After Ulises, Mythos is the second game published by Opera Soft based on the Greek mythology. Mythos is a side-scrolling action game. In the game the player controls an archer centaur called Ahyzar, who must recover the seven lost magic coins of his god Krosar. To accomplish this the player must go through the Olympus. With only three lives to find the coins the player must try to avoid or destroy, all the mythological creatures that cross Ahyzar's path.
Finally! A game where you get to play as a centaur! Oh no, does it really have to be so bad?
This was my reaction after seeing the game. Everything was there: good graphics, interesting surroundings, mythical creatures and the main character is a blond, long-haired, winged centaur with bow and arrows. Absolutely perfect...
Not! What could possibly go wrong? Well, the game is very hard; too hard for almost any enjoyment. Before calling me a mamma's boy, let me explain why it is so hard. Among other less important things, there is the most important reason: awful, horrible collision detection. I actually stopped at only two adjectives because I don't want to repeat myself, but I would gladly go on with throwing rocks. It is really unclear what were they thinking at Comix. They had to test the game before releasing it, right? It seems that they wanted an easy solution, so they just used some huge squares or rectangles that covered the entire area where things can collide. This came out very rough, to the point of causing enormous frustrations. Instead of calculating the collisions more precisely, depending on the actual image of a creature or object, this really looks amateurish.
If you want a simple demonstration, start the game and just hold UP, making the centaur constantly jump. You will notice that it never really touches the ground again. Yes, it's that bad. Also, despite the position of centaur, you will have to ignore what you actually see and learn how the game will handle things. For example: you are making a jump, the centaur lifts his front legs and is starting to rise; suddenly, it is killed by a worm without even touching it. How could the worm touch the centaur when it was already in the air? Well, this is just the first thing you will encounter and you will need quite some practice to learn how to safely jump over a worm. You know, it was always so stressful for centaurs to jump over the worms. Worms are really tough cake for centaurs. As you can see, there are still worms in this world, but no centaurs, so they must have been exterminated by worms. Yes, it's that horrible.
Besides our centaur hero and some monsters, many dangers like plants or fire are also "larger" than they appear. Don't ever try to go too near something alive and small, putting your bow above it, thinking that you'll survive because you don't collide with it. Another thing would be fire that comes out of the statues. It comes out as a thin stream and then spreads once it falls to the ground. Not only that, but the fire that is spread on the ground is larger than it looks. It is also as large as soon as it appears out of the statue. So it can kill you without even being close. And as soon as you start to adapt to all this, there are a few things (too few) that are better handled by the game, and you actually need to be very close in order to successfully pass the danger.
All this makes you to keep trying (and dying) until you get familiar with the game mechanics. Also, this usually means being extremely precise about most of the things. I would say "pixel precise", but since your minimal movement is not a pixel but a bigger section (which brings us back to the roughness of the game), I have to say "precise as possible". Too many dangers require the actions to be as precise as possible. This becomes incredibly irritating right away. Even after learning the game's collision handler, you will still make mistakes often, which results in immediate loss of life. Considering the distance between checkpoints, this will also result in having to play a long part all over again, which is once again full of dangers that require precision and fast reactions, which will now irritate you even more and so on. And when you lose all your lives, you have to wait for that demon at the title screen to walk to the far right and listen to some title music before starting again. Add to all this that there are places - like falling down the pit where you use your wings - that you can't really avoid flames unless you are lucky enough to guess the right moment to fall down, and you will realize that this game will test your nerves severely.
You take the role of Ahyzar, a faithful servant of the god Krosar, who behaved badly one day. Ahyzar opened his master's chest to see what was inside and spilled the contents over Olympus. His master will forgive him if he can retrieve the seven golden coins. Since Olympus is a dangerous place to walk around, his master gave him the strength of a horse and the intelligence of a man (I hope he knew what he was doing). Ahyzar became Mythos (Mithos in Spanish), a powerful creature which is actually a winged centaur. Armed with a bow and arrows, Ahyzar was ready for his task.
Once again, most of the dangers in the game require precise movement and jumping. Although it takes only one arrow to deal with most of the creatures, you can shoot arrows very fast, which comes very handy for stronger opponents. Wings are used only at specific places, not through the entire game. Each collected golden coin gives you an extra life. While standing on the moving platforms, you actually have to walk as it moves since it won't exactly carry you. The only other thing worth mentioning is that the centaur will rear up on his back legs after falling to a lower platform. You will quickly realize this. It might give you some problems on a few places if you forget about this.
It is a real shame that collisions are so bad. This game could be fun for some time. This flaming of the collision detector is surely a bit subjective from my side, since I always wanted to play as a centaur shooting arrows in an action-platform like this. This came as a real disappointment. Even if you try well enough and manage to beat the game, you will most likely never play it again. If there was at least a bit more shooting instead of jumping, the game might have been better. There is a lot of shooting later on, but it's not very enjoyable. It's also stressful. The guys from Comix could surely have done a better job, as they managed to before and after this game. Play only if you have to see a game like this, but don't expect to actually have fun with it.
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