"Styx was the guardian of the sacred oaths that
bound the gods." In 1983, it was trapped by a clever computer
programmer but left to die in the graveyard of CGA games. Now it's
"In Greek mythology, Styx was the name of the
river which was the entrance to the underworld. It was often described
as the boundary river over which the aged ferryman Charon transported
the shades of the dead. The river was personified as a daughter of the
Titan Oceanus, and Styx was the guardian of the sacred oaths that bound
The actual river, the modern name of which is the
Mavroneri, is in northeastern Arcadia, Greece. It plunges over a 183m
(600ft) cliff, then flows through a wild gorge. The ancient Greeks
believed that its waters were poisonous, and the river was associated
with the underworld from the time of Homer."
(From "Styx", Microsoft (R) Encarta. Copyright
Microsoft Corporation. Copyright (c) 1993 Funk & Wagnall's
The game "Styx" was originally created by
Windmill software in 1983 and released as a copy-protected, bootable
5.25" floppy disk for the IBM PC/XT. As it requires a genuine CGA
card, it didn't work on modern PCs.
In 1998 a new version, "Styx Remastered", was
created by Andrew Jenner which runs on all PCs with CGA or better,
whilst retaining all the atmosphere and playability of the original.
After completing the remastering of Digger, a very
famous Windmill Software game, Andrew got many emails thanking him for
restoring this great game. One of these Digger fans (Maarten Kramer from
the Netherlands) came across Andrew's site whilst looking for another
game, "Styx", also by Windmill software. At this stage Andrew
didn't even know Windmill had created any other games, and when Andrew
came across a copy of the original "Styx" (thanks to Daniel
Backman), he quickly became addicted and decided that this would have to
be the next remastering project.
The game used a little known "tweaked" mode of
the original CGA which allowed all 16 colours to be displayed on screen
at the same time, although at a paltry resolution of 160x100. This
sounds awful, but it was quite effective on CGA monitors (it was
certainly a welcome change to be able to see all 16 colours at once) and
was ideal for games of this sort (as you can see when you play it).
Rather than redrawing all the graphics, as Andrew did with Digger, he
just converted them directly, which made the operation a lot simpler.
After a fun packed week of sifting through assembly
code, Andrew finally got the thing to work on all graphics adapters
better than or equal to CGA, and at more or less the correct speed.