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Originally intended for a Christmas 1990 release, the game was delayed due to legal actions between Codemasters and Nintendo. Although the game missed the Christmas rush it was still awarded NES adventure game of the year.
Although a popular title the game never reached the heights that Codemasters intended for the game. Some say this was partly due to no password system in the game. This meant that a player could traverse the (at times very difficult) game world and have no means to come back if they died.
It was old school sit down, play, and finish no matter what.
Dizzy is still a popular character in videogame circles and there is even an internet petition for a next gen Dizzy game.
Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw of Zero Punctuation fame has (perhaps jokingly) referred to this as the greatest game of all time on more than one occasion.