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Game info
msx

Barbarian II

Barbarian II
GenreAction Adventure
Developer / PublisherPalace Software
Released1989
Media1 x tape
Rating
Graphics:7.0
Sound:5.0
Gameplay:8.0
Overall:7.0
Reviewed byndial
Barbarian II: 'The Dungeon Of Drax' is the successor of the famous Barbarian fighting game released in 1987 by Palace Software. Dungeon of Drax is an extension of its predecessor, although the gameplay is different, and was released in 1989 for the 16bit Amiga, Atari ST, PC (MS-DOS), and the 8bit BBC Micro, Amstrad CPC, Commodore 64, MSX, Spectrum ZX, Acorn Electron and MSX computers.
 
Review
Barbarian IISTORY / GAMEPLAY
The story involves a final battle against Drax, who has secreted himself in his dungeon hideout. To get to him, you must battle your way through four scenarios: a volcanic landscape, a system of caves, a dungeon, and the final three rooms where you encounter two bodyguard monsters and then Drax himself.
Before the game starts you may choose to play either the barbarian or Princess Maria.
The first three levels are more-like mazes consisting of 20+ screens, and trying to find your way out by entering caves (at the first level) or doors (inside the castle later).
On each of the first three levels you must fight six different types of monster who are willing to kill you faster than you think! Those monsters can be from little angry chickens to heavily powered giants using their...bat! During your quest you can also gain more lives (initially 5) by collecting any skulls you may find. A truly interesting arcade adventure game (rather than a fighting game as its predecessor) which will offer you plenty of gameplay time!

GRAPHICS / SOUND
The MSX version is technically a good attempt on graphics, scrolling and gameplay but limited only to a few colors (up to 4-5), in contrast to its display hardware which could easily handle 16 colors on screen! Technically its closer to the ZX Spectrum version rather than the CPC, C64 or even the BBC Micro! But it contains most of the graphics details found on the superior CPC and Commodore and I was impressed by the sprite animation which is really good (as with all 8bit versions). Unfortunately there was no MSX2 port, which would be a really good conversion due to its advanced hardware.
The in-game sound is simple and limited to a couple of sound FX when hitting opponents. There is no music though, which is offered only in the CPC, C64 and ZX Spectrum versions (short-playing tunes) during gameplay.
 
Screenshots
  • Barbarian II
  • Barbarian II
  • Barbarian II
  • Barbarian II
  • Barbarian II
  • Barbarian II
  • Barbarian II
  • Barbarian II
 
Comparable platforms
Amstrad CPC
Commodore C64
Sinclair ZX Spectrum
Acorn BBC Micro
MSX
 
Hardware information

MSX

MSXCPU: ZiLOG Z80A at 3,58MHz
MEMORY: 32, 64 KB and 128 KB exist, 32KB ROM (16Kb for bios, 16Kb for Basic)
GRAPHICS: Texas Instruments TMS9918, Video RAM: 16 KB supporting a 16 color palette and up to 256x192 resolution (support 32 sprites).
SOUND: General Instrument AY-3-8910 (PSG), 3 channels, 8 octaves
read more...
The MSX (default) color palette
15-color YPbPr-encoded palette (15 on screen)
 
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