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The icon you see here, while it looks like Conan, is actually from a version of the '80s arcade game Rastan, which was known for three things. 1) Being pretty much a Conan game except without the license, 2) having awesome music, and 3) being completely impossible to play past the first level.

Rastan was a side-scroller, in which you control your bastard-sword wielding barbarian through hordes of monsters and timed jump puzzles, and where touching anything other than the ground or a power-up is instantly fatal. Bump a monster? Dead. Touch water? Dead. It's also a world where blocks of cement randomly float up and down in pools of lava that spit out random fireballs. You can pick up armor, shields, potions, and cloaks of various kinds, but none of them really have any effect to speak of. The only thing really worth the trouble to pick up is weapons, which can extend your reach or, in the case of the flaming sword, give you a ranged attack for as long as the weapon does, which is something like thirty seconds.

As mentioned, there are hordes of monsters, and timed jump puzzles. The thing is, with the timed jump puzzles, you can't pause to get your timing right, because if you stand still for more than 10 seconds, a swarm of bats instantly appears and kills you.

Did I mention it had awesome music?

Anyway, somebody played it with an invulnerability cheat, which is actually the only way to get anywhere in it, and posted the whole thing to YouTube, so now all you '80s children like me who wanted more than anything to see past the first level of Rastan but never could, finally can! :D It doesn't include the intro movie, only included in some versions, where the premise of the game is explained (Rastan has to slay a dragon to get permission to marry the king's daughter or some such), but really who needs it? He's a barbarian with a sword, they're monsters. I'm good.

Some unknown person, apparently named "Glyn R. Brown," later made an awesome "orchestral remix" of the theme, as well, which I snagged from an old Rastan fansite.

Enjoy!

-The Gneech

Comments

dslartoo
Dec. 2nd, 2007 12:22 am (UTC)
I hate to disagree here, but, um....it's not impossible, and if you know what you're doing it's not even that difficult. I was actually playing it this afternoon on MAME and I used to put on exhibitions for that game in the local arcade when I was a teenager. I could usually finish the game on one quarter or possibly two.

There are various strategies you can use to make the game much, much easier:

1. Don't rush ahead. Trying to blitz through a level will get you quickly killed.

2. Get ALL of the extra weapons. Some bosses or level sections are vastly more difficult to complete without them. The level four end-boss, in particular, will probably be impossible to beat unless you make it to him with the chain mace.

3. Certain places will give you a particular enemy which drop's a ram's head for a full health restore.

4. Each end-level boss has a weak point or strategy you can exploit mercilessly on them to take them down.

5. Get the ring accessory in the first level and try not to die once you get it. It speeds up your weapon swing/recover by about 200%.

6. Ropes can be climbed faster by jumping or descended faster by leaping off them.

7. A jumping slash or downward stab has twice as much striking power as a regular swing of your sword (useful against enemies who take more than one hit to die -- jump and swing at them!)

More info: The US version of Rastan had no intro movie. The Japanese version, also known as "Rastan Saga", had not only an intro movie but also changed the text that appeared in between levels.

(Yes, this is still one of my favorite arcade games).

Thanks for the orchestral remix, though, I hadn't heard that one before!

cheers,
Phil
the_gneech
Dec. 2nd, 2007 04:37 am (UTC)
Well, it was impossible for me, anyway. ;P Anything less than "blitzing through the level" got me killed by bats instead.

Thanks for the info!

-TG
dslartoo
Dec. 2nd, 2007 04:41 am (UTC)
I realized after I wrote that that it sounds like I'm sneering at you. In my defense, I spent damn near every Friday night in Planet Earth (the local arcade) when I was a teenager. I had my initials on pretty much every machine in the place. I HAD no social life other than the electronic one. :)

We're definitely agreed on one thing -- the game was damn cool and the music was outstanding.

cheers,
Phil

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