Dojo Dan - the Story so far (or How To Almost Make It In A Platform Game). Born in Wolferhampton, young Dojo Dan was a problemchild from the beginning.
Possessed by a disturbing desire to leap onto any raised surface and hit anything that came close to him, he became the first child to be expelled from nursery school for a combined acrobatics and grievous bodily harm offence.
With his parents at a loss, the authorities took him into care to decide what to do with him. A careers officer looked over his case file and immediately found the perfect occupation for wee Dojo. He would be the star of a platform game. Simple. He had all the qualifications. His name, for a start. Alliteration, you see. Plus! A talent for martial arts. Plus! Plus! His alarming "raised surface" antics. He was a natural. They packed his things and sent him of to Sofwareland.
But things weren't quite as rosy as they'd thought. Dojo arrived, alone and penniless, hoping to find himself a nice starring role in a big, popular platform game, and maybe a couple of sequels.
What he didn't plan on was the three thousand other hopeful computer characters all trying to do the same. Months went by, and no starring role for Dojo. He almost managed to get a non-speaking part for a fairly big budget production of Last Ninja 2, but the role was snatched by some ponce in black jim-jams.
Dojo started drinking. Whole days would pass by through motel windows in a haze of Jack Daniels. Dojo was on the skids. He watched his rivals scale the heady heights of Sofwareland.
That stupid little plumber found a place in the fledging console sector, and a cheeky young upstart calling himself RoboCod - a false name, I'll warrant - was gaining friends and awards left, right and centre. They were hard times.
Dojo slowly came to his senses, He enrolled in the Miner Willy Detox Clinic and came out a reformed sprite.
He also gained a slightly more realistic approach to his work. Rather than busting a gut for that elusive big, extravagant licensed platform game, he decided to settle for a slightly more modest debut.
And so, Dojo Dan -The Computer Game came into being. An unassuming little role that didn't make a very big impact due largely to its rather formulaic appearance and lack of overall style. However, rather than returning to the booze, Dojo took the comments in his stride.
It was said that the game was a rather uneven mix of beat-'em-up and platform. While this may have been a bonus, it didn't really add all that much to an otherwise by-the-numbers platform game.
There was also criticism for the way that all too often the game required Dojo to leap off-screen, without knowing it there was a platform beneath him, This contributed an unnecessary amount of blind luck to an already overly difficult game, said many critics.
There was also concern at the lack of a password system, and the odd idea of saving the game to disk at the end of each section. Mind you, it did receive praise for the rather nice graphics, with Dojo himself being described as "a bit of a cutey".
Many also enjoyed the vast number of levels, and the ability to decide which order you play the levels in each world.
The soundtrack also received praise, and would later appear as a cover version on Elton John's 70th album, entitled ."A Hair Raising Musical Extravaganza". Possibly.
Ultimately though, Dojo's debut performance gained only a minor audience. It was put in the shade by the simultaneous arrival of The Addams Family and Fire and Ice, and the promise of Zool in the future.
A shame, but then Softwareland is a harsh place, and the average often get left behind by the trailblazers. An all-too-common tale, and no mistake. Take heed, boys and girls, take heed.