Friday, March 20, 2009

Barbarian - history in the making

Palace Games released a sword wielding beat-em-up game named Barbarian, I mentioned it in the previous post (or the following one, if you're reading this top-down) and it reminded me of the rest of the game's history.

The first thing about the game was the ability to behead your opponent, the other barbarian, if you timed one of the moves correctly; it could be pretty tricky to pull off later in the game, but it was kinda fun. Especially watching the creature dragging off the body, kicking the head along. That caused a lot of fuss - especially in the ever-reserved Germany where a long list of games have been banned and are still being banned today.

The second thing about the game was that it started the career of Wolf from the UK's Gladiator TV series. He was on the cover of the game box as his first gig and he was noticed by the producers of the show; which led him to becoming a house-hold name. On the box, he stood alone with sword in-hand and faux bear-fur briefs on-hip, but it was not always that way, which leads us to the third thing.

In the original game, the Page 3 model Maria Whittaker was on the box cover too in a matching faux leather bikini. But it was decided by the censors that it was sexist to have a semi-clad woman on the cover, so she was removed, leaving the less than semi-clad man. The 80s were like that.

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