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 & 16bit 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 Amiga 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 Although Shadow of the Beast (aka Beast) is a state of the art game on the Amiga, the Amstrad CPC version looks and plays quite the same as the ZX Spectrum. The Amstrad CPC has just a few more colors than the ZX version. In terms of details the game resembles the original as much as possible, with nicely drawn sprites and backgrounds. The game also has three levels of parallax scrolling (!) which is quite impressive for the CPC hardware (note that, comparably, the Commodore 64 version has more than six layers!) Scrolling is OK and has some slowdowns when things are getting crowded. Collision detection though is great and the sprites move fast. Soundwise, the CPC version includes most of the original tunes (limited to the sound hardware) while there are also some nice sound effects.
CPU: ZiLOG Z80 4MHZ MEMORY: 64 KB or 128 KB of RAM depending on the model (capable of being expanded to 512k using memory extension boards) GRAPHICS: Motorola 6845 address generator, Mode 0: 160x200 / 16 colors, Mode 1: 320x200 / 4 colors, Mode 2: 640x200 / 2 colors, A colour palette of 27 colors was supported SOUND: The CPC used the General Instrument AY-3-8912 sound chip, providing 3 channels Mono Sound (via internal speaker) but capable to offer Stereo Sound provided through a 3.5 mm headphones jack (with pretty impressive outcome!). Also, it is possible to play back digital sound samples at a resolution of approximately 5bit. This technique is very processor-intensive though.