The latest release on the ZX Spectrum is In the Walls of Eryx from Monster’s Legs Productions. The game is based on a short story of the same name by H. P. Lovecraft and Kenneth J Sterling, which was first published in Weird Tales magazine in 1939. The short story follows a prospector who becomes trapped within an invisible maze while working for a mining company on the planet Venus. With permission from Arkham House, game designer Kevin McGrorty used the short story as the inspiration for this ZX Spectrum arcade adventure.
Using Jonathan Cauldwell’s popular Arcade Game Designer program, McGorty produced a top-down, single screen adventure. The player takes on the role of Private Stansfield who, after crash landing on the Erychinian mountains of Venus, must search for power gems to repair his ship. However, the off-world flora does not make it an easy task and making things worse is Stansfield’s diminishing oxygen supply and, of course, the invisible walls of Eryx. While the environment of Venus will take its toll, there are also deadly Venetian wildlife to watch out for: Lizardmen, who will guard their gems from outsiders; Farnoth Flies, that patrol the mazes; Mirage Plants, that can cause hallucinations; and Carnivorous Blossoms, that lie in wait to swallow up any unsuspecting passer bys.
Fortunately, there are various items that are randomly placed around the maze that can help with the mission. Collecting the gems will open gates to the next screen, the O2 pickups will restore the oxygen supplies, and fuel packs can be collected for the Flame Pistol. However, the fuel packs are limited so the Flame Pistol must be used only when needed.
In the Walls of Eryx is available as a free download from the World of Spectrum forum pages with the possibility of a physical release in the future.