Myth: History in the Making, Commodore 64

First published for 8-bit home computers in 1989, Myth: History in the Making is an action platform game in which you play a teenage boy from the 20th century who has been transported to “The Time of Legends” after falling through a tear in the space-time continuum. There he is rescued by a high priestess who informs him that their world is under attack from Dameron, The Dark Angel of Time, and who must be destroyed if he has any hope of returning to his own time.

The C64 version of Myth was designed by Mark Cale; programmed by Peter Baron, and with graphics by Bob Stevenson.

Each of the four levels is based on a different set of myths (Greek, Norse, Egyptian, and the final one being made up especially for the game and provides the setting for the final confrontation with Dameron), and the player must fight their way through a variety of enemies and bosses in order to collect a magic orb in each.

Combat and movement requires dexterous use of the joystick. The main character can jump, punch high and low, crouch, kick and jump kick by default and can also pick up various weapons dropped by defeated enemies (such as swords and fireballs). Getting past the first stage requires a combination of these, and some lateral thinking. As the game’s manual puts it: kill the harpies (the green flying creatures) to collect extra energy and fireballs; use the fireballs to kill skeletons until one drops a sword; use the sword to cut down the hanging skeleton; jump down to where the skeleton fell and kill it so that its skull falls into the flame pit; kill the resulting demon with fireballs; pick up the demon’s trident but don’t use it yet (it’s one-shot only); climb back up to the top-right of the cavern to confront the chimera (the three-headed demon), making sure that you have the trident ready; fire the trident at the chimera and hope that it does the job and kills it… So Myth is more than just a run-and-gun shoot ’em up. It requires some thought (or a walkthrough).

Myth has a kind of Flashback feel to it – the way the main character runs and jumps is similar – and the good thing is that the game is reasonably forgiving when it comes to the platforming. You’re not being killed for the slightest of mistakes (as you would’ve been in the early days of 8-bit gaming), and Myth does at least allow you to keep a game going by topping up your health with dropped energy balls.

Graphically, Myth is brilliant, with superbly atmospheric Bob Stevenson backgrounds and sprites. For those who don’t know: Stevenson made a name for himself on the C64 scene in the mid 1980s by creating amazing single-screen pictures and sending them into magazines, and from there his talent was utilised by a number of developers, ending up in this game, and many others.

The introductory music, by Jeroen Tel of The Maniacs of Noise, is also excellent, although the main game only has sound effects and no music.

Myth: History in the Making is a classic Commodore 64 game and also appeared on the ZX Spectrum, Amstrad CPC, Amiga and Amiga CD32. It still plays well today and is worth tracking down if you’ve never played it.

More: Myth: History in the Making on Wikipedia
More: Myth: History in the Making on CSDb

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