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1987
Arcade: Platform
£7.95
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
Multiple schemes (see individual downloads)

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63
John Gilbert
Chris Bourne

Mushy, lovey-dovey stuff this. Kage, the hero of our legend, takes Kiri, his latest girl, for a walk in the beautiful oriental forest. The trees are tall, the mould is green and the Dragon King comes along in his carriage to kidnap her.

The King disappears and you're left on the screen of this Taito coin-op conversion to take care of his ten Ninjas. These warriors swing in from both sides of the screen, brandishing Stiletto knives and Shurikens - silver throwing stars which do damage to flesh.

Pretty standard stuff so far. The bad news is it gets worse. Even a luke-warm arcade player could beat the Ninjas and Dragon King on all four games screens. The techniques you use are almost entirely obvious when you first look at each screen.

In the first, for instance, wait in the middle of the screen until two Ninjas swing down at you. As they swing closer together move to one side of the screen or another, under one of the Ninjas so that they end up on your left or right. Then run, turn suddenly when they're a safe distance from you and fire some Shurikens.

The Ninjas will all fall fairly easily.

When you've polished off the Ninjas the Dragon King descends from the trees and starts to breathe flames at you. Don't touch him, just follow him around, hit him ten times with your Shurikens and he'll die easily enough.

Screen three is levels and ladders The screen's a horrible yellow colour, emblazoned with black patterns which makes it almost impossible to see any attacking Ninjas.

If you reach the fourth level - not difficult by any standards - you'll have a good chance of rescuing Kiri from the talons of the Dragon King. She's hidden on the top floor of the King's gaudy palace and, yet again, you've got to defeat her guards and release her after you've killed the Dragon King.

Not the most difficult Taito coin op converted by imagine into not the most difficult game on the planet...

Label: Imagine
Price: £7.95
Joystick: various
Memory: 48K/128K
Reviewer: John Gilbert

**

Pedestrian coin-op conversion of a fairly old game. Take your Shurikens to the three tops to defeat the colour clash.

2/5