Shadow of the Beast, a side-scrolling arcade game, was originally released for the Commodore Amiga computers by Reflections (published by Psygnosis) being one of the most technically advanced games for its time. The game was ported to the Atari ST, Amstrad CPC, Commodore 64, Spectrum ZX and several 8/16bit video-game consoles.
Shadow of the Beast takes place in a fantasy world where an Evil Lord called Maletoth killed Aabron's (our hero's) father and then cast a spell to the youngster turning him into a wild, strong and ugly beast (Aabron actually looks much like the ancient Greek god, Pan). Now our hero must take his revenge and break the curse gaining back his human nature. He must fight against large enemies, monsters, magician lords, skeletons, traps and finally confront the powerful Maletoth. The journey is tough and Aabron needs each and every drop of energy in order to survive. His only weapons are his bare hands plus some rare tools that he can use on the way. In terms of gameplay Shadow of the Beast is one of the most difficult games ever created for the ST so it needs patience and some good skill in order to survive. Action is fast and nasties are attacking pretty faster, not to mention deadly traps, maze-like stages (the underground ones) and huge level bosses.
We all know that the Amiga and the Atari ST were rivals back in the mid-80's (and early 90's) and lots of games ported from the Atari ST, were quite close in terms of graphics details. Not this time though since SOTB was ported from the Amiga to the ST. This game was always intended to run on an Amiga 500, since most of the other ports never really matched the original version. So, the Atari ST version cannot compete with the state-of-the-art Amiga version in any aspect. Atari ST's chips would only allow for 16-34 colors on-screen, 11-18 FPS of scrolling and sprite animation (which seems too slow compared to the constant 50 FPS of the Amiga version), 9 layers of parallax scrolling (13 on the Amiga version) and so on. Also, the ST version suffers from some slowdown issues due to the lack of a Blitter chip, especially when too many sprites are involved on screen. Sound is good though at least as far as the original introductory tune is found here. During gameplay though the ST version does not offer any kind of music (the Amiga version offers plenty of quality tunes), rather some few SFX (but not digitized as in the Amiga version). But although failed to match the Amiga original and, if we leave all comparisons aside and see this game as a standalone, it looks decent on the Atari ST series, being technically one impressive game.
In-game music sample:
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CPU: Motorola 68000 16/32bit at 8mhz. 16 bit data bus/32 bit internal/24-bit address bus. MEMORY: RAM 512KB (1MB for the 1040ST models) / ROM 192KB GRAPHICS: Digital-to-Analog Converter of 3-bits, eight levels per RGB channel, featuring a 9-bit RGB palette (512 colors), 320x200 (16 color), 640x200 (4 color), 640x400 (monochrome). With special programming techniques could display 512 colors on screen in static images. SOUND: Yamaha YM2149F PSG "Programmable Sound Generator" chip provided 3-voice sound synthesis, plus 1-voice white noise mono PSG. It also has two MIDI ports, and support mixed YM2149 sfx and MIDI music in gaming (there are several games supported this).