C'mon guys, I'm sure the Amiga could do more colours than that at once. When I started the game, I was given the choice between AGA Mode (improved graphics for Amiga 1200 computers) and Normal Mode (for A500, A500+ and A600). I'm sure I picked AGA Mode.
I can't pick any other levels, so I'm off to Sub Aqua Zone Phase One, 'Nautical But Nice'.
This music is awful. You can tell it's the water themed level because the music has drip sound effects in it. You can tell it's an Amiga game because it sounds like a terrible tracker module.
(Donk isn't liking being left here one bit. He's twitching and blinking like anything. Is he allergic to water?)
Eaagh! What's going on!?
What's with all the bubbles? Why did they use the Amiga's trademark horizontal gradient magic to do the solid parts of the level and use these ugly tiles for the background? Why does the ground look so terrible in both modes? Quick! Back to AGA Mode!
Okay, gems. No idea where the gems are, so we're heading to the right. All the best stuff is always to the right.
Donk's jump turns him into a whirling corkscrew of death. Almost. Touching those spiky things that jump out of the water from any side is instant death, but touching the water isn't. Donk doesn't like water, but all it does is take off a hit point and make him bounce off. (The colour of the bars at the top and bottom of the screen show Donk's health.)
These jumps are a bit much for Level 1... you can only just see the edge of the next platform from the one you're currently on and Donk's jump only just makes the gap. There's seven of these jumps in a row, each with a spiky thing in between. Then there's gems, a dead end, and we have to do seven jumps back.
Donk stomps around the with purpose and he's got an odd V-shaped jump so it's easy to overshoot ledges.
And Donk transforms into a duck. From a duck. He transforms from a large duck to a bathtub rubber duck when you duck. And becomes invincible. If you hold it for too long he explodes and you lose a life.
Donk's whirling blade technique makes short work of that floating snorkel-wearing fool.
They had the civility to place the exit right next to the last bunch of gems... unless you took a different route through the level and have no idea where the exit is. In that case, you'd be outta luck.
Okay, the next level is Sub Aqua Zone Phase Four, 'Halibuts Hell'. That's a terrible name. And what happened to Phases Two and Three?
Donk's jump cuts through the pipes like paper. I hope there's a way back up, because I can't see what's below until I've already broken the pipe I'm on. Pulling down (to try and look ahead) makes me transform into a rubber duck and self destruct.
This level's huge... and I don't see how I'm supposed to be getting to the exit if it's all the way up there... and there's two exits! How mysterious!
I've no choice but to enter it now as I can't get back down from here. That's a pain. When you go back to a level to find the other exits, the level completely resets.
This level starts you off right next to the only gem, so it's a race against time to find the exit. This level is a continuous run of difficult jumps with spikys in the water. How boring.
I wonder if they considered how difficult it would be to see where you're going when everything is all red. It's made easier by the background sky being blue on a separate parallax layer, but that wouldn't help non-AGA players with their ugly bubbles.
I hit that platform above, slid down it, and ended up missing the passage to the exit. You only bounce upwards a tiny bit from hitting water, so now I'm dead.
I've been playing this for over an hour... 'Nautical But Nice', 'Halibuts Hell', 'Fish Supper', 'Lair of the Octobot' (which didn't actually have any Octobots in it whatsoever), 'Shiver Me Timbers', 'Your Plaice Or Mine', 'Cod Roe', 'Water Loo'... enough is enough!
I think I've earned some different graphics!
How about this...
Given this change, what do you think the game's gonna look like?
If you said...
The biggest change is the music. I'm not saying that the CD32 version's music is good, but it's so much better than the floppy disk version the game seems entirely different.
The whole place still inexplicably self-destructs when you collect all the gems, but what can you do.
That lava spout kills you instantly. I first saw one of them when the screen was red, so I thought it was a geyser that propelled you into the air. I was wrong. This one's got a gem in it, so now I have to use a 'shield'. What do you do if you don't have a shield? No idea.
I'm going to type something outrageous now. The music isn't bad. It's progressed past the mires of original Donk's music and become 'agreeable' or 'appropriate' even.
One thing common to both games is that you're never sure which levels you've won and which you haven't. The different exits open different routes on the world map, but occasionally they don't. Once you've opened enough routes, it's not clear which routes are forwards and which are backwards and what level you have to choose next to progress.
And a boss battle it is. I jump into the boss room from below and he suddenly appears out of nowhere and drops on my face, killing me instantly.
You get the same Donk running animation when you travel between zones on the map as well.
I did go back and beat the boss, but my victory was disappointingly uneventful. He didn't laugh, wail, explode, curse, shake, flash or anything. He fell off the screen, the self-destruct went off, I went to the door and the level ended.
I'd have taken more screenshots but the boss didn't have any more frames. He didn't even shoot me, he just span around and moved along the walls of the room.
It's not Wiz 'n' Liz, but at least it's not Dizzy.