Nodes of Yesod

by Steve Wetherill, Colin Grunes, Stuart James Fotheringham, Paul Salmon, Fred Gray
Odin Computer Graphics Ltd
Crash Issue 19, August 1985   (1985-07-25)   page(s) 12,13

The blurb sheet that comes with the game goes on at length to describe the home, breakfast and lifestyle of The Rt. Hon. Charlemagne 'Charlie' Fotheringham-Grunes (our hero, and alleged apprentice saviour of the universe). You may fancy the mission, set him by a little chap in a rhodedendron bush, rather less than the breakfast (butter dripping kippers etc) he has just downed. What the chap form ICUPS tells him in rather broken English (either that or the Odin spell-checker needs a good kick) is that they are getting some rather strange signals from the moon. Would Charlie be so kind (and so stupid) as to go and find the 'erbschectt' responsible?

The game begins with you wandering about on the surface of the moon (it must be the moon because in the background there is a very nice piccy of the earth). As you amble along, try to avoid falling down the holes before finding a friendly mole - the lunar moles are a helpful bunch compared to the peskies found on (and in) your average earth lawn. To give you some idea of the humour incorporated into this game the wall chewing tunnel finding mole has braces!

With mole in tow leap down one of the holes and you will find yourself in a cavern with ledges and monsters, and more ledges and monsters! Most of the monsters are a nuisance - they merely get in y our way rather than doing you harm - but they are quite fun to squash. Lower down in each of the caverns you find monsters of a different composition; they are not so easy to kill, and if you get too close you will be thrown all over the place and lose a great deal of energy.

Monsters aside it's best not to forget the main purpose of Charlie's trip and which is to find the Monolith. He has already worked out that to get to it he needs to find and collect eight 'keys' or alchiems, so he must explore the caverns and stay alive. The alchiems are rather attractive crystal objects. Indeed, it is so attractive that you are not the only one collecting them, so proceed with great care if you don't want to become a victim of what could be the first lunar mugger.

The task is pretty simple but is hugely complicated by the size of the cavern system; not all of the access routes are clear so you will have to use the mole to make extra tunnels. The game includes features such as whirlwinds that teleport you to somewhere that you would rather not be. Huge and deep shafts also exist, which can mean the certain loss of a life if you tumble down one - unless you get lucky and find that the one you just fell into has a very powerful updraft.

Extra lives can be found scattered about the sub-lunar environment, which is just as well because on the bottom of the screen you can see your vital signs ticking away, your current life force ebbing away and your movements slow with every beating you take. When you get an extra life you will also find yourself with some things called gravity sticks. These are very useful because not only do they render galactic muggers harmless but also induce a gravity field in the immediate area causing all monsters (if you can count a cuddly teddy on a spring as a monster) to fall to the bottom of the cavern.

Control keys: Q-R/A-F up/down, alternate bottom row keys for left/right
Joystick: Kempston, cursor and Interface 2
Keyboard play: probably better than using a joystick
Use of colour: exceptional
Graphics: superlative
Sound: not extensive, but when it is used it's great
Skill levels: one
Lives: three but more can be found
Screens: 256

'After starting the game I had to look twice to make sure that it was not by Ultimate. We are talking fab graphics here, a really detailed main character which somersaults with a degree of smoothness that puts a Rolls Royce to shame (RR's work better greasy side down - Soft Ed). I really enjoyed Nodes of Yesod but I was slightly disturbed by the similarities to Underwurlde, but that aside, it's a SMASH to say the least. Little things like the feature of the mole that chews it's way through walls really add to the game. Overall an excellent game which is certainly related to one of the mega-whatsits from Imagine that we never got to see.'

