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SALES CURVE £24.99 * Joystick

The Galaxy is in danger. A far-off planet has bred a race of super-powered cyborg creatures with which they plan to spread their empire throughout the peace-loving systems of the Galaxy. Various races have fallen foul of the evil forces, their forms being taken and warped to produce more cybernetic forces for the cyborg's nefarious deeds.

Only one hope remains: The only race that posed the cyborgs any serious problems were the dragons, but even they have been crushed under the metallic heel of the invaders. The last great dragon has been captured and taken to the cyborgs' base, its immense power being tapped to supply their troops.

You play a cyborg warrior who has decided to rebel against the evil and oppressive forces of your tyrannical leaders. Why? Simple. Your cyborg form is part machine, part dragon.

Your quest is to battle from the front line, which is where you have been sent, back to the very centre of the cyborg complex in an attempt to rescue the mighty dragon. You begin as you reach the surface of the cyborg planet, armed only with your designated single-shot laser and fireball weaponry. This can be upgraded by picking up the power-pods originally intended for cyborg troops. These include fan-shots, enlarged fireballs, bouncing crystal-orb guns and ring-lasers.

As well as these weaponsystems, you also have the ability to utilise your dragon form in combat, by way of your specially armoured tail. This can be moved and coiled to either protect you from enemy attacks or to kill cyborg warriors.

It's down to you. Use your armour and weapons to release the last dragon and save the Galaxy from destruction.


The team that brought Silkworm and Ninja Warriors to the Amiga has managed to come up with another wickedly accurate conversion. The graphics are superbly drawn and coloured, evoking the feel of the coin-op to a tee. Despite the number of sprites on screen and the sheer size of some of the guardians, everything moves on at a pretty slick pace, scrolling and animating smoothly throughout. Random Access are becoming a pretty hefty tour-de-force in the conversion game. Keep it up!


The gameplay starts off easily enough and it soon becomes possible to steam through the first level without losing a life. Level Two, on the other hand, is quite a different matter. Things start to get a great deal more tricky from here on in and could prove annoying to casual blasters who find themselves dying in the same place time after time. Those with a niftier trigger finger, however - such as those who have actually played and enjoyed the coin-op - will find the difficulty level just about right to keep them pushing through. It will still be some time before the final objective is reached, no matter how sharp-shooting you think you are!


Many coin-op conversions are pale imitations of the originals, but Random Access have come up with the goods once again. Saint Dragon is almost exactly like the coin-op. The graphics and sound are of arcade quality, with superb sprites and backdrops backed up with seriously hard sound effects. The intro sequences have been shuffled a bit to reduce the "Hurry up and load! I want to play again" syndrome and the game flows along pretty slickly on the whole. Due to the nature of the arcade original, some may find the going a little too tough, but with some dedication (and a blister or two) it is possible to push through the game and get a great deal of enjoyment from this wonderful accurate conversion.

Ballern Deluxe

Saint Dragon logo Amiga Joker Hit

So ein richtig knackiges Horizontal-Ballerspiel im Stil von "R-Type", darauf haben Action-Freaks lange warten müssen. Jetzt ist es endlich mal wieder soweit: Seid Ihr bereit für eine heisse Weltraumschlacht in feinsten Arcade-Stil?

Das brandneue Action-Spektakel verdanken wir den Jungs von Random Access, also jenem Programmierteam, das uns schon die gut spielbaren "Ninja Warriors" und den Beinahe-Klassiker "Silkworm" beschert hat. Auch ihr jüngstes Game ist ein wahres Meisterwerk an Spielbarkeit, der Vergleich mit dem großen Vorbild "R-Type" ist hier mehr angebracht! Bei so viel Klasse ist es nur gerecht, wenn wir auch der Vorgeschichte ein paar Zeilen widmen (so überflüssig sie auch sein mag). Eine bitterböse Rasse von Monsterrobotern hat die Galaxis und alle friedliebenden Völker versklavt. Das Universum sucht also wieder mal einen Retter und findet ihn in einer Kreuzung aus Raumschiff und Drache. Der bibelfeste Leser erkennt in Story und Titel unschwer die Anspielung auf die Legende vom heiligen Georg.

Mit seinem schießwürigen Metalldrachen fliegt man durch fünf Level astreinen Paralax-Scrollings und heizt den durchgestylten Gegnern tüchtig ein. Auf der Reise über wundersame Planetenlandschaften begegnet man gepanzerten Raubkatzen, mechanischen Kobras, Cyborg-Bullen und ähnlichen Ungetümen. Wie gewohnt, versperrt am Ende jedes Levels ein besonders garstiges Monstrum den Weg, das sich erst nach vielen Treffern spektakulär in seine Einzelteile auflöst. Um mit der gegnerischen Vielfalt fertig zu werden, sammelt man kapseln mit reichlich Extrawaffen (Firepower aller Art, Schutzschilder, etc.), die - und das ist ebenso neu wie lobenswert - nach Verlust eines der fünf Bildschirmleben nicht verlorengehen. Mehr noch: Nimmt man die vier Continues in Anspruch, so darf nicht nur am "Sterbepunkt" (statt am Levelanfang) weitergemacht werden, auch die mühsam zusammengestellte Bewaffnung bleibt erhalten!

