Sunday, March 12, 2017

Beyond The Ice Palace


I think everyone has played Beyond The Ice Palace at some time in their life and I got mine free with my first Atari ST. Until now, I'd been a Spectrum owner so I'm sure you can imagine the look on my face when first loading this up!! Much like Ghosts & Goblins, this is a scrolling platformer that involves three large monster-infested levels.

The first level is a trip through the scary woods and is pretty much your typical environment with lots of peculiar baddies to encounter with a freaky end of level boss. The second and third levels are, more or less, the same: a vertically scrolling cavern filled with hideous creatures before eventually reaching a wicked witch.

You're not alone: a good spirit can be summoned to help clear the screen of baddies. There are only so many times you're allowed to do this and a funny face is displayed in the status bar when one is ready to use. So choose your moments wisely when you are most vulnerable - then watch him zig-zag down your screen killing baddies.

 
I knew this game was gonna be great from the start but choose your weapon carefully.

Ice Palace isn't complex but it can be tricky due to some awkward mechanics. The blue demon, who cunningly appears just as you begin to use the elevating platforms, is very frustrating. My advice is to leap off just at the very moment he appears. It's easier to kill him this way rather than being stranded on those platforms.

I've always felt the graphics were quite extraordinary to perfectly demonstrate our upgrade from 8-bit computers to the power of the Atari ST. The scrolling is smooth, neat backgrounds and well-detailed sprites. Even dying is a beautiful moment and I'll never bore of that flicky death effect as my soul ascends into heaven. Amazing effect.

Sound effects are beautiful with a sharp arcade-like quality throughout. However, it is, of course, the music which not only plays alongside the effects but is absolutely stunning. All thanks to the legend David Whittaker.

 
Those platforms are so tricky to master, as is the end of level green worm guardian!

I sometimes find that Beyond The Ice Palace is often a much-underrated platformer. This is odd to me because it holds a special place in my retro gaming heart as it blew me away with its gorgeous aesthetics and gameplay. It is enjoyable and so easy to pick up and play plus, after all these years, I still keep returning to it. So give the blonde guy in the green boots a chance because I guarantee you will love playing this cracking platformer!!

Okay, here are the cool links you need to know about and first up is a Midi tune of the awesome game music. Here are the maps are for the ZX Spectrum game which aren't needed but nice to view! Next up is a capture of my very own Hi-Score. Can you beat that? But now I imagine you want the downloads so grab either the hard disk version of those who are a fan of floppies can find those using Old Games Finder.

 
Level two ramps up the difficulty with weird wolfmen so make sure you collect the power-ups!

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