Rastan (video game)
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), YM2151 (@ 4 MHz), MSM5205 (@ 375 kHz)|
|Display||Raster, 320 × 240 pixels (Horizontal), 8192 colors|
Rastan Saga (ラスタンサーガ), released as Rastan outside of 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 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), in order of appearance, consist of:
1. King Graton, a halberd-wielding skeletal warrior;
2. King Slay, a demonic winged sword-master;
3. Symplegades, the wizard-king;
4. Laios, the dragon-king;
5. The Hydra, a five-headed snake-like monster;
6. 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.
"I used to be a thief and murderer. Otherwise, I could not survive in such difficult times. Sit beside me and listen to my story of days filled with adventure."
"I succeeded in obtaining consent from the Princess of Ceim to exchange the Dragon's head for all her kingdom's treasures. I started on my quest for the Dragon's lair."
"My journey has just begun. There is not a moment to lose. I must hurry."
"They seem to be cursed by the Dragon, as expected; I have to kill the Dragon."
"The situation is getting serious, but I cannot afford to die yet."
"I regret making such a promise, but it is now too late to withdraw."
"Now you are the only one who is still alive. Hang in there, Dragon; I will come right away to cut your head off."
"After obtaining all the Princess's treasures, I left her Kingdom of Ceim in search of a country for myself to be ruler of."
"This is a only part of my long story to becoming King. If I have the chance, I'll tell you more of my adventurous stories."
Rastan Saga (the Japanese version) features an opening sequence, when the player starts the game, which explains the purpose of Rastan's journey. It is not included in the export versions (which were simply titled Rastan). Also, in the Japanese version when the player completes 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.
In "Rastan Saga" there are far fewer bats during the bat swarm sequences in the castle of level 1 than in "Rastan."
Rastan was initially ported to various 8-bit home computers in Europe (the Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum and Amstrad CPC) by Imagine Software in 1987. 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 imported Imagine's C64 version to the United States, releasing it alongside two additional versions for the IBM PC and Apple IIGS both of which were ported by Novalogic.
In 1988, Taito developed its own conversions of Rastan for the MSX2 in Japan, and the Master System in North America and Europe. Both ports featured redesigned level layouts, with the Master System version replacing some of the boss characters as well. As Rastan was released before the formation of the ESRB, it is the only known game for the Sega Master System to feature frontal female nudity. Both in-game sprites and illustrations in the instruction manual depict several female enemy monsters as topless or fully nude. It also has the distinction of being the sole Taito game released for the Sega Master System in North America. This version was itself later ported to the Game Gear and released exclusively in Japan on August 9, 1991 as Rastan Saga.
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".
The Saffire Corporation developed game Barbarian was released under the name Warrior Blade: Rastan vs. Barbarian in Japan as Taito published the game in the region. The game has nothing to do with Rastan Saga dispute the title change. The game was released there on the PlayStation 2 and also was the only country to get the Nintendo GameCube version, who's release was cancelled in North America and Europe due to poor sales. 
- MSX Magazine (MSXマガジン) (in Japanese). May 1988. Missing or empty
- Barbarian Info – Barbarian Information – Barbarian Release Date