Amstrad Computer User1st February 1991
Published in Amstrad Computer User #75
Shadow Of The Beast
Taste the sweetness of revenge in your vendetta against the Beast Mage.
If you happened to catch a glimpse of the original of this game on 16-bit, you will probably remember thinking, as I did, what a real swizz it was that we couldn't get hold of it for the CPC.
Well, thanks to some excellent conversion skills from the Gremlin team, we too can savour the excellence of this atmospheric masterpiece.
For many years, you have been the right hand of the monstrous Beast Mage, whose realm of blackness has overtaken the land, bringing destitution and death to the inhabitants.
Unaware of your true emotions, the continual slaughter means nothing to you until, that is, you recognise an old face as it prepares to meet its maker.
Suddenly, memories flood through your being. That face belonged to your father and you have been manipulated by the Beast from an innocent young lad to become the hideous tormentor you now are. With this knowledge now within your graps, your only thought is for revenge. Crushing the all-powerful Globe of Seeing of the Temple Masters, you move silently out into the night, prepared to meet anything the Beast might throw against you in your quest for blood.
Despite the conversion down onto 8-bit, Shadow Of The Beast has lost none of its chilling atmosphere. The deep tones of the backdrops stand out marvelously in this haunting land of evil.
Starting off, you find yourself exposed in a hostile wilderness, with a well offering the only seeming protection from attack. However, if you haven't got a key, this will prove to be a dead end.
As you fight your way through your quest to locate the Beast in his home surroundings, prepare to be stunned by the vast array of the Beast's armoury. Dragons, fireballs, bats, mutants, you name it, they're all out there to get you and all you have to beat them off to start with are your hands and feet.
Luckily, they are quite a formidable defence, though as you progress and meet up with even weirder creations from Hell, be sure to locate and use the special weapons you'll need to dispatch them to doom.
Each time you come into contact with an enemy, your heart rate will increase until it finally bursts, killing you instantly, so ward off the baddies carefully.
Keep your eyes open for artefacts and keys that may come in useful later on as you enter the Beast's Lair, and make the most of any strength restoring potions you find. You will need all the help you can get to get through the various regions on your way to the Beast. Your grisly character is easily controlled and, with the use of excellent parallax scrolling, Beast is an absolute joy to play. It is certainly different to most of the games on the market and well worth buying.
With the atmospheric soundtrack bringing you further into the evil land, Beast will certainly prove very, very difficult to put down.