In the hot summer of 1989, in addition to enjoying the thirteenth Inter championship dragged by the two Germans Matthaus and Brehme, one of the best conversions was released for Commodore 64: The New Zealand Story! A very nice arcade platform game produced by Taito and published by Ocean Software, a house that every sixty-four user should know like the back of his hand. The protagonist of the game is a shy kiwi named Tiki (but since when are they yellow?) A “chick” armed with a bow and arrow who will have to make his way through dozens and dozens of levels that take place all over New Zealand in actual locations such as Auckalnd, Rotorua etc. It all begins when Tiki plays carefree with her friends in a park and suddenly buys a walrus that kidnaps everyone but luckily Tiki manages to get out of the bag without the walrus’s knowledge. Thus begins the hunt in the various levels to free his friends locked up in cages at each end of the level.
The style of play is that of platformers, that is, jumping from one platform to another eliminating the enemies until the end of the level, interesting modes were added to the game such as climbing on balloons that the enemies leave once defeated. The balloons can be of different shapes and had different functions, for example the duck one which is fast but unwieldy (on C64 the speed was the same for everyone), at heart or even as a UFO that shoots laser beams! You can also swim underwater with a mask and oxygen bar that will tell us when it’s time to catch your breath. There are also several weapons that the enemies drop, as well as power ups, various gadgets and fruits that resemble Bubble Bobble, another similar game for C64 or the more recent Kirbys game for Wii. Weapons include bombs, laser guns, and wizard’s sticks. Every three or four levels there will be a boss to face, everyone will have their own weak point, starting from the ice whale in the first world, the stone cuttlefish in the second world and so on up to the walrus, thus freeing all our friends. In the arcade version, once the last life was over, one could be transported to heaven, a world full of quills not easy to avoid; If you found the secret road you had the right to another life, otherwise once you arrived in the presence of the Virgin Mary the game was over anyway. Another lack in the C64 conversion are the portals that allow you to teleport between one level and another, arriving first towards the final levels.
Accumulating the “pocket money” I was finally able to buy the game in the box. I was struck by the music faithful to the arcade, but I was disappointed by the shortcomings mentioned above. All in all it was a well done, funny but also quite difficult title that I only uploaded with the Datassette for months. Those were the golden years in which Ocean Software released several headlines and the windows of computer and record stores were decorated with computers and games with consumerism easy for all of us. In these difficult days where many are forced to stay indoors, I propose to distract us in the family with this beautiful game, and maybe it will transport us back to those fabulous 88/89 years when Inter snatched the Scudetto from Maradona’s Napoli and Milan of the Dutch.
Below you can download the game and all our readers wish the best.