Frankie Goes to Hollywood Bits


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“I have the license to Frankie Goes to Hollywood!”

How exactly do you respond to that? Well, apparently by making a surreal adventure game.

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FGTH's title screen, complete with some odd algebra.

The bits:

  • The game was created with a unique approach as it didn’t star the band’s members or have much to do with music. Instead, it was a somewhat psychedelic romp based off of the cover art for the band’s albums.
  • FGTH’s protagonist is, quite literally, a shade of a man. Inspired by the band’s logo, the player takes on this persona and embarks on a quest to become a “real person.” Incidentally, this premise also served as a nice cover for the ZX Spectrum’s colour limitations.

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    Some of the first windows and icon-based inventories in videogame history.

  • The game starts off with the player stumbling upon a murder, which — in a somewhat positive twist — actually gives the protagonist hope of becoming an interesting (i.e., real) individual. Being interesting is also the prerequisite for entering “The Pleasuredome,” the overall goal of the game.
  • Much like Clue, solving the murder mystery involves gathering evidence and eliminating suspects. Making correct deductions increases one of the player’s main statistics: sex, war, love and religion. Each one of these is a reference to the band’s albums, and is used to indicate how interesting the shade has become.
  • The four icons representing sex, war, love and religion are a pair of sperm, a missile, a heart and a cross. Each one is accompanied by a vertical bar on the right side of the screen.
  • FGTH contains various surreal minigames — such as a game of Breakout where Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev spit projectiles at each other — that can be played to increase the shade’s interest-level.
  • The highest possible score in the game is 99%, accentuating the fact that no one’s ever really perfect.

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  1. #1 by David on June 29, 2009 - 1:10 am

    Thanks for posting this. I was a young fan at the time, but I hadn’t seen this. I assume it was developed exclusively for the ZX Spectrum. My uncle was a computer dealer at the time, and I recall he had one, but it may have been the earlier mail-order-famous model.

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