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Barbarian - The Ultimate Warrior


ST Graveyard has written 62 additional reviews

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Written by ST Graveyard

June 18, 2001


(taken from the manual of the game)

The evil sorcerer Drax desires Princess Mariana and has sworn to wreak an unspeakable doom on the people of the Jewelled City unless she is delivered to him. However, he has agreed that if a champion can be found who is able to defeat his demonic guardians, the princess will be allowed to go free. All seems lost as champion after champion is defeated. Then, from the forgotten wastelands of the North, comes an unknown barbarian, a mighty warrior, wielding his broadsword with deadly skill. Can he vanquish the forces of Darkness and free the Princess? ONLY YOU CAN SAY...

We all must have heard this story a million times before. It's the way all fairy tales go. But do we care if it is original or not? No, we don't...Cause we're talking about a fighting game here. And "Barbarian" has to be one of the coolest beat 'em ups of the late 80's. This isn't the usual punch and kick fare, this is a true fantasy sword fighting game. I used to play this for hours with my friends. Is it still worth bothering in times when we're spoiled with super fast 3D graphics and 200 different camera angles? let's take a closer look...


The graphics do look a bit dated. They have this blocky effect. But don't let that ruin the fun. Remember, this game is almost 15 years old! The animation is fluently and we do get some nice background scenes.


One word...Awesome. The sound fx are so realistic. I just can't believe they managed to do this in '87. The screams, the moans when kicking your opponent in the stomack...It's all very real. And the sound effect used when decapitating the other warrior, sends shivers down my spine! Some of you might noticed that the samples have been taking from the fantasy-sword fighting movie "Red Sonya". There isn't any music in the version I've tested.


This is a really good game. You either have the option to take on the challenge against the computer, or another person can join in the 2 player modus. The latter one is especially fun. The game offers a wide variety of moves, which are easy to learn. Especially the "Death Sword" move, when properly executed, is very cool. Before going into battle, you can also enter a practice mode to get the hang of it.

Each fighter has 6 life points. When getting hit, you loose a point or half a point, that depends on the move that was executed on you. When you are decapitated, the game is over and you have to start from the beginning. There are about 10 levels which increase in difficulty. The opponents are getting faster and smarter after each completed level. In the final stage you have to face Drax himself. It will take a while to beat him as he uses his magical forces to defeat you. Once you manage to kill Drax, the princess is yours and the game is over.

One final warning. The game is pretty gory (which is fine in my book). Decapitated heads fly over the screen, there's chopping and slashing everywhere...You can actually perform a fatality during a fight. If it were released these days, the MPAA would be all over it!


This is great fun to play. Of course there are better beat 'em ups these days, but "Barbarian" will always be special to me. One of the better fighting games of its era. If you're into this type of game, you should definitely check it out. I can assure you, you won't regret it!

  • Graphics: 7
  • Sound: 9
  • Gameplay: 9
  • Overall: 8

Review Comments

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Zone Warrior

February 12, 2023 by AtariCrypt

Once again, pesky aliens are giving us Earthlings lots of grief. We previously fought them off but they managed to pinch a time machine so are using that to alter history and wreak havoc by taking crucial hostages from each period in an attempt to halt their influence. From the invention of the wheel in prehistoric times to England's King Arthur uniting Britain! And where would any of us be today without Japan and its technical wizardry? Yep, we cannot allow this - the fight is on!

Son Shu Shi

March 21, 2021 by ST Graveyard

What an accomplishment this game is. Created with such a small team, the result is really amazing. The game oozes creative passion. While the gameplay is really well balanced, it is a tough cookie, very hard from time to time with its moments of sheer frustration. As of level 3, timing becomes key. You will need to practice and learn the levels to complete this game, there are so many bad guys on screen it sometimes gets a bit hard to take.

Blood Money

April 4, 2020 by Morcar

Graphically, it's also nice on the eyes with well-defined graphics and animation. You really get the feeling that the developers put some thought and love into the game. Remember what I said about the large levels? Well these are wonderful and are very different to each other, they also scroll fairly smooth in all four directions.

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