Created in 1982 by one William Tang, employee of Aussie software house Beam - the creative arm of publisher Melbourne House - Hungry Horace was something of a short-lived sensation.
Tang's game spawned two sequels, before Horace slithered almost completely off the radar for almost 40 years. Buried beneath layers of sediment, formed by the decaying flesh and bones of better ZX Spectrum characters, Horace is remembered merely as something of a joke - a fundamentally terrible character.
Indeed... possibly the worst games character of all time.
And here is why.
It baffles me why so few game creators got sued - if any even did - and why so many of them became household names, despite thinking that it was enough to put a funny wig on a stolen Faberge egg and try to pass it off as something new.
"No, no - it's definitely NOT a Faberge egg... It's a completely original concept, that I call Fuzzy Wuzzy The Funny Egg-O-Tronic!"
The only reason Horace ever became a sort of unofficial mascot of the ZX Spectrum - for a couple of years or so anyway - was because ZX Spectrum owners were desperate enough for games that they would shovel any old feculence into their spotty, bumfluff-accented, mouths, no matter how derivative or bad.
Play them today, and they're even worse than that.
I mean... Hungry Horace didn't even understand the fundamental flow of Pac-Man, including dead-ends in its mazes, while Horace And The Spiders - the first game I ever played on my ZX Spectrum, kids! - is virtually unplayable, challenging players with an opening rope-swinging screen that flickers like it's daring you to suffer a seizure.
By the time of his second game, Horace had gotten his act together enough to go skiing. However, the casette inlay blurb rather overstates the quality of the game, declaring that it "Pioneers the idea of inter-active cartoons".
Does it now? Does it really?!?
The third game had him fighting spiders. Inexplicably, within the space of three games he'd gone from being some sort of demented, anti-social, ADD-afflicted, flower-eating, menace, to going on mountaintop adventures to defeat giant spiders.
Frankly, he looks like a Mr Men character who was recently run over by a bus, and has discharged himself prematurely from the hospital.
Clearly he owes a huge debt to Q*Bert, but while one was a genuine innovation, a foul-mouthed, nozzle celeb with true star quality and his own unique song to sing... the other comes across like a sweaty, inebriated, pub entertainer.
Horace to the Rescue was announced for release in 1984, but never materialised, after Tang suffered - of all things - a collapsed lung.
However, with sales of Horace and the Spiders proving disappointing - players lured away by games that were more than just crude, IP-infringing, travesties - Beam Software saw a silver lining. The company decided against giving the project to another programmer, and invested instead in more potentially lucrative, less awful, titles, rather than another of Tang's Faberge dog's eggs.
In 1995, Psion released Horace In The Mystic Woods for the Psion 3-Series of palmtops. This time, the Horace franchise had the gall to rip off not a popular arcade game, but one of his Spectrum contemporaries: specifically, Manic Miner - 12 years after it was released - for some utterly inexplicable reason.
And that is why Horace is the worst games character of all time.