Elite is the new company name for what was Richard Wilcox Software, who produced Blue Thunder. Kokotoni Wilf is their first release under the new name and is set, according to Elite's advertising, to match or best Jet Set Willy.
Kokotoni Wilf is the name of the hero in this multi-screened game with 63 locations, and you play Wilf himself. Legend has it that several hundred years ago in a province of Northern Europe there lived a Great Magician, who discovered that there had once existed a Dragon Amulet, fragments of which had been scattered throughout time. The Great Magician wanted to recover all the fragments, but by the time he had made the discovery, he was too old to undertake the mission himself. So he summoned his athletic protege, Kokotoni Wilf, gave him a pair of wings, and sent him off in search of the fragments. First of all, the Magician sent Wilf back more than 500 million years to a time when Dinosaurs roamed the earth.
The object of the game is to search for the various pieces of the amulet, which resemble glowing Stars of David, some 63 pieces, and then when all the pieces have been found and collected from one time zone, the Magician has enough strength to create a flashing timegate which Wilf must find and enter to get to the next time zone.
There are six time zones - 965BC, 1066, 1467, 1784, 1984 and 2001, and between 10 and 12 locations within each time zone, which are linked in a maze fashion. Each time zone has its own distinct graphics from the period. In the first there are dinosaurs, pterodactyls and saurians, etc. In 1066 there are Conquerors, long bows and warriors; alchemy makes an appearance next, followed by the Spanish main period. 1984 is represented by townscapes starting off with Trafalgar Square. And 2001, of course, is full of Moon stations, shuttles and space paraphernalia.
Wilf is controlled very simply by a left/right key and a flap wings key. He has no weapons, and must survive by avoiding the various obstacles and hazards which kill on contact. These tend to follow strict patterns of movement, left to right, up and down, travelling in a diamond shape and so on. As the time zones progress the amulet pieces are to be found in harder to reach spots. Exits from any location, which may be up, down or sideways, often lead into dead ends, or dangerous spots.
When Wilf has collected the fragments, he has to make his way back through the maze to a spot where the timegate will be flashing and run over it to enter the next zone. Elite are running a competition for the first 100 people to finish the game. On completion of the last screen a message is printed up telling the player why the Great Magician sent Wilf to recover all the pieces of the amulet, and it is this that Elite need to know for you to be a winner. The prize will be a free copy of their next game, the officially licenced version of the 20th Century Fox TV Series, 'The Fall Guy'.
Control keys: Z/X left/right, 0 to fly - screens 1 to 3 may be accessed by pressing the appropriate numerical key
Joystick: none, but control keys are best anyway
Keyboard play: very responsive, well laid out
Use of colour: excellent
Graphics: neatly detailed, varied, smooth pixel movement, generally very good
Sound: good flapping sound, overall a bit limited
'This is an odd game in that the further you get into the many different levels, the more playable and attractive it gets. Graphics on the first time zone are well drawn and move nicely, although there aren't many to give the average games player much trouble. Further on in the game this changes. Pieces of the amulet require much more skill to collect until the point is reached where even one or two pixels can mean the difference in collecting part of the amulet or losing a life. Graphics and use of colour improve as higher time zones are reached. You look like something from the clouds with the nice flapping wings, and you move smoothly and fairly quickly (about JSW speed) across the screen. This game has a fair amount of content, although the main thing is seeing the many different screens. Overall, a progressive skill type game with plenty to see and to do - worthwhile buying.'
'Yes, you are WILF! No ordinary Wilf but a very unordinary Wilf with wings! (Well, if you can have Wallies, why not Wilfs)? Elite seem keen to promote the comparison between Kokotoni Wilf and Jet Set Willy. Well it does have elements of JSW except that Willy jumps and Wilf flies. This does give a quite different feel to the game and it may be argued that strategical jumping is harder than floating around to collect things, but Elite have ensured that some of the amulet bits are very hard to get at indeed. Where it also resembles JSW a bit is in the way the time zones are like linked rooms of a maze complex, also that you have to 'learn' your way about each zone to avoid the nasties. I like the idea of having different time zones, because it means the graphics change with every screen and that adds to the addictivity. A good looking game, quite hard after the first screens, and very playable.'
'Kokotoni Wilf is an excellent platform type game with maze overtones and lovely graphics. Wilf can fly (nice helicopter noise from his wings) and walk. He can also bang his head on the roof of a cave and get stuck in a crevice at the most awkward moments. The animation and design of the various hazards is very good. One thing you're not told is that inanimate objects of certain colours kill you off if you bump into them - but I won't say which as that would spoil the fun. It's nice to be able to access all three of the first screens, because once you've mastered those you don't want to have to keep wading through them again if you get killed off on a higher level. Overall, an enjoyable and addictive game I thought.'
