1: Who or what is Dizzy?

He's an egg, who wears red boxing gloves and boots, carries around a golden staff about his height with a gold-carved eagle perched on top, and often wears an explorer's hat. Dizzy is always trying to rescue his friends the Yolkfolk from danger. 

2: Did you make him up?

Dizzy was created by the Oliver Twins. He was designed to be the main character in an arcade adventure puzzler sort of a game, called "Dizzy," in which you have to walk around a 2D world made up of single screens which you can freely walk out of and into the next, collecting objects which you then use elsewhere in the game, to get you further into it.
The concept was simple and yet very addictive, which was why he has so many sequels. From the third game "Fantasty World Dizzy", The Oliver Twins introduced the 'Yolkfolk'. Dizzy now has a whole family of eggs to rescue from peril.  

3: How come I've never heard of him?

Because his games were only released in Europe. Most of you reading this will be from the overseas, where the only Dizzy game released was 'The Fantastic Adventures of Dizzy'.
If you're from Europe and have never heard of him, that's probably because you never owned a ZX Spectrum, or an Amstrad, or a Commodore 64. He was HUGE on the Spectrum. It was his first system, and he ruled it.
Dizzy was to Spectrum what Sonic was to the Sega, and Mario to the Nintendo. You didn't have to have it, but you had to have heard of it, and usually the chances were that you had it.
Dizzy made a big appearance on 16-bit computers such as the Amiga and Atari ST aswell, almost all the games released on Spectrum were converted to Amiga and improved upon graphically, but he was never as recognised on Amiga as on Spectrum.

4: Are Dizzy games still being made?

Since 1993, no more Dizzy games were made since the rights to Dizzy are split between The Oliver Twins and Codemasters. 

However in 2011, Dizzy returned to the gaming world with a remastered version of 'Prince of the Yolkfolk' on Android and IOS formats.
When talking about plans for Dizzy's future, The Oliver Twins have always quoted the words "Never say never".  

5: Are there any other characters besides Dizzy?

One of the most inspiring things about the Dizzy saga is the array of characters for all occasions. We'll go further into the characters' personalities later, but the main characters are: 

Dizzy, Daisy, Dora, Dylan, Denzil, Grand Dizzy, Dozy and Danny. 

Good Wizard Theodore and Pogie the Fluffle. 

Evil Wizard Zaks and Rockwart the Troll. 

Dizzy Doppelganger, Shamus the Leprechaun, Blackheart the pirate, the Shopkeeper, Prince Clumsy.  

6: How long has Dizzy been around?

Dizzy and Zaks first appeared in "Dizzy, The Ultimate Cartoon Adventure" for the 48k Spectrum in June 1987.
He was forgotten until August 1988, when Treasure Island Dizzy, the first of Dizzy's many sequels and the first in which Dizzy could talk to other characters, was released.
This proved quite popular, and so Fantasy World Dizzy came out in January 1990, with updated graphics and the like, plus the first appearances of Daisy, Denzil, Dozy, Grand Dizzy, Dylan and... and that's it.
By December, Magicland Dizzy had been released, which saw the return of Zaks, and the appearance of Dora, plus the rest of the Yolkfolk, telling us we could expect to see more from them in future.
Magicland Dizzy hosted the first appearance of Dizzy's trademark energy bar, which died when Crystal Kingdom was born. Up until then the status bar had been a good addition, decreasing when Dizzy got hurt and increasing when he absorbed radiation from magic diamonds, ate food, or... did other stuff like that. The short demo Into Magicland released exclusively with Crash Magazine also included Danny.
Spellbound Dizzy, the biggest Dizzy game yet, was released in January 1992 as both a single game and part of the new selection box, which also had Prince of the Yolkfolk included, which wasn't released seperately until a year later. These games were the first to include Theodore and Pogie.
Theo only made a short appearance in the Amiga version of Prince of the Yolkfolk, and none at all in the Speccy version.
Spellbound was the first Dizzy game to have him hurt himself when he falls a long way, a feature which was improved upon in Fantastic Dizzy.
Crystal Kingdom Dizzy was next, released in December 1992. Dizzy's first full-price game was a disappointment, and the first clue that Dizzy's demise was near.
After Fantastic Dizzy in 1993, Dizzy's gaming saga ended. Although in lived on in 'unoffical' games made by many dedicated fans. Alot of the Spectrum unoffical games were Russian where Dizzy was very big. 

7: Who is responsible for Dizzy's games?

Codemasters and the Oliver Twins. The Twins designed the characters and games, which were then made by a publishing company called Codemasters. This quote taken from the tape inlay from Treasure Island Dizzy.

