Myth: History in the Making

by Dave Dew, Neil Dodwell
System 3 Software Ltd
Crash Issue 70, Nov 1989   page(s) 41

System 3/Concept Animations
£9.99 cass, £14.99 disk

Today's world is in peril! Shock, horror! And it's the very gods of ancient times who've told you so! Way back in time an evil god called Dameron has turned good gods bad with the avowed intent to pervert the course of history as we know it. And he's made sure that the few good gods who remain aren't allowed to interfere. Things must be in a bad way if gods must seek help from mere mortals. But this is the world's only hope. They call on you!

Forward to the past you go to battle for the present... and the future. What awaits you are a myriad of mythological beasties lurking in the four sections of this adventure of a lifetime.

Ancient Greece: you enter the pits of hell to survive fighting skeletons, harpies and worse. Your only weapons are fists and feet until you win a sword, and your mission is to kill the many-headed Hydra. A special weapon is needed, find it and you survive to tackle the dreaded Gorgon in the Temple. Another secret weapon is needed, but will you get it?

Success catapults you into Viking mythology. The first task here is to rid a longboat of its very bloodthirsty crew, battle Trolls, Goblins and an immortal dragon called Nidhogg in darkest forests and rescue a good witch named Brunhilda from a band of very nasty fire nymphs. Needless to say, immortal dragons are no straightforward prey: more clever thinking is required.

Onto Valhalla, home of the Norse gods, where there's no escape without vanquishing Thor - God of Thunder and his father Odin, and then breathlessly to Egypt. In a monstrous pyramid lurk three secret passages. Find them, locate Atuma's Eye, survive the many pitfalls, traps and ghouls and work out your way to King Tutankhamen's Tomb. Now you are ready (gulp) for the final battle. Only the destruction of Dameron stands between you and the salvation of the human race. Hope you have enough breath left...

System 3 have taken most of the nasty mythological creations of the past and graphically dazzlingly packed them into Myth to create a satisfying beat 'em up/arcade adventure that is no push over. With its companion Tusker, Myth marks a romping return to the heyday of arcade adventures and will keep you puzzling and hacking for a long time indeed.

MARK [97%]

Scary creatures a bound in System 3's new release, but being a fearless tipster they didn't scare me (okay, okay, so I was the first one to dive behind the sofa). Myth is tough, at first frustratingly so, but a bit of swashling yer buckle does move you further into the game to face such nasties as the Hydra, Medusa, Mark Caswell... whoops sorry he isn't in it for is he?). Anyway, if you fancy playing a mythological hero swiping at all and sundry with a variety of weapons (depending on the time zone), and know how to use your wits, tackle Myth.
NICK [95%]

Presentation: 89%
Graphics: 91%
Sound: 79%
Playability: 94%
Addictivity: 92%
Overall: 96%

Summary: Great on brawn, great on brain, great on graphics. A winner!

Award: Crash Smash

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Your Sinclair Issue 49, Jan 1990   page(s) 70,71

System 3
£9.99 cass/£14.99 disk
Reviewer: Matt Bielby

They're a funny old lot at System 3. There's one type of game they do very well indeed (a sort of semi-actiony, semi-puzzley, flip screen adventure thing) but as soon as they try anything else they tend to go a little bit wonky.

Take this summer for instance. Out they came with Dominator, an attempt at a classic progressive shoot-'em-up, which, despite promising graphics, got roundly panned. And quite right too, because it really wasn't all that good. More recently there was Tusker (reviewed last issue), much more traditional System 3 territory and a bit of a return to form, though, like Dominator, it had a rather rushed feel to it.

Happily though, everything has come together for them on Myth. Quite simply, it's brilliant - a massive flip screen arcade adventure, absolutely jam-packed with neat graphical touches, nicely timed gameplay and suitably tricky puzzle bits. If there's been a better original Spectrum product this year I haven't seen it.


Totally loopy, of course, but it does make bizarre sort of sense. You play a normal human chappie who's been whisked into the past by some greater power to sort out various minor gods and mythical beings, all of whom have gone a bit doolally. A bit of a steep task for an ordinary joe, you might say, but, in fact, if you've ever read any Greek myths, the gods are always mucking about with the destiny of men and getting them to do their dirty work. The idea works so well because the programmers have been pretty faithful to the spirit of the originals, and there's such a ready supply of brilliant monsters to be filched from ancient legend.


