Cauldron 2: The Pumpkin Strikes Back

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Cauldron 2: The Pumpkin Strikes Back
Title screen from the game
Game No. 469
Company Palace Software
Publisher Palace Software, Erbe Software, REM, Silverbird
Musician Richard Joseph
HVSC-File MUSICIANS/J/Joseph_Richard/Cauldron_II.sid
Release 1986
Platform Amstrad CPC, C64, ZX Spectrum
Genre Platformer (Multi Screen), Shoot'em Up
Gamemode Single player
Operation {{{Width}}}{{{Width}}}
Media Tape-icon.png Icon disk525.png
Language Language:english Language German Language:French Language:spanish Language:Italian
  • a.k.a.:
    Language German Hexenküche II - Der Kürbis schlägt zurück
    Language:French Cauldron II: La Citrouille Contre Attaque
    Language:spanish Cauldron II: El Hechizo
    Language:Italian Cauldron II: La Calabaza Contraataca
  • Also released in Commodore Format Issue No.31, April 1993
  • Forerunner: Cauldron


Voting of the C64-Wiki users (10=the best vote):
7.14 points at 14 votes (rank 306).
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C64 Games 6 26th July 2017 - Language:english - 6 out of 10 points - 20224 downs
26th July 2017 - Language German - 6 out of 10 points - 19569 downs
26th July 2017 - Language:French - 6 out of 10 points - 19108 downs
Lemon 64 8 26th July 2017 - Language:english - 7,6 out of 10 points - 121 votes
26. Juli 2017 - Language German - 8,1 out of 10 points - 18 votes
Ready 64 8 26th July 2017 - 7,59 out of 10 points - 17 votes 9 26th July 2017 - 8,5 out of 10 Points - 10895 downs
Kultboy 7 26th July 2017 - 7,09 out of 10 points - 34 votes
The Legacy 8 26th July 2017 - "very good" - 11 votes
ASM 10 Issue June 1986 - 10 out of 10 points
Happy Computer 8 Special no. 11 - 79% - p.34
Issue June 1986 - no evaluation
Computer & Videogames 9 June 1986 - 9 out of 10 points - p.15
Commodore Format 8 Issue 1994 - 75% - p.15
Commodore User 7 Issue June 1986 - 7 out of 10 points - p.32
Your Commodore 7 Issue July 1986 - 7 out of 10 points - p.48
Your Computer 10 Issue June 1986 - 5 out of 5 points - p.45
Zzap!64 8 Issue June 1986 - 94% - p.16
Issue December 1988 - 72% - p.91


The happy hopping starts...

Where once the tiny cottage stood, a mighty palace dwarfs the woods.
And there within the highest tower, the witch queen wields her mighty power.
A rule of evil 'cross the land with ghost and gargoyles close at hand.

Her enemies destroyed this night, yet one remains to set things right.
A pumpkin warrior brave and good , the last survivor from the wood.
So go now swiftly, climb the stair and cut a lock of Witch's hair.

Seek out then the cauldron black and brew a spell to change things back.
Then the hag will know defeat and thy revenge will be complete.

A long, long time ago - well, actually only one year ago - in the old times when there still was magic and magical creatures... Then a witch flew over the screens of many home computers. Searching for the golden broomstick, the witch has taken on the big, evil pumpkin. The witch was victorious, got hold of the broomstick and banned all evil pumpkins from the land. During the time the witch became evil herself, which is probably due to the unrulable power of the golden broom. Fortunately, there was one single pumpkin left and one night, when Esmeralda -guarded by her cronies- gave herself over to the very necessary beauty sleep (there was just no cure against her wrinkles), he decided to take revenge on the unsuspecting witch and entered the masonry...

Aim of the game

The pumpkin named Bouncey wants to brew an anti-potion to free his friends again. But one ingredient is still missing - the witches hair. Bouncey needs to search different items with which he can protect himself from several dangers and accomplish his tasks. Many things can happen during this. Next to the mostly deadly encounters with several monsters, Bouncey can also plunge into the several screen deep moat to then reenter the castle from the forest side. But even when Bouncey has advanced to the witch and cut off her hair, then he still needs to reach the cauldron to brew the potion and then break the ban on the pumpkins.


A passage which is very hard to pass...

As a pumpkin you will hop through a rather hugely designed castle this time. The programmers have created 128 rooms without witch craft. Despite the rather simple design, the graphics are done rather successfully. After collecting some items and finding the right way you will face the evil witch, the castle's mistress, in the final and of course gloriously defeat her.

