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Conan: Hall of Volta (or simply Conan on the box cover and title screen) is a platform game from American developers Eric Robinson and Eric Parker and published by Datasoft in 1984.[2] It is based on the character Conan created by Robert E. Howard. This game was originally written for the Apple II and ported to the Commodore 64[3] and Atari 8-bit family.[4]

Conan
ConanBoxShotforAppleII1984.jpg
Cover art
Developer(s)SE Software[1]
Publisher(s)Datasoft[1]
Designer(s)
  • Eric Robinson
  • Eric Parker
Platform(s)PC-88, Apple II, Atari 8-bit, Commodore 64, FM-7, Sharp X1
Release1984
Genre(s)Platform
Mode(s)Single-player

Released in 1984, the game's launch coincided with the debut of the film Conan the Destroyer. The box shows a painting of Arnold Schwarzenegger as the muscle-bound warrior with his new costume for Destroyer. Despite this attempted tie-in, the game has little to do with the movie other than the Cimmerian in the title role, having originally been designed as boomerang-throwing game titled Visigoth. One of the screenshots on the back of the box is from a prototype version and shows a boomerang instead of a sword.[5]

Reception
Review score
PublicationScore
Computer+Video Games8/10[6]

GameplayEdit

 
Conan needs a gem

The player controls Conan as he attacks the evil Volta in his castle fortress. Conan is armed with 10 boomerang swords. From time to time, Conan may be aided by an "Avian Ally" as he attempts to defeat Volta's sinister hordes, which included bats, scorpions, giant ants, fire-breathing dragons and floating eyeballs.

The game includes seven diverse levels requiring the player to navigate lava pits, geysers, spike pits, and floating platforms. Along the way the player often needed to collect magic gems or keys in order to progress.

In the game, Conan does not simply jump, he somersaults. If he falls, he launches into a full-scale dive. These effects, along with the diverse levels and detailed animation, made this game popular.

Though seven levels is considered short by today's standards, since the game did not include any facilities to save, the seven levels usually kept most players occupied for some time. The players needed to conquer each level anew while attempting to defeat Volta.

One original feature of the game's time was a close-up picture that would be shown upon the player's last death. For example, dying in the first level might show a close-up picture of a bat with the caption "bats in your belfry". Deaths in other levels would yield a picture of a hazard unique to that level.

  • Hazard Captions
    • Bats in your belfry
    • Only a cleric can help you now
    • Quest terminated (spike pit)
    • There is no glory for you here
    • To be continued
    • A watery barrier
    • You shuffle off defeated for now

The Apple II original offers more control (thanks to its 2-button joystick), though lacks the soundtrack found in the ports.

LocalizationsEdit

In Bulgaria, where Conan the Barbarian was generally unknown, the Apple II version was translated into Bulgarian and distributed by ZMD Pazarjik under the name "Добрия рицар" (The Good Knight).

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "Conan: Hall of Volta". at GameFAQs
  2. ^ Conan: Hall of Volta at MobyGames
  3. ^ Conan at Lemon 64
  4. ^ "Conan". Atari Mania.
  5. ^ Digital Press Easter Eggs
  6. ^ Conan short review in Computer+Video Games issue aug. 1985, p. 89, ISSN 0261-3697 here