Don't be put off because some of the sprites look a little small, oh dear me no. The graphics in Myth are absolutely brilliant.

A lot of it has to do with the animation. Our little hero has a whole host of different moves (walk, hack, fire, raise shield, big jump, little jump, punch, kick, crouch) and they all work very smoothly (once you've sussed out how to do them. It often takes a combination of keys). Then again, some of it has to do with the design. Take the big end-of-level monsters. There are some truly spectacular set piece beasties here which really lake your breath away, especially as the way the game is structured you'll suddenly flip a screen and see them all at once, broad as daylight and twice as ugly.

The smaller set piece baddies are equally lovely (nicely animated and often attacking in unusual ways), as are many of the foot soldiers. Take the Jason And The Argonauts style skeletons, for instance. They drop down on screen (or climb up out of the ground), look around a bit, suss out where you are and then come for you. Brilliant! Kill them, and you collect their heads (you'll need to use them later on). Then, when you actually get round to lobbing one, you find it does a lively little bounce along the ground. Brilliant!

Finally, there are the effects. The flame sequences are smart throughout, the explosions are really bright, colourful and full of bits flying about all over the place, and the death graphic is simple but lovely. In fact, this is my favourite - your body turns into a stream of twinkly bits which fly around and then recorporate rather like someone being down in Star Trek. It's just one neat little touch in a game fill of neat little touches.


Anyone familiar with Last Ninja II will know the sort of thing - collect Weapon A from behind the wall on Screen B to open the door in Room H, or whatever. It's the same sort of thing here, but, if anything, they've done it even better.

You see, these gods might be all powerful and everything, but they've got their weak points if only you can suss out what they are. Things have been made easier for you here by the careful placement of suitable weapons (hidden in chests or urns, deposited by dead nasties and so on), all ready to be collected before you actually come across any of the big monsters. Now, if you've done things right, it's just a case of rummaging through your inventory, finding the best tool and working out how to use it. A bit of trial and error should see you right.

So there it is. All in all, it's brilliant. There are enough levels and puzzles in here to keep you going for absolutely yonks, but even after you've completed it I suspect you'd still keep loading the thing up just to remind yourself how nice Spectrum graphics can look, how neat the puzzles are and just what damn fun it all is to play.

In a year when a lot of full price stuff has looked suspiciously monochrome and budgety, this is about as full price as you can get. There are touches in here that aren't strictly necessary, but have been worked on and put in there because someone actually cares about producing a really good product. A deserved Megagame.

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Life Expectancy: 90%
Instant Appeal: 91%
Graphics: 96%
Addictiveness: 93%
Overall: 95%

Summary: Lovely, colourful graphics, neat animation, great puzzles and bags of clever characters make this the best System 3 game yet, and one of the highlights of the year.

Award: Your Sinclair Megagame

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Your Sinclair Issue 78, Jun 1992   page(s) 76


Ladies and gentlefolk, YS presents - returning to regale you with restorative re-releases - Replay!

021 6253311
Reviewer: Andy Hutchinson

I've always been a fan of legends. There are some really brilliant ones, like the Loch Ness monster, the Trojan horse, the British Summer and (lest we forget) the amazing legend of the Interesting Politicians. The great thing is that we'll never know if they're true or not, which means that people can carry on churning out books about them and writing features in Sunday supplements. Legends are like that.

Myth, on the other paw is no legend. It's a corking game which the Amiga convert (and latter day traitor) Matt Bielby first reviewed in January 1990. He gave it a rather ebullient 95° and a chorus of hurrahs. And do you know? He wasn't wrong.

What we've got here is a platform game with style, panache (not by Lentheric) and gorgeous animation. The idea is to wander around a Faustian (look it up) netherworld populated by sword-fighting skeletons and corpses on gibbets in a landscape of gushing volcanoes and lava pits. If you think that it all sounds a bit grim, well you'd be right. Your little chappy has some nifty weapons at his disposal. These can be found by kicking open chests and vases. Fireballs, tridents, doves(?!), skulls and bolts are all waiting to be revealed, each with its own peculiar effects. F'rinstance, the fireballs will deal with skeletons and hanging corpses while you'll need a trident to stuff the hydra.

