Soldier of Light

by Christian F. Urquhart, Doc, Alan Craddock
ACE Software [1]
Crash Issue 54, Jul 1988   page(s) 75

Producer: ACE
Retail Price: £7.99
Author: Softek from a Taito coin-op

Xain, coin-op hero and intergalactic mercenary, has been summoned to tackle the greatest challenge of his career. Three planets in the sector have been invaded by Federation infiltrators, and the spaceways separating them are clogged with alien craft. Equipped with only his exoskeleton armour and jet boots, the intrepid Xain teleports straight to the heart of the disturbance.

The mission is loaded in two parts and takes place against a horizontally scrolling background of strange and hostile planets. Rocky outcrops form a system of platforms againsts the sky and man-eating flowers waiting patiently for Xain to put a jet-booted foot wrong.

Aliens attack from all sides shooting pellets and advancing with armoured machines. Contact with enemies and their bullets diminish strength on contact, as indicated by an energy bar.

At first, Xain is equipped with a single laser but other weapons, in the form of armour piercing lances, double shot fire balls and triple blasters, can be collected from the surface of every planet.

Once each planet has been cleared within the given time limit, the mission transfers to deep space. Taking control of a spacecraft, Xain attempts to ward off fleets of alien fighters against a horizontally scrolling starfield. A direct enemy hit is immediately fatal.

Given the chance, Federation forces re-invade a cleared planet in the time it takes to regain all three, forcing Xain to go back. It looks like he'll be busy for some time…


Joysticks: Cursor, Kempston, Sinclair
Graphics: monochrome throughout, with a wide range of large and small monsters - well drawn
Sound: squirty firing effects
Options: definable keys

Most arcade conversions either have lots of colour and lack speed (Karnov) or have great speed but lack any use of the Spectrum palette. But Soldier Of Light is beyond me; it not only lacks colour but is also very unresponsive. Coming from the author of Xecutor (84%, Issue 45) I find this hard to believe. Fans of the arcade machine should recognise the computer version but won't necessarily be at home with its jerky scrolling and dodgy collision detection. Soldier Of Light is, however, very addictive due to exactly the right difficulty setting - you'll probably complete it, but it'll take many, many hours play. A decent, albeit niggling, shoot 'em up.
PAUL [70%]

Soldier Of Light is an excellent conversion from the arcade machine. Right from the start you get slick presentation and excellent graphics. The only problem is the game lives up to it's name: it's very light! The programmers must have used up all their colour allowance on the title screen and not left any for the game itself. The monochrome doesn't spoil the playability, though; if anything it makes it better by taking away the threat of clash. There are some really tough baddies in the game, and I still can't work out how to get past some of them which makes it a bit frustrating. However, Soldier Of Light is a great conversion. Bring a first class Taito arcade game into your bedroom today!
NICK [84%]

Xain's mission takes place against a detailed and occasionally atmospheric background. Huge, man-eating plants and even a distant, rather grisly relative of the Loch Ness monster appear. The game itself is compelling, although it does require a little perseverance. Aliens advance mercilessly from all sides and working out exactly where it's safe to tread turns out to be a matter of trial and error. One minor quibble regards the control method: to get out of the crouching position you need to jump up. With jet boots this tends to take far longer than the surrounding aliens allow and generally leads to an untimely end. However, this is a relatively small hitch in a competent, if unspectacular, conversion which should keep you playing for quite some time.
KATI [70%]

Presentation: 79%
Graphics: 75%
Playability: 70%
Addictive Qualities: 71%
Overall: 72%

Summary: General Rating: An enjoyable arcade shoot 'em up, with a few drawbacks.

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Crash Issue 69, Oct 1989   page(s) 50

£2.99 (rerelease)

Soldier Of Light was, 'certainly one of the most eagerly awaited arcade tie-ins', back when it was first released, as the inlay quotes us as saying. And I must say the conversion worked really well then. Many of you may know the coin-op by it's other name, Xain'd Sleena.

Your mission for the Galactic High Command is to rid the galaxy of all the Federation's infiltrators. Going through the planets one by one you must destroy all the aliens while also picking up the extra power icons (shown by a P) to increase your weaponry. Once you have cleaned out all the planets you're blasted into space to face a fierce interplanetary battle in your fighter craft. Cor, it's all go for your average, every day hero!

The presentation of Soldier Of Light is excellent with a star spangled title screen and groovy loader. All the fun soon ends though when you actually start playing. The graphics are okay, even if they are all in monochrome, but the game is SO slow. Whenever you jump you could almost fell asleep and miss your player coming down again' You'll have to get used to doing everything in slow motion if you want to complete the game. The few sound effects I could find aren't anything brilliant and there is no title tune.

Overall: 68%

Transcript by Chris Bourne

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