Gargoyle Games' first release was the very well received Ad Astra, a 3D 'shoot 'em up' space game. But Tir Na Nog could hardly be more different. It's an adventure that combines the 'what you see is what's there' graphic style of Valhalla with simple no-text keyboard controls. (That comparison is rather unfair though because the graphics in Tir Na Nog reflect all the advances in programming techniques that have occured since Valhalla appeared!)
The hero of the game Cuchulainn (Cucuc for short) is represented by a fully-animated graphic almost one third of the screen high. He scours the Land of Youth (Tir Na Nog) for the four pieces of the seal of Calum in an effort to re-unite them to defeat the great enemy.
Cucuc's only mode of transport is to walk. You control the hero using simple 'walk left' and 'walk right' keys. Two more keys are used to pick up and drop the many objects and weapons littered around the paths.
Weapons are very important items for Cucuc as he's not alone in Tir Na Nog - there's also a violent race of monkeys called Sidhe; they can be defeated by 'thrusting' at them with some kind of weapon. If Cucuc loses a fight, he doesn't die (in fact he's dead already!) but all his possessions are dropped and he goes back to the starting position - so it's useful to save the game straight away when you start, if you don't want all the bits and pieces littered all over the shop!
Tir Na Nog is a mammoth undertaking which will take a very long time to complete and, as such, offers excellent value for money for 'mad mappers'. Add to that the superb graphics and you have a game which deserves to go down as a classic!
Here we see Cucoc about to make a mnkey of himself! Great graphics go a long way to make this game a classic.