Actually finding your way around a particular level isn't particularly hard, but figuring out what to do when you get there might be. Some of the innocuous items you pick up on your travels have to be used in a particular way at one particular point of a level, so it's wise not to waste your armoury on soft creatures.

What really sets this game apart from the pack is the superb animation. This game makes Prince Of Persia look bad and it's three years older than that game. Everything about the game tells you that the programmers paid attention to detail. This is a playable slayable fable of mighty proportions. Most considerable!

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Overall: 95%

Award: Your Sinclair Megagame

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Your Sinclair Issue 78, Jun 1992   page(s) 55


Summertime, summertime, summer, summer, summertime! Hurrah - summer is here! And what better way to celebrate the advent of sunny, carefree days than by locking yourself in your bedroom and playing a load of Speccy games? With the seemingly unstoppable spread of budget software, we here at YS thought it would be quite a wheeze to sort out the brass from the dross. So take your seats and upset your neighbour's popcorn as JON PILLAR whisks you with shameless bias through a roundup of the best £3.99ers around.


5. Myth
Kixx/Issue 78
Reviewer: Jon Pillar

Featuring quite possibly the best ever animation on the Speccy, this huge trapse through history scores highly in every department. It works brilliantly as both a tricky collect-the-object puzzler and a simple zap-the-baddies fight game, which can be no bad thing. Magic.

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Sinclair User Issue 93, Dec 1989   page(s) 110,111

Label: System 3
Author: In House
Price: £8.95
Memory: 48K/128K
Joystick: various
Reviewer: Jim Douglas

Oh yes. This is the stuff that makes fab games. A sweeping epic taking place through different eras and continents. A chronicle of one man's struggle against astounding odds. Phew! What a scorcher.

It sounds like the intro to a million mediocre adventure games, doesn't it? Thankfully, Myth has got more action per second than any sweeping epics I've ever seen. Myth is a joy to look at. The tiny graphics are so well animated it's almost like watching a little cartoon. It makes a welcome relief from the flickering megasprites of most exploration affairs of late.

Probably the most important aspect of "big game" feel is that the environment you find yourself exploring feels MASSIVE. There's not much mystery when you know that the whole game world is only two screens by three deep.

That's where Myth beats others of its type hands down. It can be a real challenge simply getting from one side of the screen to the other.

The object of the game is to bounce yourself through different ages (Greek mythology, Norse etc) righting all the dodgy business that went on. If you're successful, you'll end up with a much happier future world. If you goof, well, it hardly bears thinking about.

First stop on the trip is Hell (good to start on an up-note, eh?) You stand in the ruddy, dusty passages of a subworld littered with swinging skeletons and broken bodies. No time to waste. Best check out the surroundings.

Hell is a pretty depressing place actually, on top of the skeletons hanging from the ceilings, Ray Harryhausen style fighting bone-men leap out of the ground and attack you. This is the stuff! Laying into them with fists and feet (the control of your character is fab - more in a sec), the skeletons recoil with each blow, and eventually their heads pop off and their ribs collapse.

The controls offer a great deal of freedom; you can jump up, hop, squat, punch, kick etc. Also, you can pick up any objects that are lying on the deck. Virtually everything can be used at some stage in the game.

The most common items you'll discover in the first level are fireballs. These can be used to knock down the teleport icons. When you've got enough, you'll be beamed to the next time zone.

My favourite stage is the blue section, populated by horrible gargoyles and the Medusa. Here nasty green drops of slime fall from the cavernous roofs. Armed with your trusty sword and shield, you've got to jump across yawning chasms from pillar to pillar, making slow but steady progress towards the ghastly grimmy herself. With every step closer you get, she'll spit more venom at you, and you've got to perfectly time your moves of jumping and raising the shield in order to survive.

Each level comprises a major feat that must be achieved, too. There are huge monsters that need killing, a medusa that needs beheading and Greek gods that need a stern talking to.