'Nodes of Yesod has got to be one of the best games this year and probably one of the most playable I have loaded into my Spectrum to date. It has brilliant graphics which are very well drawn and animated. The sound is great, and there is a fantastic speech sequence just before the last block of code loads. I love the way that your man jumps, very similar to the character in Impossible Mission on the CBM. At first sight Nodes of Yesod seems much like Underwurlde by Ultimate; in fact there are a number of other similarities, the music for example sounds very like that from Shadowfire, and the mole acts in a similar way to the servant in Dragontorc. I had trouble loading the version I was given but I understand this fault was a unique one (which is a relief). This game is certainly a CRASH SMASH.'

'Immediately this game had loaded I was overwhelmed by its quality, and after a considerable time playing it I am even more impressed. There is so much attention to detail, the chewing noise of the mole, the movement of the of the characters, the inside of the caverns and tunnels, everything is well done, even down to the little oscilloscope which shows your energy level. The graphics are superb and very rewarding. There are some fantastic surprises in store and that's what makes the game so playable. Add the fact that the game does not require the brain to work overtime to solve hundreds of ever-so-subtle problems and you have a game that is addictive but not over frustrating. A very worthy SMASH and I can't wait to see more from Odin.'

Use of Computer: 92%
Graphics: 96%
Playability: 93%
Getting Started: 91%
Addictive Qualities: 90%
Value For Money: 89%
Overall: 93%

Summary: General Rating: You'll be over the moon with this one (!)

Award: Crash Smash

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Your Spectrum Issue 17, August 1985   page(s) 41

Dave: Well, It must be said... this game features the best music on the Spectrum this side of Top Of The Pops (That's not saying much! Ed.) And not only that, but the animation is up to the standard set by Ultimate, and the speech... well, words fail!

OK, you've probably gathered by now that I like this one, so let's get down to the nitty-gritty of the actual game. First off, you're briefed by Commander Smith in an appalling German accent and then it's into the action. Your task is to make your way across the lunar surface, jumping on to a moon-mole as soon as it pops its head out of one of the craters. You then move underground in search of the eight Alchiems that go to make up the great master key.

On your journey under the lunar surface watch out for all sorts of baddies, such as the Liver Birds, a big red fish, an alien pirate and a bouncing Teddy Bear. Of course, if you choose you can transform yourself into a mole and deal with your enemies in a most animalistic fashion. You can jump all over the place, but mind you don't fall too far or else you'll find your space-suit develops leaks in the most unpleasant of places and you'll lose a life.

The action is fast and furious throughout Nodes of Yesod, which is amazing when you consider the quality of the sprites and the flicker-free animation. The game really does pale into insignificance when you see it being played... the way the spaceman bounces off the lunar surfaces is a joy to behold. Some programming person has gone to the most meticulous detail to make sure that everything is just right. This one gets a resounding yesod from me! 5/5 HIT

Ross: Nodes of Yesod may seem like a silly name, but then the game's got some nice humorous touches that make it very friendly. You only have to read the instructions - they're in rhyme - to know that someone's got a healthy sense of humour. 4/5 HIT

Roger: Overall. I'd have to say that it looks like an Underwurlde clone... but then again, I loved Underwurlde. And I love this game too! 5/5 HIT

Dave: 5/5
Ross: 4/5
Roger: 5/5

Award: Your Spectrum Dave//s Rave of the Month

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Sinclair User Issue 41, August 1985   page(s) 24

LUNAR adventure awaits anyone brave enough to accompany the infamous Sloane Ranger, Charlemagne Fotheringham-Grunes, on his mission to save the earth.

Odin's Nodes of Yesod is startlingly similar in theme to Quicksilva's Bugaboo but there the similarity ends.

You play the pan of the intrepid Charlie who has to search the caverns of the moon for a monolith, which scientists believe is used to transmit coded messages through space.

On docking, your best bet is to find a friendly mole who will be of considerable help later on in the game. Moles are able to gnaw through some cavern walls, opening up larger areas for exploration. For some unknown reason, Charlie keeps the mole in the helmet of his space suit.