"David and Richard Darling first started writing computer games when they were in their early teens and still at school.
They duplicated the cassettes themselves and sold them by mail order, taking small advertisements in magazines.
From these beginnings David and Richard became contract programmers. They wrote and sourced games for major best sellers. In October of 1986 the Darlings set up Codemasters, their own company.  
From the beginning they were determined to sell only the best possible games at the lowest possible price. One title, BMX SIMULATOR, went on to become one of the worlds best selling games.
In less than a year, Codemasters has a string of Top Ten hits to it's name. The company was the best selling software house in Britain.  
David and Richard are now 21 and 20 years old (obviously older than that now! - ED), and are determined to continue what they do best; producing top selling computer games."

And they did. Their latest and probably most famous creations, the Micro Machines series, has proven to be so popular that it dominates the Codemasters website. There was no mention of Dizzy.
However, with this FAQ and our homepage we hope to make Codies see sense and resurrect the Egg. After reading this file, we're sure you'll agree it has to be done. 

8: Is there a way of playing Dizzy games on my PC?

A few of the Dizzy games were made for the PC, but probably the best idea is to find yourself a decent Spectrum emulator, I recommend either zx32 or ZXSpin, and download the Dizzy ROMS which you'll find by searching around the Internet. 

By playing the Spectrum versions of the Dizzy series you'll see what we saw all those years ago - Dizzy's very first incarnations.
The Speccy Dizzy's are superior to others as they came first and so the most work was done on them, (such as the wonderful Dizzy Mob sequence from Kwik Snax,) but the versions which are equally superior to any other would have to be the Amiga versions.
These are almost identical to the Spectrum games, only they have amazing graphics, ranging from very cartoony in Magicland, to very amazing in Yolkfolk.

There are also DizzyAGE remakes of the adventure Dizzy games, available to download on this very site. 

9: How come the Dizzy on the screen is clearly not the Dizzy in the game manual, and in what way do either of them resemble an egg?

The Dizzy character was created when trying to make a human character. This conversation taken from an interview featured in Your Sinclair issue 84 - December 1992.

Taking part are Adam Peters, staff writer on Amstrad Action, and our very own Jon Pillar. 

(JP doesn't like Dizzy. Ignore him! - Yolkfolk.com ED) 

JP - Why is Dizzy an egg? 

AP - But I know why he's an egg.
JP - Why?
AP - I'm not telling you. I know the answer so I'm going to win the argument.
JP - Tell me!
AP - Not 'till we start the argument. (You already have! - ED)
JP - Why is Dizzy an egg? Of all the things in the world why did they go for an egg? Why not a courgette, or a stick of celery, or a fluffly animal?
AP - But they don't do somersaults, that's why Dizzy's so appealing. According to David Darling, one of the main reasons for Dizzy's success is the fact that he can turn somersaults.
JP - Monty Mole somersaulted.
AP - Ah, but that was a mole. There hadn't even been a somersaulting egg. The Codies wanted a character so Philip Oliver drew a nice big face, then the face needed to move so they gave it arms and legs. Philip Oliver admitted that he's not a very good graphics designer, so all he could come up with was a big face that mutated into an egg. And what's wrong with eggs? They don't hurt anyone. But I'm not sure he's officially an egg.
JP - The Codies call him an egg, and certain sad people keep making crap egg jokes.
AP - Eggsactly!
JP - I can't believe you just said that. Anyway, that's why he's an egg, is it?
AP - Yep, and I don't think there's anything wrong with having a heroic egg.
JP - So why are the games crap then?
AP - They're not, the kids like 'em and buy 'em, so they can't be.
JP - They like 'em cos they're fluffy and innoucuous, like some pop songs. The fact that they're best-sellers doesn't mean they're any good at all.
AP - But people aren't going to buy games which they think are crap. You might think they're crap but the people who are buying them obviously don't. You're just taking the high intellectual ground. Dizzy games are among the best games coming out at the minute. And they make money. We are living in a material world.
JP - But when the Codies put some thought into things, they can come up with something like Steg. Dizzy is just an easy way out.
AP - Did you know that Andy can knock cups off people's heads with elastic bands?
JP - Can he? If we put this little plastic cup on Linda's head, will he be able to hit it from over there?
AP - Well yeah, but shouldn't you finish drinking the tea first?
JP - No of course not, that'd take half the fun out of it. (Oi! - ED) 

(And by the way, the "ED" in that debate was the Your Sinclair ED, not me. - Yolkfolk.com ED)

So we know that Dizzy was originally a human face, but when the idea of a normal human body was ditched, Dizzy became an egg due to his eggy shaped head.
The more artistic versions of Dizzy, found in the game manual and in close-ups in the games on higher systems, (for instance on the title screen and cast list in Fantastic Dizzy for Genesis/MegaDrive,) came after Dizzy's initial design on the ZX Spectrum. 

10: Why did they stop producing Dizzy games?

