For those of you who have upgraded to an Amiga from a C64 within the last two years, you will not fail to remember System 3's masterpiece, Myth. Although the game was also released on the Spectrum, much of the acclaim came from the C64 which set the standard of platform/beat'em-ups to follow. The Amiga conversion, due to taking more than two years in development, is superb. Gone are the main character's jeans and T-shirt. The hero of Myth is now a barbarian character, much in the Slain mould.
The game is split into five stages each consisting of three levels which contain different styles of strategy and play. The game is based around Mythology, hence the name, and these include Greek, Norse, Egyptian and Celtic. Each one includes monsters appropriate to the particular mythology. The purpose of the game is to destroy Dameron, the most evil god of all time. He has killed Herne the Hunter and so our barbarian hero must travel through all the stages before finally confronting Dameron and avenging his murdered friend.
The main character, a Briton, is of course muscle ridden and scantily clad, his leather trousers and fur lined granny boots being his only means of protection against the harsh conditions of his environment. Using all of his skill, he must make his way through each level, solving the puzzles and killing the evil nasties.
WELCOME TO HELL!
All of the levels scroll in eight directions but to give you some idea of what the game is all about we'll take a look at the first level entitled Hell. The Greek Mythology is instantly apparent in this level when the central character is immediately confronted by skeletal warriors and blood sucking Harpies. By killing the Harpies, the hero can pick up some extra energy and special weapons, the first of which being the sword. Using this weapon he can implement his special fighting moves against the enemy.
A LESSON IN COMBAT
Nothing is more satisfying than hearing the unearthly clunk as the leather-clad hero severs a skeleton's hollow skull from its ghoulish bony neck vertebrae. There are various puzzles within each level. The first requires you to escape from Hell by killing the Cerberus, a three headed dog. Unfortunately, the only thing that will kill the Cerberus is a three-bladed trident.
IT'S REALLY QUITE PUZZLING
The trident belongs to a demon but the hero will need to find some way or other of making the demon appear in order to be able to kill the Cerberus. Other Mythological creatures are included In the game such as the serpent-headed Medusa, the three-headed Hydra, Achilles and Nidhogg (a Norse dragon). Each one requires different skills to kill it, some won't die at all and we'll need to bo cheated in order for the hero to progress. These puzzles go on throughout the game, causing quite a few headaches but proving educational in the process. The puzzles differ from level to level but are all based on the same theme, thus maintaining the mood.
ANYONE FOR LUCOZADE?
Energy is displayed as four pearls at the top left of the panel. The pearls Indicate how much energy is left within them by changing colour three times. Green is top energy and black indicates there is none left. Energy can be collected by killing certain in-game nasties.
To the left of the energy pearls is the weapons display panel. Several weapons can be held at once but only the middle one is selected. Pressing the space bar will activate the weapon, therefore you can use one type of weapon while another is selected. This proves Invaluable when forced to use weapons that have a carrying limit against largo enemies that take many hits before dying. Next to the weapons panel is the score.
A FIGHT TO THE DEATH
The last level is reminiscent of shoot'em-ups; the hero must pass speeding objects and laser bolts to roach Dameron. His head is made up of lost souls - these are his weaknesses. By destroying the heads, Dameron will die and the hero will finish his journey. System 3 have promised a superb intro and end sequence and we're Inclined to believe them!
This game was a big hit on C64, because of the excellent speed, fine atmospheric graphics, digitalized sound effects and speech. Amiga version is also rocks, but it's behind the C64 Myth on my list.
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