First Samurai was originally developed by Vivid Image for the Commodore Amiga OCS/ECS home computers and also for the Atari ST, Commodore 64 and PC (MS-DOS) in 1992 and in 1993 for the Super Nintendo.
STORY / GAMEPLAY First Samurai takes place in a fictional feudal Japan world where an evil entity called The Demon King has taken over the world and unleashed hordes of powerful creatures aiming to destroy humanity. The great Master of the Samurai clan has tried to stop him but defenseless as he was towards Demon King's magic powers, he finally lost his life in battle. Before leaving this world, the Master summoned a Wizard Mage in order to train a faithful and skillful samurai warrior. You, as the samurai, fight your way through the game's levels using your sword and martial arts skills. But the quest is hard, since you are called to fight alone against numerous monster-like enemies of the underworld, from simple bats to gigantic beasts, until you ultimately find and kill the Demon King. Along the way, you will find food and drink Japan's national "Sake" to increase your energy while you must always hit the magic pots with your sword to trigger a checkpoint (very useful). If your energy drops enough, you will end up losing your sword and you will have to fight the beasts with your bare hands, so the sword must be re-gained ASAP by killing enemies and get the magic pot they release when they die! To finish each level, you must confront a boss character. The gameplay is quite tough after a while, since the game hides a lot of traps. Fortunately the difficulty level is not frustrating.
GRAPHICS / SOUND The Atari ST version has good graphics in both backgrounds and sprites but with less colors (up to 24) compared to the Amiga and PC. Also, some background details (like the planets, as illustrated in the gallery) are missing. Surprisingly, the sprites move quite good on screen but the overall scrolling is a bit slow. Note that there are several impressive details such as flame pits and waterfalls that add a lot to the overall presentation of the game. But, what the ST version really lacks is the sound quality. The music is a not as good as the original (Amiga) while the in-game sound effects and tunes are quite basic! Nevertheless, the game looks and sounds cool enough to attract your gaming interest! First Samurai is among the most decent Atari ST games!
CPU: Motorola 68000 16/32bit at 8mhz. 16 bit data bus/32 bit internal/24-bit address bus. MEMORY: RAM 512KB (1MB for the 1040ST models) / ROM 192KB GRAPHICS: Digital-to-Analog Converter of 3-bits, eight levels per RGB channel, featuring a 9-bit RGB palette (512 colors), 320x200 (16 color), 640x200 (4 color), 640x400 (monochrome). With special programming techniques could display 512 colors on screen in static images. SOUND: Yamaha YM2149F PSG "Programmable Sound Generator" chip provided 3-voice sound synthesis, plus 1-voice white noise mono PSG. It also has two MIDI ports, and support mixed YM2149 sfx and MIDI music in gaming (there are several games supported this).