By Mirrorsoft
Spectrum 48K

Published in Crash #33


Into the mystical lands you must venture in search of the secret potion of Zythum. This is a very ancient type of beer which gives the partaker mystical powers and possibly even eternal life. It has been lost for centuries in this weird and wonderful landscape and many have searched for it before you, but it has never been found. One of the main reasons for this is that the country in which it is hidden is inhabited by various guardians who possessively guard the elixir.

Four separate landscapes have to be crossed during the journey to the potion location. Three lives are available, and a life is lost each time you make contact with one of the guardians that pursue you mercilessly on the journey you return to the start of the current land when death comes...

Setting out with a burning desire to locate the Zythum you are equipped with a fist full of fire crackers and a limited number of bombs. Firecrackers seem to go on forever, but use the bombs sparingly because once they're gone there ain't no more. A magic staff that wards off evil spirits is amongst the useful objects that can be collected on the way: a chalice confers the power of levitalion and a crucifix gives short term immunity from the custodians. Money bags and treasure chests are worth bonus points.


There's no time to hang about and enjoy the scenery, however, as each of the four levels must be completed in just eight minutes. Take any longer and it's back to square one. Apart from the custodians and guardians this country contains many natural dangers. Quicksands suck a hapless traveller to a sticky death while bottomless pits must be skillfully jumped over or else wheee! Dead. Marsh mud sticks to your feet and temporarily saps jumping abilities, while spring pools send you cavorting into the air. Hidden landmines, buried in a sneaky attempt to get rid of unwanted travellers also have to be avoided. The vegetation is also a bit weird because some bushes make you invincible for a short while.

The action takes place in a scrolling window in the top half of the screen. An arrow points to your position on a map along the base of the screen, below the status area. It'd better be a good brew, this Zythum you'll need a good drink on arrival!


Control keys: definable
Joystick: Kempston, Interface 2
Keyboard play: responsive
Use of colour: mainly monochrome
Graphics: large and wiry
Sound: minimal effects
Skill levels: one
Screens: scrolling play area

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