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Sacred armour of Antiriad

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Had this on my amstrad back in the day, looked gorgeous but I was rubbish at it. Struck me recently it was a metroidvania type game before any such term existed. I still don't get on with metroidvanias (2d ones...the Prime series on gamecube I loved) but think that Antiriad deserves some love for being ahead of its time.

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The comic - and possibly the in-game graphics as well - were drawn by Dan Malone of the Bitmap Brothers. 

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5 hours ago, K said:

The comic - and possibly the in-game graphics as well - were drawn by Dan Malone of the Bitmap Brothers. 

 

Yes, that's right. I forgot Dan Malone was in the Bitmap Brothers, looking up Antiriad now it seems that Dan Malone was supposed to do a game called "Super Thief" published by Palace. There were loads of small adverts around "Where is Super Thief?" in 1988, but it was never released (or the adverts really explained!)

 

1399259620_Screenshot2019-06-10at02_18_15.thumb.png.7c7dfd8dcd5f655ae949ff94f071a63a.png

 

 

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Wonder how far that was developed.

 

https://www.gamesthatwerent.com/gtw64/super-thief/#maingtwazlist

 

Antiriad was another one of those ambitious 8-bit games that sounded amazing but in reality was an exercise in frustration. Such a shame so many of the games from that era had these wonderful environments to explore  but getting through more than two screens without dying was a major feat.

 

Is it worth a revisit and persevering with? I haven't played it in decades.

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4 hours ago, Camel said:

Wonder how far that was developed.

 

https://www.gamesthatwerent.com/gtw64/super-thief/#maingtwazlist

 

Antiriad was another one of those ambitious 8-bit games that sounded amazing but in reality was an exercise in frustration. Such a shame so many of the games from that era had these wonderful environments to explore  but getting through more than two screens without dying was a major feat.

 

Is it worth a revisit and persevering with? I haven't played it in decades.

 

 

That's a really interesting read, thanks for sharing!

 

I would say going back to the game now can be quite frustrating, the difficulty level is quite high and the initial weapon (the stones) are a real pain to use, but I think that comes down to the storage limitations of the tape based 8-bit home computers, meaning that the map itself is quite small (probably about 40 screens).

 

https://maps.speccy.cz/map.php?id=Antiriad

 

So I suppose to give the game longevity, they ramped up the difficulty. But if you look at Metroid, because it was (originally) based on the Famicom Disk format, it had a lot more storage to work with, meaning it could really expand on the exploration side while making it a little bit easier (and less frustrating). 

 

But going back to Antiriad now, if you use an infinite energy or lives hack, you can enjoy the game a lot more. It would be more fun if it was just a bit easier and yes, it would make the game a lot shorter, but it would be a lot more fun.

 

(Coincidentally, the same could be said of a few other Palace releases like Cauldron 1 and 2, which are rumoured to have had Dan Malone doing the graphics but there's not confirmation). 

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6 hours ago, Camel said:

Wonder how far that was developed.

 

https://www.gamesthatwerent.com/gtw64/super-thief/#maingtwazlist

 

Antiriad was another one of those ambitious 8-bit games that sounded amazing but in reality was an exercise in frustration. Such a shame so many of the games from that era had these wonderful environments to explore  but getting through more than two screens without dying was a major feat.

 

Is it worth a revisit and persevering with? I haven't played it in decades.

 

I don't recall every having a weapon other than the stones you started with. Think I managed to get the boots, to the far left or far right of the starting position, but after that there's a choke point to get to further exporation.

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20 minutes ago, smac said:

 

I don't recall every having a weapon other than the stones you started with. Think I managed to get the boots, to the far left or far right of the starting position, but after that there's a choke point to get to further exporation.

 

You do get a laser later on (the exact point is in this clip here) but yeah, I'd imagine most people didn't get that far! 

 

 

I remember using a Poke for the Spectrum version that came with the Your Sinclair Smash Tips booklet thingy to get anywhere in the game.

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It's weird, I was just talking about this with my wife today, this game was one of the reasons I stopped buying day one. Bought it on release (saw it running in the local shop and had to have it) and completed it with the help of a map published by CU over a weekend. Next month it was on a compilation.

 

It's not really too hard once you know the layout, to the point where the Zzap high score table for Antiriad wasn't in points but by speed run times, the first time runs I'd ever seen for a game that wasn't about endurance.

 

Here's a run that's just under seven minutes long.

 

 

Despite it being dead easy , or maybe because of it I played this regularly for years whenever I felt like an easy win.  I would have loved to have seen a version with a much larger map on other formats. Sadly with Stanley Schembri and Richard Joseph no longer with us it probably won't happen.

 

There's just so much polish in that game from the art to the presentation. But what I loved was the control panel and how it sparked to life once you awakened the armour.

 

As for their other games, I could complete Cauldron 2...with a couple of hours, a map from C&VG and an infinite lives poke. Cauldron was nigh on impossible even with pokes.

 

 

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21 hours ago, Camel said:

Cauldron II is practically impossible to play. Again, a real shame.

Au contraire: It's a matter of understanding the physics at play. Finished it many times back in the day, and my brother was so obsessed with it he even put together an interactive map - which is astonishingly still online 20+ years later: http://www.gusworld.com.au/games/cii/default.htm

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3 hours ago, Camel said:

Sounds like two games I'd written off as ridiculously hard need a re-assessment.

 

Cauldron 2 is still hard as nails. Even once you understand the physics every time you shoot you lose 1% of health.

 

Sacred Armour is doable in less than 15 minutes if you're cautious, if you don't move too far away from your armour and if you're quick in high radiation zones.

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