Tir Na Nog (video game)

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Tir Na Nog
Developer(s) Greg Follis, Roy Carter
Publisher(s) Gargoyle Games
Platform(s) ZX Spectrum
Amstrad CPC
Commodore 64
Release date(s) 1984 (Spectrum, Amstrad)
1985 (Commodore 64)
Genre(s) Arcade adventure
Mode(s) Single-player

Tir Na Nog is a video game published in 1984 by Gargoyle Games for the ZX Spectrum and Amstrad CPC. It was ported to the Commodore 64 in 1985. It is loosely based on Celtic mythology.

The game was widely positively received by the gaming media. The game forms part of an unofficial trilogy with the science fiction title Marsport and Dun Darach. Marsport has little to do with Tir Na Nog aside from the similar game styles. Dun Darach, however, is a proper part of the same story as Tir Na Nog.

The game has many features that were groundbreaking in 1984 such as a large central character, animated backgrounds and parallax scrolling.

Psygnosis Software planned to release a PC remake of the game, helmed by the game's original creators Greg Follis and Roy Carter, in June 1995.[1] However, though near completion, the project was canceled.


Tir Na nÓg, Irish for "Land of Youth", is the eponymous location for the game. The protagonist, Cuchulainn, has departed the land of the living and finds himself at an altar in this land, essentially an afterlife. His goal is to reunite the four fragments of the Seal of Calum and place it on the altar, all while avoiding the sídhe.


Gameplay takes the form of an arcade-adventure with the player controlling the hero as he wanders the land of Tir Na Nog collecting objects, solving puzzles and trying to keep out of the way of the sídhe who also wander the land. Many of the puzzles that Cuchulainn is set are cryptic in nature (e.g. "The backdoor key is me") rather than straightforward and may rely on some lateral thinking.

Because he is in an afterlife, Cuchulainn cannot die and if he is "defeated" by a sídhe he is simply transported elsewhere and loses all his carried objects.

The Land of Tir Na Nog is very large and consists of plains, caverns and forests. Cuchulainn can move north, south, east and west with the player "rotating" the view using the keyboard and then having Cuchulainn move left or right on the screen. The player can collect any objects they come across with Cuchulainn being able to carry several at one time. Some of these objects can be used as weapons with the game allowing the player to "thrust" with any item.

Zzap!64 published a map of Tir Na Nog in 1985.[2]


Review scores
Publication Score
Crash 92%[3]
Sinclair User 9/10[4]
Personal Computer Games 9/10[5]
Sinclair Programs 87%[6]
Your Computer 4/5 stars[7]
Computer Gamer 4/5 stars[8]
Zzap!64 87%[9]

The game was well received. Zzap!64 called it "a REAL arcade adventure. The graphics are stunning and the scenery excellent", noting the multiple puzzle solutions and large game world.[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Tir Na Nog". Next Generation (Imagine Media) (4): 78–79. April 1995. 
  2. ^ Winterton, Barbara; Ely, Keith; Lamb, Jonathan (June 1985). "Tir Na Nog / The Map". Zzap!64. pp. 98–99. Retrieved 26 October 2013. 
  3. ^ "Archive - Magazine viewer". World of Spectrum. Retrieved 2012-02-16. 
  4. ^ "Archive - Magazine viewer". World of Spectrum. Retrieved 2012-02-16. 
  5. ^ "Archive - Magazine viewer". World of Spectrum. Retrieved 2012-02-16. 
  6. ^ "Archive - Magazine viewer". World of Spectrum. Retrieved 2012-02-16. 
  7. ^ "Archive - Magazine viewer". World of Spectrum. Retrieved 2012-02-16. 
  8. ^ "Archive - Magazine viewer". World of Spectrum. Retrieved 2012-02-16. 
  9. ^ a b Wade, Bob; Penn, Gary; Rignall, Julian (May 1985). "Tir Na Nog". Zzap!64. pp. 80–81. Retrieved 26 October 2013. 

External links[edit]