Producer: US Gold/Silvertime
Retail Price: £7.95
Author: Simon Finch
Lady Wilde and her infant daughter are the only survivors of a plane crash. Waking up, concussed, in the middle of the Amazon jungle, Lady W realises that her daughter has been kidnapped by Amazons, and she sets out to rescue her child.
Driven on by her maternal feelings, during her quest Lady Wilde has to enter into one-on-one combat with a series of Amazon warriors, dodge high and low flying arrows and nasty spikeballs hurled out by vicious plants, and contend with dragons. Setting out with little more than a leotard and a club, she makes her way across a large scrolling landscape split into ten zones. Ms Wilde can't move through the landscape unless she kills each and every Amazon Woman who bars her path - and there's no shortage of pugnacious tribeswomen...
Your heroine can walk left and right as well as jump and duck, and she has three fighting moves in her repertoire. The Chop delivers a mean overarm blow to the bonce of the opposing warrior if she is in range, while Thrust aims the weapon to the midriff and Slice is a ducking, hacking move. To begin with, the Amazons are armed with clubs, but after zone four they turn up with swords in hand, and the girls in zones eight, nine and ten are axe-wielding madwomen. Lady Wilde can swap her weapon for that of a vanquished opponent, but the exchange seems to be mainly cosmetic - you don't appear to gain extra reach or power from different weapons.
The top third of the screen is devoted to a scrolling radar system which reveals about three screens-worth of the landscape in miniature, below which icons representing Lady W, her opponents and jungle nasties are displayed. The Aggressive Aristocrat appears as a chunky arrow containing the number of lives she has remaining, while the Amazons appear as slender vertical arrows. Spikers - nasty plants which hurl energy sapping projectiles - are also shown on the radar, but dragons are impervious to the scanner and pop up without warning in the last four zones.
As in Fighting Warrior, arrows whizz through the playing area, zooming across the screen at head height and ankle level. Contact with an arrow or spiky vegetable projectile, like a biff from an Amazon's weapon, reduces Lady W's energy reserves displayed on a horizontal bar under the radar. Each Amazon enters the fray with lots of energy bar which has to be worn down before she'll die co-operatively, and allow the heroine to continue on her quest to rescue darling daughter.
During a scrap, both combatants gain a little energy if they rest, but just to make the rescue mission that bit more tricky, Lady Wilde is up against the clock. If she doesn't get to the end of a zone within the four minute time limit she loses one of her four lives. Points are won for each blow landed, for killing an Amazon, avoiding an arrow or spiky projectile, and for killing dragons. At the end of a zone a bonus of ten times the number of seconds remaining on the clock is added to the score. Killing an Amazon earns a bonus of ten times her intelligence level. Intelligence level? The inlay states that the Amazon warriors have 'floating intelligence', set according to the level on which they appear. This means the further you get into the game, the smarter your opponents.
Should you fight your way through all ten levels of the game, Lady Wilde is reunited with her offspring and a happy ending ensues. Are you woman enough to enter the jungle?
Control keys: Z back, X forwards, M duck, K jump, X & L thrust, M & L slice, K & L chop, X & K jump forwards, M & Z change weapon; H pause, S start, Q quit
Joystick: Kempston, Cursor, Interface 2
Keyboard play: responsive, sensible layout
Use of colour: mainly monochrome
Graphics: smooth parallax scrolling - animation a bit Tir Na Noggish
Sound: nice tune plus billing noises
Skill levels: one
Screens: ten level scrolling landscape
Oh dear! Another fighting game. If it was full of new ideas and new moves I wouldn't complain, but it's a simple variant on the theme. The attacking moves are very limited, and really aren't good enough when compared to the sixteen moves available in most beat em ups. The graphics are quite neat, and the women are nicely animated but the game seems to lack some of the addictive qualities that should be there. Taking everything into account, it's not a bad game, but after a while the challenge begins to wane and boredom sets in. I think it's a bit too similar to other fighting games to be anything special.
Legend of the Amazon Women strikes me as a sort of Fighting Warrior, starring women, and not too impressive at that. The game has nice graphics with a few spot beeps but it's nothing out of the ordinary. I found this game as unplayable as Fighting Warrior and the game idea is even more boring - every woman I came to fight was the same as the last. Sometimes they had swords, sometimes axes, but there still wasn't enough variety to keep me attached to this game -even if there was a load of long haired women running all over my telly. Nothing special, overall.
While there are a few neat touches in this game, including the smooth parallax scrolling and time limits to complete each level, taken as a whole Legend is nothing special. Sometimes the characters blend into the background, making life a bit tricky. The way in which the characters lope across the screen is strongly reminiscent of Tir Na Nog, while the scrapping sequences reminded me of Fighting Warrior. If you're into beat em ups, this is another one for your collection, but otherwise it has little to offer.
Here it is.... that game! The one with the scantily clad females on the cover that's been corrupting our morals with its advertising for months! Ed carefully wraps it in plain brown paper to spare my blushes and I rush home, filled with trepidation. Will the on-screen Amazonians show the same disregard for basic anatomy as their paper peers?
Fear not. For the first time in history the pixel outperforms the pencil. In fact your heroine, Lady Wilde and the inimical Amazons are well animated (animazonated?) in the style of Dun Darach. The only possible complaint is that, even with such a determined tread, the bits you'd expect to bob up and down don't - hair, silly!
Which is just as well as there isn't too much of a game behind the creepers and carved stones of the jungle. Here Lady W. finds herself stranded (plane crash, don'tcha know?) in search of a lost carrycot - which I admit doesn't sound so hot as an ark, though it does contain her daughter.
