Barbarian (AMSTRAD 1987)

There are several games you can play on your AMSTRAD CPC (emulator) that have the title "Barbarian."

But only one of these games is the brilliant game to end all games, the correct and wonderful "BARBARIAN" from my childhood.

The "correct" version looks like this:


The "correct" version is likely to be found in a .dsk file called:

Barbarian 1 (UK) (1987) [a3].dsk

And has an intro menu in French.

To run one of those files you tell the emulator to load the disk into A: by selecting File | Drive A: | Insert Disc Image or by pressing Ctrl F1


Once the disc is inserted, type the command CAT to inspect the content of the drive.

By convention there is a often a file called disc (with a .bin or .bas extension) and this is the way to start your game, by running the disc file, with the command:


(And you will need to know that the double quote character is achieved with Shift-2 (typical of the Amstrad (and modern UK) keyboard)

In the case of Barbarian, the "disc" file is a Basic program, and it produces an error when I run it.


The error is:

Unknown command in 20

(Meaning that line 20 of the basic program contains an unknown command)

To get around this I:

  • Load the program
  • Modify the bit that causes the error
  • Run the program

I load the program with


I inspect the loaded program with the command List


Line 20 consists of a few commands, separated with colons.

I want to remove the first command, up to and including the first colon.

Thus, I edit the line labelled as 20 via this command:

edit 20

And I use my cursor keys and backspace to remove this bit:



The program in memory is now correct and I run it with run

A menu appears in French (this menu is generated by the program we were just inspecting).

I like the forest setting so I choose 1.

The game soon launches into Demo mode. Perfect for selling the game on the shop floor in Chandlers. I can watch the demo for extended periods of time.

Press "Enter" to change mode, until you reach "Mode 1". Then press "Space" to confirm your selection.

And the battles begins...


Assuming you are facing right →

Combo Move
step back
step forward
↓ ← roll left
↓ → roll right
↓ → fire1 kick
crouch on one knee
↓ Fire1 on one knee, chop
↑ ← spinning sword (leaning back)
↑ Fire1 High chop (neck height)
← Fire1 Flying spinning chop (can decapitate opponent)
→ Fire1 Low chop (waist level)
↓ ← Fire1 overhead chop ?
↑ → Fire1 headbutt (close quarters)


Further Reading

See Also