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 and in 1993 for the Super Nintendo.
STORY / GAMEPLAY First Samurai takes place in a fictional feudal Japan world where an evil entity called The Demon King has taken over the world and unleashed hordes of powerful creatures aiming to destroy humanity. The great Master of the Samurai clan has tried to stop him but defenseless as he was towards Demon King's 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 and skillful 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 numerous monster-like enemies of the underworld, from simple bats to gigantic beasts, until you ultimately find and kill the Demon King. Along the way, you will find food and drink Japan's national "Sake" to increase your energy while you must always hit the magic pots with your sword to trigger a checkpoint (very useful). If your energy drops enough, you will end up losing your sword and you will have to fight the beasts with your bare hands, so the sword must be re-gained ASAP by killing enemies and get the magic pot they release when they die! To finish each level, you must confront a boss character. The gameplay is quite tough after a while, since the game hides a lot of traps. Fortunately the difficulty level is not frustrating.
GRAPHICS / SOUND The PC (MS-DOS) version supports VGA graphics and has great visuals including most of the original (Amiga) details. The number of colors is increased on the DOS and the difference is visible at the color gradients of the background skies compared to the original Amiga version. I've noticed though that the PC version misses some details in the backgrounds (i.e. check the moon at the sky on the Amiga version). Note that there are several impressive details such as flame pits and waterfalls that add a lot to the overall presentation of the game. The sprites move fast, although the control is a bit awkward, especially when jumping to reach higher grounds. The sound is good on the PC and includes the excellent intro tune from the original and, although inferior in quality (compared to the Amiga), it's still very pleasant to listen. The game also offers in-game sound effects which are rather poor compared to the sampled Amiga sound.
CPU: Various processors from Intel,AMD, Cyrix, varying from 4.77Mhz (Intel 8088) to 200Mhz (Pentium MMX) and up to 1995 (available on this site) MEMORY: 640Kb to 32MB RAM (typical up to 1996) GRAPHICS: VGA standard palette has 256 colors and supports: 640x480 (16 colors or monochrome), 640x350 in 16 colors (EGA compatability mode), 320x200 (16 or 256 colors). Later models (SVGA) featured 18bit color palette (262,144-color) or 24bit (16Milion colors), various graphics chips supporting hardware acceleration mainly for 3D-based graphics routines. SOUND: 8 to 16 bit sound cards: Ad-Lib featuring Yamaha YMF262 supporting FM synthesis and (OPL3) and 12-bit digital PCM stereo, Sound Blaster and compatibles supporting Dynamic Wavetable Synthesis, 16-bit CD-quality digital audio sampling, internal memory up to 4MB audio channels varying from 8 to 64! etc. Other notable sound hardware is the release of Gravis Ultrasound with outstanding features!