Rastan Saga

Arcade Video game published 36 years ago by Taito Corp.

Listed in MAME

Rastan Saga screenshot

Rastan Saga © 1987 Taito.

Rastan Saga is a platform hack 'n' slash game in which a single player guides a barbarian hero through six fantasy-themed levels, fighting through hordes of mythological fantasy creatures, including orcs, skeletal warriors and multi-headed hydra.

The hero is initially armed with only a standard sword but more powerful weapons can be picked up, as well as health potions and protective items that give increased protection against enemy attack, these can be either a shield, a mantle or a body armour.

New weapons are picked up by hitting them with the current weapon. Collected weapons and power-ups will only last for a limited time and once an equip-able item has been picked up, an icon will appear on the lower right corner of the screen, indicating the item's effect. Rastan can only wield one weapon at a time (which consists of a mace, an axe and a fireball-shooting sword in addition to the standard sword), as well as only one type of armour, but other items (such as the necklace and ring) can be worn at the same time.

Defeated enemies sometimes leave behind jewels that earn bonus points. In addition to the health potions, the rare golden sheep's head will restore Rastan's health completely. Players should be wary that some collectable items are cursed and will have a detrimental effect on the hero's health and performance.

A powerful boss character awaits Rastan at the end of each stage.


Prom Stickers: B04

Main CPU : Motorola 68000, Zilog Z80
Sound Chips : Yamaha YM2151, OKI MSM5205

Players : 2
Control : 8-way joystick
Buttons : 2
=> Slash, Jump


Rastan Saga was released in March 1987 in Japan. It was known outside Japan as simply "Rastan".

Rastan was inspired by the 'Conan the Barbarian' saga novels, by Robert E Howard. In the background of the first stage, giant stone statues can be seen that bear more than a passing resemblance to the statues that featured in 'The Lord of the Rings - Fellowship of the Ring'. While the film appeared several years AFTER Rastan, the famous LotR concept artwork that featured in the deluxe addition of the book had been available for some time.

The main character, Rastan, appears as a selectable character, 'Miracle Rastan', in "Champion Wrestler".

The game contains several bonus items that are not normally dropped by enemies: A golden armature, a brown scroll and a yellow scroll. Graphics for these can be seen in the tile-sets and modifications to game's data tables can cause them to be dropped. The golden armature acts like the existing armature, the scrolls do nothing.

The game contains a built in test mode, activated by the value of two bytes towards the end of the code roms. Invincibility can be selected, causing 'NO-HIT' to be displayed at the bottom of the title screen. The starting level can also be modified.

The game forbids the initials 'SEX' on the high-score table. If you try, they get changed to 'AHA'.

Pony Canyon / Scitron released a limited-edition soundtrack album for this game (Kyukyoku Tiger : G.S.M. Taito 2 - D28B0008) on November 21, 1988.
Zuntata Records released a limited-edition soundtrack album for this game (Zuntata History L'ab-normal 1st - ZTTL-0038) on April 1, 1999.


* If you die on the final stage, the game ends and you cannot continue; this means that the entire final level must be completed on a SINGLE credit. In order to make this even remotely possible you should deliberately die at the end of the fifth stage while fighting the boss (a multi-headed dragon). You should then use another credit to continue and defeat the dragon with your first man (with as little damage as possible). If you cannot defeat him with the first man and little damage, kill off the remaining men and start with a fresh credit. Always go after the special weapons where possible; if special weapons run out, jumping and striking doubles the damage done with the sword. Pushing up and the jump button will jump higher than pushing the jump button alone.

* The game attract sequence does not reveal the purpose of the rod. If you are carrying it, killing an enemy of any type causes all other on-screen enemies of the same type to die.

* If you are going for a high-score, always 'pick-up' the poisons. They are worth a lot of points.

* The ring can always be obtained in the first level castle. Proceed past the 3 ropes, down the next long chain and then up the next long chain. Slowly nudge this chain offscreen and two enemies appear on the left-hand side, one of which always carries the ring.

* Chains in castles can often be traversed upwards much quicker by repeatedly jumping against a nearby wall. Others needing to be traversed downwards can be missed by jumping off and falling. The level 4 boss is virtually impossible to defeat unless this tactic is used, in order to meet him carrying the hammer.

* Repeated high vertical jumps are a good method to use to 'stall', when on slopes approaching bouncing fireballs.

* Many players don't know that the 'mud' first encountered on level 2 does not actually kill you, it just causes you to sink down requiring many quick jumps to get out.


Game designer : Nenko Nishimura
Game programmers : Yoshinori Kobayashi, Hideaki Tomioka, Touru Takahashi, Hideo Kazama
Character designer : Nenko Nishimura
Art designers : Nenko Nishimura, Taira Sanuki, Seiji Kawakami, Genya Kuriki
Hardware engineer : Noboru Takeshita
Hardware designer : Masahiro Yamaguchi
Music composers And Sound Effects : Naoto Yagishita, Masahiko Takaki
Art advisor : Junji Yarita

Special thanks to : K. Sanbe


Japanese ports only.

Sony PS2 (2005) "Taito Memories Joukan [Model SLPM-66057]"

Sega Game Gear (1991) "Rastan Saga [Model T-11037]"
Sony PSP (2006) "Taito Memories Pocket [Model ULJM-05076]"

MSX2 (1988) "Rastan Saga [Model TMS-05]"


Game's ROM.