Looking for love

Savage logo

SAVAGE is not your ordinary barbarian. He is psychic, has great magical powers and is going steady with one maiden. The loss of the latter two has made him angry. Not mildly angry, with the type of anger that would make any rational barbarian wait a couple of thousand years for someone to invent MPs and then write and complain, but really quite astonishingly angry indeed.

And to cap it all, whoever nicked his magic and his love has not only imprisoned him, but has also made the mistake of leaving him his battle axe. Someone, somewhere, is going to regret that.

So it is off we jolly well go down the dark and dank corridors, putting cold steel - OK, cold iron for the pedantic - to the many foes that block his way. Useful weapons are dotted about, and some of the foes relinquish treasures, energy potions and orbiting shields when you zap 'em.

Occasionally you get to meet mid-level guardians, which are best tackled by keeping running. The platform sections - of the fiery pit variety - will have you digging out your Spectrum and Manic Miner to hone your jump timings.

In the first level it is almost a shame to destroy the enemies because, thanks to artist Nick Bruty, they are rather well done. Besides, killing things makes a noise which interferes with the tune - and you would not want to do that, would you?

Kevin Collier, who did the tunes and the SFX, has produced the best set of noises ever to emanate from the Amiga to date. Many people have jammed sampled sounds in some semblance of order before, but Kevin's stuff in this game really does put some arcade machines to shame.

The second level, where Savage discovers the whole escapade is a trick and he must return to the castle dungeon, does not seem to be as well thought out as the first. It involves charting a course - Space Harrier style - through hideous monoliths and shooting various static nasties, but something is missing. It has got neat graphics, good sound, but the controls do not work convincingly.

Level three - taking Savage's eagle through the dungeon - has better gameplay, good sound, but only competent graphics. It has also got a yukko bit when the eagle gets nixed. Blecch!

The last two levels can be played without completing level one; you only get a single life, but at least you won't be completely stuck if you find the first level too hard.

There is plenty there - two discs full - and level one is great, especially if you liked Beyond the Ice Palace, Ghosts 'n' Goblins and similar types. But I have my reservations about level two. You will either flip over it or express a complete lack of interest.

Savage logo


We first reviewed the 64 version of Savage in November last year, so methinks a brief recap is on the cards. Savage is a three part game, each part linked by a fairly feeble scenario, but thankfully no one buys games for their scenarios.

The first part is a horizontally scrolling beat 'em up of sorts, with the main character throwing an endless supply of axes and the constant stream of mutated animals which attack him. Some of these will leave bottles of drink, diamonds or better weapons when they are killed. In the second scenario, you fly through a valley similar in look and style to the Buck Rogers arcade game from years ago, avoiding huge monoliths, whilst attempting to shoot skulls that drift into your sights. In the third you are an eagle attempting to locate a maiden through labyrinthine passages and cells.

The graphics and sound on all levels are both excellent, with a brilliant tune on the first level in particular. The graphics are highly colourful and the sprites are large. The animation of the main figure on level one is a little awry when he jumps, but apart from that, it is excellent. To sum up, brilliant sound and graphics, and two disks crammed with excellent gameplay.

Savage logo

Firebird, Amiga £24.99

As the exceptionally muscular character Savage, you have been locked up in a castle due to your love for a certain damsel. Needless to say docile behaviour to win parole isn't your style - instead you thump the gaoler one and make a break for it. Level one, the first of three separately loaded games, has you running through the castle, blasting all and sundry for points - and prizes (extra weapons, energy etc).

Load two, on the second disk, takes place in the castle grounds with hordes of skulls and other monstrosities rushing toward you in full 3-D perspective. Dodge the monoliths and shoot the skulls to advance onto level three, where, in eagle form, you fly around the maze-like castle searching for four items to free your maiden.

If you complete a level a password is given for the next, otherwise if you select level two or three you only have one life instead of three.

Phil King There is no doubt about what Savage's most impressive aspect is; the sound is brilliant throughout - I love the music on stage three. Graphically it's not as good although still colourfully attractive in parts. The biggest downer is the ridiculous price: £25 quid is really too steep for such a simple shoot-'em up no matter how well it's presented.
Stuart Wynne Amiga Savage essentially takes the hi-res graphics of the Speccy version, fleshes them out with the Amiga's palette and speeds up gameplay. Animation is generally smooth, although transitions between running and crouching are abrupt. But there's no arguing about the sound, which is great with different soundtracks for each game. A fun and cheerful blast, Savage is worth a look.