Armalyte  (5K)

Issue 43. 1988.
Thalamus £ 9.99 cassette, £ 12.99 disk

  • Cyberdyne Systems' graphically brilliant sequel to Delta.

Downloads: Download the game No docs

Gold Medal (8k)

Thanks again, to Laust for his screenshots.

We've seen some brill Commodore blasts late, but Armalyte has to take the cake as one of the best to date. Everything about the game is so highly polished it really does knock the competition into a cocked hat. Graphically, Armalyte is staggeringly good, with works of science fiction art for sprites and backdrops. Game-play meets this high standard whether playing in single player mode with a remote ship or double player the action is thoroughly exhilarating. In the latter, I particularly liked the way that both players can play either very competitively, bumping each other into aliens and stealing your opponents weapons before he can get to them, or as a team, taking it in turns to get through tiny gaps in the landscape. However, I had most fun when playing with a mixture of both strategies, as Maff will testify. Armalyte is just brilliant, and any shoot 'em up fan should be ashamed to miss out on it.


After the Damocles force destroyed the hostile Hsliffan Khanate, the spacial backwater known as Delta became a wasteland littered with disintegrated spacecraft. The few pilots who entered Delta returned with tales of hulks bearing artifacts of tremendous technological advancement.

Title shot  (10k)

Many disregarded the stories as jokes or legends, but one man believed. After a particularly crippling Stock Market crash. Woodward. the chairman of a Terran mega-corporatcon sought out the nearest bar where he could drown his sorrows. Three Andromedan Wilt-wines later, he found himself being talked to by a bewhiskered bar-fly whose tongue was obviously oiled with liquor. He was an ex-member of the Damocles force, who was court-martialled and drummed out of the service because of his drinking habits. Yes, he said, he had often been through the Delta and seen the hulks and their treasures, but heavily-armed robot defence systems prevented anyone from looting the ships.
Screenshot (4K) Then the man grinned a drunken grin and drew out a metallic cylinder from inside his oily raincoat. This, he told Woodward, was the only piece of Hsliffan technology anyone had managed to bring out of Delta Woodward had heard rumours of the treasures, and though the wine had long-since taken effect, he was sober enough to know that this was the key to his company's financial problems. He bought the man a drink: he had a plan that couldn't fail.

Yeah, that's what he told you as well, but now it's your butt up in Delta, flying your tiny fighter into the jaws of eight levels of Hsliffan defences, on your own apart from the highly dubious-looking guy they picked to partner you. You have to admit, these Hsliffies may have been treacherous sons-of-bitches but they sure knew how to build spaceships, and these structures are incredible ... It's gonna be a shame to blast them to pieces.

And there's bound to be plenty of that - blasting, that is. Woodward had your ships kitted out with the latest in laser armaments and rechargeable super-weapons. But then he would. Wouldn't he? He won't make any money if you don't come back.

screenshot  (3K)


Well, after saying in the Salamander review that I thought that Delta was the be-all and end-all of progressive shoot 'em ups before Imagine's release, the Delta follow-up game arrives on the scene and blows every other game of the type out of the water (well it would if they were in water and not in space). Armalyte's graphics are startlingly good, with perhaps the best use of shading I've seen on any 64 game. The scrolling is smooth, the sprites and backgrounds colourful and the amount of sprites on screen is incredible. Firing the second Superweapon for the first time brought yelps of amazement and enthusiasm from the reviewers as all aliens in the vicinity flew apart (groo). Enough of the graphics, onto the gameplay... Well, all I can say is it's brilliant. I'm being as quick as I can to tell you how staggeringly good it is so I can have another go! A huge round of applause and congratulations to Cyberdyne systems for such a stunning debut. When's the next game due? I can hardly wait, but playing Armalyte should help fill the gap!
Hey, what are these crystals hanging in space? Better give 'em a discharge of heavy light... wha ... ? They just transform into bits of machinery when you shoot them... Look an you're gonna crash into that one! AAAAAAGH!
Uh? Nothing happened. Wait, look there a is! It's attached itself to the ship. It's a laser unit, and it's patched into your fire control. Try hitting the next crystal with more shots... Now run into it ad you've got... rear lasers What else can you get? Vertically firing lasers, double lasers, converging lasers, and a battery and a generator to recharge the super weapon faster. Screenshot  (5K)

This is incredible! Everything about it is virtually flawless: the graphics are some of the best I've seen on the Commodore, not only for their aesthetic appeal but also for the way they're used on-screen - the combination of threatening metallic space terrain with multicoloured attack patterns creates an amazing feeling of involvement in the intense action. And there are so many aliens on screen at once - add these to a cluttered landscape and you think you'll never get through alive! If you thought the landscape graphics were good just wait till you see the end-of level aliens - some of them are beyond belief! It's packed with superb touches, from the evocative Martin Walker soundtrack to the 'intelligent' in-game aliens; the collision detection is perfect - just generous enough to allow freedom of movement in the tightest gaps. If we'd had this in time for the Def Guide this issue, it would easily have been in the top 5: it's fantastic! I can't praise it highly enough - if you miss Armalyte you're missing one of the best 64 shoot'em ups of all time.

Try collecting two forward laser units and you get faster fire ...

This is going to be easier than you thought... Or maybe not ...

Screenshot  (3K)


Screenshot  (5K)

Screenshot  (4K)

Presentation 91%
Options include two simultaneous players, one player with remote ship, choice of super weapons, scrolling starfield on/off. Reasonable level multiload and easily-read status displays.

Graphics 98%
Probably the best looking sprites and backdrops ever seen in a Commodore game of this type.

Sound 81%
Good Martin Walker title screen/loading music and spot effects.

Hookabilty 95%
Beautiful graphics and exhilarating blasting action suck you in.

Lastability 93%
Eight lengthy levels to see and the craving for ever larger scores will keep you at it.

Overall 97%
A brilliant blaster whose graphics and gameplay knock others for six.

Note : This article was originally on Alex's "Brigadoon - Zzap!64 Online" site, which has closed down while he's gone on a world trip and eventually planning to live and work in Dublin, Ireland. According to his farewell message on his site he gives premission to grab and download any pages of use. I contacted him directly to request permission to actually use those pages on this site and he agreed. His site will be offline (for at least a while) and these articles shouldn't be lost. Should he request it or his site comes back at a later stage, I'll delete these related files.

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