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Remember, Remember the 5th of November With Retro Games

It’s that time of year again when old rubbish is set alight, the night sky is ablaze with colourful pyrotechnics and we all wrench toffee out of our teeth with a fingernail. Remember, remember, the 5th of November.

Now there’s a nursery rhyme that conjures memories I would rather forget. But back in 1988 - when I was still at school - the folklore and alleged historical event of Guy Fawkes did not escape the attention of computer developers.

Do you remember, remember ‘The Plot’ a devilish video game released by Odin Computer Graphics (OCG) for the Amstrad CPC and Sinclair Spectrum. The game took its inspiration from the attempt to blow up the Houses of Parliament in the infamous ‘gunpowder plot’ of 1605.

On a side note: why do they teach school children about Guy Fawkes anyway?

Back to the game.

Has OCG lost ‘The Plot’?

In all honesty, The Plot is not the most exciting of adventure games and will never get anywhere near a list of memorable retro video games. But given it is Guy Fawkes night, ‘The Plot’ is worth a mention. If not only for the laugh.

Even the Sinclair Spectrum had its reservations about playing this release. As you loaded up the game a message on the screen read:

"I don't take too kindly to the plot of The Plot. The object is to help Guy Fawkes blow up the Houses of Parliament, no less... A terrorist computer game? I think so!”

The Plot is a 2D flip-screen platformer where the player takes on the role of the most famous traitor in British history, Guy Fawkes. The object of the game is to find your way through the vaults beneath Parliament and collect enough sticks of dynamite to blow the Houses to smithereens. There are also special fireworks to collect to earn extra points.

Once you have collected enough dynamite, you have to return to the start screen and light a special firework to complete the game.

Oddly enough, ‘The Plot’ was the last game Odin released. I don’t know whether the closure is directly related to the terrorist nature of the ‘The Plot’, but the firm closed down before the game's official release. Wikipedia explains:

“Although they [Odin] delivered more than all the necessary titles to fulfil their contract, Telecomsoft deemed several of them to be not worthy of release.”

Telecom had paid Odin a six figure sum to produce ten games, but they failed to live up to the standard the company had set earlier with Nodes of Yesod. ‘The Plot’ was one of the games that was deemed substandard. I think most retro gamers would agree.

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Zeeshan Mallick

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