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Melbourne House
Arcade: Solo beat-em-up
ZX Spectrum 48K
Multiple schemes (see individual downloads)

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Chris Bourne
Chris Bourne

THE ORIGINS of karate are part of the history of the mystic Orient, or so we always thought. Melbourne House clearly reckons they go further back to Ancient Egypt, and has brought out Fighting Warrior to prove it.

Like the immensely successful Way of the Exploding Fist, it is an animated battle game, with you as an Egyptian warrior fighting a series of monstrous opponents by bashing them around the ribs with a large sword.

Similarities with Fist are obvious. The same style of combat is used, but with fewer options. There are essentially only three blows - duck, jump forwards and jump backwards. That makes it rather easier to play, but probably less satisfying in the long run.

The animations are terrific, with a variety of monsters - the winged demon which kicks you in the guts requires quite different tactics to the dog-headed creature whose main defence is to cower on the ground.

Magic bottles appear as you progress - assuming your energy levels last out long enough - which may contain hazards or give you invincible strength. Use them at your peril.

The point of all that is to liberate a princess from the tomb. If you get that far, watch enthralled as the screen displays a welter of spinning mummy bandages in the final scene. We won't spoil the surprise by revealing all, but it's well worth the effort of playing all the way through.

Fighting Warrior is karate for kicks and should appeal to a younger, or possibly less nifty set of fingers than Fist requires. It is good fun, and boasts one of the flashiest title sequences we've seen in a long time. Good solid entertainment, but liable to be eclipsed by its sister program in the charts.

Chris Bourne

Publisher: Melbourne House
Price: £7.95
Memory: 48K
Joystick: Cursor, Kempston, Sinclair