Dropping through one of the many craters, Charlie descends to a world inhabited by many wonderful alien types. Fish swim quite happily in zero gravity, firebirds and walking limes stalk the cavern floors - all of which will send you reeling. Dancing teddy-bears decrease your energy, but the mole can be sent to kill them.

Dressed in a space suit, Charlie is able to somersault from platform to platform as he makes his way through the caverns. The graphic detail is excellent.

Eight alchiems - unidentifiable objects - must be picked up if you are to find the monolith which is cunningly hidden.

A grid at the bottom of the screen keeps count of alchiems collected, energy levels and has a real time clock. If your energy gets too low you may have to sit down for a rest.

One alien in a red pressure suit must be avoided at all costs - he cannot be killed. As soon as you have found an alchiem he will be along to steal it.

Control of movement when switching from Charlie to the mole is simple and animation is smooth - except when two bears land on the same spot, when they flicker wildly.

The game more than makes up for the reams of waffling prose, spelling mistakes and lack of story on the cassette inlay. What are Rhodendendrons anyway? Despite that, Nodes of Yesod is definitely worth adding to your library of games.

Clare Edgeley

Publisher: Odin
Price: £9.95
Memory: 48K
Joystick: Kempston, Cursor, Sinclair


Overall: 4/5

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Sinclair User Issue 50, May 1986   page(s) 56

CHARLEMAGNE Fotheringham-Grunes is back again in a souped-up 128 version of Nodes of Yesod. Charlie gets sent to the moon to terminate the emission of signals from a large monolith of alien origin which... are you really reading all this?

What you get is a slick, fast Underwurlde lookalike with Charlie somersaulting gaily around lunar caverns, tracking down the eight alchiems which are the key to halting the monolithic transmissions.

The graphics are clear and detailed, with a fine variety of monsters, some of which are deadlier than others. Nastier creatures include a mysterious red spaceman who eats your alchiems, and shimmering creatures which cause you to lose energy.

The sound effects are extremely good. The initial music is faintly reminiscent of an old Watch with Mother theme tune, but the music in the game is rather more atmospheric. Speech has also been attempted with varying results, but Charlie's cries for help are surprisingly audible, even if they sound like Kermit with a frog in his throat.

Nodes of Yesod should take you a long time to complete. It looks good, sounds good, and has enough quirks and surprises to keep your interest for quite a while.

An enjoyable game and no disgrace to the 128. However, other than the addition of music and speech, Nodes of Yesod remains the same as the 48K version.

Chris Bourne

Publisher: Odin
Programmers: The Odin team
Price: £9.95
Memory: 128K
Joystick: Kempston. Sinclair, cursor


Overall: 4/5

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Sinclair Programs Issue 34, August 1985   page(s) 15

PRICE: £9.95

A bouncing hero explores underground passages, leaping from ledge to ledge, often falling from a great height, hindered in his progress by a variety of strange creatures. Yes, you are right, Nodes of Yesod does seem remarkably similar to Underwwurlde.

Smoothly scrolling graphics depict your search, beneath the surface of the moon, for a Monolith buried somewhere in its core. The weak gravity leads to a strange form of movement, so each large jump neatly encompasses a somersault, or two, or three.

The aims is to reach the monolith, having first collected the eight alchiems which give access to that chamber. This involves negotiating the majority of the maze, a task which is made slightly easier by the fact that there are several entrances, and it is possible to enter and leave the maze at ground level.

Matters are made more difficult by the other animated creatures. As in Underwurlde, most of these appear at random, materialising while you are in a room, getting in your way but generally doing very little more. Creatures which are a little more fixed and solid are the flying fish, quickly flowering plants, crawling insects and hopping birds. These are not lethal, but whenever you hit them, you bounce away again, often in an unexpected direction.

Also to be avoided are the red spacemen, who will steal your alchiems. Whatever you do, too, do not fall from a great height, as this means almost certain death.

