Release: Jun 13, 2012 - Author: -Der-Tribun - Translator: Bensn
Shadow of the Beast by Psygnosis stands for an enormous improvement of graphic capacities in sidescroller-Jump n' Runs. Back in the days at the end of the 80s, it demonstrated impressively what could be got out of an Amiga in terms of graphics. Accordingly, the game became very popular and was converted to many other systems like the C64, Mega Drive or PC-engine, too. Apart from the brilliant graphics and good sounds, however, the game is mainly famous for its high difficulty level which is relentless in some places. The end of the game is to bring down the empire of the beast after it has turned you into a monster.
Since the game contains many extremely grim and bloody graphic details, it was clear in the first place that it would be difficult to obtain an approval for the SNES by Nintendo. On the account of Psygnosis, the programmers' team Probe tried to cope with that balancing act. Many censorships have been made, but some other details (like jumping, partly bloody eyeballs) were left in the game. Nintendo of America, however, showed no mercy and failed the finished game "Super Shadow of the Beast" with the result that it has never been released. Nonetheless, the SNES Version of the game can be found in the internet.
The level structure of the SNES-version is slightly changed in a few places and the last level has been altered completely. Except from that it is mostly similar to the original version. However, the whole music has been replaced and the graphics were designed a lot more colorfully, which destroys much of the atmosphere. This version cannot compete with the original. What is especially cheeky is that the difficulty level was extremely raised in such a way as to finish the game is only very difficult now.
Compared were the uncensored Mega Drive-Version and the censored SNES-Version. The Mega Drive-Version is almost 1:1 equivalent to the Amiga-Version. This one was unfortunately not available due to broken software.
Altered final enemy
The first boss located in the tree-level has got blood on his horns. Those horns have been colored in brown for the SNES in order to make the blood look like soil.
The second key of the cave level can be found at the huge corpse of a monster. This corpse has been completely removed for the SNES and was replaced by a fire breathing dragonhead which additionally makes this sequence EVEN harder than it originally was.
Flying enemy skulls approach you as well. These ones have been redrawn. It is not entirely clear what they are supposed to be but they are certainly not looking like skulls anymore.
Dangers from the ground
In one place on the great plain, blood-smeared horns spring up from the ground. These horns became big metal spears and are not bloody anymore. A few moments later, you are being attacked by metal rods which jolt up from the ground and are bloody as well. The blood has been removed for the SNES.
In the last level, the cemetery, you can find cross-shaped tombstones which can be smashed in order to gain an also cross-shaped Power-Up. The SNES-version relocated the level inside the castle (even though there still are tombstones); the crosses on the tombstones now look like an upwards pointing arrow and the Power-Up resembles a magnifying glass.
Both alterations have obviously been done in order to keep the game “religiously neutral”.
Removed dangers on the ground
In one place of the great plain, gray, partly bloody hands rise up from the ground to attack the player. The SNES-version lacks these hands completely.
Likewise, an enemy inside the castle is missing – a head on two feet which has a knife sticking in his top along with a very bloody wound.
Another missing enemy is a skull rolling in the direction of the player (something like a bowling ball)
A third enemy is missing inside the castle. It is a beheaded giant who attacks the player by jumping at him and whose torn up neck shows parts of the spine and bloody muscles laying bare.