Virgil’s Purgatory – Spectrum


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  • £7.99
  • £7.99
  • £7.99
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Developer: Amaweks
Publisher: Phoenix Ware
System: ZX Spectrum 48K/128K
Media: Tape

SKU: PW17 Category: Tag:

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This game is English on SIDE A and Portuguese on SIDE B

Virgil is a man who has been decapitated, now he must wander through his own purgatory in search for his head and perhaps eternal rest.


About 30 minutes of full speedrun gameplay
44 unique screens
48k game with YA music (Needs expansion YA card or ZX 128k model)
Metroidvania gameplay with platform and action elements
Inspired by Dante’s Alighieri “Divine Comedy” Brazilian northeast folk
literature (lieratura de cordel), the history of “Cangaço” and woodcut art.]

This is a de(re)make of the game Amaweks made for PC in 2016. This version has some differences, some due to the reduction of the game to only 48kb, and others due to the greater experience he has with the production of games.

The Game is basically a relatively simple “metroidvania”, you advance by defeating enemies and bosses and recovering artifacts that give you new abilities and “keys” that allow you to access new areas.

Items and artifacts:

The game has some items and artifacts that can or must be collected for you to progress:

* Hearts: you start the game with 5 hearts of tiality, but there are 4 heart items scattered around purgatory, these will increase your maximum vitality.

* Artifacts: these are mandatory for game progression, you find them by overcoming certain challenges and monsters (bosses)

The Angel of Agony and the Pilgrim:

The first can restore your maximum vitality, and the second gives you tips on where to go to progress in the game.



Graphic, music, e code, por Amaweks, except end song: “Asa Branca” from Humberto Teixeira.

Game made with the awesome MPAGD from Jonathan Cauldwell

Beta test: Érico “Fued” Monteiro, Dante Mendes, and Filipe Veiga.

Special thanks to: Jonathan Cauldwell, Érico, Dante, Filipe Veiga, Ju, Pedro Paiva, Marcelo Barbosa, Vini, Seco, Luiz Alberto, and my Manganga Team partners Laudelino, Luiz Felipe, and Antônio Gabriel.


A few words about the narrative and context of this game by the developer

I’m never tired of saying that my games are my art products, and that I see it as an aesthetic language, with its peculiarities as much as movies, comics, visual arts, literature, or whatever you can call art. I’m on this “research” to understand and explore this language and its possibilities for quite some years by now, learning both the more “technical” part (programming, the design of interaction between player and game, etc.) and the more artistic part. Not just making the music and graphics but understanding how it all articulates in the game’s narrative, therefore, the chosen theme for the narrative is very important in this equation.

Virgil’s Purgatory is (it was in 2016 and it is again,more consciously now) my manifesto that a Brazilian game can address regional themes without necessarily being “regionalist” or traditionalist. When I choose to take elements from the history of “cangaço”, folk “cordel” literature with all that goes along, and find parallels with Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy, I mean that one is not essentially more valuable than the other in cultural terms. It’s Important for me to approach the native subject without reducing it to any ghetto or margin, on the contrary, making the move to insert them into the universal human culture. Ignoring our own culture would feel like impoverishing myself artistically.

In 2022 the “Modern Art Week in Brazil” will be 100 years old. Its importance does not fit in this paragraph, but in short, the Brazilian Modernists made it clear that it was necessary to “anthropophagize” the foreigner, “eat them”, and thus give birth to the new, even if in a chaotic way. It is not enough to rely on cultural tradition, which is important, but it is necessary to go further. Subsequently, the “Tropicalia Movement” updated this understanding, and made it even clearer that the opposite does not serve us either: just mimic the foreigner culture as a neo-colonized one is perhaps even more miserable and culturally poor. In more recent times, the Mangue Beat Manifesto, headed by Recife bands such as “Nação Zumbi”, in the 1990’s, made a head way on Modernist Anthropophagy.

It is without fear of the stature of these great ones that I enter this same quest. So I restate, “Virgil’s Purgatory”, my little retro, independent, obscure, known just by a few, game, is my manifesto on this matter.

(English text revision Thanks to Erico “Fued” Monteiro).

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