Mercs is a great shoot 'em up originally developed for the arcades and like most of the quality top down games of its genre it offers plenty of action packed levels! Due to its great success, the game was later converted to the Commodore Amiga, Atari ST, Amstrad CPC, Commodore 64, Sinclair Spectrum home computers and the Sega Master System, Sega Mega Drive / Genesis consoles.
STORY / GAMEPLAY The original arcade version of the game has up to three available combatants to choose. They are members of a covert anti-terrorism team known as the "Wolf Force". The aim of the game is to choose the combatant of your taste and rescue the former President from the rebel forces that swarm the fictional African country of Zutula that bears resemblance to the Apartheid regime of South Africa. The game is divided into six main levels and the final level where your mission is to rescue the president from Hercules Transport. The game's weapons include machine guns, grenades and flamethrowers as well as futuristic plasma launchers! There are also ground and air machines to ride (i.e. the armored Jeep). Note that the game is the successor of the good old Commando game released in 1985 for both the 8 and 16 bit platforms.
GRAPHICS / SOUND The CPC version is colorful with plenty of details but fails on the framerate and scrolling sectors. The terrains have groves of palm trees, army barracks crawling with soldiers and mountains and waterfalls on the background. The level guardians (the Harrier, the huge battle tank and so on) are nicely designed but the "jerkiness" of the game's 8-directional animation renders this conversion very difficult to survive. On the 8bit comparison department, the C64 version runs way smoother. To the game's sound, the Amstrad CPC version features a good gameplay tune along with a few basic sound effects like gunfire and explosions.
GAMEPLAY SAMPLE VIDEO
On our video below you may watch the ZX Spectrum, Amstrad CPC, Commodore 64, Sega Master System, Atari ST and Sega Mega Drive versions of the game.
The Amstrad CPC version is at 05:37.
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.