In this Jump & Run there is no run, but in return a lot of jump. In the huge castle, the brave pumpkin meets many of the witch's henchmen: next to the known creatures from the first part as bats and ghosts, our hero also meets lots of spiders, skeletons, hands and even flying pig heads here. As in the first part, touching these monsters costs energy and sometimes the touch als ends deadly. At certain energy fields, Bouncey can renew his energy. After „refuelling“ he can even shoot energy balls and with this defend himself. In the castle, some switches and levers need to be operated to move the platforms. With this, Bouncey can get into the several floors.

The mystical game was created during full moon by Steve Brown and also converted to the C64 as if by an invisible hand by Stanley Schembri. The scary music was composed by Richard Joseph on a cemetery organ on an all souls sunday.


Really nice here...
Axe, scissors, Igor...
...the enemy lures everywhere!

Always these stupid skeletons...
You need to find ways also to the top...


Moving like a pumpkin
To move forwards, Bouncey needs to hop. He can make small, middle and big jumps. The player needs to push the fire button correspondingly, which works well after a short training period. Some areas in the castle can only be reached when the pumpkin rebounds skillfully from other objects as walls, candleholders or tables. As the pumpkin can only be controlled between the jumps and during the jump needs to rely on the physical laws, the game is even more difficult than its forerunner.


Bat, spider and things - hard times for a pumpkin...

To control the game, a joystick in port 2 is used.

  • RESTORE  ends the current game.
  • Joystick left hop to the left
  • Joystick right hop to the right
  • press fire button jump higher
  • Joystick left and press fire button fire weapon to the left
  • In all directions and press fire button After having collected a magical star, you can fire into all directions
  • Beware: If you keep the joystick pressed to the right or left for too long while shooting, you will jump and shoot into this direction!


The displays at the upper rim of the screen


  • Bouncey's enemies
    The witch's guard is indestructible and deadly, but he stays near the crown.
    Spiders are deadly and indesctructible.
    Skeletons are deadly and indestructible, but the shield protects Bouncey.
    Bats coloured in orange are deadly and indestructible.
    Baby spiders are deadly, but can be shot with the magical beams.
  • Some enemies can turn around the directions of the joystick. Right gets left and left gets right. Cumbersome thing, which requires rethinking. You recognize this state by the flashing of the pumpkin.
  • With each shot that you fire, you lose one magic point.
  • Always keep the pumpkin eyes open to if there is a magical star hidden somewhere. The magical power should be refuelled at every occasion.
  • You often find switches and levers at the walls which are indispensable for proceeding further.
  • The coloured doors will not open? Sure, you need the corresponding item of the same colour.
  • Sure death waits for Bouncey if he:
    hops into the witch's bedroom without the crown
    tries to take the crown without owning the shield
    hops against candle flames, gargoyles, torches, lava, axes or "The Moat"
    plunges down the right side of the castle without owning the axe.
  • You can plunge Bouncey down from the corner of the castle to get down fast. Bouncey will survive the fall.
  • Always steer quickly away from the platforms of the gargoyles because they move and veer Bouncey into space.


There is much so be seen in the castle......
CauldronItem1.png The crown The sleeping witch is guarded by a special spell. Bouncey's only protection is the crown.
CauldronItem2.png The scissors With the scissors Bouncey cuts off the witch's hair.
CauldronItem3.png The shield Skeletons cannot be destroyed, not even with the magical shots. To get past them, Bouncey needs the shield. This is especially important for the cauldron, as it is guarded by a skeleton.
CauldronItem4.png The goblet In some rooms, hands are flying through the air. If Bouncey touches them, the joystick controls will be turned around for some time. The goblet protects Bouncey from this effect.
CauldronItem5.png The axe In some rooms you can open doors (look like thin walls) only with the axe.
CauldronItem6.png The book You need it to finish the game.

Magic objects thou will need if thy quest is to succeed.
More than this we cannot tell, so search them out and use them well.
To start the game thou shouldst press fire and may thy bounce be ever higher.

Bouncey can find these six magical items on his hopping tour through the magic castle. And he will need them to get to the witch's hair.
And... there is another important piece of inventory in this eeirly wonderful walls. The game is not called cauldron for nothing. Somewhere in the dungeons of the bewitched castle there is a cauldron said to be standing around. This one could get really important.

Hints for difficult rooms[edit]

  • Dining Room (one of the starting positions)
    First make a short jump to the left, then a middle to the right. By this Bouncey will land at the corner of the table. Keep this position for one jump and then make a long jump to the right over the table and Bouncey will land on a magical field in the next room.
  • Throne Room (one of the starting positions)
    This way you get further up into the castle: In the room left of the Throne Room you need to position Bouncey at the corner of the balcony (by jumping forwards and backwards and with the help of the wall). With a long jump to the left you cover the gap. In case Bouncey dies here: When he reappears, simply jump under the table a few times, then he will get the right angle for the fruit bowl.
  • Room below the Throne Room (one of the starting positions)
    This is how you get into the witch's bedroom: When you have reached the ceiling with the help of the chain, let Bouncey jump against the left wall. He will rebounce so that he lands exactly at the rim of the platform from which a jump directly upwards will place him on the table.


The map for Cauldron II
Click to enlarge.


Cauldron2 8.png
  • On the website C64 Games there are three entries for Cauldron 2. Amongst them is also the version of the Cracker group Remember. The game was also equipped with a trainer menu for an unlimited number of player lives and permanent shooting availability. Furthermore, you can set that the joystick will never change the direction or you can even start with all available items at the same time...
  • On Gamebase64 you find the version by the group Radwar Enterprises 1941, which also has a trainer.
  • In the CSDb you find next to some further cracks also a version by Nostalgia.
  • Pokes:
unlimited lives, 1st version   POKE 29207,165
unlimited lives, 2nd version   POKE 40315,221
                               POKE 40316,248
                               SYS 32777
unlimited lives, 3rd version   POKE 33012,165
255 lives                      POKE 36152,255
high jumps                     POKE 37633,165
slow motion                    POKE 38716,189


Boris Schneider in the Happy Computer Special No.11: "A great game. It is one of many arcade adventures but it has lots of own ideas and a good scary atmosphere. Even if you have not seen the forerunner, you will like this sequel. If you know Cauldron, you should know that the second part is even better. The sprites, especially Bouncey, are well drawn and animated. The furnishings of the castle is rather scarce, but in any case nothing to sneeze at. Also the title tune: short, but well composed, it creates lots of atmosphere, same as the single effects. When Bouncey dies, the two witches at the upper rim of the screen let out a derisive snigger, which you must have seen and heard. Cauldron II is a rather difficult game, but I find it easier and better playable than Cauldron, the forerunner. You can get very far in the castle at the very beginning, but to solve the task, there is a lot of work to do. All in all I think this pumpkin game is a neat piece of work. Therefore not only a grin from the witces but also from me."

Heinrich Lenhardt in the Happy Computer Special No.11: "Don't be a mollycoddle - help the pumpkin! With its hero Bouncey, this programme has one of the cutest heroes in software history. The sonny hops excellently animated through the castle of the evil witch and wins with his cute hopping-walk the hearts of all players. Concerning the content, Cauldron II does offer only little new. In principle it is only a version of the usual platform games, but an especially good one. 128 rooms make for diversification, the search for six items promises complexity, the graphics are carefully done and the title music conveys a nice and spooky atmosphere. Added to this are the sparse but good and fitting sound effects during the game. Bouncey's jumps are accompanied nicely by boings and sprongs (or was it zoings and doings?). Of Cauldron II I am not only enthused by the C64 version. The Schneider and Spectrum conversions get almost everything out of the corresponding machines. In the Schneider version I even like the newly composed title music more than in the Commodore version."



  • In 1992, the French company Titus Software released Super Cauldron for Amstrad CPC, Amiga, Atari ST and MS-DOS-PCs. The C64 community did unfortunately not receive a realisation.

Screenshot comparison[edit]

In the CPC version also Richard Joseph was responsible for the sound. The gameplay on this system was programmed by Richard Leinfellner. The graphics on the CPC is very well done. Switching between the single screens is also very fast. The sound in the game is for a CPC game relatively close to the C64 version but has a different title music. But it also knows how to please, the typically CPC sound "AY nerving factor" is hardly there. The spectrum magazines of that time were full of praise for this conversion, it was especially the sound that the editors liked. However, the game was generally felt to be too difficult. A raise in difficulty was felt against the first part.

The Amstrad CPC version
The ZX Spectrum version


Longplayer DerSchmu makes the pumpkins dance...


The cover of the English version
The flipside cover of the English version


Advertisement from Great Britain by Palace Software
Advertisement from Spain by Erbe Software


Topscore of Radi1975
  1. Radi1975 - 86.050 (07.09.2017)
  2. thegameterrorist - 21.500 (07.11.2017)
  3. Ivanpaduano - 7.000 (02.07.2018)

#2 thegameterrorist #3 Ivanpaduano
#2 thegameterrorist #3 Ivanpaduano


WP-W11.png Pumpkin_Strikes_Back Wikipedia: Cauldron_II:_The Pumpkin_Strikes_Back