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Rastan Saga (Taito, Original)
Rastan Saga
Rastan Saga
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Rastan Saga

Rastan Saga is a scrolling fighter from Taito

The protagonist of Taito's 1987 hack and slasher is Rastan, a barbarian warrior modeled after Robert E. Howard's iconic Cimmerian hero. During the game's attract mode we see Rastan as an aged king sitting in his throne, who tells us that he "used to be a thief and a murderer", and asks us to sit beside him as he relates a story of adventure from his youthful days. After inserting a coin and pressing start, we see the young barbarian setting off on a mission to kill a dragon and return his head to the princess of the kingdom of Ceim. Rastan's exuberance is understandable, given the fact that the princess has promised to reward him with all the treasures of the Empire.

From that point the player takes control of Rastan and guides him through a number of fantasy-themed stages, on the way fighting hordes of mythological creatures and overcoming various obstacles and guardians. Each Round (i.e. stage) starts off with an outdoor area, followed by a castle area and then a showdown with the castle's master in the throne room. The outdoor areas focus more on combat, while the castle stages primarily test the player's platforming skills. The boss fights are quick and simple affairs, though by no means easy. The game gets off to an impressive start as the player finds himself traversing a rocky canyon on the way to the first castle. As you run forward killing various lizard warriors, hydras and giant bats, the sky turns from light blue to maroon purple to gold-tinged pink, at times resembling a 16-bit rendition of early impressionist paintings. It's a stunning effect. The controls are simple and precise, the action is fast-paced, and the enemies never stop coming ...


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