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Gryzor was a port from the Arcade game Contra from Konami. (Also known as Probotector on Nintendo Entertainment system)

The Home Computer's ports (Amstrad CPC port too) were mostly produced by the Famous amongst Amstrad CPC user OCEAN company from England.

Gryzor Vs. Contra Vs. Probotector

As said, Gryzor is actually a port from Konami's Contra. Contra was often renamed from countries to countries and system to system for more or less obscure reasons.

Contra was renamed Gryzor because the term Contra could refer to "the Iran-Contra affair" or "Nicaraguan Contra rebels"... which were hot international political topics in 1987.

Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) console version was renamed Probotector in Europe, having the sprites changed from humans to robots due to censorship reasons, political authorities judged it was too violent for European children if the protagonist were humans, and would lead those kids to kill peoples in the street.

Despite those name changes, this is the same game despite in different countries, on different machines and produced by different companies (under license in OCEAN's case).

The Contra franchise is still actively exploited by Konami. The "Contra" word being now less polemical, it is now widely used and well known.

CPC version

Gryzor is probably one of the best game available on Amstrad CPC, and is probably featured in every Top10 games for this standard. This is of course not objective but quite accepted amongst the Amstrad community, Gryzor is the symbol of what a well programmed CPC can do.

This is a "Run and Gun" style game, such as games like : Robocop, Midnight resistance... With vertical, horizontal and 3d (sort of) action.

It is well known for :

  • Quite Faithfull to the arcade colourful graphics exploiting very well the Mode0.
  • Nice Music.
  • excellent playability and fast action.
  • various levels and different gameplays.

Despite this, this game is not flawless :

  • lack of smooth scrolling.
  • lack of a proper 2 player mode.

This is probably the best port amongst 8 bit computers, always referenced as such by Amstrad CPC fans in the 8-bit wars.

Even the C64 and MSX ports , two machines often judged superior to Amstrad CPC in many ways, were somewhat inferior compared to the CPC version.

The MSX version was named Contra as it was produced by Japanese company, while most westerner home computer systems had it under the Gryzor brand-name as they were produced under license by Westerner companies, all of them being more or less approximate adaptations from the same Arcade game anyway.

Perhaps not surprisingly, the MS-DOS PC version was miles behind too.

Game map