Luckily her path lies left to right as that's the only direction in which she can steadfastly stride. Unluckily she's going down a one way street of (gasp!) Amazon Women who recognise this representative of the ruling classes as an enemy of women's solidarity, trapped by the role model of mother.... (Fire extinguisher! Rachael's going to burn her bra again - Ed). So they try to clobber her!
Pretty soon the jungle has become the scene for another combat game but one with only three attack moves! There's a jab to the stomach, a slice at the ankles and a chop to the head.
The other main jungle trouble comes from dragons who've dug in for the duration but emerge every so often to make life a misery for visiting British peers. Attacking them is tricky and you can't just walk on by - with only four minutes to complete each section you've got to be aggressive. Dragons don't appear on your radar either.
Radar?! This being a hi-tech tropic there's a scanner above you, to warn of approaching Amazons, Spikers - which are deadly flying conkers - and stray arrows from the local darts team's practice session! Assorted airborne menaces can be jumped or ducked, depending on their height but be warned that they're rather advanced too.
All of which is slightly less credible than Tarzan and slightly more exciting than watching paint dry. Apart from the smooth scrolling and neat animation the game lacks variety. The blow to the midriff every time your opponent advances is slow but effective and though you can enliven the catfight by shouting insults ('Fat bitch, your mother wears army boots!' being a favourite) the fun soon passes. I think I'd rather leave the sprog to a decent Amazonian upbringing.
There's been an explosion in martial-arts sims since The Way Of The Exploding Fist, as RICKY EDDY and ROBIN CANDY observe in this good beat-'em-up guide. And the ninjas just won't lie down - all they want to do is...
They started three years ago, when Bug Byte revealed an interesting little number called Kung Fu. It was an admirable wireframe attempt to produce a martial-arts simulation - 'probably the most unusual game to be seen on the Spectrum for a long while,' said CRASH in amazement.
But sceptics thought the genre would never catch on. It took Melbourne House to show them the way - The Way Of The Exploding Fist, which sold more than 150,000 copies for the Spectrum and nearly half a million across all formats.
Since then, nothing's kept the combat games down. They've been grotesque (Barbarian), skillful (Fist) and downright silly (Ninja Hamster).
The genre soon caught the nickname 'beat-'em-ups', as the gameplay always involves a player beating up his opponent, whether the computer or another player.
And with the advent of the 128s and their improved sound chips, the fighting effects became more hideous - the most disturbing beat-'em-up sounds must be the animal squeals on Ninja Hamster.
But most of these martial-arts simulations are so unrealistic, set in pseudo-Oriental fantasy worlds, that it's just harmless surrogate violence - and everyone likes a bit of that.
LEGEND OF THE AMAZON WOMEN
70% Issue 29
ROBIN: Lady Wilde and her infant daughter are the only survivors of a plane crash in the Amazon jungle. Recovering from the shock of the crash, Lady Wilde realises that her daughter has been kidnapped by the Amazons, a horde of woman warriors.
To rescue her, Lady Wilde must defeat every Amazon in her way in a battle to the death.
Legend Of The Amazon Women is little more than an average beat-'em-up: there aren't many moves, so it's quite easy to defeat your opponents. The animation is adequate, but not particularly impressive - like the game in general.
RICKY: Legend Of The Amazon Women is a combat cross of Gargoyle Games's Tir Na Nog and Melbourne House's Fighting Warrior. But it's dated and has little going for it. The animation is reasonable, but the uninteresting gameplay doesn't hold up.
They came from across the waters of the Atlantic. They came wearing very little clothing, and they came about six months after the adverts first started appearing.
They came in obvious answer to a desperate cry from US Gold - 'Send us a martial arts program!'. Yes, The Amazon women have finally arrived.
What we have is an all-female Fighting Warrior. The Wild Women of Wongo meet Exploding Fist.
The plot is absurd: you play Lady Wilde, whose plane has crashed in the jungles of South America. Your baby daughter has been spirited away by the savage Amazon women, and you must fight a whole string of these superwomen in order to rescue the helpless little thing.
Control is simple. You can move left and right, jump up and duck, or jump forward. With the fire button held down, you can thump your foe on the head, in the belly or round the shins. At first you only have a club, but you can exchange that for your enemy's weapons if she has better - on Level 4 the Amazons carry swords, and at Level 8 axes.
The play is split into ten zones, and each one must be completed within four minutes. That's not too hard a limit - if you can't do it in the time then it's probably because you're dead. I found the early Amazons rather thick and easy to despatch once a good rhythm of play was established. But after two or three have been killed they get a lot smarter, and you begin to understand why Wonder Woman always wins in the end.
There are additional hazards. Every so often arrows fly across the screen, some high, some low, and there's a peculiar little plant called a Spiker which hurls a couple of oversized conkers at you. It's important to learn to avoid those quickly, as you cannot afford the wasteful drain in energy.
Graphics are in monochrome omen - green and black - and the jungle backgrounds are nicely cluttered with old ruins and hairy creepers. At times it is difficult to see the arrows and spikes against the background, which is probably deliberate and certainly realistic. There are clearer areas, and it's worth trying to move into the open when dodging. Animation is also competent, although with only a few movements compared to most combat games it jolly well should be.
I was well-prepared to hate this game, given that it's late and backed by one of the most appalling ad campaigns.
In fact it's great fun to play, and I wouldn't mind betting it'll do well. A little easy, though.
Publisher: US Gold
Joystick: Kempston, Sinclair. Cursor
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