Gryzor is a coin-op conversion from the original arcade game Contra, released in 1987 for the coin-ops. The game is available to all 8bit home computers (Spectrum ZX, Amstrad CPC, Commodore 64 and MSX2) since 1988. It is also available for the MS-DOS (PC) as well as for the Nintendo NES console.
STORY / GAMEPLAY The defensive forces of the earth are infiltrated... Planet Suna and its habitants, the Durrs, are now the new greatest threat for humanity. The Durrs have set up a stronghold in an uncharted region of our planet and assembled an atmosphere processing plant (APP) which gives them the ability to control the planet's weather conditions. Their plan is to bring about another ice age and thereby take over Earth and all its resources. You are Lance Gryzor, a member of the defense federation and your mission is to discover Durrs' evil intentions and infiltrate their stronghold...! You control a soldier who battles waves of enemies including humanoids, machines, mutants and giant aliens until he reaches his ultimate goal. Better weapons can be obtained by destroying weapon stores. But you need to move and jump simultaneously while firing in order to survive! Much of the game's popularity came from its two-player co-op gameplay, which was an uncommon feature by the time Gryzor (Contra) was released on the arcades. Also, the gameplay varies in perspective from 2D side-scrolling (the outdoor stages like the jungle) to pseudo-3D (maze stages in which you destroy targets on the back wall)! While successful on the arcade version, the game became and remained widely popular when was converted to the 8bits computers and 16bits consoles. It's really a nice shooter with loads of action and good presentation but its high difficulty makes it almost impossible to progress further to the next stage.
GRAPHICS / SOUND The CPC version features nice colorful graphics with detailed backgrounds (jungle, rivers, caves etc). In fact this version has better details compared to other 8bit counterparts (C64 and ZX). The backgrounds are beautiful with bright colors. The sprites are nicely detailed and animated too. Note that the gameplay in the ZX, CPC and MSX2 versions runs in flip-screen mode in contrast to the C64 version. Also, the game looks smoother on the C64 and MSX2 versions. Gryzor's sound is also great on the CPC, featuring a nice tune at the main menu (as is in the MSX2, ZX 128k and C64 versions), while you may choose between SFX or music during gameplay. The in-game tunes (and sound effects) are among the best we can find on an Amstrad CPC game!
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.