Don Diego Vega has a secret identity - that of Zorro, a masked swordsman who has sworn to protect the innocents of California, at the time a Spanish colony. Among the powerful and corrupted men there is Don Cortez, who hopes to gain even more power by discovering an ancient treasure. Honoring his word, Zorro sets out to stop the Cortez, alone against nearly impossible odds...
Based on the series of books by Johnston McCulley, Zorro is a side-scrolling platform game that has certain similarities to Prince of Persia and other so-called "cinematic platformers". The emphasis of the gameplay is on careful advancement through the levels and physical activities such as jumping and climbing. Zorro has two weapons at his disposal - a whip and a sword; the sword is more powerful, but the whip has a longer range. The game utilizes cutscenes with live actors to advance the story.
You're an action hero, who uses his whip, wears a cool hat and is picking up treasure on the way. NO, you're not Indiana Jones! You also have a sword, are dressed all in black and have a mask over your face. That's right. You're Zorro.
This is an action game that takes you through several mines, deserts, forts, tunnels and even through a jungle. There is a nifty file included in the extras, that explains how to move and even gives you some hints how to find the exits of the levels.
Basically you have many rooms and you enter at one side and need to exit someplace else. To get there you need to jump and climb. On the way you have to watch out for the booby traps and enemy swordsmen. You can dispose of them either with the whip (you'll have to make more hits, but you can do them at a safer distance) or with your sword (but they'll come closer and be more dangerous to you). Besides the triggers that launch a multitude of arrows or cannonballs towards your chest, there are also trap doors, which will give in under your weight and you'll loose the ground you were walking on.
There is only a certain distance that you can survive when jumping down. If you fall down over several levels you'll definitely die. But if your fall wasn't hard, you'll just land and maybe loose a Z. There are many Zs to collect on the way, as well other goodies. If you run out of Zs you'll loose a life (but then again, you have those in unlimited quantities). You can also loose Zs when you're attacked.
So you need to explore the surroundings you found yourself in and find the exit, to be able to finally reach the finish. On the way you'll discover the plot, which is based on the legend of Zorro. There is a guy named Cortez, who knows the whereabouts of the legendary gold mine and people start disappearing. You need to find Cortez and spoil his evil plot, just like any masked hero would do.
All in all this game deserves a 3, because although the graphics and the little sounds there are, are nice, still the game leaves too many things to pure luck. You need to die a few times before you figure out how to go on, which definitely is a nuisance.
Zorro is yet another lackluster game by Capstone that wasted the opportunity to leverage a well-known literary figure, in this case the handsome renegade Spanish hero. In this outing, you must help Zorro navigate the California wilderness as he races to stop the evil Don Cortez from discovering an ancient treasure.
The best way to describe the game is probably to call it "Prince of Persia without the finesse": the game clearly was 'inspired' by Jordan Mechner's classic, but it has neither the excellent controls of the Arabian prince, nor the devious level design. Zorro comes equipped with a whip and a sword, but the controls are so irresponsive it's almost impossible to use the sword effectively. You can barely block the enemies, and sometimes even the most simple stabbing requires repeated keystrokes. Fortunately, you can use the whip instead, which is not only more effective than the sword, but also elicit funny responses in the game (for example, you can drop the enemies' pants by whipping them from a distance).
The graphics are drab compared to Prince of Persia, with most of the palette dominated by different shades of brown and black. The CD-ROM includes clips from the Zorro movie, but they are quite grainy and not quite related to the game's plot. Overall, fans of the masked hero in black will have to wait for a game that truly captures the hero's daring exploits -- this below-average game isn't it. And if you're interested in the film clips, ask your nearest video store instead.
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