STORY / GAMEPLAY
You play the role of Sagyr the magician and you fly through multiple levels to avenge Xandrilia, a dark witch that transformed you into a creature that can change into a dragon, a griffon and an eagle (when you collect the relevant power-ups). Sagyr just wants to take back his human nature and destroy the witch forever! The game features seven levels of intense action and is one of the best shoot 'em up games for the Amiga and ST 16 bit home computers. On the way, you can find five different weapon systems plus additional bolt-on weaponry (Hunter, Destroyer, Shield, Auto-fire, etc). Note that there are fifteen types of bonuses to collect and each one can be gained as a power-up by killing an enemy! But beware since there are also some bonuses that may harm you i.e. by decreasing your weapons' power! Overall, this is a surely a very tough game since the enemies attack from all directions in a way that you just can't protect your dragon and you finally die! Difficulty level aside, this game is gorgeous and its success led the programmers to develop a sequel under the title “Lethal Xcess” in 1991, where you return to take revenge once more.
Wings of Death is considered one of the best games for the Atari STE computers as it uses the extra machine's capabilities, automatically detecting and putting into action additional resources like the STE's DMA sound with better quality sound effects and the Blitter chip with smoother animation. The STE version stays at the original ST 20+ colors on-screen so the graphics are identical between the two versions! As on the ST version, the STE version features a new sync-scrolling technique with which you can switch from 50 to 60Hz and thus the game's scrolling speed increases quite a lot.
I really liked the great music score at the intro/menu screen and also the in-game sound tunes, all composed by Jochen Hippel plus the speech synthesis and the sampled sound effects. Though the STE has greater sound power than the classic ST, the Amiga version stays superior with more clear 4-channel music scores. Nevertheless, WIngs of Death remains one of the best and well tuned games on the STE library.