The graphics are fantastic throughout. The animation is simply superb. Because the figures are small, they can glide around the screens and each character can have a decent set of animations. When you jump, it really looks like a jump, and when you hit the ground, your legs bend.

These are the touches that really make Myth stand out from the crowd.

Graphics: 95%
Sound: 65%
Playability: 89%
Lastability: 89%
Overall: 93%

Summary: Simply fantastic exploration outing. Marvellous.

Award: Sinclair User Classic

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Sinclair User Issue 124, Jun 1992   page(s) 44,45

Label: Kixx
Memory: 48K/128K
Price: £3.99 Tape
Reviewer: Garth Sumpter

Some games are a bit hit and miss but, put simply, this game is hit and myth - Aggh, enough of these rubbish jokes Garfy, get on with the review.

History is a really messy place and it's your job to clean it up - if you want to make it safely to your future world end goal that is. There are a lot of different ancient worlds to travel through in this epic (if not necessarily true to history) beat 'em up including Hell (aggh!) ancient Greece, Norse etc. And you'll never get bored, although you might get burned, with simply tons of skeletons, Greek gods, ghosts and Medusas to sort out.

Control is excellent. Although the main sprite is quite small he does pack an amazing punch and his range of movements are impressive. Jump, hop, punch, kick, squat and pick up as many objects as you can find to help you your merry way. At times it's more like a violent aerobics class than a computer game but it still it has lots of atmosphere.

You start out mauling the enemy with fists and feet but can pick up swords, shields and various power-ups such as fireballs along the way. Us these against enemies and collect icons by shooting at them. At the end of a level, once you've collected enough teleportation icons you'll get transported to the next level and the next scenario, then the fun begins all over again.

Myth is a spectacular trip through time with the toast of the school athletics team. Your sprite is fast, fit and fully equipped so don't let anyone get in his way.

Well, well this game does manage to cover ground. Although the action remains basically the same throughout, the number of scenarios and good playability make Myth a classic game.

Graphics: 89%
Sound: 65%
Playability: 85%
Lastability: 88%
Overall: 87%

Summary: This is simply an amazing game, it's big it's beautiful and covers more historic eras than you can shake a stick at. If you're into mythological beat em ups this will fulfil your fantasies.

Transcript by Chris Bourne

ACE (Advanced Computer Entertainment) Issue 28, Jan 1990   page(s) 62

System 3 weaves 8-bit magic.

It is very easy, when you have become used to the sort of quality and presentation usual in the best 16-bit games, to dismiss new 8-bit products as inferior titles designed to run on inferior machines. It is also easy to believe that computers like the ZX Spectrum and Commodore 64 have already been pushed to the limit. There has been some very impressive software developed for both of these machines in their long existence. Many programmers have found ingenious ways to get around both machines idiosyncrasies. So surely nobody is going to get anything more out them? Wrong! System 3 have done just that, with Myth.

The idea is that one of the gods, Dameron, has rebelled and begun to change history. It is forbidden for any of the good gods to intervene directly in the course of history, so they assign a mere mortal (that's you matey) to travel through several time zones in order to put things right, and ultimately face Dameron himself. The zones you must travel through are Hell, Ancient Greece and the Halls of the Medusa, Ancient Norse, and Ancient Egyptian eras.

In each zone you must complete certain tasks in the correct order to restore the natural course of history and then go forward to the next zone. Unfortunately for you there are a number of creatures and traps in each section which, unless dealt with carefully, will thwart your progress. To defend yourself against them you initially have nothing but your fists, but other weapons can be collected as the game goes on. The idea is that, as the planned confrontation with Dameron gets nearer, your powers become more and more god-like.

The game itself is essentially a two-dimensional scrolling game with platform elements. Now hold on there, before you turn the page, this isn't just any old platform game, it's the best I've ever come across, and I've played a few platform games I can tell you. So what really makes Myth stands out from the crowd?

Well, the first thing that strikes you is the quality of the animation. You've never seen anything like this on either the Spectrum or the C64. Each figure is given a life of its own. Forget stiff walks, unrealistic jumps, and unconvincing combat - you won't find any of those in this game. Every sprite from the beginning of the game to the end is captivating. As if that wasn't enough, just wait until you start moving the central character. The degree of control that System 3 has managed to squeeze out of the humble joystick is quite incredible. You'll really enjoy the way you can finely adjust your jumps and leaps, or the way you can duck and weave with the sword when you are tackling enemies.

