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Thanatos is a side-scrolling dragon action game with a dragon protagonist named Thanatos the Destroyer. The large on-screen dragon was animated with a lot of detail on the head, wings and legs, and the background had a semi-3D parallax scrolling system, akin to the semi-3D systems seen in other Durell games such as Fat Worm, Combat Lynx and Turbo Esprit. The game's title music, composed by Julian Breeze, is multi-channeled on the Spectrum's single 'beep' channel, using the same multi-channel engine as some other Durell titles. On Spectrum 128, the title music has actual multiple channels.

In the game the player must guide the dragon through the land flying towards the right, and fight its way through a multitude of enemies, both humans and fantasy creatures: sea snakes, giant spiders, a hostile two-headed dragon. They can be burned with the dragon's fiery breath, or they can be grabbed with the dragon's claws and dropped onto other enemies. Boulders can also be picked up and dropped on enemies. To win the game, the dragon's mission is to pick up an enchantress for a ride, then safely deliver her to find a book of spells, and finally take her to a magic cauldron so she may cast her spell. The enchantress brings extra challenge to the task, as she must be kept safe from harm. If Thanatos turns around too fast while flying, she may fall off and must be picked up again. If the sorceress is slain or Thanatos dies, the game will end.

The dragon makes its way through a few strongholds, whose gates must be burned through (apparently the castle walls are too tall to fly over). If the dragon runs out of fire breath, it must backtrack to find a virgin strapped to a pole, land nearby, and walk closer to eat the virgin. This will restore the dragon's breath. However, be wary as a knight is waiting in ambush and attacks the dragon while it's landed and vulnerable.

The dragon's health is indicated by a beating heart in the bottom of the screen. As the dragon takes hits from enemies the heart starts beating faster and faster, and near death it starts flashing blue. The dragon must withdraw to safety to rest and recover.


Thanatos ZX Spectrum Boats
Thanatos ZX Spectrum ...But because our dragon is not for joking, the first thing he'll do after rescuing her is to pick one of these crawling arachnids and watch they become pâté.
Thanatos ZX Spectrum Carry a stone
Thanatos Amstrad CPC Options.

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User Reviews

An atmospheric fantasy adventure, well playable even after 28 years. Amstrad CPC Marios Amontaristos (14)

Critic Reviews

Amtix! Amstrad CPC Jan, 1987 94 out of 100 94
Crash! ZX Spectrum Dec, 1986 93 out of 100 93
Your Sinclair ZX Spectrum Jan, 1987 9 out of 10 90
Your Sinclair ZX Spectrum Feb, 1990 82 out of 100 82
Tilt Commodore 64 Apr, 1987 16 out of 20 80
Computer and Video Games (CVG) ZX Spectrum Jan, 1990 69 out of 100 69
Computer and Video Games (CVG) Commodore 64 Jan, 1990 68 out of 100 68
Computer and Video Games (CVG) Amstrad CPC Jan, 1990 67 out of 100 67
ASM (Aktueller Software Markt) Commodore 64 Jul, 1987 Unscored Unscored


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Contributed to by Peter Hajba (66) and Kabushi (237908)