A downloadable retro isometric for Windows, macOS, and Linux

Viva Mortis is a fast paced isometric retro-fest feast for the eyes and ears.

Written for the SyntaxBomb Retro-Game fightout It is based on a Sinclair Spectrum with the option to use ZX-Spectrum graphics from glorious color clash to 16 amazing Sinclair colours and sound (from a single beep (48k), simple 3 voice (128k) or fully sampled (next)). The choice is yours.

SyntaxBomb Competition

SyntaxBomb 2nd place winner

You play as Mortis: Overworked minion of Mr De'Ath.

There is a party planned and someone has nicked his 5 runes. Toddle off and find them  for him to really get the party started.

But wait.... it's not as simple as all that is it? Oh no, there's a time limit and a collection of clockwork fiends and demented dangers to prevent you from sipping Mojitos at the party!

Collect lost treasures, throw a few skulls and bash a few piñatas. And beware the Fabled Broom of Doom!

With a custom chip-synth and QasarBeach sound engine, you might just stay around for the sounds alone - why not stay forever?

Control is simple:

left/right/up/down and fire, all can be reconfigured to your own desires...

Fullscreen or windowed. You decide.

MacOS, Windows or Linux - it's up to you...

Mr De'Ath is watching...

Mr De'Ath is waiting...

Go gather your bones and work those fingers... To... The... Bone...

Ver 1.05

- various bug fixes

- new sound core

- 3 secrets added

- new map mode - press and hold M to see map

- key configuration has map added

Ver 1.03

- windows version has got corrected audio

- mac is complete new compile to deal with black screen on 10.4.4

- mac supports retina display better

Ver 1.02 for mac - display fix

Source code is now available. This is mx2 code which is a fork of Monkey2. There are a lot of other source files not included (mainly graphics and sound support systems). THIS WILL NOT COMPILE. But it will allow you to see the entire game code and see how it was all put together :)

PlatformsWindows, macOS, Linux
Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars
(16 total ratings)
Made withAdobe Photoshop
Tags8-Bit, Atmospheric, Cute, Isometric, Retro, sinclair, ultimate, ZX Spectrum
Average sessionA few minutes
InputsKeyboard, Mouse


vivamortis.source.zip 33 kB
vivamortis105.app.zip 3 MB
VivaMortisWin105.zip 6 MB
VivaMortis105.tar.gz 3 MB

Install instructions

Just download the version for you machine and it should run.

Any issues let me know :)

Development log


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Game play En (VHS CRT)


(1 edit)

Nice of what you made, but can you make 3 ROMs for each console their sound makes (that is, TZX files) please?

It's possible for the Spectrum Next, but not to convert down to the old 48k rom sizes


Such a pleasant and classic experience! Really well made. I'd pay money for a Android vesion of this. :)

Good job! Sorry my ignorance, but what is that .monkey2 extension in the source code? With what do you compile that? And what are the terms of use of the source code? Could I use for instance for a project but changing the graphics by others completely new? (new characters, new story, new puzzles, etc...?) Can be used commercially or just personal use?

The source is actually mx2 - it's a fork of the programming language monkey2. It wont compile on anything (even monkey2) as there are a huge amount of changes and other source code needed. but it gives you the core code to base your work from, or just see how it was approached. Sorry if that doesn't quite give you the answer you wanted, but I'm always free to discuss additions new versions of Viva Mortis :)

At last, a game for those of us who thought Ultimate needed to be a touch more Mexican! This is far too good to be free!

Just one thing: what do the bonus items and fruits actually *do*?


Brilliant that you are enjoying it :)

the fruits add more time to the counter

the bigger bonus items add lots of time or health

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oooh, thanks for that one :)

This is awesome! It takes me back to the ol' days of Rare. I loved Knightlore so this is a treat. :)

excellent. Really glad you liked it :)

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Thanks a lot. I will be very interested in your thoughts :)

Atic Atac was one of the concepts behind Viva Mortis - but with a twist...

I'm up for any chats about the system I used as well

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I would be lying if I said the concept was all mine! But it was a very quick turn-around from start to finish (5 weeks from start to finish). I was pleased when the sound all came together as that was a lot of work writing all the new sound system.

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I've got a tool-chain fo sorts here, so I can switch things up quickly. spritefont in one tool, maps in another. Everything linked. It's just the code logic that needs the real work, plus the ideas. Didn't you used to used Blitz a while back?

hello. great. could you reveal what you wrote or what editor you used?

No problem.

It's written in a custom version of Monkey2 (called MX2). This is a version of BASIC.

The audio is a custom written system called QasarBeach, which provides all audio, synth  and sequencer functions. In essence it is configured as a 16 voice synth with samples, wavetables, modulation etc. QasarBeach has full sequencing features, so it was a case of getting the right sounds (single sound for 48k, 3 sounds + noise for 128k, and 8 sounds for Next) These all reside together and depending on the spectrum type, sounds are muted and not played.

The graphics were done in FontSprite using a ZX-Spectrum palette. This gives 256 ''characters' to play with. There are multiple fonts being used with the general character size being 16x16 pixels.

The map is created in FontMap. And uses multiple layers to create the map and item locations. There are read in and partly randomised so that each game has different locations for items.

Absolutely fantastic game! I love everything about it; the sounds, the music, the graphics, the Ultimate-ness of it :D Great job!

Thanks for that. Glad you're enjoying it :)

Great game.  Playing it on Windows.  However I cannot get it running on Linux.  Which version of Linux is it built for.  Wanted to get it running on my Pi 3.

its compiled on linux mint - you will need sdl and openal and opengl installed.

A Pi build would be great, but it need very special compiling, so at the moment not possible  - but it is a thought :)

Thanks for the reply.  I have peppermint on my dev laptop so I'll give it a go on that.  Makes it a bit more portable :-).  Would love a pi version :-)

Love it! Wish there were more piñatas in the world to hit :')


Thanks for that - it took a while but I got there in the end. Let me know how you get on and any comments you've got :)

Spectrum Feelings!!! Congratulations!