Thanatos (Amstrad CPC)

Thanatos Amstrad CPC Loading screen.


Critic Score
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
User Score
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  Marios Amontaristos (14)
Written on  :  Aug 23, 2014
Platform  :  Amstrad CPC
Rating  :  4.2 Stars4.2 Stars4.2 Stars4.2 Stars4.2 Stars
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An atmospheric fantasy adventure, well playable even after 28 years.

The Good

See below.

The Bad

See below.

The Bottom Line

Thanatos is the greek word for death and the game itself has indeed a quite dark atmosphere, but let's take it from the top. Thanatos is a side-scrolling action game, released by Durell Software back in 1986. You control a huge green dragon on this fantasy world where he has a very specific mission, which consists of three parts. 1. Pick up the sorceress by walking next to her and waiting for her to ride. 2. Take her in a stronghold where she will pick up a spellbook. 3. Take her to a magic cauldron where she will cast a spell. Although it sounds simple, you must expect that it won't be that easy. On your way you will meet various creatures like spiders, huge water snakes, birds, your dragon's two-headed hostile cousin, as well as the occasional arrow-throwing humans. All these can be fought with the dragon's fire, which is not unlimited though. Every time your gas(?) ends, you must move a bit back and find a virgin offered to you to eat because this is how you fill up the tank. Of course, a knight will be there to harass you and even kill you, unless you grab him by the shoulders and throw him on the ground to become dust.

The whole idea of the game is very interesting and it looks like a fantasy movie with the black sky that gives the impression of a dark night, even if the moon is following you all the time, as well as the dark blue background with the volcanoes and the houses and the ships in the sea and the very nicely designed enemies. Since losing the sorceress means that you lose the game, you should probably make sure that she's safe. You will notice that there is a heart beating on the bottom left corner. This is the dragon's heart and you must take great care of it, in case you needed me to remind you of that. Avoid trans fats, exercise frequently and, when hit by enemies, try to find a safe spot and rest, because the heart will start beating faster. If the heart turns blue and beats like crazy, you're close to dying and it's a very stressful situation to find yourself into. So, don't.

If you find the way of restoring health familiar, it's because another Durell game, Saboteur, has the same system. Well, don't fix what ain't broken, they say.

Time for the rating now.

Graphics. 5. The developers did a good job in using CPC's capabilities in producing a very dark atmosphere, perfectly fitting to the theme of the game. They sacrificed the colours in favour of detail, but the result justifies their choice.

Sound: 4. The soundtrack is very well fitting with the whole fantasy ambient and the sound effects, even if they are very simple, are well chosen. Gameplay: 4. The handling of the dragon is a bit tough, especially when trying to maneuver, but don't forget that it's a huge lizard which is also used as a flying vehicle. So, it's kind of realistic from this point of view. Also very cool that the dragon can grab people, stones and snakes with his claws. It's very fun to grab someone who's trying to pelt you with arrows and throw him to someone else. And the difficulty is reasonable, without being too easy or too hard.

Duration: 4. The various skill levels will keep raising the challenge a little more each time you finish the adventure. But anyway, the game's various missions are enough to keep you playing even after 28 years since the game was released.

Overall, a 4.25 for Thanatos and his sorceress.