Format reviewed: ZX Spectrum
Publisher: Palace Software
Developer: Palace Software
Submitted by: Gavin Eke
It’s funny how often when one race enslaves another that the enslaved people find themselves working in mines for their oppressors. At least Miner Willy, Monty Mole & Bounty Bob went down mines under their own volition.
However, your playable character “Tal”, was one of those early pre-industrial humans whose people had been bombed back into the dark ages only to find themselves under oppression from an alien race. The irony was that the Aliens were utilizing various advanced military equipment from the previous human war.
Under instruction from his tribal elders, Tal had to locate a battlesuit which was used in this large scale human apocalypse because it was impervious to the aliens acquired weaponry. The suit was located within a volcano & your job was to locate it, then enabling Tal to plant a bomb within the aliens stronghold. However, even if Tal located the suit, he would have to find other important parts to ensure it’s full operation. The most useful parts were the Gravity Boots that enabled flight & a pulsar beam which nullified any aggressive aliens. Of course, you’d need to locate the implosion mine to disable the alien base once & for all.
In structure, the Sacred Armour of Antiriad seemed like a standard platform game, however, the suit when operational, gave Tal an extra method of traversing the dangerous interiors of the volcano. Despite this, there were barriers within the volcano that prevented Tal’s passage whilst in the battlesuit. Although, it could not destroyed by the aliens, the suits energy can be depleted, therefore, rendering it useless, unless a power module can be found. This meant Tal would need to go it alone once more, with no more defense than his loin cloth & a few stones in tow. However, he did posses a mean throw that could despatch his enemies in a couple of direct hits.
Once again Palace had created a polished game which was accompanied by a 16 page comic by artist Dan Malone. The CPC’s mode 0 colour palette was on full display here & was used to create a lush jungle setting together with a hellish volcanic interior which could be explored with the assistance of Tal’s battlesuit. Richard Joseph put in another solid performance with the games title tune. Plenty of decent sound effects were found too, particularly when Tal phases in & out of his suit. Like all pre 1990’s titles, The Sacred Armour of Antiriad was pretty hard but not impossible. Look for some of the play throughs on YouTube if you’re curious, you may find that you’re tempted to don the battlesuit yourself.