Amstrad Computer User

By Elite
Amstrad CPC464

Published in Amstrad Computer User #28


I remember running home down the hill from Mary Dean's C of E Primary School, up the hill the other side, through the churchyard and home just to watch Scooby-Doo and friends thwart another Mad Scientist in a haunted houselfairground.

The end was always the same - Fred would rip off the mask and the mad scientist would mutter "If it wasn't for those dratted kids" as the cops led him away. Then we'd have banana sandwiches...

So what has Elite done with Hanna-Barbera's hopeless hound? It seems to run true to form The Mystery Machine arrives at the ruined castle and the gang climb out, ready to explore.


They never seem to learn that where there are ruined castles there are evildoers just about to finish off the fiendish invention that will conquer the world (or New Jersey at least).

But as they enter, Velma, Shaggy, Daphne and Fred are seized by large hands (it says here) and a chorus of voices cry out "Our experiments are almost complete. Nothing can stop us now!"

Only Scooby survives this mass kidnap. Naturally he's frightened, but in best H-B tradition decides to search for his friends. But he is not alone. As he wanders the initially deserted corridors, spooks, ghouls and goblins issue from the woodwork.


One brush with the ectoplasmic entities knocks old Scoobs for six. Al] he can do is punch. But where are the gang?

The adversaries are varied indeed. Ghoulfish, mad monks, springs and plain ghosts are all there. If you don't fancy battling through each level, you can choose a practice mode with just the phantoms of your picking to fight against.

But in the end, if Scooby-Doo is going to free his friends, the entire gamut must be faced by the game mutt.


To add to his discomfort there are bats and bowling balls rampant. He can duck the bats, he can Jump over the bowling balls, he can even run away - but in the end he has to punch a few ghoulies in the supernatural mush.

Sadly there's no digitised gruff grumblings, or those running noises that happen when Scooby hovers in mid-air before his legs get a purchase on the Gothic floor. Apart from that, it all seems nicely familiar.


Scooby-Dooby-Doo - Where are yooooou? I hated the cartoon: Every episode was worse than the one before. I mean, here's this really thick, stupid canine, accompanied by even thicker, stupider humans, solving mysteries and defeating baddies - Enid Blyton, where are you now?


I usually enjoy the wander-around-and-pick-up-things sort of game, but this one reduced me to an almost catatonic state.


I once read a very valid comment about computer games - if I could remember where I'd credit the author. Anyway the comment said that no one ever complains about the lack of depth in arcade conversions, but when these are compared to games originated on micros you see how shallow coin-ops are.

You'd never get something as complicated as Firebird's Elite in an arcade. Scooby-Doo is simple in an arcade sense - a bit like Kung-Fu Master. It's not a bad game but hardly something which will tax a brain cell.



"In their defence, maid, Elite can plead a brain-damaged plot and some very nice graphics".

P: "Objection! The alleged graphics consist of two very large Scooby-Doos, a Scooby-Doo head, the words Scooby-Doo writ ginormous and an Elite logo. The playing area is the size of a postcard".

D: "But the animation's good".

P: "M"lud, the game is, ipso facto, unplayable".

J: "Thank you, gentlemen. I find Elite guilty of producing and foisting the worst guff ever to disgrace an Amstrad. I sentence them to life programming on Star Trek."