The Sacred Armour of Antiriad

by Chris Stangroom, Dan Malone, Richard Joseph, Andrew McGuinness
Palace Software
Sinclair User Issue 57, Dec 1986   page(s) 28,29

Label: Palace
Author: Chris Stangroom, Dan Malone
Price: £8.99
Joystick: various
Memory: 48K/128K
Reviewer: Jim Douglas

Sacred Armour of Antiriad is brilliant. It has all the elements necessary to make it a classic in the true sense of the word.

The graphics are stunning. The movement is super-smooth. The plot is semi-believable, and it's so easy to play.

Included in the package - as a bonus - is a rather splendid comic strip magazine telling the rather complicated storyline in an exciting way.

To cut a long story very short, a passive and peaceful society established on earth by the year 2086 has its idyllic existence shattered by an invasion of an alien attack force.

The populace are sent to work in the aliens' mines. Some rebelled, but one stood out as the most hardy and courageous. Named Tal, he was instructed by the elders to explore the land in search of the legendary item which humans worked so hard to perfect.

It turns out that the mystery object is... a teas-maid? No in fact it's a suit of armour, rendering the wearer impervious to just about any form of attack. As Tal your first objective is to find the armour, and then somehow overthrow the alien regime.

Antiriad is, on the surface, the same as many other games on the market. Dynamite Dan II springs to mind. You run left and right, jump on to platforms, generally behaving like a large number of other arcade-game heroes. In short, the gameplay is not what you'd describe as innovative.

But as soon as you start playing, the graphics will simply cause you to sit still and gaze at the screen. There is no time to lose, however, as the alien beings are only too quick other generally unpleasant things.

When you begin to move, things really become amazing. The character is pleasingly large, without being ridiculous. He's a little like the graphics seen in Gargoyle's Tir Na Nog, though maybe not quite as detailed. The animation though is superb. He runs around waving hair and all, and the way he jumps is particularly neatly done.

You quickly discover that you aren't going to get hold of the armour very easily, and you need a means of defending yourself - sharpish.

Picking on the most time-honoured tradition, rock-slinging is the best form of attack. (Fact: this dates back to times when the very first people roamed the earth, and is still in evidence today, at football grounds across the country.

Collect a few rocks and run around in a perfectly innocent manner, waiting for an alien to swagger up and attempt to alienate you. Then Tal can let fly with a truly impressive 'lob', causing a rock to be sent in whatever direction he pushes the joystick.

Once you've managed to get hold of the armour, the next problem is to seek out the various items which will make you even more magnificent - anti-grav boots, particle negator, pulser beam and implosion mine are the vital elements.

The implosion mine is more important that all of the others. This is the item which you need to destroy the alien's base.

You can play the game either a straight shoot-up by bunging rocks at the local blobs, or go all the way and start looking for the armour in earnest (or even in the jungle).

Despite being simple to grasp gameplay-wise, Antiriad offers considerable scope for exploration. It's a must for all mapping freaks. Graphics are tremendous, attribute problems though still noticeable are minimal and the whole feel is just right.

In short, it's very nearly faultless.

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Overall: 5/5

Summary: Antiriad is brilliant. It's a tried and tested gameplay, but it's the best platforms 'n' ladders since Dynamite Dan II.

Award: Sinclair User Classic

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Sinclair User Issue 86, May 1989   page(s) 56

Label: Mastertronic
Author: Palace
Price: £2.99
Memory: 48K/128K
Joystick: various
Reviewer: Tony Dillon

For those of you with shorter memories than mine, Sacred Armour of Antiriad was the first ever game to feature interactive-comic-o-vision. What that means is that you get a free 16-page comic book with the game, telling the story of the sacred armour tells you that you have to clean the earth of the evil mutant scum by destroying a huge radioactive plant. To do this, you have to find the armour itself, along with a power pack, some jet boots to get it off the ground, a laser for defence and the super bomb to wipe out the tower.

This is a big adventure with more of the emphasis on arcade. The graphics are large and very detailed, the animation is ultra smooth and the game itself is very, very playable. You probably have got this already, but if by some strange quirk of fate, you don't, then get it. As Major Tom in CU would say, it's brill kids.

Overall: 93%

Summary: Big graphics, lots of detail, great gameplay.

Transcript by Chris Bourne

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