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Space Harrier 1 logo

Price: £24.95

Space Harrier 1 S pace Harrier. The game that needs no introduction. And so what better excuse not to write one. It won the hearts and most of the pocket contents of millions of people everywhere when it made its debut as a chunk of coin-op hardware a couple of years back. You know why? Not because it was a particularly good game, which it is. Nor was it because of the ‘never before seen the like of’ 3D superfast graphics, which by some strange coincidence, it has. It was because SH was one of the first machine to have a bucking hydraulic seat.

Yet when it came to it, the only thing that really kept people coming back for more was the game itself. With that in mind, Elite have come up with the best conversion of SH I have yet seen, including Sega’s own and that of the mighty PC engine.

Scroll along the chequered landscape avoiding all the indestructible items, shooting anything else which gets in your way including the end of level guardian. The only real difference between this and any other shoot ‘em-up is that this is done in a second perspective person view, situated directly behind the main sprite.

Space Harrier 1 As you rush forward through the incredibly quick scrolling landscape, various items attempt to block your way: Mysterious floating rocks, flying toadstools and weird flying monoliths. Then there are the enemy ships that fly on in waves, throw loads of flak at you and then fly off again. At the end of each level, you get a real nasty thing to get rid of, which normally has to be hit several times. On the first level you get to do battle with a huge dragon that swirls in and out of the foreground and has to be shot in the head. Level two has you battling huge monolith heads that need to be shot quite a bit. Further on in the game come two-headed dragons, and even two dragons at once.

I never really rated SH in the arcades. To me it was just Sega saying ‘We’ve got a new, even faster 3D routing, and we’re gonna use it’. However, SH on the Amiga is a masterpiece of programming. The scrolling is just as silky smooth as the arcade, and as for the update on the sprites themselves: Brilliant. Colour has been used really well, too.

Sound is good. Elite have successfully managed to take the original Space Harrier tune and jazzed it up a bit. All the in-game effects are there, as well as speech. SH has finally been converted perfectly. It looks good and thankfully it plays very well.

Tony Dillon

CU Amiga, March 1989, p.25


Space Harrier 1 logo

Elite, Amiga £19.99 disk
space harrier 1 A ll over the globe, factories are falling into ruin, economies have fallen apart, interest rates are rising, the TV companies are out of business and (worst of all) milk production has come to a standstill. No more Shredded Wheat for you, mate.
So what's behind all this? A band of deadly, virus-like aliens which have infected every part of the planet with their horrible disease, that's what. Pretty nasty, huh? So absolutely, horrendously nasty, in fact, that the combined efforts of the army, the navy, the air force, the fire service, the police, Machomen and Postman Pat have been totally liquidised in their attempt to stop it.
Just when you thought that the end of the world was nigh, when everybody thought it was OK to eat lots of cream cakes 'cos they were gonna die tomorrow anyway, a little speck became visible in the sky.
Was it a bird? Was it a helicopter? Was it a speck of chocolate on your glasses? Nope, da da daaaaaa – it was Space Harrier. Yeaaah!

With nothing but a laser and a jetpack to his name, he battles through waves of ugly looking aliens, dodges dangerous missiles, survives end-of-level tussles with great, big enormous fire-breathing dragons, tries to stop himself from splatting, slap bang into the nearest obstacles, get his eyebrows singed and still survives.
Some selfless guy, huh? Not really. He just couldn't face another day without three Shredded Wheat.

Zzap! Issue 48, April 1989, pp.22-23

Gordo I'm not on a diet for nothing you know. If I keep off the doughnuts for long enough, I might actually manage to squeeze my porky loins into one of those snazzy arcade style hydraulic chairs. Then again, maybe I'll stick to the doughnuts and keep on playing the Amiga version because it's just as good. I'm really impressed at the way they haven't compromised on the full-screen scrolling and the breakneck speed of the 3D action. If you want a really fast-moving arcade conversion, get your grubby hands on this – it's a lot more fun than a poke in the eye with a pointed stick.

Kati Well, this is a lot better than shoving 50p into a hydraulic machine gadgi and dying three times before you've even had a chance to stick your bum on the chair. I reckon, if you're the sort of person who can't even stand losing 2p in the bubble gum machine, this is the conversion for you. Not only do you get all the entertainment value of brilliantly smooth full-screen scrolling, incredibly breathtaking and mega-fast action, you also get it for the price of 40 goes one of those fancy metal machines you have to wait ages to get a shot at. Bargain or what?

Nothing special – title screen with digitised speech and high score table. See The Word for details of a possible hydraulic chair add-on.
Fast-moving 3D backgrounds with smooth and clearly defined sprites.
Warbling in-game tune but very rough speech (nothing like the coin-op).
So like the arcade game, it's got instant grab.
A pretty simple concept behind all that 3D, so your initial interest might wane.
A pretty hot conversion of an even hotter arcade machine.
Conversion Factor: 89%