A novel feature of Nodes of Ye sod are the moles which burrow on the moon's surface. These friendly little creatures can eat through the moon's surface so, if you can persuade one to travel with you, they will make life considerably easier.

Nodes of Yesod is produced for the 48K Spectrum by Odin, The Podium, Steers House, Canning Place, Liverpool.

Rating: 78%

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Your Computer Issue August 1985   page(s) 29

Spectrum 48K
Odin Computer Graphics
Arcade Adventure

This evocatively named game features a home computer breakthrough - the first-ever Spectrum speech with Liverpudlian accent. But don't worry, it's only the introduction.

It bears certain similarities to Ultimate's Underwurlde, not least in the quality of production. You play a spaceman who must descend into the depths of the moon, collect eight alchiems - coloured shapes - and then get to the Monolith. All this to save the universe from some horrendous evil.

One of the game's nicest touches is that you're not alone in your quest. Before you disappear down a lunar pothole you need to catch a mole from its hole. When needed, the little crittur can be activated to chew through walls to new caverns, or to destroy the many creepy crawlies in the moon's depths.

The subterranean playing area has many platforms which you hop around on. Progress is made in a series of athletic somersaults which will often land you at the very bottom of a cave - minus a life.

Overall: 4/5

Transcript by Chris Bourne

ZX Computing Issue August 1985   page(s) 79

Odin Computer Graphics

Looking at the packaging and glossy, Ultimate style instruction booklet, I was expecting 'Nodes' to be simply over-hyped and underwhelming, as so many "mega-games' have proved to be.

However, I was pleasantly surprised by Nodes once I started playing, and spent the best part of an evening bouncing around the surface of the moon and trying to complete the game.

In many ways, Nodes is simply a platform-collect-the-object game, but it is nonetheless a very good one, and well enough designed to keep you interested in it for a long time.

You play the part of the Rt Hon Charly Fotheringham-Grunes, 'apprentice saviour of the universe', and must guide him through caverns in the depths of the moon, in search of a monolith which is transmitting signals to another planet. To aid you in your search, you can recruit an extremely cute and nicely animated moon-mole, who can eat through moon rock and sometimes discover new passages and caverns.

The figure of Charly himself is also very well animated - a large sprite, that actually seems to have a real character, and which somersaults delightfully, rather than just hopping across the screen. His somersaults are some of the smoothest animation I have yet seen on the Spectrum, and I spent a long time just bouncing around in order to enjoy the quality of the animation. As usual, there are various monsters out to stop him from reaching his goal, but here again his friendly moon-mole can help, by running around and eliminating them.

Nodes isn't really state of the art, but it is a very well designed game and very enjoyable. My only criticism is that at £9.95, it's rather expensive, though not outrageously so.

Graphics: 4/5
Addictiveness: 4/5
Overall: 4/5

Transcript by Chris Bourne

ZX Computing Issue April 1986   page(s) 11


The main difference between this and the 48K version of Nodes is not the size of the game, but the excellent speech synthesis that has been made possible by the 128's new sound chip. The game begins with "Welcome to The Nodes of Yesod, from the Odin Computer Graphics Team" - speech as good as I've heard on any home computer.

The game itself is the same as the original version, in which you must help Charlie Fotheringham-Grunes locate the eight keys which will allow him to enter a cavern beneath the moon's surface where lurks a great monolith which is sending out signals to potential alien invaders. But now, in addition to the excellent animation and maze of monster infested lunar caverns, the game boosts a continuous and quite atmospheric soundtrack, as well as the occasional spot of speech synthesis such as 'Your energy is running low' or 'Ouch' when you fall from a height.

Like Sweevo's World, this was an excellent and addictive game when released for the 48K Spectrum, and the addition of sound has only improved it. Mind you, it would have been good to see some of the memory used to expand the number of playing screens, which, as far as I can tell remains the same.

Overall: Not Rated

Transcript by Chris Bourne

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