Good question. I'm glad I thought of it. Dizzy was doing really well, with his last two games Spellbound Dizzy and Prince of the Yolkfolk close to perfection.
Basically the trouble began with the release of these two games. Spellbound was released simultaniously in a game pack, "Dizzy's Excellent Adventures," and as a single budget game. It was biger than the last two Dizzy games put together, but still only cost about 3 quid, one of the attractions to the Dizzy games. If you didn't like it, it didn't matter, because you haven't even spent a fiver on it. However, another of Dizzy's strong points was that you were never disappointed, and thus you never had to reason this way. You always got exactly what you wanted out of Dizzy.
Or at least that's what everyone said until Prince of the Yolkfolk was released as a single game. In the game pack it worked. It was presented as a game taking place before Spellbound, and in the same format as its predecessor, Magicland Dizzy. But they made the mistake of advertising it as exclusive to the game pack, then breaking that promise. They released Yolkfolk as a budget game a long time after Spellbound, (some say a year, some say half, since I bought it in the pack and not seperately I'm not in a position to claim which is true,) and of course Spellbound was a much more advanced game than Yolkfolk. On the Spectrum, anyway.
The Amiga version was decidedly inferior. Anyway, people started to complain that the Dizzy games were getting worse, going downhill. Yes, Yolkfolk was a very good game in itself, but when compared to Spellbound and released second, it let the fans who bought all their Dizzies seperately down. Then came the final blow. Codemasters released the last Dizzy game available for Spectrum, entitled Crystal Kingdom Dizzy, at full price, realising they could make more money out of him than they were doing.
Crystal Kingdom Dizzy was no different from other Dizzy games, not as enjoyable in fact, (they forgot to animate his forward-on somersault on the Speccy version!) but it was supposedly larger and cost £10 instead of around £4. That was as much as anyone was expected to pay for the most expensive Speccy games, and as Dizzy had made his name as a budget game star, one who could offer you the latest episode in his life story for under £5, we were let down.
Codies realised their mistake and decided to push their idea towards a more gullible crowd - the console buyers. They released Fantastic Dizzy on the Nintendo and Sega MegaDrive. It was a good game, the Dizzy fans liked it. BUT. There were no Dizzy games who owned only games consoles, as this was his first appearance on one, and so the game didn't sell as well as Codies had expected. Thinking this was due to loss of interest, and not their own stupid mistake, the Codemasters stopped making Dizzy games. There was nothing official said, they just didn't bother with it any more. The fools!
The first Dizzy was a game adaptation of the poem “The Green Eye Of The Yellow God,” by J. Milton Hayes. Throughout the game, excerpts from the poem either indicated where you were or gave you clues - sometimes both. The whole game was based in Katmandu, the setting for the poem, although they took out the silent H from Khatmandu, as it is spelt in the poem...   

The Green Eye of The Yellow God:

There's a one-eyed yellow idol to the North of Khatmandu
There's a little marble cross below the town
There's a broken-hearted woman tends the grave of Mad Carew
And the Yellow God forever gazes down
He was known as Mad Carew by the `subs' at Khatmandu
He was hotter than they felt inclined to tell
But for all his foolish pranks, he was worshipped in the ranks
And the Colonel's daughter smiled on him as well
She was nearly twenty-one, and plans had begun, To celibrate her birthday with a ball
He wrote to ask what present she would like from Mad Carew
They met next day as he dismissed his squad,
And jestingly she told him that nothing else would do 'cept the green eye of the Little Yellow God.
The night before the dance, Mad Carew seemed in a trance
They chafed him as he puffed at his cigar
But for once he failed to smile and he sat alone a while
Then went out into the dark beneath the stars
He returned before the dawn, with his shirt and tunic torn
A gash across his forehead dripping red
He was sent to bed right away, and he slept throughout the day
And the colonels daughter sat beside his bed
He awoke at last and asked, if they could send his tunic through
She brought it and he thanked her with a nod
He bade her search the pocket, saying `that's from Mad Carew'
And she found the green eye of the Little Yellow God
She scolded Mad Carew, in the way that women do
Though both her eye's were strangley hot and wet
But she wouldn't take the stone, and mad Carew was left alone
With the jewel he'd chanced his life to get
When the ball was at it's height, On that still and tropic night
She thought of him, and hastened to his room
As she crossed the barrack square, she could hear the dreamy air
Of a waltz tune softly stealing through the gloom
The door was opened wide, with silver moonlight shining through
The place was wet and slippey where she trod
An ugly knife lay buried in the breast of Mad Carew
T'was the vengeance of the Little Yellow God
There's a one-eyed yellow idol to the North of Khatmandu
There's a little marble cross below the town
There's a broken-hearted woman tends the grave of Mad Carew
And the Yellow God forever gazes down 

J Milton Hayes