Wer alle Level erfolgreich hinter sich gebracht hat, bekommt noch eine hübsche Endsequenz zu sehen, in der der Drache wieder in die Welten des Alls abdüst.

Die Grafik erinnert zwar recht deutlich an "R-Type", ist aber eigenständig genug und sehr gelungen - vielleicht hätte man an den Hintergründen noch etwas feilen können, aber die Sprites sind eine Pracht. Und was sich da oft alles gleichzeitig an Gegnern und herumschwirrenden Schüssen auf dem Screen tummelt, das muß selbst gesehen haben! Der Sound geht gleichfalls voll in Ordnung, ebenfalls Musik plus kernige Effekte. Die Krönung aber ist das überragende Gameplay - die Steuerung ist exakt, es gibt nicht eine unfaire Stelle, und der Schwierigkeitsgrad steigert sich bedächtig von Level zu Level. Negativ sind eigentlich nur zwei Dinge aufgefallen: Zum einem umrahmen sehr breite NTSC-Streifen den Screen, zum andern hat Saint Dragon "nur" fünf Level - ein Spitzengame wie dieses kann aber doch gar nicht lange genug dauern!
(C. Borgmeier/ml)

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Stand-by for a dragon attack. Jaleco's coin-op, which delivered fire-breathing, skill-scorching, lip-blistering, tongue-torturing, breath-blasting action, is now erupting on an Amiga near you.

Safely inside your armoured dragonship, you embark on a deadly knight of the long-knives, lethal lasers, cyborg killers and mutant machines. The galaxy has been attacked and enslaved by cyborg monsters. Hope lies with a lone rebel among the ranks of mechanised monsters. Part dragon, part cyborg, it fight its tyrant masters. This armoured champion is known as Saint Dragon.

There are five levels, each with a real tough baddie at the end. Level one has a bull. Even taking off its head doesn't send it into oblivion. That's what I call tough.

Saint Dragon is equipped with a standard plasma bolt launcher and small fireball. Pretty lethal in themselves but, as with most games of this type, you can pick up the letter tokens to add to your destructive power.

Here's a rundown of what to expect. N: Adds one more row of plasma bolts to a maximum of five. L: Change to laser. F: Change to fireball. B: Change to bouncing ball. T: Change to turret. S: Speed up. P: Power up your extra weapon. H: Hyper-invulnerability plus maximum firepower for a limited time.

One thing I really hate is losing all lives and having to go back to the beginning. It's frustrating and to my mind, boring. But with Saint Dragon there are a number of re-start points in each level. Perish before reaching one and you continue with all extra weapons. Expire after one and you retain weapons but with a reduced power. Fine, but I'd rather trade weapons to start again from where I finished.

The Sales Curve had a tough act to follow with the Amiga conversion to scale the heights with this twist on the old George and the Dragon legend.

The result is pretty as the night sky on November the 5th. And just as exciting. At least in the first two levels. The version I played was equipped with a cheat, allowing me to play all levels. To my mind, the quality of the graphics is markedly inferior on the last level. And the alien holocaust going on there is too hot to handle. Could anybody survive this? I doubt it. It's just too hard even with massive firepower.

G E N E R A L   H I N T :
Start-off by staying to the extreme left in this side-ways scrolling game. The main attacks come from the right. It gives you plenty of time to react. In the first level, after collecting extra firepower, you will be nearly invincible. Keep the firebutton down and you unleash a blitzkrieg on the cyborgs. Nearly everything will be detroyed. But watch out for missiles which sneak through.

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After Paul Lakin had spent two weeks clanking round the office in a suit of armour chopping up lizards with a sword, we finally took the hint and let him review Saint Dragon.

Traditionally dragons have had a pretty bad press. Let's face it, fat, scaley pyromaniacs do not make good fairy/tale heroes.

Recently, however, dragons have been working hard on their PR. Celebrities like Clifford have given the dragon image something of a revamp. In the far off future, where life is a computer games scenario, dragons have become such all round decent chaps that, when the Galaxy is attacked by mechanical nasties, only they stand between the nasties and Galactic domination. But by now the beasties are too nice to be tough.

When Saint Dragon gets underway the last of the dragons has been captured by the cyborg monsters and threatened with destruction.

