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Game No. 399
Developer John Cumming
Company Hewson Consultants Ltd.
Publisher {{{Publisher}}}
Musician Nigel Grieve
HVSC-File MUSICIANS/ G/ Grieve_Nigel/ Zynaps.sid
Release 1987
Platform C64, DTV, Amiga, Atari ST, ZX Spectrum, Amstrad
Genre Shoot'em Up, H-Scrolling
Gamemode Single player
2 players (in turns)
Operation {{{Width}}}{{{Width}}}
Media Tape-icon.png Icon disk525.png
Language Language:english


Voting of the C64-Wiki users (10=the best vote):
7.56 points at 16 votes (rank 178).
You need to be logged in to cast a vote.
C64Games 10 26th July 2013 - "highlight" - 18.908 downs
Lemon64 6,7 26th July 2013 - 64 votes
C64.com 8,5 26th July 2013 - 4.224 downs
Kultboy.com 6,23 26th July 2013 - 13 votes
Happy Computer 82% Games Special #4
ZZap64 90% Issue 09/87


Level 1 is a piece of cake in comparison to what the player must face a short time later.

Zynaps is a horizontally scrolling shooter by Hewson Consultants Ltd. from 1987. The task in this game, reminding strongly of other representative games of this genre as IO, Phobia or Sanxion, is to jet through 14 levels with your spaceship and shoot hordes of hostile attack formations, collect extra weapons and not get caught. At the end of each level waits, as is tradition, an end boss, that wants to be covered with myriad shots before the difficulty grade is raised in the next section in the direction of the pain barrier.

You start with three spaceships and get the first extra ship with 10.000 points, and then one every 20.000 points.

Losing a life means being sent back mercilessly to the beginning of the level, no matter how far you had already proceeded!


As the icing on the cake of the first section this end boss which is equipped with guided missiles and in no case wants to stand still, needs to be atomised.

The game has a clean scrolling and slightly sparse but nevertheless appealing background graphics. You instantly notice, that the controls of the own spaceship are exposed to a moment of inertia, which additionally aggravates the sometimes very narrowly designed levels. However, there are also longer stays in empty space, where the claustrophobic narrowness that otherwise prevails has no effect. Except for the end bosses and indestructable asteroids you only deal with popcorn enemies, i.e. you only need one shot to destroy them. A minus point that you will notice is that the game considerably slows down as soon as bigger amounts of enemies appear, which leads to an involuntary "Bullet Time", that of course ends as abruptly when all enemies were eliminated. This does not seldom lead to the player involuntarily steering the own spaceship against an obstacle when the game speed suddenly rises again.

In the title screen a short and for a shooter unusually restrained sounding hypnotic-dreaming track meanders, while in the game only sound effects can be heard. Here the "ra-ta-ta-ta" of the own laser canon dominates and the omnipresent "Puff!" sound of exploding enemies. If your own ship is hit, you are "rewarded" with a long-lasting explosion sequence, similar to the one in Alleykat.


The system of extra weapons[edit]

A:Thrust, B:Fire rate. For thrust mostly two bars are enough. The fire rate should always be at maximum.

As it is appropriate for a proper space shooter, also Zynaps has extra weapons to raise the fire power of the own spaceship. Almost each attacking formation leaves behind a weapons capsule that you can collect to either add it to the own thrust or the own fire rate or activate one of the three different weapon systems.

To get additional thrust, fire power or extra weapons the fire button needs to be kept pressed. Then the spaceship starts to flash and the next weapon capsule that is collected will activate the extra that is shown in the display in the middle of the lower screen (see image at the right). Extras of higher value require that at first a certain number of capsules are picked up the normal way (i.e. without the fire button pressed). A speed-up e.g. only needs one capsule, the guided missiles, however, five. If more than five capsules are collected the display jumps back to the speed-up extra and the cycle starts anew.

The thrust Zynapsgaugespeed.png and the fire rate Zynapsgaugeshot.png have four power levels available and need to be filled up regularly or they will fall down to the next lower level. If you lose a life you automatically lose one level of thrust and fire rate. This can end fatally, because that way you constantly lose fire power and the ability to manoeuvre the ship and it gets harder and harder to make space to shoot any further formations and be able to collect new capsules. You start with each two power levels for thrust and fire rate. The corresponding symbols start to flash before they lose effectiveness.

Level 2 starts with a comfy flight through a seemingly endless hail of asteroids.

Additionally, there are three extra weapon systems of which only one can be activated. The fire rate of a weapon system is raised by collecting enough capsules to activate it a second time. Another raise of effectiveness is not possible after a second activation.

  • Zynapsgaugeextra1.png: Hopping missiles, to eliminate targets at the ground.
  • Zynapsgaugeextra2.png: Steered shots. A visor appears in front of the spaceship into which further shots are steered.
  • Zynapsgaugeextra3.png: Guided missiles. These independently look for their target. Ideal to fight end bosses and altogether the best extra weapon.

Joystick directions[edit]

In level 3 you will be left in a daze...promise!
  • In all directions: move spaceship
  • press fire button: shoot, keep it pressed longer to collect the weapon capsules


  • F1 : choose one or two player game
  • F3 : choose number of joysticks for two player game
  • Run/Stop : pause game, then press fire button to continue or CLR/Home  to abort the game


One round of death by photons FOR EVERYONE!
  • More than two bars of thrust is potentially dangerous, as the controls get totally unprecise with the narrow surrounding and the moment of inertia of the spaceship. Even one single bar is most of the time totally sufficient.
  • The fire rate is of course to be kept at the maximum level.
  • The guided missiles are the best weapon system. When you have collected them twice, you have reached the optimum. This is of course of only little use if the fire rate has fallen to a low level at the same time.



The version by Remember has a trainer version, additional bugfixes and a subsequently built in highscoresaver. Especially because of the bugfixes this version should be chosen.


Game critic Happy Computer Games Special 4/87.

Robotron2084: "Zynaps is a linear shooter without much bells and whistles and with a really hard difficulty grade tough-as-nails, which makes you almost despair from time to time. It is one of these games where you can feel the cold anger boiling up when you are sent back to the start of the level for the umpteenth time and in my opinion it is the most difficult shooter of all on the C64. Certainly not a game for people with a low tolerance for frustration and if you look at the votes in the box at the top it is obviously a game where the opinions are divided. The slowdowns, as they appear e.g. in the middle of the third level, degrade the good impression a bit that this otherwise technically excellent game with its flawless graphics and the gripping action has left on me. 8 out of 10 points. "

Shmendric: "Oh dear, this was difficult... R-Type and Nemesis were the games of this type I liked more, but I also remember Zynaps well. A really well-made shooter with a tough difficulty grade, which poses a challenge even for experienced lovers of this genre."

TheRyk: "Das Spiel könnte super sein, wären da nicht die Spritelags und das Problem, das scrollende Hintergrundstarfield optisch von feindlichen Schüssen auseinander zu halten. So oder so ein sehr gutes Game, 7 Punkte."


Screenshot comparison of different conversions[edit]

ZX Spectrum version.
Amstrad CPC version.
Amiga version.


Longplay through the game (part 1 of 3).






Advertisement for the game


Topscore of Robotron2084
  1. Robotron2084 - 81.800 (26.07.2013)
  2. FXXS - 35.850 - Level 3 (05.07.2014)
  3. Werner - 29.700 - Level 3 (26.07.2013)
  4. TheRyk - 18.550 (30.07.2013)

#2 FXXS #3 Werner
#2 FXXS #3 Werner