Copyright/Publisher: Bug Byte, Release Year: 1985, Genre: Fighting Sports, Number Of Players: 1, 2 or 4

Become the Emperor's Champion and fight your way to freedom. One or two player mode. 10 different moves and the choice of 40 different weapons from the armoury.

As the Roman Legions campaigned through Europe, the spoils of their conquests included gold, precious stones, works of art - and slaves, A process of careful selection by the slaves' Masters decided their fate. Some were sent to the galleys to row for eternity. The beautiful were passed for the pleasure of the depraved.

Many were destined to hard labour under the whip, creating fabulous monuments for the Roman Empire, a few of which are still in evidence today. But the "Creme de la Creme" of the slaved were set aside for their powerful physiques, athletic prowess and killer instinct. They were called The Gladiators.

One day in 54AD the quiet village of Massina was ransacked by the 13th Legion. After razing the village to the ground, the Centurions took you, Marcus of Massina, back to Rome where you were sold as a slave. Your Owner sent you off to the School of Gladiators and you knew that you must kill or be killed.

There is one small gleam of hope for your survival. You are told that freedom is granted by the Emperor to the top ranking Gladiator, if the price can be paid!

Time moves on to 56AD and your first fight in the Arena is set for the 15th April. The Emperor himself has made a special effort to watch you. The object of the game is to become the Emperor's Champion and buy your freedom.

At the end of each bout, you are awarded points (or Eagles), but the total amount needed to buy your freedom is larger than your prize money, so you will forced to gamble on the outcome of other fights to increase your wealth.

To watch other gladiators and to learn from them, press 3 for the GAMBLE mode. This is a demonstration, where you can gamble with your friends, and see how much practice you will need to put in! There are many other moves that gladiators can make, and you may not see them all here.

The next step is to select the 2 player mode from the main menu, so that you can practice each movement against a stationary opponent. Select weapons from the extensive Armourty by pressing the fire button - you can have many combinations.

Your third choice must be a dagger, which will be put in your belt. Choose carefully - it might make the difference between life and death! Player 2's weapons can be selected quickly by pressing any of the bottom row of letters. Now practice with your joystick or keyboard.

Moves With No Fire Button Pressed:
[LEFT+UP] - Lunge at head
[UP] - Walk forward
[UP+RIGHT] - Lunge at legs
[RIGHT] - Move down screen
[RIGHT+DOWN] - Cut to body
[DOWN] - Move back
[DOWN+LEFT] - Head defence

Moves With Fire Button Pressed Once:
[LEFT+UP] - Jump forward
[UP] - Lunge at body
[UP+RIGHT] - Lunge at head & body
[RIGHT] - Swap hands
[RIGHT+DOWN] - Duck & pick up weapon
[DOWN] - Move back
[DOWN+LEFT] - Jump up
[LEFT] - Turn around

Moves With Fire Button Pressed Twice:
[LEFT+UP] - Cut to head
[UP] - Attack body
[UP+RIGHT] - Cut to legs
[RIGHT] - Attack legs
[RIGHT+DOWN] - Move back defending head & legs
[DOWN] - Throw weapon
[DOWN+LEFT] - Move back defending legs
[LEFT] - Attack head

This is where the action starts, and you challenge your first opponent. Select your weapons carefully using the skill and experience gained during practice. There will be a minimum of 14 fights before you finally meet the Emperor's Champion.

Although you are in peak physical condition, you are bound to get wounded and when you are near defeat your declining strength is shown by the garlands on the left hand side of the Emperor's seat. If you throw a weapon at your opponent, you automatically take the dagger from your belt. To pick up a thrown weapon, you must have a free hand - so throw the dagger as well. You then pick up the weapon.

At the end of a fight, the Emperor shows his pleasure by giving you a thumbs up. If you are defeated, you get a thumbs down. The crowd also shout from time to time. If you fight well, they cheer, but they get angry and boo if you run from your opponent.

You need 180 x 180 Eagles, donated by points, to buy your freedom. In each fight your score starts at a high level and diminishes until you kill your opponent and also as you become wounded. When you win your final fight, you become the Emperor's Champion, but will not have earned enough Eagles to buy your freedom.

The only way to become a freeman is to win your final fight and then gamble your winnings on the outcome of bouts between other gladiators. After you have become the Emperor's champion, you will be asked how much of your wealth you wish to gamble. Start the count up by pressing the key S.

Once you have reached the amount you wish to bet, press the fire button lightly. Keys A and S then select gladiators 1 or 2 respectively, so press the key for the one you wish to back. Press fire button once more and the fight will begin. If your man kills his opponent, your winnings are added to your wealth. Once you have earned sufficient Eagles, you can buy your Certificate of Freedom from the Emperor and the game is complete.

You have three lives. When you are killed for the third time, you go back to the beginning of the whole game.

If you manage to buy your liberty, a Certificate of Freedom will be shown on the screen. The first 32 players who send in a picture of this screen to Domark will win a (personalised) limited edition certificate. A competition will then be organised between these successful Gladiators at a Gala Evening - to find the greatest Gladiator in the world. A unique presentation sword, commissioned by Domark from Wilkinson Sword, will be presented to the worthy Victor!