Arcade Flyer Art Saturday: Kyros

afaskyros.jpg It's not often that I pick a game that I am unable to find much information on, but something about the Kyros flyer really struck me. Searching around, I was able to find next to no information on the game, even on KLOV or Wikipedia which can usually fill in the gaps for me. After much searching and help from a friend, I discovered that the game was known by a couple of other names and eventually ported to several home computer systems under the name Desolator. So, going on that information, thus unfolds the tale of Kyros aka Kyros' Mansion aka Halls of Kairos aka Desolator.Kyros was released in 1987, created by Alpha Denshi and licensed to World Games for distribution in the U.S. A relatively rare game, Kyros was known as Kyros' Mansion in Japan. Things get a little fuzzy here as the game's name some got changed to The Halls of Kairos and then eventually Desolator and seems to have gone through some gameplay changes as well although allegedly it is an exact port of the original arcade title.

The game put the player in the role of Mac who is out to rescue all the children of land who have been kidnapped by the evil Kyros/Kairos and imprisoned in the many mirrors of his castle. It was a relatively short game consisting of only five levels and offered a top down view of the action reminiscent of Gauntlet. Enemies were a bizzare mix of cats, firemen, flying eyeballs and other such creations. Mac's health was tracked via an energy bar that would be drained if he came into contact with any of the enemies. The kidnapped infants could be rescued by smashing the various mirrors and for every nine kiddies saved, Mac turns into his invincible alter-ego, Machoman and can roam about freely killing enemies right and left. Unlike many titles of the time, Mac actually starts off with no armour or weapons and must power them up throughout the game, adding a bit of challenge to the beginning of the game. Extra points could be garnered by by collecting various treasures that would appear along the way.

As I mentioned earlier, the reason for all the research that went into this particular feature was the flyer art. Something about it just drew me in although I couldn't pinpoint exactly why. Everything about it screams amateur artist from the badly drawn logo to the distorted faces of the enemies. The giant bat looming in the background just screams heavy metal inspiration. So many strange features in one image makes one feel like whoever drew it just kind of dis whatever they felt like with no real attention to what the game was about. I especially love the fact the the grey suited enemies are wearing sandals. Didn't the artist know that feet are one of the hardest things to draw on the human body? Maybe he/she should have saved some time on the feet and concentrated on making something that didn't look like it was drawn by a grade school student on the back of a piece of notebook paper.


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