Rastan (video game)
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Rastan Saga (Japan)
European arcade flyer of Rastan Saga.
|Genre(s)||Platform/Hack and slash|
|CPU||68000 (@ 8 MHz), Z80 (@ 4 MHz)|
|Sound||M6809 (@ 750 kHz), YM2203 (@ 1.5 MHz), MSM5205 (@ 375 kHz)|
|Display||Raster, 320 × 240 pixels (Horizontal), 8192 colors|
Rastan, originally released as Rastan Saga (ラスタンサーガ?) in Japan, is a fantasy-themed side-scrolling action game originally released for the arcades in 1987 by Taito and later ported to various platforms. The player controls a barbarian warrior who has embarked on a quest to slay a dragon. While on his way to the dragon's lair, Rastan must fight hordes of enemy monsters based on mythical creatures such as chimeras and harpies.
The controls of Rastan consists of an eight-way joystick and two buttons for attacking and jumping. By using the joystick in combination with either buttons, the player can determine the height of Rastan's jumps, as well as the direction where he swings his weapon (including downwards while jumping). The game uses a health gauge system along with limited lives, although certain obstacles (such as falling into a body of water or being crushed by a spiked ceiling) will instantly kill Rastan regardless of how much health he has left.
There are a total six rounds, each consisting of three areas: an outdoor scene, a castle scene and a throne room where the player must confront the stage's boss. The backgrounds of the outdoor areas feature broad landscapes with changing sunlight effects with detail. The game's bosses (names according to the MSX2 version) consists of Graton (a skeletal warrior who wields a halberd), Slay (a demonic swordsman who can sprout wings), Symplegades (a wizard), Laios (a dragon knight), the Hydra (a five-headed snake) and the final boss, the Dragon.
The player can pick up any item by touching them, as well as new weapons by striking them with his current one. All the weapons and power-ups picked by Rastan will be equipped only for a limited time. When Rastan picks up any equipable item, an icon will appear on the lower right corner of the screen as an indicator of the item's effect until it wears out. Rastan can only wield one weapon at a time (which consists of a mace, an axe and a fireball-shooting sword in addition to his standard sword), as well as only one type of protector (a shield, a mantle or a body armor), but other items (such as the necklace and ring) can be worn at the same time. There are also jewels that gives out bonus points, as well potion bottles that will restore or deplete the player's health depending on the color. The rare golden sheep's head will restore Rastan's health completely.
Rastan Saga (the Japanese version) features an opening sequence when the player starts the game which explains the purpose of Rastan's journey, not included in the export versions (which were simply titled Rastan). Also in the Japanese version, when the player complete a stage ("Round") the "victory" screen has text pertaining to the storyline. In the overseas versions, there is a "generic" victory screen with generic text ("You are a brave fighter to have cleared such a difficult stage."). However, the overseas versions feature a different attract sequence which shows all the items that can be obtained by the player along with their effect.
Rastan was initially ported to various 8-bit home computers in Europe (the Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum and Amstrad CPC) by Imagine Software in 1988. The C64 version of the game was notably impossible to finish because of a bug early in the game. This bug prevented a player from making a critical jump from one platform to the other – Rastan would always fall short of the intended point and could never make it across. The ZX Spectrum version was awarded 9/10 in the July 1988 issue of Your Sinclair and was placed at number 54 in the Your Sinclair's Top 100 list. Taito exported the C64 version to the United States in 1990, releasing it alongside two additional versions for the IBM PC and Apple IIGS. The Apple IIGS version is notable for having graphics and play mechanics closer to the arcade game than any other home computer version.
In 1988, Taito also released their own conversions of Rastan for the MSX2 in Japan and the Master System in North America and Europe (both versions featured redesigned level layouts, with the Master System version replacing some of the boss characters as well). The Master System version was later ported to the Game Gear and released exclusively in Japan on August 9, 1991.
The game was followed by two sequels, Rastan Saga II (also known by two other names, Nastar in Europe and Nastar Warrior in North America) and Warrior Blade Rastan Saga Episode III. Rastan also made an appearance in another Taito game titled Champion Wrestler as "Miracle Rastan".
Saffire developed a 3D fighting game called Warrior Blade: Rastan vs. Barbarian for the PlayStation 2, and Nintendo GameCube that was released in 2003 by Taito in Japan, though the game title is the only relationship to Rastan Saga.
- MSX Magazine (MSXマガジン) (in Japanese). May 1988.
- Barbarian Info – Barbarian Information – Barbarian Release Date
- Rastan Saga at World of Spectrum
- Rastan at MobyGames
- Rastan Saga at arcade-history
- Gameplay Video of Rastan