Rastan Saga

Publisher: The Hit Squad
Machine: Commodore 64/128

Published in Zzap #66

Rastan Saga

This Taito coin-op takes place on the mythical continent of Maranna, ruled by King Rastan. After failing to dethrone Rastan, the evil sorcerer Karg has unleashed all the demons on hell upon Maranna. Rastan obviously doesn't believe in armies or anything, because it's down to him alone to defeat the demons across six countries (or loads).

The game itself consists of a fairly nice landscape scrolling horizontally, and occasionally vertically, as Rastan hacks his way through such mythologically inspired creatures as griffins and flying demons. There are also various icons scattered about which can be picked up. These include a shield, mantle and armour (all of which reduce damage), medicine and a ram's head (which both replenish energy), jewels (bonus points) and a rod which allows you to fire firebolts from your sword. Needless to say, there's a superbaddie at the end of each level.

Originally an Imagine conversion, Rastan earned just 42% back in Issue 35. Julian Rignall thought the main sprite was "sluggish... and the difficulty level is completely unbalanced; the action is either mind-numbingly easy, or amazingly hard. Guiding Rastan over the landscape is simple, but the ropes and end-of-level guardians provide impassable barriers". With the aid of Issue 41's tips - e.g. the rope swings further every fifth time - the game becomes a bit more playable. But not much. This is a rather dull, repetitive game.