Zarlor Mercenary

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Zarlor Mercenary
box shot of Zarlor Mercenary, Atari Lynx
Developer(s) Epyx
Publisher(s) Epyx
Platform(s) Atari Lynx
Release 1990
Genre(s) Vertically scrolling shooter
Mode(s) 1-4 Players

Zarlor Mercenary is an action game for the Atari Lynx handheld console, released by Epyx. It was a vertically scrolling shoot 'em up in which the player controlled a spacecraft destroying enemy spaceships and buildings in order to earn money which could be used to buy upgrades between levels. These upgrades included more powerful shots, side shots, regenerating shields, megabombs (damaging every enemy on the screen) and a laser which automatically targeted the nearest airborne enemy. Up to four players could play simultaneously, extra weapons being available to attack the other players.

A version of Conway's Game of Life was included as a cheat mode.[1]


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, all to be cleared out for colonization by the Zarlors.


  • Cadmar Desert

It is believed that they are building a super weapon here. You must travel through and destroy all the enemy and infrastructure seeking out what the possible super weapon could be and eliminate it.

  • Mesort Swamp

The Mendicant's have built up secret bases in this area and because of two facts. The first that the area is inaccessible by land and the other…swap monsters! So an air attack it is then.

  • Docrit Sea

The Mendicant Navy is well established here and believe that their water-based factories are well protected on sea and in the air.

  • Sedimor Domes

Almost un-noticed on a little moon in the Zarlor Sector there are Mendicant bases and factories. The deep craters and craggy domes are well protected but house hundreds of killer Mendicants.

  • Mardic Ice

The ice caps on Mardi Koldavia are radioactive and the Mendicants are taking advantage of them. They have built nuclear reactors, power plants and weapons factories. There is a huge fleet of warships protecting the ice caps and it is believed there is an even more power super weapon being built here.

  • Cedmite City

This is the only city on this planet and the Mendicants believe that no one would harm the civilians here. But you know one thing, there are no innocent civilians here. So destroy everything!


  • Scorch

After a laser fireball in the face the only way to save Scorch life was to become half man half cybersoilder. Now he is the most famous mercenary in the guild and a master Laser shooter!

  • XQ49

XQ robots where designed for household tasks but something went wrong with number 49! Now XQ49 is a killer robot and this killer robot is one hell of a sharp-shooter. Just checkout his ability with those Wing Cannons!

  • Landru

A warrior that is installs fear is a warrior with a reputation and considering that Landru is a fire demon... Well... those power shots are enough to scare even the hardest of warriors away.

  • Brenda

Beautiful yet brutal and if looks can kill then Brenda is an angel! It is said that Brenda wears a mysterious amulet and can fire at such speed that it always seems like she is on auto-fire.

  • Spike

Spike has had a hard life and constantly in someone’s sight. This is probably why he is such an expert Back Shooter. Definitely a good warrior to have around and certainly useful in a crowd!

  • Rex

Losing his kingdom long ago Rex has made it his mission to fight for what he believes is right. His favourite weapon is those side shooters and when the enemy can come from all angles. Well, I am sure Rex will have it well covered…

  • Xeterog

From an unknown uncharted part of the universe Xeterog is certainly a unique individual. Nobody can quite look at it and at the same time Xeterog seems to fear no one. It is told that Xeterog is a ‘much sought after’ bachelor on its home planet. But considering the speed that Xeterog moves around one might find it hard to catch him.

Space Port Shop[edit]

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 life's. 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.


  • Programming - Chuck Sommerville
  • Graphics - Matt Crysdale
  • Levels, Music & SFX - Chris Grigg
  • Additional programing - Stephen Landrum


The game was reviewed in 1991 in Dragon #173 by Hartley, Patricia, and Kirk Lesser in "The Role of Computers" column. The reviewers gave the game 5 out of 5 stars.[2] In CVG (Computer and Video Games) Magazine Paul Glancey gave an overall score of 74% stating "A decent-looking shoot 'em up, but quite difficult and not overly exciting to play." [3] Kyle Knight of only gave Zarlor 2.5 out of 5 stars praising the graphics but stating that "Zarlor Mercenary moves sluggishly".[4]


  1. ^ "Zarlor Mercenary - Tips, Cheats, and Easter Eggs". Retrieved 19 December 2012. 
  2. ^ Lesser, Hartley; Lesser, Patricia & Lesser, Kirk (September 1991). "The Role of Computers". Dragon (173): 55–60. 
  3. ^ Paul Glancey (February 1991). "Zarlor Mecenary Review". CVG Magazine (111): 89. Retrieved January 30, 2013. 
  4. ^ Kyle Knight. "Zarlor Mercenary Review". Retrieved January 30, 2013. 

External links[edit]