Death Stalker (ZXS)

From Video Game Music Preservation Foundation Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search
Death Stalker
Death Stalker - ZXS.jpg
Platform: ZX Spectrum
Year: 1989
Developer: TAG Computer Games

Death Stalker is a hack-and-slay adventure.

Your objective is to pass some big dungeon. On your way, you need to pick up items (up to five) from the floor, mostly to open doors and recover, but also to release prisoners (most of whom will leave you one more item) and help you fight several kinds of opponents (defeating them also opens a few doors).

The screen displays only sections, items and creatures that the protagonist can see from where he stands (not only the direction he faces). Everything else remains black until he moves closer, and becomes black when far away. However, the Spectrum graphics reviewed as indistinct, and the movements are so glitchy that even the ending apologizes.


Death Stalker - ZXS - Loader.png

Loading for five minutes.

Death Stalker - ZXS - Main Menu.png

The main menu will press 3 by itself.

Death Stalker - ZXS - Get Ready.png

Get Ready song still playing.

Death Stalker - ZXS - Midgame.png

The prisoner left you a cross!

Death Stalker - ZXS - Game Over.png

One of many traps.

Death Stalker - ZXS - High Score.png

I'd rather play with Amstrad graphics.


On a Spectrum 48K, you will hear three sound effects. They were possibly made by Tony Warriner, considering how interleaved they are with his game code.

But with at least 128K, you will hear four songs and 16 sound effects (six unused). David Whittaker most likely still arranged by typing into his driver source code on an Einstein, a computer with the same CPU and audio chip as the 128K (and also Amstrad CPC). As usual, his 128K driver is tuned two semitones too low.

Unfortunately, the Spectrum music often speeds up in-game. As suggested above, Warriner was challenged with graphics performance: While the game updates the screen, it pauses Whittaker's driver, and when it's done, it calls the driver twice in a row, trying to make up.

In-game, pressing CAPS SHIFT+T toggles between music and 128K sound effects. Your walk's sound effect plays always, and only on the loudspeaker.


All songs were recorded from the game in Fuse 1.6.0 with Spectrum 128K.

# Title Composer Length Listen Download
01 Theme David Whittaker 2:59
02 Get Ready David Whittaker 0:02
03 Game Over David Whittaker 0:03
04 High Score David Whittaker 1:23


(Source: main menu, manual, code recognition.)

Game Rip






Audio Devices

After loading the actual game, the program detects your Spectrum model (by checking a byte in your computer's built-in ROM).

Music plays only on the 128K's and later models' built-in AY-3-8912 chip. Sound effects play on both the built-in loudspeaker and the AY-3-8912.


  EU.svg   EU
Death Stalker - ZXS.jpg
Title: Death Stalker
Platform: Spectrum 48K/128K
Released: 1989-01-??
Publisher: CodeMasters Software Co. Ltd.
  EU.svg   EU
CD Games Pack, The - ZXS.jpg
Title: The CD Games Pack
Platform: Spectrum 128K/+2/+3 or 48K with Kempston Interface
Released: 1990-01-??
Publisher: CodeMasters
  EU.svg   EU
Quattro Combat - ZXS.jpg
Title: Quattro Combat
Platform: Spectrum 48K/128K/+2/+3
Released: 1991-0?-??
Publisher: Code Masters Software Co. Ltd.


Death Stalker
Death Stalker Platform - CPC.png • Platform - ZXS.png
Notable Songs Theme
Notable Personnel David Whittaker
Notable Companies Codemasters