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Aliens have infested Earth, and are spreading a deadly virus throughout the planet. Needless to say, they must be stopped, and fast. The time pressure (your score upon completing a level is based on the uninfected percentage of the land) is only one difficult aspect of this shooter.

Viewed in remote 3D with a patchwork-quilt type ground effect, with trees sticking out and full gravity. Controlling your spaceship involves balancing the direction and height as well as thrusting to the right speed. A scanner tells you where the aliens are.


Virus Acorn 32-bit Wave one complete
Virus DOS About to begin, look at a rotating close-up of our spacecraft (EGA)
Virus Atari ST Loading screen
Virus Atari ST Control selection

Promo Images

There are no promo images for this game

Alternate Titles

  • "Zarch" -- Acorn 32-bit title
  • "Lander" -- Acorn 32-bit demo title
  • "Bird of Prey" -- Working title

Part of the Following Group

User Reviews

There are no reviews for this game.

Critic Reviews

Your Sinclair ZX Spectrum Sep, 1988 9 out of 10 90
Computer and Video Games (CVG) Acorn 32-bit Jan, 1988 9 out of 10 90
Amiga Computing Amiga Nov, 1988 87 out of 100 87
The Games Machine (UK) Atari ST Aug, 1988 83 out of 100 83
The Games Machine (UK) Amiga Nov, 1988 83 out of 100 83
Power Play Atari ST Jul, 1988 8 out of 10 80
The Games Machine (UK) ZX Spectrum Nov, 1988 75 out of 100 75
Power Play DOS Oct, 1989 75 out of 100 75
Your Amiga Amiga Dec, 1988 53 out of 100 53
The Good Old Days (Staff Reviews only) Atari ST Feb 13, 2008 2 out of 6 33


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Acorn Archimedes version

A demo of the game, still called Lander at the time, was bundled with new Acorn Archimedes computers.

Commodore 64 version

Despite frequent rumours, no C64 version was officially planned.

ZX Spectrum version

The Spectrum version started as a bedroom project, as Firebird did not believe the game was viable on 8-bit systems. It was not until Steve Dunn had written a demo of the ship flying over the landscape that anything official was signed.


  • ACE
    • October 1988 (issue #13) - Included in the Top-100 list of 1987/1988 (editorial staff selection)
    • March 1991 (issue #42) - Included in the list Greatest Games of all Time in category Shoot-'em-ups (editorial staff choice)
  • Amiga Power
    • May 1991 (Issue #00) - #5 in the "All Time Top 100 Amiga Games"
  • Computer Industry's InDin Awards
    • 1988 - 16 bit Game of the Year
  • ST Format
    • May 1990 (Issue #10) - Included in the list "ST Format's 30 Kick-Ass Classics"
Information also contributed by Indra was here

Related Web Sites

  • Virus - Memories (article about the development of the ZX Spectrum version, on The Bird Sanctuary)
Contributed to by Martin Smith (80322) and Terok Nor (33129)
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