In a tiny village at the heart of ancient Japan, a young samurai and his master combed the streets collecting taxes from the local peasants. All was well until the evil Demon King left his mountain perch and reigned terror on the village people (was that before or after YMCA?). Soon after, the entire village was trashed and the inhabitants brutally murdered. The samurai's master stood forth and challenged the demon to a fight to the death. Fifteen minutes later, the master was dying on the floor, blood pouring from gaping wounds.
For years after this the good people of the hills fought bravely in an attempt to defeat the evil demon. Eventually, a saviour arrived from the high seas. The Wizard-Mage and his arsenal of magic were the last hope. They fought night after night, lightning and fire keeping the skies aglow, until the demon, fearing defeat, launched himself into the future.
The people of the hills celebrated this triumph, yet the young samurai couldn't rest. He had to avenge the cold blooded murder of his beloved master. He begged the Wizard-Mage to follow him through time in search of the demon king. Eventually, he would meet the demon face to face, and destroy him at the foot of his mountain throne.
Playing the part of the first samurai, your mission unfolds through 10 levels of tortuous terrain. The first tour levels take place in downtown Japan and continue with a high speed journey on a subway train. Eventually, you'll reach the Demon King's horrendous domains, which are rife with weapon wielding hordes. Beyond this, is the classier side of town and the Demon King's towering skyscraper! To succeed, you'll have to conquer all sections and defeat the Demon once and for all.
Stripped bare, you may be lead to believe that First Samurai is a combination of oriental hack'n'slash with a touch of platform strategy thrown in for good measure. It soon becomes apparent however, that the gameplay and levels are a lot a deeper. Mastering the art of unarmed combat and sword handling is imperative, yet it never outweighs the less obvious tasks within the game.
To complete a level, several obstacles must be overcome. The immediate danger is provided by the hordes of adversaries. To begin with, these take the shape of bats, fire breathing dragons and rats. Most are destroyed by a single hit and stay dead, others take several hits and occasionally return after death. As the levels increase in difficulty, so does the intelligence and strength of the minions.
The other immediate danger is the landscape as the entire background is animated. This allows lot huge burning pits and massive, full screen waterfalls. Each must be overcome in one way or another, sometimes only with the aid of the Wizard-Mage.
SLICING AND DICING
You begin your quest without the magic sword. Once you've collected sufficient Mystical Energy, (which is measured by the length of the sword on the status panel) the sword will appear and remain yours until the Mystical Energy Rating drops beneath 50%.
Mystical energy is used in other situations too. For instance. Regeneration Pots are scattered throughout each landscape. A charged pot marks the position on the landscape to where our hero will be returned when you lose a life or transport via a magic potion. To activate a pot, a large amount of Mystical Power must be invested and therefore, you may have to part with your sword.
Obviously, there are several other objects which are of some use: bells summon the magic power of the Wizard-Mage, food baskets top up out hero's strength, treasure chests contain rich rewards and swords, axes and grenades provide long range weaponry. At the end of each level most of these items are provided in bulk so you begin the following level at full strength. However, this all depends on whether you can destroy the massive end-of-level guardian first.
The first episode of the popular game Second Samurai. It has a similar style to the mentioned 2nd episode. You have to walk through many levels and butch all hostile ninjas. :) Of course it features simple graphics in compare with the Second Samurai AGA. Yet its a good game!
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