But a hero arises, albeit in an unlikely form: part dragon, part cyborg, all scenario. Having misread his Mother Goose's Book Of Fairy Tales (Vol II) the hero sets off to rescue the dragon and incinerate the girl. (Actually the last bit was a lie).

Our hero does have one very big advantage in the form of his dragon ship. Not only capable of firing off such useful weapons as fireballs and bouncing-bombs, it also has an armour-plated tail, which can be used to protect the ship. In fact it's even more use than a sticky bun at a bee keepers' convention.

Amiga reviewPaul: I remember trying to get hold of a screen shot of this game to go with a preview a few issues back. At first, we could only get hold of an arcade shot. "Don't worry," said someone at the Sales Curve, "the 16-bit screens look just like the arcade game. "Yes and my cat can ride a bicycle". Well it looks as if I'll have to go out and buy a very small mountain bike because the screens are every bit as good as the arcade version and so's the rest of the game.

I shouldn't have been all that surprised (about the game that is - most people would be surprised to see their moggy pedalling off to Tescos to buy the supper). After all a Jaleco arcade game converted by the team who did Silkworm was hardly likely to be a duffer.

Each action-packed, colourful screen is crammed with large, beautifully animated sprites. The most impressive animation is on the dragon ship itself.

The ship can twist and coil its tail around its head (or cockpit) to give protection from wherever the attack is being launched. Without skilful use of his flexible appendage you'll soon fall victim to death in one of its many forms.

As well as all the other Silkworm trademarks, (you know, things like parallax scrolling, smooth-scrolling, great sound, etc.) Saint Dragon also uses DLS (Dynamic Loading System): rather than load a whole level in one go, the game only loads the next few screens. This not only does away with long, boring loading sections but also means that more code can be used on each screen and that means more colour, more sprites and much more action.

Above all Saint Dragon is playable. Although the first level is (deliberately) fairly simple, the game gets more and more challenging and more addictive. This is one of the best shoot 'em ups of the year. Possibly the best. Stop

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Storm/The Sales Curve, C64 £10.99 cassette, £15.99 disk; Amiga £24.99

The galaxy is under threat from a malevolent race of cyborgs: part animal, part machine, all co.. er, all out to be as nasty as they possibly can. Having taken control of most inhabitable worlds, they went on to conquer the planet of the golden dragon, the galaxy's last hope. Then, strangely enough, from amongst the cyborgs themselves rose a solitary rebel, a curious mechanoid dragon determined to halt its former comrades.

This awesome battle is represented by a horizontally-scrolling shoot-'em-up with five levels, each ending with a huge cyborg ringleader (a giant bull, a flying saucer, the Mazefire, the Mallard and the Hive).

As well as spitting plasma bolts, the rebel dragon can use it indestructible tail to protect itself. Tokens can be collected to drastically improve firepower by adding extra torpedoes, or changing your weapon to a laser, fireball or bouncing bombs. And if your joystick doesn't have an autofire switch, the Amiga game has a built-in autofire option ('for one-handed play'!), implemented by pressing 'A'.

Phil King A rather obscure coin-op, this one: even Robin has never played it. Still, if it is anything like the conversion I'm not surprised as it's a very derivative blast-'em-up. The indestructible tail is a good idea, but on the Amiga version you can simply wrap yourself in it for the first couple of levels and go and make a cup of tea. Then it becomes impossible! The 16-bit graphics are only ordinary and the simple blast-it-all-action is never exciting.
The C64 is similarly dull, mainly due to the incredibly low difficulty level - with a bit of extra firepower it is easy to slaughter everything on-screen. In fact, the main hazard is the glitch which occasionally kills your dragon for no reason whatsoever! A higher difficulty level could have made all the difference as technically this isn't a bad conversion. There's a pleasant (optional) tune playing throughout and plenty of large sprites zipping around the screen - I was especially impressed by the large end-level superbaddies with the screen flashing dramatically when they first appear.
Stuart Wynne Knowing Sales Curve, Amiga Saint Dragon is probably a very close conversion, however it is questionable if their considerable talents should have been spent on such a derivative coin-op. The dragon looks like a snake, while the 'unique' tail sadly just trails along and can't be used to lash enemies as you might like. If you liked the coin-op, or simply can't get enough of horizontally scrolling shoot-'em-ups, the slick Amiga conversion could well find favor. End-level monsters are impressive and there's certainly some nasty attack waves (level two is hair-tearingly tough), but I was never hooked.
The C64 game is no less polished, only this conversion is too easy with level one being particularly dull. Technically the game is impressive, with attractive, fast-moving sprites, varied backdrops and good end-level creatures. The dragon sprite is well drawn, but small so the tail is of little use, and this only emphasizes the awkward shape of the dragon for this type of game. It is certainly not the nippy little spaceship you expect, and not big enough to be impressive in Dragonbreed fashion. Worth a look though.