Gottlieb's 1983 Krull

Robotron with boomerangs. Using your dual joysticks, control Colwyn (the good guy) around various levels loosely based on the movie. Defend yourself from the Slayers (the bad guys--duh--with a name like that what else could they be?) with your arsenal of glaives. Glaives are 5-pointed boomerangs that Colwyn uses to defend himself and his wandering army. Once thrown, glaives will travel to the edge of the screen, bounce back, and return to their owner and are equally lethal traveling in either direction. But use your glaives wisely as Colwyn can have only 4 on screen at any one time.

There are five unique levels in Krull. In the first Colwyn must run up a mountain, avoid the tumbling boulders, and assemble his glaive from the 5 pieces scattered about. The second screen introduces the attacking Slayers and your wandering army you must rescue. The third screen is a variation on the second but you must bring your rescued army to the wandering hexagon. The hexagon makes a return in the fourth, Star Castle-like screen where you must shoot down its walls. Finally, in the fifth screen, you must rescue the Princess Lyssa while avoiding the ricocheting fireballs launched by The Beast.

Missing Ingredient

The movie Krull, like most fantasy movies, features a variety of colorful characters, exotic locations, unique weapons and interesting creatures that would seem very well-suited for a video game translation. Giant spider webs, flying horses, a shapeshifting wizard and a traveling fortress disguised as a mountain are elements of the movie. In comparison, Krull the videogame shares only a handful of these elements, and seems to create other elements (the hexagon, rescuing the army, the maze) that bear little or no resemblance to the movie. While this may have been a conscious decision based on both a desire to keep gameplay consistent and technological limitations, Krull perhaps deviates from its movie counterpart. In many ways Krull was very similar to Tron, another game based on a movie license. Detailed graphics, powerful sound effects, multiple levels of gameplay, intuitive controls, and a unique cabinet enclosure are shared by both game titles. I suppose the argument could be made that Tron was just an all-around better license that offered many more elements that were tailor made for a video game. While that may be true, the Krull game never really lived up to the potential of what its license could have offered.

Thanks to Jeffrey Carl at ServInt for providing the space for CinemArcade


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