Zarlor Mercenary

Zarlor Mercenary is a vertically scrolling shooter for the Atari Lynx handheld console, developed by Epyx and published by Atari Corporation.

1990 video game
Zarlor Mercenary
Developer(s) Epyx
Publisher(s) Atari Corporation
Designer(s) Chris Grigg
Programmer(s) Chuck Sommerville
Stephen Landrum
Artist(s) Matt Crysdale
Composer(s) Chris Grigg
Platform(s) Atari Lynx
Release 1990
Genre(s) Scrolling shooter
Mode(s) Single-player, multiplayer

. . . Zarlor Mercenary . . .

Zarlor Mercenary is a vertically scrolling shoot ’em up in which the player controls a spacecraft destroying enemy spaceships and buildings in order to earn money which can be used to buy upgrades between levels. At the end of each level there is a boss ship or landing craft that needs to be destroyed. Up to four players can play simultaneously using the Comlynx. Noted in the game manual you don’t start with life but a fleet of ships. In single-player you start off with four ships, in two player mode you start off with three ships each. With three and four players you only start the game with two ships each.[1]

There are seven different pilot mercenaries to choose from, each having their own permanent unique weapon or skill.[2] When playing in multiplayer mode, each player has a unique colour, you can either work together or towards completing the game. However one can purchase the weapon attachment backstabber that can kill another pilot causing him to loose money.[1] The ship health bar is on the right as a horizontal green bar, this will deplete to yellow and flash red when near destruction. Ships left in the fleet are displayed as blue dots, while the mega bomb is displayed as a red dot.[3]

Merchant of Venus shop.

After each mission there is a shop run by the Merchant of Venus. Here you can purchase and sell extra items. These include extra ships, which is like buying extra lives. Speed Up, Wing Cannons, Super Shield (regenerating shielding), Power Shots, Laser, Auto Fire, Mega Bomb, Back Shooter and Side Shooter. There are also two items for use in multiplayer mode. Invisibility so you can hide from other players and Back stabber which will attack your allied friends and not the enemy as well as protecting your loot so you don’t lose it in that life.[4]

Gameplay screenshot

The war had been going on for years between the Mendicant and the Zarlor races. It wasn’t going anywhere so the Zarlors decided to hire outside help. There are six key installations on the Mendicant’s home planet of Yorith. The first mission is the Cadmar Desert where you are to locate and destroy a super weapon. The second mission Mesort Swamp holds a secret base. Third mission is in the Docrit Sea where you have to destroy the Mendicant Navy. Forth mission titled Sedimor Domes is to attack a moon in the sector. Mardic Ice is the fifth mission where you fly to the ice caps of Mardi Koldavia, these ice caps are described as radioactive and here the Mendicants have built nuclear reactors, power plants and weapons factories. The sixth and final mission is Cedmite City the only city on the Mendicant planet, the Zarlors have ask for everything to be destroyed, all to be cleared out for colonisation.[5]

. . . Zarlor Mercenary . . .

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. . . Zarlor Mercenary . . .

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