The quality of the graphics alone would be enough to recommend this game, but there are yet more goodies in store. There is enough variety here to keep even the most easily bored person going. Each section has a very different feel to it, creating its own very special atmosphere. Take, for instance, the vicious lightning while you are fighting aboard a Viking boat in the Ancient Norse era, or the gloomy, echoing halls of Medusa in the Ancient Greek era, both extremely good effects (better executed than anything I have seen in a similar vein). Then there is the way that weapons and items you collect must be used at the correct time and in the right way to complete each section (so you can't just hack your way through). The final confrontation is also very surprising, but you are going to have to find out about that for yourself. Add to this a tremendous soundtrack and spot effects, and you have one of the best 8-bit games ever created.

Reviewer: Laurence Scotford

C64/128, £9.99cs, £14.99dk, Out Now
Spec, £9.99cs, £14.99dk, Imminent

Predicted Interest Curve

1 min: 65/100
1 hour: 90/100
1 day: 90/100
1 week: 70/100
1 month: 50/100
1 year: 40/100

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Graphics: 9/10
Audio: N/A
IQ Factor: 8/10
Fun Factor: 8/10
Ace Rating: 900/1000

Summary: Might not look very special at first sight. Just wait till you play.

Transcript by Chris Bourne

The Games Machine Issue 24, Nov 1989   page(s) 92

Spectrum 48/128 Cassette: £9.99, Diskette: £14.99
Commodore 64/128 Cassette: £9.99, Diskette: £14.99


Since the dawn of time mankind has blamed many natural disasters on divine unseen powers to cover a lack of knowledge. This is how the notion of gods and divine beings came about, and for many centuries different cultures have turned to their own personal deity for help. But in Myth the gods turn to mortal man for assistance.

An evil god called Dameron has turned good gods bad and so upset history. The few good gods who remain aren't allowed to interfere, so they call on you - a hip and trendy 20th Century man - to battle for the past... the present... and the future. Donning your stone-washed Levi 501s and Reebok trainers you prepare to battle with mythological beasties lurking in the four sections that make up this adventure of a lifetime.

You start in Graeco-Roman times where the pits of hell have swallowed you up. Your first task is to dispose of a band of skeletons. As usual in this type of game the opposition is armed to the teeth, whereas all you have for protection are your fists and feet. But by killing the meanies, weapons can be picked up; some like the sword can be used for general nastiness, but others like Achilles's shield and the Devil's fork have a specific function which you must discover.

Next you are whisked off to rediscover Viking and Norse mythology, A Viking longboat must be rid of its very bloodthirsty crew before you're whisked off to a forest to battle trolls, goblins and an immortal dragon called Nidhogg. Along the way a good witch named Brunhilda is rescued from a band of unpleasant fire nymphs, and then Nidhogg is in the way. How do you hurt an immortal dragon? Having worked out this burning conundrum are transported to Valhalla, home of the Norse gods, where Thor the god of Thunder and Odin his father wait to fight you.

And then it's back further in time to tackle a pyramid-load of Egyptian ancients. First discover the three secret in the pyramids side to lead you to the Atumas Eye. Many pitfalls and traps wait to kill any adventurer stupid enough to blunder into them. Your final destination on this section is King Tut's Tomb. With him out of the way, only the final battle with Dameron stands between you and the salvation of the human race.

Much detail has been piled into Myth and the main character movement is excellent as he kicks, punches, leaps and swipes away with an impressive array of weapons. Other sprites, too, are a visual delight Medusa tries her best to turn you to stone, the Hydra puts all its heads to good use, Perhaps the difficulty level has been set a touch too high, but as always practice does make perfect.

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Overall: 92%

Summary: The main character sprite is more of a stickman than a real character, but the animation is pretty damn impressive, which, in combination with tough and inventive gameplay, makes this version as highly rateable as the C64 game.

Award: The Games Machine Star Player

Transcript by Chris Bourne

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