First Samurai was released by Mirrorsoft for the Commodore Amiga in 1991.
The games coder Raffaele Cecco already had a glowing reputation due to his exploits on 8-bit machines such as the ZX Spectrum (and must go down as one of the great Spectrum programmers) with arcade games such as Exolon and Cybernoid.
As far as we are concerned this classic game enhanced his reputation further with most Amiga gamers.
Classic arcade action - First Samurai Amiga Longplay:
In the game you play the part of the 'first samurai' who is well versed in martial arts and swordplay.
The evil demon king had killed your samurai master and travlled through time to the present day - and you were out for revenge. A classic arcade game back story right there.
You begin the game armed only with your fists and feet. Dispatching a few bad guys increases your 'sword power' and topping it up allows the wizard king to grant you you're sword - which was accompanied by a cry from our game character of 'My Sword!'
Now you really can swing into action, hacking your way through the nasties with ease.
Dotted around the landscape were various items. Picking up treasure boosted your points and food was always valuable to keep your energy levels topped up.
You could also pick up throwing weapons shuch as daggers and axes which really helped you out as you made your way through the levels.
Hidden items could be found by destroying part of wall, the ground and so on.
If you're energy level reached empty then the wizard king granted you some extra 'energy' in exchange for your sword - accompanied by 'Oh No, My Sword!'. It would be back to fists and feet until you dispatched enough bad guys to earn your sword again.
The game was played across 8-way scrolling levels, which ranged from the medieval era to a nicely imagined futuristic Japan.
In classic arcade tradition there were end of level bosses to contend with too. For example at the end of the first medieval era you had to do battle with a huge dragon type creature. Once you had defeated it you moved on to the next stage.
The game was completed once you fought your way through all of the levels and confronted the evil demon king. Finish him off and you finish the game.
The graphics were excellent at the time, with the character animation and backgrounds (complete with animated waterfalls and burning fires) a joy to behold.
A mention must go to the sound and music too. The in-game music was nice and atmospheric, and the spot effects for finding treasure, sword swinging and hitting were excellent. Listen as you approach a burning fire too - at the time this was impressive stuff.
There was plenty to play through in this classic amiga game and it really added a nice twist to the platform arcade adventure genre.
We recommend getting hold of the real Amiga hardware - but if not then download an Amiga emulator and download First Samurai. Alternatively you could try and play it online.
Please see our other Amiga retro game reviews - all links are listed in alphabetical order. Cheers guys
GENRE: Arcade Game (Arcade Adventure)
RELEASE DATE: End of 1991
RELEASED BY: Mirrorsoft
DEVELOPER(S): Raffael Cecco, Teoman Irmak, Nick Jones
PRICE: £25.99 - UK
Classic Games, Arcade Games and Amiga Games