Xyphoes Fantasy is a side-scrolling action adventure game developed in 1991 by Silmarils exclusively for the Amstrad CPC 6128.
Story: 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. You need to fight your way through four different levels that mix shoot em up action with 1-on-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.
Graphics/Sound: Ok now let's get serious. When I first played this game, I couldn't believe in my eyes! I thought that I was dreaming as I've never played such a game on the CPC, provided its 'weak' hardware! The graphics and music are out of this world - something that the CPC users (and in general the 8bit home users) could only dream of. Overscan screens, beautiful sprites, smooth animation (except some instances when too many sprites populate the screen) and lots of colorful backgrounds. It seems developers have used all the colors an Amstrad can generate, simultaneously! There is also a sampled tune on the title screen while the in-game sound uses Atari ST-like sound transfers (soundtracks and effects)! Overall, the game itself is a brilliant example of what an Amstrad can do when programmed properly...Well done Silmarils once more! For the record, some members of the development team were later involved in 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.