Ghost Battle is something more than an arcade platform adventure jaunt, with exquisite timing puzzles combined with strong console-style graphics and sound. It's Thalion's last game and probably one of the team's best. Ghost Battle was released in 1991 for the Commodore Amiga and the Atari ST home computers.
STORY / GAMEPLAY Ghost Battle's story is quite typical: Your beloved princess is kidnapped by an evil magician and she's kept imprisoned inside a ...tree! You start your quest with an endless supply of...stones to fight with every attacking enemy. Fortunately, you can also pick up some handy items along the way, for extra aid to your quest, but you must be careful since each item is protected by a particularly strong and mean monster that will fight to the end to defend it! On the way, you can easily acquire a few more weapons that can inflict more damage when thrown, such as bombs. There are plenty of enemies to fight that they progressively become more deadly. These creatures vary from zombies armed with chainsaws (!) to flying eagles throwing fireballs (pretty odd huh?) and there are also many traps and dead pits that you must jump over and simultaneously shoot the monsters! Each level is quite wide and you must follow certain paths to find the exit. Fortunately an indication (a hand) shows you the right way. I personally found this a little useless though, as it is leading you away from several unrevealed spots in which you can find some useful items! The gameplay is rather tough since the slow movement of the hero is making playability frustrating at times and difficult to avoid or shoot the enemies that attack from different directions. Also, the collision detection can unfairly cost and it's pretty hard to calculate the distance when jumping over dead pits, ending up inside them and losing precious lives. Aside its cons, the game is gorgeous and fun to play and it's highly recommended for every Amiga or Atari ST owner!
GRAPHICS / SOUND Ghost Battle offers impressive visuals although the game does not support any special techniques such as multi parallax-scrolling etc. All screens are well detailed and the backgrounds vary between levels, leaving the player in awe as the game starts with medieval style details and ends up with modern military bases! The sprites' animation flicks and it doesn't flow while the scrolling is pretty smooth, at least on the Amiga version (the ST version has a few frame rate problems). As I said above, the collision detection is an issue here and I guess the developers could do better than that. Soundwise, Ghost Battle is fantastic, offering some great sampled sound effects combined with some catchy in-game tunes (each level has its own unique tune) composed by the great Jochen Hippel!
In-game music sample:
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CPU: Motorola MC68000 7.16 MHz MEMORY: 512KB of Chip RAM (OCS chipset - A500), 512 KB of Slow RAM or Trapdoor RAM can be added via the trapdoor expansion, up to 8 MB of Fast RAM or a Hard drive can be added via the side expansion slot. The ECS chipset (A500+) offered 1MB on board to 2MB (extended) of Chip RAM. GRAPHICS: The OCS chipset (Amiga 500) features planar graphics (codename Denise custom chip), with up to 5 bit-planes (4 in hires), allowing 2, 4, 8, 16 and 32 color screens, from a 12bit RGB palette of 4096 colors. Resolutions varied from 320x256 (PAL, non-interlaced, up to 4096 colors) to 640x512 (interlace, up to 4 colors). Two special graphics modes where also included: Extra Half Bright with 64 colors and HAM with all 4096 colors on-screen. The ECS chipset models (Amiga 500+) offered same features but also extra high resolution screens up to 1280x512 pixels (4 colors at once). SOUND: (Paula) 4 hardware-mixed channels of 8-bit sound at up to 28 kHz. The hardware channels had independent volumes (65 levels) and sampling rates, and mixed down to two fully left and fully right stereo outputs