First Samurai was originally produced by Vivid Image for the Commodore Amiga OCS/ECS home computers and also for the Atari ST, Commodore 64 and PC (MS-DOS) in 1992. The Super Nintendo version was developed in 1993.
STORY / GAMEPLAY The Demon King has taken over the world and unleashed hordes of powerful creatures having one and only goal: To destroy humanity. The great Master of the Samurai clan has tried to stop him but defenseless as he was towards Demon King's great magic powers, he finally lost his life in battle. Before leaving this world, the Master summoned a Wizard Mage in order to train a faithful samurai warrior. You, as the samurai, fight your way through the game's levels using your sword and martial arts skills. But the quest is hard, since you are called to fight alone against lots of monster-like enemies of the underworld, from simple bats to huge beasts until you ultimately reach and kill the Demon King.
GRAPHICS / SOUND Though the SNES version followed a year later the original Amiga and though the SNES hardware is more potent compared to the OCS machines, it doesn't actually differ too much from the OCS Amiga version. The color palette used is quite identical to the Amiga good with awesome backgrounds and sprites. The in-game music sounds as if it was taken directly from the ancient Japanese culture. The sampled sound FX that accompany our hero's actions are done nicely. The SNES owners surely enjoy a decent First Samurai version but, to be honest, I personally prefer the original Amiga, which kept me going for hours and hours; Hallelujah!!
In-game music sample:
Some videos belong to retroshowcase.com (indicated); others not
Amiga (original version)
Super Nintendo (SNES)
CPU: Ricoh 5A22, based on a 16-bit CMD/GTE 65c816 core, Input: 21.28137 MHz Bus: 3.55 MHz, 2.66 MHz, or 1.77 MHz MEMORY: Main RAM: 128Kb / Video RAM: 64Kb / Sound RAM: 64Kb GRAPHICS: Progressive: 256x224, 512x224, 256x239, 512x239 and Interlaced: 512x448, 512x478 / Pixel Depth 2,4,7,8 bpp (8 to 11 bpp dorect) / Colors: 32768 (Depth 15bit) / Sprites: 128 (64x64 pixels) / Backgrounds: Up to 4 planes each up to 1024x1024 pixels / Special: Mode 7 matrix operations. (1 layer 128x128 tiles out of 256 with 256 colors) SOUND: Sony SPC700, Sony DSP: 16-bit ADPCM, 8 channels. Output: 32 kHz 16-bit stereo