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Arcade: Adventure
ZX Spectrum 48K/128K

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Phil South
Chris Bourne

Dragons roll! (Er... shouldn't that be wagons?) Not in this adventure, bucko. You play the part of a v. green and mega scaly dragon, called Thanatos the Destroyer. You are in total conflict with the forces of the Underworld, and we ain't talking British Rail employees here... although they're pretty fierce. No sir, we mean real dribbling hordes of evil stuff. Nasty little goblins fresh from Mischa and Stephen's jokebook, killer bees from T'zer's bonnet (Oi! T'zer), falling rocks bigger than Ed's dandruff... (Smack!) You must find the beautiful Eros (wahay!) for she is the only one who can guide you to the book of spells and back to the magic cauldron...

Gosh, this is heady stuff, all this dragonlore. Sounds like a really drippy idea for a game, like maybe the Orpheus effort about fairies? No way, Jose! This is a truly original idea for an arcade game, and so well executed. The graphics are stunning, from the flight/walk/ swim animation of the dragon, to the way the background moves in 3D - the objects in the foreground move faster than the objects in the background. Sounds simple, looks marvellous.

The only thing you must be very careful of is over-exerting your dragon. You can see his little heart pumping in one corner of the screen and if he looks to be heading for a rupture you must land and rest, or take the consequences. It's a race against time, but you must look after your dragon if you want to finish the course.

So, okay wiseguy, why is this game so much fun? Hmmm? I'll tell you. No other game lets you fly a dragon. No other game lets you fly along blasting the enemy with flames from your nostrils. It's an original premise but it would be nothing if it weren't so nicely done. The game just oozes atmosphere, and that's a quality all megagames have.


Screenshot Text

Thanatos the Destroyer. Green and scaly, mean and moody, and the hottest breath this side of the Bombay Curry Centre. He's flapping across the ravaged landscape, ready to turn his death dealing nostrils on all comers. Down to the left is his heart, (boom bitty boom bitty boom) which you mustn't strain. Rest a while, every seven leagues or so, and gather your strength. The little funnel, to the right, is your fire reserves. Don't breathe on too many people, you might run out of puff.

Once more into the breach, dear dragons. Here we are in battle with a bunch of little blue foes. They're intending to spear you with their little spears, and one hundred and eighty you with their little arrows... worra nasty bunch of foes! On your back is the Sorceress Eros, whom you've rescued from the Castle, and at your feet is a foe that you've snatched up and squished. Heh heh heh. Now you can drop him on his chums for extra points.