Shadow of the Beast is a side-scrolling action adventure game, originally released for the Commodore Amiga home computers by Reflections (and published by Psygnosis). This game is one of the most technically advanced games for its time. The game was later ported on the Atari ST, Amstrad CPC, Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum and in various 8 & 16bits video-game consoles.
STORY / GAMEPLAY Shadow of the Beast takes place in a fantasy world where an Evil Lord called Maletoth kills Aabron's (our hero's) father and casts a spell to transform the young boy into a wild, strong and ugly beast (Aabron actually looks much like the ancient Greek god, Pan). Now Aabron must avenge his father's death and break the curse, gaining back his human nature. On his task, he must fight armed enemies, bloodthirsty monsters, magician lords, skeletons, avoid traps and finally confront the menacing Maletoth. The journey is hard and Aabron needs ample energy in order to survive. His only weapons are his bare hands plus some rare tools that he can use on the way. In terms of gameplay, Shadow of the Beast is one of the most difficult games ever created for the Atari ST so it takes patience and some good skills to survive. The whole action is pretty fast and the enemies are fiercely attacking to kill Aabron. But, apart from the enemy hordes there are also deadly traps, maze-like stages (etc the underground ones) and gigantic level bosses.
GRAPHICS / SOUND We all know that the Amiga and the Atari ST were rivals back in the mid-80's (and early 90's) and lots of games were ported directly from the Atari ST and were quite close in terms of graphics and details. Not this time though, since SOTB was ported from the Amiga to the ST. This game was always intended to run on an Amiga system, since most of the other ports never really matched the original version. So, the Atari ST version cannot compete by any means with the great Amiga version. The Atari ST's chips would only allow for 16-34 colors on-screen, 11-18 FPS of scrolling and sprite animation (and cannot be compared to the constant 50 FPS of the Amiga version), only 9 layers of parallax scrolling (versus the Amiga's 13 layers). Also, the ST version suffers from many frame rate drops due to the lack of a Blitter chip, especially when too many sprites crowd the screen. This makes the game almost unplayable! The sound is fair, at least as far as the original intro music is concerned, because during gameplay the ST version does not offer any kind of music, except of a few sound effects (not digitized as the Amiga's).
In-game music sample:
Some videos belong to retroshowcase.com (indicated); others not
CPU: Motorola 68000 16/32bit at 8mhz. 16 bit data bus/32 bit internal/24-bit address bus. MEMORY: RAM 512KB (1MB for the 1040ST models) / ROM 192KB GRAPHICS: Digital-to-Analog Converter of 3-bits, eight levels per RGB channel, featuring a 9-bit RGB palette (512 colors), 320x200 (16 color), 640x200 (4 color), 640x400 (monochrome). With special programming techniques could display 512 colors on screen in static images. SOUND: Yamaha YM2149F PSG "Programmable Sound Generator" chip provided 3-voice sound synthesis, plus 1-voice white noise mono PSG. It also has two MIDI ports, and support mixed YM2149 sfx and MIDI music in gaming (there are several games supported this).