Copyright/Publisher: Ocean, Programming By: Roy Gibson, Artork By: Steve Cain,
Martin Calvert & Simon
Butler, Music By: Martin Galway,
Release Year: 1986, Genre: Fighting Sports, Number Of Players: 1 or 2
It's a kind of magic. Immortals are not just the stuff of legend, they actually exist and roam
the Earth engaged in a never-ending battle to decide who will be 'The One'. The immortal who
succeeds in this titanic struggle will become the holder of 'the knowledge', and either the
saviour or the destroyer of the world.
In Highlander, you take the part of the immortal McLeod; born originally into an ancient
Scottish clan, and now a respected art dealer in New York. In order to save the world, McLeod must
do battle with three remaining immortals and kill them in the only way possible - by removing
their heads. Remember 'there can be only one'.
Highlander is a sword fighting game which can be played in two ways: either against a series
of increasinlgy nasty computer opponents, or as a two player head-to-head. The action takes
place over three different, separately loaded scenarios. In the first stage you face Ramirez,
the least skilled of your three opponents. This stage can be used to gain experience and
develop skills in attack, defence and swordplay.
There are fourteen different moves at your disposal, all accessed via combinations of joystick
directions and presses of the fire button. McLeod can be moved left and right across the screen
and made to kneel by pulling down on the joystick. A forward push lifts him off the floor and
back into a standing position.
While standing, McLeod has two defensive moves (allowing him to defend his head and bloody),
and six for attach. Each move is executed by keeping the fire button pressed and moving the joystick
in the appropriate direction. In the kneeling position there are three attacking moves, and
three defensive moves which allow McLeod to defend his neck, head and feet.
McLeod's energy status is dsiplayed at the bottom of the screen in the form of a bar which
shrinks to a fatal zero as hits are sustained or when an attack is unsuccessful. The enrgy slowly
recharges itself, so if the bar is a bit on the low side, McLeod can back off from the fray and
wait until his strength returns.
The second opponent is Fizir, an ancient and skillful fighter who is vicious with his swordplay
and completely merciless. In the thrid stage, set high on the rooftops above the city streets, you
battle the mighty Kurgen, supreme swordsman and a deadly enemy. Beat him, and you become the
keeper of the knowledge. Fail, and the world is damned.
I'm not impressed in the slightest with this feelbe offering. Weak graphics with unresponsive
gameplay. Yeuch! This is a real case of a film tie-in rip-off. There is no real scenario
provided, and McLeod even ends up fighting a couple of characters who were his best friends
in the film!
This is simple a tacky fencing game with the name Highlander tagged on, almost
as an afterthought. I mean, this could just as easily have been called 'Robin Hood' or even
'Star Wars' with only a few minor changes in the graphics. No atmospehere and no
inspiration leads to a dull and repetitive game. Give it a miss.
There's nothing vaguely original or interesting about this game. It's a slow and incredibly banal
beat'em up which seems to have very little to do with the film of the same name. The characters
are well drawn, but move slowly and hobble across the screen in a most amusing manner.
A reasonable rendition of 'It's a Kind of Magic' plays during the game, and the spot FX are
rather good. Otherwise, Highlander is drab. I dare say some people will enjoy the limited
challenge, but there's no way I would fork our the nine quid asking price for such a slow and
I don't think much of this bland one-on-one fighting game at all - there's just not enough
in it to keep you interested for more than a couple of games. The gameplay is slow and the
characters are sluggish to respond to joystick manipulation.
The graphics are very poor -
the main sprites are extremely blocky, and the backdrops are dull and lack any interesting
features. If you're after a fighting game then look elsewhere - there are many others on the
market which offer a lot more in the way of excitement and challenge.