The C64 Gold Medal release has finally spawned the inevitable Amiga conversion, and, once again, the world is under threat. Morgul is the three-headed demon which has been haunting Mankind's dreams for centuries. In ancient times, Morgul was banished to an unknown dimension by the hero Devolon, his only influence on Earth the nightmares which disturbed people's sleep. Now, the nightmares are escaping into everyday life with people afraid to venture outside their homes. Morgul's kingdom of dread is re-establishing its dominion and only one man still has courage enough to resist - the "Turrican".
All of humanity's ingenuity and skill has gone into equipping him with the most fearsome weaponry. For defence he has a lightweight armour suit, its energy supply shown just above the score on the right. For offence he has a machine gun, grenades, mines, smart bombs and a lightning bolt (which can be rotated around the player). Some aliens leave symbols when shot: these can give extra grenades, smart bombs and mines, extend the lightning flash to the length of the screen and improve the laser gun with triple shot or replace it with a laser. In an emergency, Turrican can even change into a small, fast moving gyroscope.
All this incredible firepower is vital since Morgul's kingdom is vast, including five different worlds. Three worlds are split into three levels, while two have just two levels. Fortunately Turrican begins with three lives, and three continue plays. More lives can be got by collecting special symbols, while further continue-plays are earned by collecting 300 of the diamonds which can be found on the worlds.
Turrican on the C64 was technically brilliant, crammed to busting with graphic styles and wonderfully playable - all things that 16-bit conversions rarely manage to replicate well without being accused of not using the host machine.
The Amiga Turrican changes things quite dramatically with super slick scrolling taking you around some truly massive levels. All credit to Manfred Trenz for the original C64 version as the gameplay was superb to start with and comes across intact.
The flow of the game is remarkably quick, it's very easy to run into trouble and with some incredible mother aliens those continue-plays are very welcome indeed (the mega piranha fish may not be quite as good as its C64 brother but it moves horribly quickly!).
Rainbow Arts have taken the time to use the Amiga's capabilities with good compression techniques allowing each world to have all sub-levels in one load, a different tune per level (the level 3 music is even better with 16-bit power behind it!), expanded levels and, of course, true Amiga-quality use of colours and graphic detail. A great blast (the best I've seen on the Amiga!) and one to really get the blood racing. First division stuff.
This is set to become a classic! The C64 game astonished us with its technical excellence, and although the Amiga version isn't quite as amazing, it plays just as well as its 8-bit counterpart. It has a great arcade feel to it all with beautiful backgrounds (completely different for each world) and detailed animation (especially on the swaggering hero).
I also love the varied, dramatic music which heightens the atmosphere: this includes some heavy, pounding tracks and the brilliant Alien world one which consists of an eerie roaring sound effect. This 'distant storm' is just like being on LV426 with Sigourney and Co.
What's more, unlike many games nowadays you have both the music and the effects simultaneously. The latter are really good, even if the lightning bolt sounds like an electric shaver!
The most impressive thing is gameplay though. The levels are huge and great fun to explore while Turrican's range of weaponry and special features adds a does of strategy in knowing when to use what: the rotating lightning bolt must be one of the best weapons in *any* game. In fact, I can't help heeling Turrican would make a brilliant coin-op: it's got better, more varied gameplay than most coin-op conversions!
This is original arcade action at its best, fully making use of the Amiga's capabilities.
It's an astounding testimony to the brilliance of the C64 game that a fairly straightforward conversion has resulted in one of the best Amiga games we've seen. Five worlds and 1,300 screens are massive for any machine!
The graphics obviously aren't as astonishing as the C64's - we know the Amiga's got a bitter so massive end-of-level monsters aren't quite as dazzling.
But the main sprite is superbly animated, his whole body moving as he walks. His weapons are no less impressive, with the lightning bolt particularly good, really sparking with amazing energy. There's also a bit more animation on the background graphics, which obviously use more colours and detail to ensure a real 16-bit feel. This is a vast game, packed with graphic imagination, gameplay variation and most of all, playability.
I particularly like the world where the scrolling goes vertical, for an all-out shoot-'em-up with our hero strapping on a jetpack.
The graphics have a Salamander feel, while the soundtrack sounds just like something Konami might write. Also good are the different ways you can play the game. To start with you rush around looking for the exit, trying to speed through the levels to see yet more of the graphics. But later on you get a bit wiser and start looking for the numerous treasure rooms, hidden away in the most obscure locations but packed with shimmering diamonds. Using this technique it's possible to build up lots of continue-plays, making it all seem almost possible to complete.
All in all, a huge game which is recommended for anyone wanting a top-notch arcade blast.
Good title page and brief opening effect. Good manual and vital continue plays. High scores saved to disk and rapid world loading.
Five very different worlds, all packed with masses of aliens. The variety is amazing. Main sprite is impressively animated.
Twenty excellent soundtracks showing lots of variety and imagination: FX are good too.
Easy to get into, with a wide variety of weapons, all easily controlled.
Thirteen levels (over 1,300 screens), five worlds with widely varying graphics and different challenges - including a vertically-scrolling shoot-'em-up.
A superlative shoot-'em-up.