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 Commodore version features nice, colorful graphics with detailed backgrounds (such as jungle, rivers, caves etc) but all look a bit blocky. I think the CPC version is superior, at least at the (proper) colors and stage details used. The sprites animation is smooth in all eight directions and feels better when compared to the CPC and ZX versions (note that the CPC and ZX run in flip-screen style). The C64 version offers a great intro tune, while the in-game action features some great tunes along with all the necessary sound effects (like gunfire, explosions etc).