1. Second Samurai
Published by Psygnosis Limited and developed by Vivid Image, First Samurai's sequel ""Second Samurai"" was released for the Amiga back in 1993. This side-scrolling action title tells the story of a hero who has followed a Demon King back in time. With ten worlds split into several sub-levels, players must defeat one terrifying boss after another in order to beat the game. There are futuristic levels, prehistoric levels as well as those set in feudal Japan.
Players begin the game with no weapons in hand but may acquire swords and daggers as they progress through the game. Falling off the screen or getting in contact with hostiles takes a point of the life bar. Successfully reaching the end of a stage will initiate a boss battle sequence -- a mix of puzzle-solving and arcade-style action. Additionally, there are plenty of secrets hidden throughout the game. Not only do these unlock mini games (like a shoot 'em up sequence), these also add snippets to the ending.
2. Sword of Honour
Sword of Honour is a martial arts-themed action game released in 1992. The player steps into the role of a noble ninja who was sent to recover a stolen sword from the the wicked Toranaga. He must accomplish his mission in order to restore Shogun Yuichiro's honor before the military commander is forced to forfeit his life through seppuku. In order to reach the castle where the sword is held, the player must battle enemies and avoid deadly traps. Aside from useful item pick-ups, there are weapons which can make the journey a bit easier. There are shurikens, a kunai, a ninjato, tekagi-shuko and a kusarigama. It is also possible to engage in unarmed combat, punching and kicking baddies to survive. The player will meet various NPCs along the way, some with valuable insight into the game's story.
Developed by Kaitsu Software and Published by Virgin Games in 1992, Motörhead is a side-scrolling beat 'em up game with a musical twist. Players step into the shoes of Lemy, the lead of a heavy metal band called Motörhead. Unfortunately, it seems that not everyone is into the type of music they play and so Lemy's band mates are kidnapped. Armed with his trusty bass guitar, the hero heads out to rescue his hapless friends from the clutches of those who prefer other genres.
There are six levels all in all. As with the kidnappers, each of these represent a different genre of music. As it is a side-scrolling title, Lemy continuously heads towards the right side of the screen, only stopping to battle baddies. Not only does he get to use his guitar to keep hostiles away, he also has a number of different powers such as a devastating, fiery belch. Power-ups pop out of defeated baddies. These may either heal Lemy or refill his energy so he can make use of his special attacks. For a bit of a break in between, a short mini game awaits players at the end of each stage.
4. Golden Axe
There is no doubt that Golden Axe is one of the most iconic multiplayer beat-em-up games of its’ time in the arcade era of gaming. It comes as to no surprise that the Amiga port of this amazing action-RPG game is well loved and enjoyed by fans. For those not familiar the game lets you take a pick among a few preset hack-and-slash fantasy characters then set out on an enemy-bashing quest alongside other players.
5. Shadow Warriors
Also known as ""Ninja Gaiden"", Shadow Warriors was published and developed by Tecmo. The original title in the series was released in 1989 and it follows the adventure of Ryu Hayabusa as he attempts to find out who has killed his father. This quest leads him to the United States where he meets and an archaeologist -- an acquaintance of his father. There, he learns of Jaquio's mad plan to unleash a terrifying evil and he is thrust into a supernatural adventure.
In this side-scrolling beat 'em up, players must clear an area of all enemies using whatever means necessary in order to reach the bosses found at the end of each level. As the game is set in America, the stages include North Carolina, Brooklyn, Las Vegas, The Grand Canyon and Los Angeles. Destroying objects in the environment may reveal power-ups, including powerful swords which may be used for a short amount of time as well as nifty health items.
Ryu's life bar begins at five units. He has a number of moves at his disposal such as a hang kick, back flip as well as a flying neck throw. He can, of course, simply attack bare-fisted or he can make use of interactive objects scattered around the stage. In addition to the game's solo mode, there's also two-player co-op.
6. The Ninja Warriors
Ninja Warriors was released back in 1987 by Taito. The story of the game is set in a dystopian future in which the American president declares martial law, giving full power to the country's military forces. Lead by a rebel scientist named Mulk, a group decides to take matters into their own hands and revolt against President Banglar's tyranny. Because facing the military head-on would undoubtedly lead to failure, the scientists create a pair of androids. ""Ninja"" is a blue-colored male robot while ""Kunoichi"" is a red-colored female.
The game feature both a single-player campaign as well as a two-player co-op mode. There are five levels in total and each one is teeming with Banglar's forces. Players may either perform short-ranged attacks (a kunai slash) or make use of their shurikens to attack from afar. The latter is limited in supply.
The androids each have unique combos and attack patterns. They also differ in terms of move sets such as throwing, dash attacks, air strikes and stabbing. Aside from the life bar, an energy meter is found on the screen at all times. This fills up as enemies are defeated and the game is progressed. Once it is filled to the brim, players may then perform special moves. Getting damaged while in this mode resets the bar.
Published and developed by Hewson Consultants Ltd., Deliverance: Stormlord II is a fantasy-themed puzzle platformer which was released in 1990. As in the first game, the player is tasked to rescue fairies. This is done by expertly catching them as they fall from the sky towards deadly, blazing pits. Double jumps are allowed in this platformer, which will come in handy as the player will need to deal with a myriad of baddies sent by the Black Queen.
There are goblins, spiders and bats ready to hinder the hero's path. Not to mention, deadly pit traps, clouds and even spikes on the ceiling which drip killer water droplets. Aside from the main levels, there is a bonus stage. This allows players to collect some much-needed in-game currency to earn extra lives for the arduous journey ahead.
8. Dragon Ninja
Also known as ""Bad Dudes"", Data East's Dragon Ninja is a side-scrolling beat 'em up title. It was released back in 1988 and features six arcade-style stages. Stages are designed to have two levels which allows players to either fight on the ground or beat baddies above by climbing up ladders or jumping across chasms. As with other titles in the genre, players must fight their way past minor enemies in order to face a boss waiting at the end of a level. The controls are simple, with one button assigned to punching and another to kicking.
9. Final Fight
Final Fight was published and released by Capcom back in 1989. Its story is set in Metro City where the people are terrorized by members of the gang ""Mad Gear"". Thankfully, the new mayor Mike Haggar happens to be a former wrestler -- and he's had quite enough. He takes matters into his own hands by going against the criminals but this gets his daughter kidnapped. As Mike Haggar, Guy or Cody, players attempt to save Jessica from the gang and clean up the streets in the process.
This hit game has six thug-infested areas on offer. From giant wrestlers to pyromaniacs, there are plenty of criminals to go up against. The controls are intuitive with a jump kick added to the usual punch and kick attacks.
The Amiga has plenty of titles made just for fans of the beat 'em up genre. From android ninjas to guitar-welding musicians, this list has all you need to get that arcade-style gaming fix. A number of these titles have since become icons, with modern-day iterations of the series. Shadow Warriors, for instance, paved the way for a series which has over ten games under its belt. And, though there isn't a modern-day sequel for the Final Fight series, Cody and Guy do appear in a number of Capcom's fighting games. not only are these beat 'em up titles entertaining enough to last hours, they also give a peek into some of the classics which we can thank for today's gaming treats."