Let me tell you a story

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THE Golden Tribe of Bacula have overrun the twin planet Mu and taken captive the beautiful Princess Shetazzzzzzzz... Just who is the frustrated sci-fi writer who thinks up this crap? I could do better myself. In fact I think I will.

The 40ft high Flavians of Flatulence have kidnapped the sister of the High Lord Tebbo of the planet creationscheme. Only you can save the universe by getting on your bike and destroying everything in sight.
This will convince the Flavians that you are indeed a force to be reckoned with and that they will apologise, return your sister and probably offer to repaint your house as well.

No matter how it is described, the polot boils down to the "switch off your brain and shoot" variety, with the currently in vogue optional extra weapons. Two players can play together, one driving a car, the other flying a hoverplane. When only one person is playing, he or she alternates between the car and plane on different levels.

You travel up a series of raods, through jungles and across deserts towards something the resident aliens take offence at your seeing. Since flying around the locals is not offered as an option, your only recourse of action is to explain matters to them with a subtle blend of diplomacy and deadly bombs.

As it always does, the dual player option adds to the enjoyment of the game. However in Last Duel this is only achieved by having two separate games being played on the same screen at once with little cooperation or competition. Later on both players fly almost identical ships with the inevitable "Aargh! Which one is me?!" problems.

At the end of every level there is the customary larger than the average creatre to kill. This can take the form of several barely-animated segmented aliens or a nasty creepy crawly. Killing them is a positive pleasure.

Once these have been dispatched you are treated to a well drawn scantily-clad woman chained to a wall, crying "Save me!". It looks nice. Ahem. But it's very, very tacky.

The graphics are reasonably good, if a little slow. The car looks like a Sumo wrestler with a bun on his head, but otherwise everything is unremarkable, with the possible exception of the organic-looking aliens on later levels.

With vertical scrolling routines lifted directly from LED Storm, this game seems to have been knocked up pretty quickly. The gameplay is workmanlike, if not entirely exciting. There are a couple of annoying bugs and thoughtless omissions, such as your spaceship not actually exploding when hit by enemy fire, just reappearing moments later at a different place on the screen.

At the end of the day we have nothing new: Fight your way up the fortified landscape, shoot all and sundry. The different levels certianly bring variety. Staying interested long enough to seem them is another matter.

Last Duel logo

US Gold, Amiga £19.99

Far off in space, a long way from our home, exist two planets - Mu and Bacula. For many years they've lived in harmony, the people of both worlds respecting each other. This peace was shattered when a renegade tribe known as the Galden decided to invade...

Starting with Bacula, they decimated the Government forces and set up a huge Armada with the intention of invading Mu and taking it over for themselves. A small band of Galden warriors entered the Royal House of Mu and kidnapped Queen Sheeta, holding her hostage until their demands were met.

The Royal House of Mu could never be seen to be taken advantage of, so instead of weakening, the ministers signed up their two finest warrior pilots and equipped them with the latest ground/air assault vehicles. They had to fight their way through the six defence zones the Galden set up on Bacula and rescue their queen. If they were unsuccessful there would be no hope for the people of Mu and Bacula; this would have to be their Last Duel!

Golden weapon and supply pods can be found along the way and shot to reveal add-ons (P for power guns, T for extra time). So get on with it!

Gordon Houghton This is really good fun. It's not so much the brill graphics - they're nicely detailed but confined to a pretty small area anyway - or they really good sound; it's just got bags of playability, especially in two-player mode. In fact, the only thing wrong with it is that it's a bit too easy - none of us have ever played the obscure arcade original, so we can't give you a conversion factor, but I wouldn't have thought it was this simple... Still, if you're an Amiga owner who likes a cross between dodging, racing and blasting, you could do a lot worse. Check it out.
Maff Evans What a great little shoot 'em up this is! The sound and graphics are very well done: brilliant detail with loads of colour and some clear and atmospheric FX and music, even if the tunes are a bit 'poppy' for my tastes! The control is very precise so that it's never the computer's fault that you crashed into the wall - and the extra weapons are very powerful indeed, just as they should be; none of this 'pea shooter Mk II' rubbish! My only qualm is that it's a bit on the easy side - I managed to finish it in an afternoon's frantic blasting - but it's still fun to play even after you've finished it. Fans of the arcade original and shoot 'em up fans in general should check it out; it's not at all bad!
Zzap's Rockford: Just who is the mysterious pantomine horse?