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BARBARIAN

 

 

Professional, Released On Cassette Only

 

Game Type          : Arcade; Slash-'Em-Up; Swordfighting

Author             : Peter Scott

Standalone Release(s)  : 1986: BARBARIAN, Superior/Acornsoft, £9.95

                    1991: BARBARIAN, Superior/Blue Ribbon, £2.99

Compilation Release(s) : 1990: PLAY IT AGAIN SAM 11, Superior/Acornsoft, £9.95

Stated compatibility    : Electron

Actual compatibility    : Electron, BBC B, B+ and Master 128

Supplier            : SUPERIOR/ACORNSOFT, 3 Manor Drive, Scawby, Brigg, NORTH

                    LINCOLNSHIRE DN20 9AX

Disc compatibility     : CDFS E00, DFS E00

 

 

Instructions

The evil sorceror Drax has abducted the beautiful Princess Mariana to satiate his nefarious desires. A powerful warrior is sought to vanquish Drax's demonic guardians and free the Princess. You are that warrior, a mighty barbarian wielding your broadsword with deadly skill.

 

The game is in two parts, Combat Practice and Fight to the Death, either of which may be loaded. When using the cassette versions, type CHAIN "COMBAT" to load Combat Practice or type CHAIN "FIGHT" to load Fight to the Death. On the disk version, you will be prompted to choose between the two from a menu.

 

Each warrior can survive twelve blows, which are counted off at the top of the screen above the snakes (Player 1 on the left).

 

Demonstration Mode and Practice Mode

For both Combat Practice and Fight to the Death, a Demonstration Mode shows the various fighting moves and a Practice Mode allows you (as Player 1) to play against a passive swordsman in order to practise your moves. There is a time limit of 90 seconds for each duel.

 

One-Player Mode

In Combat Practice, you perfect your swordsmanship against ten of the finest warriors in the land, each more skilful than the one before. In Fight to the Death, you fight for the Princess against the ten evil minions of Drax and finally the evil one himself stands before you. There is no time limit; the time capacity is replaced by the skill level of the opponent you are facing.

 

Two-Player Mode

In the two player game, you fight your friend, against the background of two alternating screens in Combat Practice, or two different alternating screens in Fight to the Death. Points will be awarded depending on the difficulty of the move used (score for Player 1 is given on the left).

 

There is a time limit of 90 seconds for each duel. At this time, if both are still in the game, their strengths will be restored and the next duel will commence.

 

Game Controls

 

Select Mode (Demo, Practice, 1/2 Players) .............. 1

Sound Effects On/Off ................................... 2

Pause On/Off ........................................... 3

Select Keyboard/Joysticks .............................. 4

Exit from Game .......................... SHIFT and ESCAPE

 

BARBARIAN Fighting Moves - Keyboard Control

The keys to control the swordsmen are redefinable. Initially, they are defined on the BBC Micro as:

 

                                             Player 1         Player 2

            Left                                Z                >

            Right                               X                ?

            Up                                  Q                {

            Down                                A                *

            Strike                             TAB               `

 

The following combination of keys are used to make these moves for a right-facing character. For a left-facing character, the moves are reversed.

 

      Without Fire Button Pressed                 With Fire Button Pressed

 

     Z and Q ........ Protect Head             Z and Q ......... Web of Death

     Q ...................... Jump             Q .................. Neck Chop

     X and Q ........ Protect Body             X and Q ............ Head Butt

     X .............. Move Forward             X .................. Body Chop

     X and A ........ Roll Forward             X and A ................. Kick

     A .................... Crouch             A ................... Leg Chop

     Z and A ........... Roll Back             Z and A ........ Overhead Chop

     Z ................. Move Back             Z ........... Flying Neck Chop

 

 

Instructions' Source   : PLAY IT AGAIN SAM 11 (Superior/Acornsoft) Inner Inlay

 

Review (Electron User) - "This Could Slay You"

After the blaze of publicity that preceded this game's release, with an expensive advertising campaign featuring two rather well-built and scantily clad models, I was really looking forward to a game of excitement and action.

 

I wasn't disappointed. This game is similar to YIE AR KUNG FU, only this time the figure you control uses a sword instead of his hands to fight opponents.

 

In this one or two player game the scenario is a fight against the ten evil minions of the sorcerer Drax - and finally the sorcerer himself - in order to free the beautiful Princess Mariana. At first the opposition is easy to despatch but as they get more proficient the task gets harder.

 

You can select your preferred keys for both players or you can play the game with a joystick. From there you are presented with the choice of combat practice or starting the game itself: The Fight to the Death.

 

The former gives you the choice of a demonstration which shows the 16 different fighting moves you can make, or you can practice against a passive opponent. The latter is useful, and it was while I was busy hacking away at some poor, helpless chap that I discovered it's possible to decapitate an opponent, which in turn leads to the most entertaining sequence in the whole game:

 

This involves a goblin-type creature which normally comes on at the left-hand side of the display once a combatant is dead, crosses the screen and exits at the right-hand side dragging the body behind him. If there's been a decapitation, the goblin collects the body as usual but casually punts the head off screen.

 

While still in combat practice mode you can opt for either one or two player modes. In the first you are pitted against a warrior who you must defeat in order to have the privilege of fighting another, slightly more proficient, one.

 

This goes on until either you defeat ten of then or, as is more likely, one of them beats you. A fight ends when one of the combatants has taken twelve hits or is decapitated. In the two-player mode you each control a warrior and fight against each other. The same victory conditions apply, but you also have the added pressure of having to complete the duel in 90 seconds.

 

If you do, by some miracle, manage to defeat all of the computer's opponents you can enter Superior's own BARBARIAN competition.

 

The Fight to the Death is almost exactly the same as the combat practice mode. Again you can watch a demonstration, fight a passive opponent or a second player. The only difference is that if you opt for the Fight to the Death in one-player mode, you get to fight the evil sorcerer Drax after defeating the ten Conan lookalikes.

 

Combat is punctuated by the sound of swords biting into flesh and the satisfying THUNK as your warrior headbutts his opponent. These few sound effects can be turned off. There is no signature tune, which some would say is a blessing, but I find Superior's tunes are better than most and it's unusual for them not to bother with one.

 

My only disappointment was with the graphics. I've no grumble with the quality - which is excellent - but I was disappointed with the quantity. There seem to be only four screens, and the two arena ones featured on the packaging are the only ones I've come across in Fight to the Death mode.

 

You begin fighting in front of someone sitting on a throne. In the second bout you face your opponent in front of Drax and the captive Mariana - who, by the way, bears no resemblance to the young lady featured on the packaging. Then it's back to the man on the throne again and so on.

 

The other two screens only appear in the combat practice mode. Again they alternate, this time featuring two wilderness scenes, the first in daylight and the second at night.

 

Another point is that your adversaries are exact clones of your warrior except that yours is wearing a white vest. Even so, there have been a few times when I've watched one of the warriors making mincemeat out of the other congratulating myself on some nifty swordwork, only to realise that it's the bad guy who was doing the hitting.

 

If you are a fan of games which simulate physical combat, martial arts and the like, you will find BARBARIAN an excellent addition to your collection. To its credit, BARBARIAN has little for me to criticise.

 

Sound ........................... 5

Graphics ........................ 9

Playability ..................... 9

Value for money ................. 8

Overall ......................... 8

 

Desmond, ELECTRON USER 5. 9