is to swing by Yolkfolk.com? Sell Sell Sell…
Andrew: If you wanted to explore classic gaming, visit the site. If you wanted to revisit the classic games, visit the site.
If you were so frustrated about the series and want to sound off to the Dizzy Community about how you hated it so much you wanted to boil every copy of the game in existence into a large plastic black mess, visit the site. If you are a fan of the series and want to be part of the amazing Dizzy Community who contribute to keeping the franchise alive, visit the site.Our mission has been to create a visually appealing site, getting old and new visitors eggcited about Dizzy and its history.. and its future. I think, over the last 14 years, we have done this. We don’t bite.
RGG: What came first the chicken or the Dizzy?
Andrew: I am sure that Grand dizzy would have something to say about that regarding Dizzy’s conception. Or is that ovulation??
RetroGameGeeks Final Thoughts...
There was no way that this amazing website was not going to get a portal feature on RGG, not whilst so many of it's readership remember the character and worlds of Dizzy so fondly. Like most well known franchises Dizzy always allows you to have a quality evening of talking about your favourite entry in the series and much like Final Fantasy there's a real rivalry here with the common debate being between Treasure Island and Fantasy World as the standout examples... Or at least it is with the people I talk too at least.
It's always a great thing to see dedicated sites to a particular game or series as this is where you will usually find all the best facts and details about it/them. In this sense Yolkfolk.com hits home like a dart hitting the bullseye on a board. It's wall to wall Dizzy and if you want to know the story, year of release and characters in any of the series then this part of the interwebz is going to make you a very happy camper indeed.
None of this will come as a shocker though because when you focus all your attention to something like this you will always create something special and this is exactly what this nostalgia trip into the past is, it is in fact the mecca for all those who still yearn for the Egg to return. The main difference here though is rather than being a simple reference site Yolkfolk.com goes so much further than that with a comprehensive list of fan made titles that help to keep the legacy strong and the franchise alive.
Best of all is that you can actually download and play them so not only will you be bombarded by high quality screens of info but the capacity to carry on wandering around in that magical world thanks to the hard work of all those people who like this writer refuse to let this dynamic sprite die. When you add into that the fact that Andrew and his collegues promote new games to be made in the competitions they hold and the outstanding community they have built up on the lively forum it's clear that this is one piece of 8-Bit gold that won't ever go away.
The Oliver Twins who as stated have given this website it's backing is another indicator of the level of authenticity the Yolkfolk.com has and when you see the page counter at the bottom and see that it has had well over 2 million unique visits it also clearly shows how much of a fanbase exists, remembers and enjoys this little egg and his many friends.
A website likes this shows the power of community and belief, the original creators may have dropped the ball completely with the recent Kickstarter which by the way broke my heart on several levels but where there is a will there is a way. Maybe the world didn't want hand drawn art on dynamic multi-layered screens, after all the originals we all loved were nothing like this at all, the community here is showing the way and I hope with every single fibre of my being that one day we will get that official new entry in the series from the two genius creators who started it all.
Until that day I remain a believer and a fan and RGG will do it's part by focusing attention on those who are going above and beyond to maintain it's legacy, history and future which is what the Yolkfolk.com and all of it's members are doing. To all of you I show so much love and respect, whilst the golden age of 16-Bit consoles sustained me it was the Micro Computers from the previous era that made me.
Dizzy in my opinion was the Sonic or Mario for the Spectrum, I have never nor will I suspect ever find another franchise of such wonder, my childhood thanks the Oliver Twins, the older me thanks Andrew and the team at Yolkfolk.com for making an old man happy this evening.
Maybe Dizzy doesnt need to return... Maybe He never ever really left!