Popeye (Piranha/DK Tronics/Macmillan) Available for Amstrad CPC464, Commodore 64/128 & Spectrum 48K The Don Priestley graphic adventure version of Popeye, loosely based on the coin-op but introducing huge, cartoon-like sprites.
Welcome to Popeye, a Spectrum 48K/128K conversion of the Popeye arcade game.
Olive, who stands or walks around at the top of the screen, tosses
out hearts, musical notes or the letters of the word "HELP!" for
Popeye to catch. He must chase after these items and collect them
before they fall to the ground and break.
Other Popeye characters to make an appearance in the game are Wimpy,
Sweetpea, the Sea Hag and her Vulture. Each of these characters
appear at various points throughout the game.
The game has three levels - the dock, the street and the shipboard.
These repeat with increasing difficulty.
On the first level, Olive Oyl stands at the top of the screen and
tosses 24 hearts one at a time down to the bottom, hoping that Popeye
will catch them all. If a heart reaches the bottom of the screen,
you will have about ten seconds to pick it up before it breaks, costing
you one of your lives.
The second level is much like the first, except Olive Oyl is dropping
musical notes, now 16 of them, one at a time. The major difference is
the layout, with Wimpy on the plank in the lower corner. If Popeye
jumps off the second floor, he will be catapulted up to the third floor.
With some careful timing, you can even make Popeye leap all the way up
to the fourth floor, where Sweetpea is waiting on a balloon platform.
The setting for the third level is a ship, with a sliding platform on
the top floor. At the beginning of the board you should be able to
slide Popeye across the platform several times, catching the
letters H-E-L-P that Olive Oyl is dropping directly above.
Try to catch the hearts as high as possible, since they decrease in
value as they get closer to the bottom.
Every time Popeye catches a letter, one step is added to a ladder which
goes up to Olive Oyl. When the ladder is finished, Olive Oyl is rescued.
The third level is the most difficult, because a large number of letters
are needed to complete the ladder and save Olive Oyl. The Vulture will
constantly appear from the left side of the screen. While sliding back
and forth across the platform, you should try to punch The Vulture
as many times as possible, to score 1000 points per punch.
After Popeye has rescued Olive Oyl on the third level, there will be an
intermission that will have Popeye's face while "I'm Popeye The Sailor Man"
plays followed by Popeye blowing his pipe and going "Toot! Toot!".
Afterwards, the game begins again with increased difficulty.
If Bluto harasses you, cross the edge of the screen from left to right
and wait for him to stop directly underneath the bucket. Hit the
punching bag at this point and the bucket will fall onto his head,
rendering him helpless for a while. This will score you 2,000 points
and give you some time to catch a few more hearts.
Like in the cartoons, Popeye becomes stronger after eating spinach. A
can of spinach moves between the second and third floors of the screen
and you can have Popeye eat it by punching the can. Afterwards, Popeye
become stronger than Bluto for about 10 seconds. If you can punch Bluto
at this time, he falls into the sea, temporarily knocked out, and you
will be awarded 3,000 points.
Bluto will eventually recover so make good use of this time by catching
as many falling hearts as possible. They are worth twice as much when
Popeye is under the influence of spinach, so catching some of the higher
hearts can really help your score. And since extra lives are only
awarded at a very high score, you should be as greedy as possible.
To make up for his lumbering slowness, Bluto is capable of throwing beer
bottles at Popeye. These must be either avoided or punched.
On all levels, Bluto can reach from underneath or bend down from higher
floors to lower ones - be careful that you are not underneath him!
The Sea Hag
The Sea Hag also throws bottles, except she only throws one at a time. The
Sea Hag materializes on the edge of the screen for a moment, chucks a bottle,
and disappears. She can also be on both sides of the screen at once. So if
you are caught between two Sea Hags or between Bluto and The Sea Hag, you
will need to be quick on the joystick and Punch button to survive.
Hints And Tips
Cans of Spinach
The can of spinach can only be used once per level, and it is not restored
after you lose a life. Do not use it too soon! Collect about two thirds of the
total number of hearts, and have as many hearts fill the air as possible
before getting the spinach.
Note: If you touch the bottom of Sweetpea whilst under the influence of spinach, you will score 1,000 points instead of 500.
Punch Bluto Then Stun Him
You can double the points awarded by dropping the bucket onto Bluto by doing
the following: Firstly, wait until you have punched him - best done when after
eating spinach! - and then position Popeye to the punching bag. After Bluto
comes out of the sea, he will move underneath the bucket but will be on the
With some practice and timing you should be able to drop the bucket onto his head.
Note: Touching Bluto while the bucket is on his head is not fatal. But be careful, because after the bucket comes off he can easily knock out Popeye.
Maximise The Beer Bottles
Try to force Bluto to throw bottles as often as possible - four at a time - and
punch instead of avoiding them. This scores extra points.
Touching the bottom of Sweetpea
Hitting Bluto With Bucket
Punching Bluto Into Sea
Extra life at 20,000 points
Spectrum 128K owners select Loader from main menu.
Note: The Spectrum 128K version contains additional music.
This game was mentioned in the following articles:
Gregory Loses His Clock (22nd August 1989) (Spectrum 48K/128K/+2) Attempt to recover the pieces of your alarm clock from a colourful dreamworld in a flick-screen adventure with very large sprites, and not a platform in sight.