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The evil magician Drax is terrorizing the jeweled city and cast a spell over the beautiful princess Marina who is forced to obey him. From the lands to the north, a hero is sent to help the city and free the princess. He is Gorth, the strongest of the barbarian warriors. With his sword in hand, he has to beat eight of Drax's best warriors and at last the magician himself. He will fight them in the woods, on the mountaintop, in the dungeon... finally reaching Drax's palace itself.

This is essentially a one- or two-player fighting game where you control a big barbarian and fight another player or a computer AI. There are several kinds of hits, and some hits take off half a point while others take off a whole point. Each player has six of these "power points". They also have a special hard to perform "death sword" which decapitates your opponent, killing him with one fell swoop.


Death Sword Commodore 64 Title screen (UK version)
Death Sword Commodore 64 Training, my opponent ducked under the attack
Death Sword Commodore 64 You saved the girl.
Death Sword Commodore 64 The goblin carries away the defeated enemy

Promo Images

Death Sword Magazine Advertisement

Alternate Titles

  • "Battle Sword" -- Common mistaken title
  • "Barbarian: The Ultimate Warrior" -- UK title
  • "Barbarian: Le Guerrier Absolu" -- French title
  • "Barbarian: Der mächtigste Krieger" -- German title
  • "Barbarian" -- European in-game title

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

More Conan than Conan itself... WWWWolf (452) unrated

Critic Reviews

Tilt Jul, 1987 20 out of 20 100
Zzap! Jul, 1987 87 out of 100 87
Commodore User Jun, 1987 8 out of 10 80
Retrogaming History Dec 28, 2009 8 out of 10 80
64'er Jul, 1987 11 out of 15 73
The Good Old Days (Staff Reviews only) Sep 05, 2007 2 out of 6 33


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Michael Van Wijk, the model in the (Barbarian) front cover photo later became Wolf in the UK TV version of Gladiators. His character was something of an overblown pantomime type who aimed to add some light relief to proceedings. The back cover features Maria Whittaker - a famous The Sun's Page 3 model in the 80s .

German index

On October 31, 1987, the German version of this game was put on the infamous German index by the BPjS. Two months later, on December 31, 1987, followed the UK import. More information about this topic can be found in the game group.

Inspiration for the sword fighting

Designer Steve Brown wanted to do a sword fighting game. The inspiration for those fights came from the film Conan the Destroyer. He admits he watched the movie for hours to extract the sword fighting scenes. These fighting moves were then re-performed by himself and Gary Carr and also filmed. These short film cuts were then used as a base for the animations in game.


  • Commodore Format
    • March 1994 (Issue 42) Heaven – The Path to Righteousness: 20 Essential Games
  • ST Format
    • January 1993 (issue #42) - #46 in '50 finest Atari ST games of all time' list
Information also contributed by Xoleras

Related Web Sites

Der.Archivar (691) added Death Sword (Commodore 64) on Sep 25, 2003
Other platforms contributed by EboMike (3120), Sciere (742526), Kabushi (257515), Martin Smith (76170), ZZip (829), Jack Lightbeard (2706), Servo (57358), Tomer Gabel (4640) and RodeoInTheGreatWhiteNorth (120)