Xyphoes Fantasy is a 2D side-scrolling action platform & shooter game developed in 1991 by Silmarils exclusively for the Amstrad CPC 6128. It's a highly recommended Amstrad CPC game mainly for its visuals and sound! The game comes in 1 disk and runs only on the 128k systems.
STORY / GAMEPLAY In the land of Norem, an army of warriors called "The Skulls", have forced Norem's magician lord to lose all of his powers. The desperate man has chosen you as the hero who will trek across Norem and prevail against The Skulls and their evil leader, Kan. And not only that, but your girlfriend is kidnapped by the evil forces! You now set off to fight your way through four different levels that mix shoot 'em up action with 1-Vs-1 sword fighting against Kan's finest warriors. The world is mean and the enemies very hard to compete, so grab your sword and start ripping their heads off. The gameplay and level designs looks like a mix of the Amiga smash hits Shadow Of The Beast and Wrath Of the Demon. During your quests you must collect various objects (these are trophies that will end the reign of Chief Skull). If your inventory is not full, access to the next level will be denied. At the end of each level you have to fight with your sword against the most terrifying barbarians (one at a time). The gameplay mechanics are rather simple and they include hitting incoming foes, jumping on platforms, one-Vs-one fighting and so on. You even ride a horse (on level 2)! In general, this game is great and it's a highly recommended CPC game mainly for its visuals and sound!
GRAPHICS / SOUND OK now let's get serious. When I first played this game, I couldn't believe in my eyes! I've never played such a game on an Amstrad CPC! The visuals and music are out of this world! Silmarils made overscan screens, beautiful sprites, smooth animations (except of some instances when too many sprites crowd the screen) and lots of colorful backgrounds. It seems the developers used all the colors an Amstrad can generate, simultaneously (27 in total)! Technically it is a very impressive game. There is also a sampled tune on the title screen while the gameplay sound uses Atari ST-like sound transfers (soundtracks and effects)! Overall, the game itself is a brilliant example of what an Amstrad could do if programmed properly! Well done Silmarils once more! And for the record, some members of the development team were later involved on the demo scene.
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Amstrad CPC 464/664/6128
CPU: ZiLOG Z80 4MHZ MEMORY: 64 KB or 128 KB of RAM depending on the model (capable of being expanded to 512k using memory extension boards) GRAPHICS: Motorola 6845 address generator, Mode 0: 160x200 / 16 colors, Mode 1: 320x200 / 4 colors, Mode 2: 640x200 / 2 colors, A colour palette of 27 colors was supported SOUND: The CPC used the General Instrument AY-3-8912 sound chip, providing 3 channels Mono Sound (via internal speaker) but capable to offer Stereo Sound provided through a 3.5 mm headphones jack (with pretty impressive outcome!). Also, it is possible to play back digital sound samples at a resolution of approximately 5bit. This technique is very processor-intensive though.