Shadow of the Beast

• Publisher: Ocean / Psygnosis
• Developer:
DMA Design
Release Date: 1990
Code: Richard Swinfen

GFX: Steve Hammond
Music: Fredrik Segerfalk

ZZAP64 Game Rating: 86%
Our Game Rating: 86%


FILE: shadowofthebeastend.zip


> SHADOW OF THE BEAST by Ocean / Psygnosis

• Completed & Reviewed by Neil Collins

I don't care what anyone says - Shadow of the Beast is brilliant. It was a title that caused a huge stir on the Amiga for it's great graphics and sound, but many thought it lacked gameplay. I, for one, believed that with a little perseverance, the game was and still is a classic. Okay - so it's tricky, but very rewarding if you can get into it and study the enemy patterns.

The C64 version is a wonderful conversion. The sprites and backgrounds are very well drawn, and the parallax scrolling looks great. I am blown away by how much of the original is crammed into 64k. Yes, it's multi-load and there's a lot of disk swapping ("I own the cartridge version - Vinny"), but it's worth it. The game itself is a side-scrolling action/platform game. You play the part of Aarbron, a man who has been transformed into a beast through magic. You seek revenge on the evil beast lord Maletoth who executed your father and made you into his slave in your beast form. You have to check this game out.

The game is finally complete...

...The End.

HOW WAS IT COMPLETED?: Using an infinite energy cheat.

SO WHAT HAPPENS?: At the end of the final scene, you have to battle Maletoth. As this beast is gigantic in size, you only get to see it's foot, which you have to attack while dodging it's swipes. Once the beast is defeated you get to see the end screen. The final screen shows a misty forest background with a message written on top of it. The message reads: 'CONGRATULATIONS. YOU HAVE FREED YOURSELF FROM THE SHADOW OF THE BEAST'. The game then ends.


  • Neil: A big disappointment. After all that hard adventuring, I hoped it would be far better. 3/10.

  • Vinny: WHAT?!?! I can't believe that THIS is the ending! The game is so good and really big that I almost expected a brilliant ending :( I am so shocked that there isn't an ending tune or animation - not even an epilogue :( What a load of cack. 1.5/10 from me.

  • Brendan Phoenix: Never played it on the C64, but I loved the Amiga version - the intro music is still one of the best I have ever heard on any format.

    The graphics were awesome as well, but I remember being really disappointed when I saw the ending. Alas, the C64 version has exactly the same pants ending. Psygnosis had previous with this - great introductions followed by rubbish endings.

  • Kungfufurby: I'm surprised. An actual graphical Congratulations instead of text. That's different... but still not what an ending is supposed to be like to be classified as high quality here.

  • Andy Vaisey: I liked the Amiga version too. OK, the gameplay lacked a little depth, but Shadow makes my personal list of memorable 16Bit releases, along with Xenon 2, Blood Money, Starray and a ton of others. Good days!

    I never played the C64 version till the early 2000's when getting into emulation. But my, what a surprise! I consider this superior to the Amiga version considering what's been 'wrung' out of the machine.

    Shame about that ending though. Precisely copying and converting a game surely shouldn't mean the rubbishy parts as well? Was there space on the cart for something better?

  • Frank Gasking: I agree with what everyone has said so far - Shadow of the Beast is a superb game and conversion overall. The game was by a guy called Richard Swinfen who only produced this one game before leaving the industry completely according to Mike Daily. God only knows what else the guy could have done had he stuck around a bit.

    I have very fond memories of the game - in particular when my older brother asked about what I wanted for Christmas and that he'd get me a game. At the time I had just got issue 15 of Commodore Format which had the Ocean GS cart advert in (About late November 1991?), and I asked for Shadow of the Beast (a bit cheekily I guess considering the price of them!). I didn't expect to get anything as he was a bit short on cash at the time (but I didn't mind)... but on Boxing day at my mum's birthday he surprised me with it! Sadly I pretty much used the "So sad be the fatso" cheat on the title screen after only a few games, but the music, the graphics and overall atmosphere kept me coming back and completing on a regular basis. It was also my first GS related cartridge game and blew me away with the instant loading.

    The ending is also correct for the Cartridge version too. A huge shame considering all the effort put into the various screens. Possibly they just ran out of memory allocated for the cart (512k I think?) which might also explain why the interluding pictures are missing from the conversion (Which sit along with the text in the Amiga version).

FINAL SAY: A huge anti-climax. I love the game, but have to admit the ending sucks.

G.E. RATING: 2 / 10

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Copyright İVinny Mainolfi