Now this is really going back in time. Kokofoni Wilf was one of the big challengers to Jet Set Willy in 1984, and also the first Elite game ever released! Will, who can walk or fly under your control, has to travel through 63 screens spanning six time zones; from 500 million years BC to 2001 AD, finding pieces of the shattered Dragon Amulet.
Without weapons, Will has to flap his way around the danger-infested screens collecting the amulet pieces. As you progress through the zones the pieces become harder to collect.
Although the graphics are varied, colourful and reasonably attractive throughout, they are very simple and show their age. But like so many old games the finely-tuned playability and the addiction make it a great buy at this price (cliché number 493).
Ross: Elite has taken the little white man out of the realm of the superhuman jumper and more into that of winged avenger; he's now a decidely unheavenly-looking angel! Wilf can be made to move left, right or flap up the screen; the 'flap' key repeats so you don't have to wear out your keyboard.
Kokotoni Wilf is a game of 60 screens divided into six time zones. To progress from one to the next, you have to collect a number of flashing pieces of an amulet - and then find a time gate. Incidently, Elite forgets to mention that you can start in any of the first three time zones by pressing keys '1-3' and then you'll find that all the objects on the previous levels will be credited to you.
Each screen consists of large fixtures like trees or dinosaurs (some of which may animate a little) and smaller, moving graphics. Tunnels and recesses have tended to replace the familiar platforms. The graphics aren't really up to Jet Set Willy standards and the difficulty I had controlling Wilf's spritely extravagances spoilt any appeal that the game had. 2/5 MISS
Dave: This is a reasonable game with above average graphics, but it gets annoying after a while because the controls are not precise enough. Elite advertise this as the successor to Jet Set Willy. It's good, but not that good! 3/5 HIT
Roger: Maybe 'Flapping Fred' would have been a better name, or perhaps 'Blundering Budgie', because our hero Wilf's mishaps can't all be blamed on Spectrum keyboard insensitivity. Shame 'cos there's enough screens to last a long time. 3/5 HIT
Use of Computer: 82%
Getting Started: 83%
Addictive Qualities: 83%
Value for Money: 85%
It was about this time last year that we were first subjected to the merciless hype approach of Elite with their first release, Kokotoni Wilf, boasting that is would knock JSW of its perch.
Legend has it that several hundred years ago in a province of Northern Europe there lived a magician by the name of Ulrich, who discovered that the famous Dragon Amulet had been fragmented and the pieces scattered through time. Being too old and infirm, Ulrich could not go on a mission to recover the pieces himself. So he summoned his young protege, Kokotoni Wilf, to his presence and bade him to go and fetch all the parts of the amulet. The only help Ulrich could give was to create a time gate that would take Kokotoni Wilf to another time zone and more fragments but only when all the fragments in his present time zone were collected.
Your task is to guide Wilf around the maze of rooms and collect all the fragments of the Dragon Amulet for Ulrich.
Kokotoni Wilf is essentially a platform game with a couple of differences - instead of jumping from platform to platform you can fly. This may seem very easy but it does take a while before you can actually 'pilot' Wilf competently. The graphics are quite good but they weren't really that much better than those found in JSW just a bit more varied. Sound was a bit limited but that didn't detract from the overall feel of the game. Kokotoni Wilf was and still is very playable but it isn't that addictive, once you have visited all the time zones you rapidly lose interest. As platform games go it is a very good one which is still worth getting if you're a lover of this type of game.
I must admit that while I liked the look of Kokotoni Wilf, I never found the game itself that thrilling to play. Although the different graphics of each Time Zone added something to its overall flavour, that alone wasn't enough for me to get very excited. It did pretty well in CRASH at the time (my not having a hand in the review of it!), but I don't think it would get much above the mid-seventies now.
(Rob) I wouldn't fiddle with the ratings too much just take down the addictive qualities and the overall percentage down by about 5%
(Lloyd) Whereas I would want to knock both those down by at least 15%
BULGING MUSCLES and a pair of wings makes Kokotoni Wilf one of the most unlikely heroes to fly into a game since the first space invader hatched from its egg above an earth base.
His mission, to find the lost pieces of an arcane amulet for the wizard Ulrich, is a serious affair in which he could be licked to death by a tricerotops, zapped by a deadly egg or dropped on by a bat.
