Rastan Saga


Born in 1987

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  • Taito

  • FormatArcade & Video Games
  • TypeHack em up
  • SystemArcade

Rastan Saga (also known as just ‘Rastan’) is a side-scrolling hack-em-up with lots of ascending, descending and rope swinging. It is inspired by the Conan the barbarian stories and was released at a time when fantasy fighters were becoming popular in the arcades, with releases like Golden Axe, Rygar and Black Tiger guzzling down coins. 

So watch out Mr Conan, Rastan may steal that crown off your head! 
Shaun Holly

Our titular hero must slash the bejesus out of hundreds of creatures, many of them inspired by Greek mythology, across rocky terrains and dark forests. After everyone’s dead he enters a castle to battle more lizard men, centaurs, chimeras, harpies, medusas and blue dudes with four arms throwing baguettes (I think). After this is a single screen boss battle with a super-tough enemy. Repeat this through five more landscapes and you have finished the game. 

Rastan has a health meter which depletes as he takes hits, but there are also obstacles that cause instant death on contact, such as spikes, water and fire pits. He can power-up his trusty sword to an axe, a hammer and a fire sword, each more powerful and with a longer attack range than the last. Armour type pick-ups will increase his resilience to attacks, and by Zeus’s plums do you need them. This game becomes incredibly hard pretty early on.

Your four-directional sword attacks are useful, as is your Mario-style ground pound thing, but I can’t help thinking that a Castlevania whip 8-way attack system would make the game fairer. The theme music is incredible, and no doubt memorable to those who played the game for any length of time back in the day. 

The game was popular enough to be ported to many home systems, and to spawn a sequel, with different names (Rastan Saga II, Nastar, Nastar Warrior), depending in which territory you played. A second sequel, Warrior Blade – Rastan Saga Episode III, followed in 1991.

So watch out Mr Conan, Rastan may steal that crown off your head and put it on his own head and then walk away without even bothering to look back to see what you are doing. (That sounded better in my mind).

Review by Shaun Holly

Rastan Saga Arcade- Gameplay

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Conan the Barbarian - Trailer

  • Taito

  • FormatArcade & Video Games
  • TypeHack em up
  • SystemArcade
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