“The Pumpkin Strikes Back”
Where once the tiny cottage stood A mighty palace Dwarfs the wood And there within The highest tower The witch queen wields Her mighty power. A rule of evil ‘Cross the land With ghosts and gargoyles
Close at hand. Her enemies Destroyed this night – Yet one remains To set things right – A pumpkin warrior Brave and good, The last survivor >From the wood. So go now swiftly, Climb the stair And cut a lock of Witch’s hair. Seek out then The cauldron black And brew a spell To change things back. Then the hag will know defeat And thy revenge Will be complete.
At the end of Cauldron, the wicked witch defeats the Pumpking and wins the Golden Broomstick. Flushed with victory (and a stack of newly acquired magical power) the witch takes up residence in the Pumpking’s castle and moves her sidekicks in for company. All the fighting with the Pumpking has tired old witchy out, and now she spends most of her time tucked up in bed dreaming of world domination.
Little does she know, one of the Pumpking’s minions survived her veggie clean-up campaign. Under cover of darkness this determined delicacy makes its way stealthily towards the castle with one objective in mind: to take the golden broomstick and claim the Castle in the name of all things round and yellow.
Although the wicked witch stays between the sheets, she has animated various objects within the castle to keep out undesirables. Floating mines, trolls with hammers and roasted pig heads which waggle their ears in anticipation and then pounce on intruders are amongst the army of horrors that awaits the little yellow fellow. Contact with anything that moves saps Pumpkin’s strength, and when the magic meter in the status screen reaches zero he bursts!
At the start of the game, the hero is unarmed — bouncing into a pool of sparkling magic replenishes the magic meter and allows nasty-zapping to begin. Unfortunately, the canny hell-hag has granted her minions the power of immortality, and after they’ve been blasted with a bolt of magic they re-appear a couple of seconds later. Some guardians, like the patrolling skeletons and fluttering bats, cannot be killed with a magic blast — the galivanting gourd can only get past them when a certain object is in the inventory.
Gargoyles on the edge of the building harbour great magical secrets… misjudging a leap onto a gargoyle’s plinth sends the little hero falling into oblivion with the witch’s laughter ringing out loud.
Before the witch can be usurped, five objects must be collected and used at appropriate points in the game. The objects that Pumpkin Junior is carrying are displayed at the top of the screen along with the number of lives remaining. Points are added to the scoremeter each time a magical minion is zapped. Although the horrible warty hag is catching up on her beauty sleep, her evil spirit haunts the cobwebbed castle. When the veritable vegetable turns into pumpkin pulp she cackles hideously from her vantage point in the status area.
The smiling swede has obviously been doing some serious training for this mission, as he’s an agile little fellow, full of bounce. Pressing fire increases the level of sproing — there are three bounce strengths. The pumpkinette roams around the spacious castle by bouncing along, and up and over the obstacles in his path. Careful timing is needed, for movement is effected by pressing left or right as the vegetable hits the ground. Fire and a direction pressed together while the full-fibre hero is in the air shoots a bolt of magic off in the appropriate direction.
Considering the dangerous nature of his mission, Pumpkin seems unreasonably happy about everything, with his crooked little smile and the glint in his triangular eyes. When all lives are lost,
the game can be restarted — but the pumpkin sets out from one of eight randomly selected start locations, so getting to know the castle’s geography is vital.
It is up to you to guide the Pumpkin rebel through the castle chambers, collecting and using items so the hag is destroyed and Veggie Power restored. Can you help the Pumpkin Strike Back?
Taken from the original instructions and from the crash magazine review.
Palace Software – 1986
Written by Steve Brown, Richard Leinfellner, Richard Joseph
ZX Spectrum 48 K