back to article RIP Bernie Drummond: Celebrated ZX Spectrum artist and programmer on Batman, Head Over Heels, Match Day II

Celebrated video game artist Bernie Drummond has died. His designs were among some of the most loved on the ZX Spectrum, and some of his signature titles are among the computer's top-rated games of all time: Batman in 1986, and Head Over Heels and Match Day II in 1987. The Batman franchise is huge now, but it wasn't when work …

  1. juice

    Ahead of his time...

    The 80s was a great time for video game experimentation, and Bernie's surreal isometric artwork paved the way for a lot of the games which followed (e.g. Sweevo's Whirled). And Head over Heels is a classic by any standards.

    Thanks for the games and the memories. Even if I never actually figured out how to play HoH, back in the day ;)

    1. StewieGriffin

      Re: Ahead of his time...

      I had an Amstrad CPC 464 (the one green screen tube) when I was a nipper and would take this to my Grans and play HoH for hours sitting in her comfy chair.

      I could get Head & Heels to meet up but couldn't get much further than that. A brilliant, absorbing game that, I think, would be the last adventure game I played on any computer.

      Thankyou sir. Truly nice to learn about you and rekindle those happy memories.

      1. Mattjimf

        Re: Ahead of his time...

        I had the same set up, and both Batman and Head over Heels, never completed it, although I did get pretty far in both. Going to my friend's house how also had a CPC 464 but with the tv adaptor was a big revelation to me.

  2. Lomax

    Head over Heels (in Love)

    So complex, so beautiful - a true masterpiece. Do yourselves a favour and check out Retrospec's excellent, and 100% faithful, full colour reworking of this astonishing example of assembler wizardry and pixel art, still available from I think it's Windows, MacOS and BeOS(!) only, though there may be a Linux version floating about elsewhere in the Intertubes... RIP Mr Drummond - thanks to you every time I see a toaster I imagine jumping over it.

  3. Speckled Jim
  4. Dan 55 Silver badge

    Classics all

    I must have played Batman, Head over Heals, and Match Day II for years, they were that good. Batman and HoH were much more playable than than the Ultimate isometric games and Match Day II was only finally beaten by Sensible Soccer.

  5. SecretSonOfHG


    Batman and HoH were, both from an artistic and technical achievement perspective. And Match Day was the only soccer sim I kept playing on the speccy.

  6. Cederic Silver badge


    I think most of the people playing the games he worked on just didn't appreciate the technical prowess and innovation needed to produce games looking like nothing before.

    At the time I certainly didn't. I was constantly trying to get further and further through Head over Heels, ignorance of how hard the game must've been to write and instead my focus was on how hard I found it to play.

    These days it'd be tagged 'pixel art' and 'roguelike'. Back then it was just fun, and difficult, and ultimately discarded because you had to keep replaying the same bits of the game every time you failed. I failed a lot.

    It's scary to think that a lot of people entering the industry these days don't know who Carmack is, or why he's special, let alone the trailblazers that preceded him like Bernie Drummond.

  7. Ian 55

    The game's look is visibly influenced by the 1960s TV series starring Adam West.

    To be fair, that is by far the best Batman.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The game's look is visibly influenced by the 1960s TV series starring Adam West.


      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Nope

        Holy Anonymous Cowards Batman! Get the philistine repellent Bat-spray!!




        That's the end of that loser Batman!

        Now my trusty sidekick, there's no joy in defeating a criminal, the joy comes from upholding what is right!!

        1. tiggity Silver badge

          Re: Nope

          West & Ward Batman shows were fun (and the actors lived life to the fun filled max out of costume too) - I found the old TV shows a lot more enjoyable than the movie versions, which took themselves far too (drearily) seriously. Worth bearing in mind that for many years (when Robin added) the comics were quite light and the "dark" Batman a relatively recent thing (though TBF, some early (pre Robin / sidekick era) Batman were a bit darker but that phase did not last long)

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Nope

            You may like this -


            It's an animated Batman film made a few years ago staring West and Ward, rather tongue in cheek

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The game's look is visibly influenced by the 1960s TV series starring Adam West.

      West is best!!! *

      *Taken from Lego Batman 3 game. Voiced by a certain A. West.....

  8. MrMerrymaker

    A drink to Bernie

    As someone working for a football game company - no, not EA! - Match Day 2 was in my youth and a special place remains for it in my heart.

    Ahead of his time.

  9. Sam Therapy

    RIP Mr Drummond

    An inspiration to many Speccy artists, including me. A source of gaming pleasure to many of us.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oh dear

    An obituary for a game artist/designer and you slap a screenshot of his work in the incorrect aspect ratio...

    Farewell Bernie

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon