I got very close to completing Rainbow Islands on the Spectrum once. I think I put a cheat mode on and made it to a high level but it crashed. Since then, although I’ve played many versions thoughout the years, I’ve never come close as it’s just too hard.
Or so I thought. I read somewhere that the Master System version was, for whatever reason, quite a lot easier than other versions. Having played it, and (obviously) completed it today, I think whoever wrote that was right because it is. Sure, it’s not a walk in the park, but it was relatively straightforward.
I found that once you have the power-up that gives you a double rainbow (I presume the missing triple rainbow is due to technical issues – the game suffers greatly from flicker and slowdown as it is), providing you’re careful, almost every level is quite easy. All the bosses are pushovers with a double rainbow too, whereas when I’ve played before they were nigh on impossible. Of course, if you die you lose it, but another power-up to give it back tends to come along soon enough.
Another reason it’s so easy is that the water that forever chases you higher, and serves mainly to make you panic and die, takes much, much longer to make an appearance. I saw it just once in the entire game, and that was near the end when I fell about four screens downwards – I still outran it without difficulty though.
However, easiness aside: I didn’t get all the diamonds. That really is too hard. What I did do, though, is complete the seven worlds and then use the code that provides you with to unlock the eighth and final world, and then completed that. I may not have found all the diamonds but I did beat all the levels and bosses, so that’s good enough for me.