All those fates await the intrepid hero as he wings his way through several time zones and six lives in search of the fabled Dragon Amulet.
The graphics are as primitive as the dinosaurs which inhabit the upper levels of the game but the search, which can be compared with the search for drinking goblets in Jet Set Willy, is fun.
Skill and cunning is required on the lower levels when Wilf encounters prehistoric alligators, swims through underground tunnels and gets hit by nocturnal seagulls.
Not having anything to fire at the monsters may put you off but for those who like to plan strategic play, and find a quiet corner of the screen, the game is excellent value.
MAKER: Elite Systems
Elite claim that this one takes over where Jet Set Willy left off. I'm not 100% sure about that, but Kokotoni Wilf is pretty impressive in its own right.
The lead character - we're never given an explanation for his bizarre name - is a magician's apprentice. Said magician, the mighty Ulrich, sends Wilf to get the bits of a powerful Amulet which are scattered up and down the corridors of time (why is it that magicians are always losing things?). Wilf is gifted with the wings of an angel and sent to the Mesozoic to dodge big lizards.
There's a lot of dodging to do. I discovered pretty soon that I had to watch out for anything yellow - it's always deadly. The hero is moved left and right using the Z and Symbol Shift keys, and Up with the O key. Hazards, not always yellow, include pterodactyls, ichthyosaurs and sabre-tooth tigers (not quite right that last one). The graphics are variable - the bigger monsters are beautifully drawn and animated, but many others are not really so special.
Still, it kept me glued to the screen in an effort to get out of the Jurassic bit and find out what the next historical period for Wilf's search is. There are over sixty screens, Elite say, so I've only seen a fraction of the full thing. A treat for the eyes this one, but I'd like to have had more to do - other objects to pick up maybe.
MACHINE: Spectrum 48K
CONTROL: Keys, Kemp, Curs, Sinc
FROM: Elite, £5.95
WILF V WILLY
The idea that Kokotoni Wilf was a new pop star was shattered when I played the tape and found it to be a computer program.
Young Wilf is a magician's apprentice who has been sent back in time by his aging mentor to collect the scattered pieces of the Dragon Amulet. Wilf has to recover the fragments from six time zones and reach a time-gate to take him onto the next zone.
You move either by flying with a pair of wings provided by the magician or by walking. You start in the age of the dinosaurs and on each screen these prehistoric beasties and other hazards bar your way to the piece of amulet.
This first level is easy and for this reason more experienced players can start on the second or third time zones. The obstacles in your way change between zones but there is the usual platform-game behaviour, of following simple patterns which you have to get past.
Many things are deadly to Wilf's touch. Including innocent-looking bushes and purples spikes on the floors and ceilings. This means you have to stay in the air a lot and this is where control is most crucial since you cannot hover but keep moving up and down with the effects of flapping and gravity.
The screens are nicely depicted but usually don't have much moving on them. Some have only one route to the amulet fragment while others can be got at from several directions. The need for precision flying is vital on later screens since the pieces are tucked away in hard-to-reach spots and one slip of the wing could lead to disaster.
There are over 60 screens, some set above ground and others deep in the bowels of the earth where you encounter bats, killer plants and even a fish in an underground lake.
Completing the game will give a message telling you why you were sent on the quest but if level three is anything to go by it will take a long while before anyone discovers the secret.
The game does not achieve its aim of stealing Jet Set Willy's crown as number one arcade adventure but it has enough depth to be a real challenge.
This game grew on me steadily the more I played it. To begin with, I felt it was rather lacking in excitement - the screens aren't exactly bursting with activity at the lower levels - but the further I got the more hooked I became.
It's very easy at first but there is not indicator to show how many items you have collected so you must keep track yourself.
You'd think that because there is only one object to be collected on each screen the game would be a bit limited, but in fact I found this a very compelling feature. Each screen became a real challenge to overcome, and some of them defeated me entirely. So, I haven't yet discovered why I was sent on the quest. In the meantime there is enough to keep me interested, the graphics are excellent...
Companies who make grand claims for their games expose themselves to considerable risk. Elite say this game is better than Jet Set Willy and the fact is it isn't.
So the temptation for a reviewer is to switch off the computer in disgust and give the game a pasting. This would be unfair because although it doesn't live up to its hype, it is good.
For one thing its well structured - you don't always have to start right at the beginning, and you can choose different routes around the various levels. The graphics are pretty without being stunning. The skill lies in accurate control and careful timing. Should give lots of fun to most players. Provided you don't expect another Jet Set Willy, you'll be well pleased.
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