ZX Spectrum Games Return Of The Jedi
Domark had developed the previous two Star Wars Games (Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back) for the ZX Spectrum and completed the trilogy with their conversion of Return Of The Jedi early in 1989.
The third arcade game was popular, but never quite reached the legendary status of the original vector graphics Star Wars original. Still, it was a nice way to round off the trilogy.
Without a vector graphic in sight, we blast off into a galaxy far far away....
Oh, and it was quite a long time ago (twenty years!) too.
Taking the popular isometric top down view, Return of the Jedi was an arcade scroller. Starting off as Princess Leia, you hurtled through the forest of endor (a yellow pathway with a few trees) on a speederbike avoiding imperial stormtroopers (also on speederbikes) and the odd tree. Bizarrely enough the stormtroopers were actually good shots here taking you down efficiently. So already we're not staying faithful to the films! ;-)
You also had to watch out for those pesky ewoks and their trip wire device which would take you out. I though they were on your side?
If you made it to the end of the level you were treated to a bunch of ewoks doing some sort of dance. The whole scene looks a bit dodgy it you ask me!
Now that you've jedi-mind wiped that image out of your head you move to the dreaded Deathstar. Now you were piloting the fastest hunk o' junk in the galaxy with the smoothest talkin' granny permed pilot of them all, Lando Calrissian.
Trapped next to the Deathstar by a fleet of Star Destroyers (it's a TRAP!) you had to take out tie-fighters and survive long enough whilst Chewie made his way to the imperial bunker on Endor (which we will come to in a moment)
So you flicked between Lando and Chewie, and as Chewie (still in the forest) you had to avoid and destroy oncoming boulders and logs as you moved along the scrolling landscape. Once you reached the imperial bunker you could blow it sky high - freeing Lando to begin his Deathstar attack run.
Again it was a diagonal scrolling level, and the object was to avoid the dangerous protrusions jutting from every wall as they scrolled towards you. Avoiding enough protrusions (and the TIE fighter that tailed you) eventually led you to the central reactor, which had to be destroyed (oh so THAT's how you destroy a DeathStar!)
Anyway, DeathStar number two destroyed, it was back to Endor for another speeder bike run in a thicker part of the forest - very similar to level one. One more dodgy Ewok dance later and once again you had defeated the evil empire. Hooray!
Well by 1989 the Star Wars games were becoming a little 'old hat' - the film had been released six years earlier. Response the Return of the Jedi was pretty good, but it was never regarded as a 'must have' game. The graphics were nothing to write home about, but Domark did manage to capture the spirit of the arcade game quite well.
The test of time:
Well, Return of the Jedi really is a product of it's era. In some ways it seems a bit older than the original Star Wars, but maybe that's just me. With it being a sort of pretty good game back then, it's decidedly pretty bad now! Here in ZX Spectrum Games we like this one purely for nostalgia. The opening menu's are nice and it does have a nice theme tune (the Ewok celebration piece!)
Oh, and why does the loading screen have Frankenstien's monster holding a lightsaber on it?
So use the force and load this one up. Please see our other ZX Spectrum game reviews - all links are listed in alphabetical order. Cheers guys.
GENRE: Arcade scroller
RELEASE DATE: Early 1989
RELEASED BY: Domark
DEVELOPER(S): D Kelly, DP Rowson, D Howcroft
PRICE: £9.95 Cassette £14.95 Disk - UK
Leia doesn't get taken from behind in Return of the Jedi on the ZX Spectrum:
Lando is no solo on the ZX Spectrum:
21 Aug 2009
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