GRYZOR was an arcade game released by Konami back in the '87 days of yore. It also went by the name of Contra (a reference to the Nicaragua shame?) in some regions. Basically it was a left-to-right platform shoot 'em up (with a couple of pseudo- 3D sublevels).
GRYZOR was ported over to several home computer systems as well as consoles, and it spawned quite a few decendants. This is the story, according to the NES Contra manual:
In 1957 a large object from outer space crashed into Earth's Amazon basin, near ruins of the lost Mayan civilization. Scientists world-wide heralded the incident as a trivial cosmic occurrence, and thus the collision was soon forgotten.
Now, thirty years later, rumors of an evil force have swept into the Pentagon's front office, and tales from frightened villagers of a hideous being with an army of alien henchmen are sending chills down the spines of top military brass.
Unwilling to upset current political stability, an all-out assault on the region has been overruled, and instead, two of America's most cunning, courageous and ruthless soldiers from the Special Forces elite commando squad have been selected to seek out and destroy these alien intruders.
Those two "of America's most cunning, blah-blah" guys are Lance and Bill -and of course, you're the lucky one to take one of them through the game mayhem.
GRYZOR featured all the usual arcade stuff -weapon powerups, different guns, lots of action and more baddies than you can shake a stick at. Great stuff, lotsa fun.
I played GRYZOR for the first time when I was aroun 12, when I bought it as a present for a friend of mine who had an Amstrad CPC 6128 8-bit home computer. At the time I had a 6128 as well (although with a green monitor) and, of course, I was quite happy for the choice I made. We played, and played, and played... and then played some more until we could play no more. Given, this baby is quite hard to play!
I never played any other version (not even the arcade one -anyone got the ROMs for the last version of MAME? Please email me about it! Please!), and I never got to finish it. Well, I did, but with a trainer for infinite lives. The least cool thing about the trainer was that it would cause the game to crash right after you killed the last Big Bad Guy, so I never saw the ending... But I *will* see it, even now, on an emulator like Caprice. Anyway.
I loved the game so much that I chose its name as one of my very first handles -on BBSs, RPGs and online. People would think it was a kind of bear, so eventually I dropped it and went for the more recent 'panzer', because of my interest in WWII and the Third Reich. Really bored by people thinking I was a neo-nazi, I decided to change it back to GRYZOR, and we'll see how long it stays that way.
So, why I write all this? Ah, no specific reason -this is my web site, I do what I want with it, I love the game and thought I'd share (:
I'f you're interested, and for more details, go to The Contra HQ. Alternatively, you can download Grytra, an emulator for the arcade system. Unfortunately it's old, it runs under DOS (or a command prompt), it's painfully ugly -and did I mention it's old? Alternatively, you can download MAME and find the ROMs for it over at mame.dk for the perfect experience. Still, I think I'll stick to my Amstrad version under the excellent WinAPE (Windows Amstrad Plus Emulator)...
The loading screen of the Amstrad CPC version.
Two meeeean buddies!
The game main screen, with that cryptic
"Who watches the watchers?"
The action has just started... (: