Commodore User


Salamander

Author: Mike Pattenden
Publisher: Imagine
Machine: Commodore 64/128

 
Published in Commodore User #58

Salamander

With another sequel in the arcades there couldn't be a better time to release the long-awaited conversion of Konami's classic vertical and horizontally scrolling shoot-'em-up.

Konami's original conversion of Nemesis (by Simon Pick) went down well with this mag when it was released in March of last year, but Ocean's job on its sequel will turn a lot of heads for its quality.

Salamander sadly isn't so easily found in the arcades these days (the fast turnover of machines often means that old games, classic or not, are relegated to the cellar or sold off) so let me remind you very briefly what it's all about.

Salamander

Two pilots from the planet Nemesis have been given the job of stopping invading ships from the Latis system. It's all there, hidden in the lost scrolls of Konami's many unlikely legends. What should concern you is six levels of choice blasting which take you from the planet's surface, through space facing a bombardment of asteroids, then descending to fly over erupting volcanoes, mechanoid bases and sub-space regions until you reach the end, which is a final confrontation with a fortress on one game, whilst the machine doesn't like it, it works, transforming this into a highly playable conversion.

But where Salamander triumphs is with its consistently fine graphics. These are the work of none other than Bob Stevenson the ex-Compunet man who did such a great job on Firebird's I.O. The large claws on Level One and the belching flames of the volcanoes are startlingly well done. Sound is a little more disappointing. Martin Galway is still sadly missed and the weak tune and special effects demonstrate this. Another gripe is the wimpy death effect. There are no nice explosions when you fly your machine into the ground or get grabbed by an alien arm.

Ocean should count themselves lucky to suffer from such minor irritations. 1988 has been a good year for shoot-'em-ups - now we've got a great one.

Mike Pattenden

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