Unless otherwise stated this review is not affiliated with any other website nor has the review been authorised by the copyright company or indiviudal author. As of 17th July 2017 this encompasses every review within ZXSR. If you would like this or any other review removed from this website, please contact the website administrator here.

Arcade: Solo beat-em-up
ZX Spectrum 48K/128K

Other Links

Paul Sumner, Nick Roberts, Mike Dunn
Chris Bourne

You are one of a select band of fighting warriors attempting to become a Samurai War Lord in this martial-arts simulation (see Run It Again this issue for all the others!).

To prove you worthy of the title, your fighting and mental skills must be tested in three Oriental disciplines: karate, kendo (a form of fencing) and samurai. In each of these techniques you need to overcome an acknowledged master - such as the terrifying Ta Ling, who catches cobras and makes stew from their remains to increase his fitness.

Each opponent has a favourite means of attack; he might rely upon strength, speed or skill, and you must respond with the best defensive strategy. For instance, your speed might neutralize his strength, or your skill might help you beat a very fast opponent. The choice is yours. You can also choose the skill level of your opponent; the better he is, the more points you'll earn if you emerge the victor.

Preparation is essential before every contest, to improve your abilities through circuit and weight training, running, isometrics, breathing, brick-breaking, sparring and meditation.

After each phase of combat, attack and defence tactics must be chosen by allocating five points among four key attributes: skill, stamina, strength and speed. An unsuccessful defence strategy or wasteful attacking can diminish you in all four areas, but wise fighting and sound training can earn you extra attack strength from the watching Supreme Master Chu Yu.

After the first rounds of karate and kendo you may meditate or change tactics - but during samurai the action is continuous, and you must defeat four opponents as you fight to the death to become a Samurai War Lord.


'Gremlin's first martial-arts simulations had a strong atmosphere, usually created by lifelike graphics and effective sound. But both are absent from this latest (and hopefully last, if they keep coming like this...) wireframe slant-eyed game. The graphical presentation is hopeless - it's obvious that more time has been spent on the character set than on designing the game. The moves are quite easy to carry out, but they all look the same. It's all a bit old hat.' PAUL ... 41%

'Samurai Trilogy is simply three Way Of The Exploding Fist-type games on one tape. The graphics aren't anything to shout about, and when your warrior jumps over the background his head changes colour This is just another run-of -the-mill martial-arts game.' NICK ... 85%

'This is one of the worst beat- 'em-ups around. The graphics are poor, and there's not much playability or addictivity -Samurai Trilogy seems like nothing more than a program put together hastily to satisfy orders. The character set is nice, though.' MIKE ... 41%

Joysticks: Cursor, Kempston,
Graphics: well-defined characters against a simple background
Sound: no tune, a few spot FX
Options: playable in four languages; opponent's skill definable; joystick control only (no keys)
General Rating: A lacklustre martial-arts simulation.


Screenshot Text

The way of the rude hand signals: Samurai Trilogy.