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Zool

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Zool Title.png
Zool
Publisher: GameTek (US), Gremlin Graphics (EU), Nisshouiwai Infocom (JP),
Sega Mega Drive
Electronic Arts (EU)
Developer:
System(s): Sega Mega Drive, Sega Master System, Sega Game Gear
Genre: Action































Release Date RRP Code
Sega Mega Drive
US
$59.95[1] T-83096
Sega Mega Drive
UK
£44.99[2] E264SMXI
Sega Mega Drive
FR
?F E264SMXI
Sega Mega Drive
DE
DM ? E264SMXI
Sega Mega Drive
ES
?Ptas E264SMXI
Sega Mega Drive
AU
$? ?



Sega Master System
UK
£29.99[4] 27075-50
Sega Master System
FR
?F 27075-50
Sega Master System
DE
DM ? 27075-50
Sega Master System
ES
?Ptas 27075-50



Sega Game Gear
JP
¥3,800 T-149017
Sega Game Gear
US
$39.95 T-83048
Sega Game Gear
UK
£29.99[5] 123018-50
Sega Game Gear
FR
?F 123018-50
Sega Game Gear
DE
DM ? 123018-50
Sega Game Gear
ES
?Ptas 123018-50



Zool or Zool: Ninja of the Nth Dimension, known as Zool no Yume Bouken (ズールのゆめぼうけん) in Japan, is a platform game developed by Gremlin Graphics for the Commodore Amiga in 1992 as an answer to the "mascot wars" of the early 1990s spearheadded by Super Mario and Sonic the Hedgehog. Zool's success saw it brought to a number of platforms, including the Sega Mega Drive, Sega Master System and Sega Game Gear during late 1993 and 1994.

Gameplay

Zool is a relatively basic but fast paced platform game. B/1 makes Zool jump, while A/2 makes him attack. Jumping into a wall will allow Zool to climb up or down it. Holding down A/2 makes Zool perform a punch motion which can be used to activate switches, which also serve as checkpoints. Holding C while jumping makes Zool perform a spinning attack. Pushing Down while running causes a sliding attack, which is vital due to the games fast pace and instantly appearing enemies.

Level designs and choices of music differ between the Sega versions (although the latter is likely due to the fact the original Amiga version had no in-game tracks). In order to clear a stage, a certain amount of items need to be collected before the exit beacon (a coin with Zools head impregnated) can be activated. This was a very common design for western platformers of that time, also seen in e.g. Global Gladiators. Running into enemies is a design problem in this game as it goes against the high speed gameplay it theoretically offers, forcing the player to either go slow or memorize stages down to enemy positioning.

The game ends with a cliffhanger and clear hint a sequel. While Zool was followed by Zool 2", it was not brought to a Sega system.

Versions

  • Compared to the Amiga original, the Sega Mega Drive version runs faster and has multiple parallax scrolling background planes instead of the Amiga's typical "copper mode" color gradients

Production credits

Mega Drive version

  • Sega/Game Code: Paul Hiley
  • Game/Frontend Code: George Allan
  • Artists: Ade Carless, Paul Gregory, Damon Godley
  • Music: Patrick Phelan, Krysalis
  • Maps: Paul Gregory, Ade Carless, Tony Dawson, Paul Green
  • Additional Help: Mick Lister
  • Test: Lee Campbell, Tony Howe, Rob Millington, Simon Short
  • Produced by: Mark Glossop

Master System version

  • Main Code: Siz
  • Additional Code: Richard Stevenson
  • Music Composition: Patrick Phelan
  • Sound: Krisalis Software
  • Art: Michael Hirst, Ade Carless, Greggs, Pete Daniels
  • Map and Level Design: Mike Lister, Michael Hirst
  • Project Manager: Tony Casson
  • Development Manager: James North-Hearn

© Gremlin Graphics, 1993

Game Gear version

  • Main Code: Siz
  • Additional Code: Richard Stevenson
  • Music Composition: Patrick Phelan
  • Sound: Krisalis Software
  • Art: Michael Hirst, Ade Carlesss, Pete Daniels, Greggs
  • Map and Level Design: Mike Lister, Michael Hirst
  • Project Manager: Tony Casson
  • Development Manager: James North-Hearn

Copyright 1993 Gremlin Graphics

Magazine articles

Main article: Zool/Magazine articles.

Promotional material

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<div style="width:Expression error: Unexpected < operator.px; padding-left:2px; padding-top:9px; padding-right:2px;">Print advert in
Computer & Video Games (UK) #145: "December 1993" (1993-11-15)
</div>
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<div style="width:Expression error: Unexpected < operator.px; padding-left:2px; padding-top:9px; padding-right:2px;">Print advert in
Computer & Video Games (UK) #146: "January 1994" (1993-12-15)
</div>
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<div style="width:Expression error: Unexpected < operator.px; padding-left:2px; padding-top:9px; padding-right:2px;">Print advert in
Consoles + (FR) #25: "Novembre 1993" (1993-xx-xx)
</div>
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<div style="width:Expression error: Unexpected < operator.px; padding-left:2px; padding-top:9px; padding-right:2px;">Print advert in
Video Games (DE) #12/93 (1993-11-22)
</div>
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<div style="width:Expression error: Unexpected < operator.px; padding-left:2px; padding-top:9px; padding-right:2px;">Print advert in
Sega Magazin (DE) #7: "Juni 1994" (1994-05-11)
</div>

Physical scans

Mega Drive version

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
93 №27, p146-148
82 №145, p89[7]
58 №54, p46/234/235[8]
85 №56, p48[1]
70 №12, p78/79
78 №26
83 №17, p34/35
74 №15, p48/49
80 №8, p16
71 №24, p64-66
67 №15, p96/97[9]
65 №37, p146
78 №49, p46/47
84 №25, p70-72
80 №6, p42/43[10]
70 №1, p45[11]
83 №18, p12
Sega Mega Drive
77
Based on
17 reviews

Mega Drive, US
Zool MD US Box.jpg
Cover
Zool MD US Cart.jpg
Cart
Mega Drive, EU
Zool MD EU Box.jpg
Cover
Zool MD EU Cart.jpg
Cart

Master System version

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
94 №25, p126[12]
65 №38, p116[13]
78 №53, p62/63
70 №6, p22/23[14]
78 №30, p48
Sega Master System
77
Based on
5 reviews

Master System, EU
Zool SMS EU Box.jpg
Cover
Zool SMS EU Cart.jpg
Cart

Game Gear version

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
86 №30, p155[15]
79 №149, p79[16]
66 №40, p108[17]
78 №53, p62/63
75 №30, p57
Sega Game Gear
77
Based on
5 reviews

Game Gear, US
Zool GG US Box Back.jpgNospine.pngZool GG US Box Front.jpg
Cover
Zool GG US Cart.jpg
Cart
Zool GG US Manual.pdf
Manual
Game Gear, EU
Zool GG EU Box Back.jpgNospine.pngZool GG EU Box Front.jpg
Cover
Zool GG EU cart.jpg
Cart
Game Gear, JP
Zool GG JP Box Front.jpg
Cover
Zool GG JP Cart.jpg
Cart

References