Sabreman (series)

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The Sabreman series of games was released by Ultimate Play the Game for the Sinclair ZX Spectrum in the 1980s. Some of the installments were also released on other consoles, like the Amstrad CPC, BBC Micro, Commodore 64 and MSX. The latest game in the series was released on the Game Boy Advance in 2004 by Rare, Ltd., the successor company of Ultimate. The series stars Sabreman, an explorer wearing a pith helmet.

List of games

  • Sabre Wulf (1984) - Sabreman must collect four pieces of an ancient amulet while navigating the treacherous jungle, home to many creatures, the most dangerous of which is the eponymous wolf. Plays from a top-down perspective and is an action-adventure game.
  • Underwurlde - Sabreman must escape the hostile underworld he ended up in while escaping the jungle. There are a total of three ending exits, which lead to Knight Lore, Pentagram, or Mire Mare. Plays from a sidescrolling perspective, and is an action-platformer.
  • Knight Lore - Having been infected with lycanthropy, Sabreman must navigate a castle full of traps to find ingredients for the cure. Plays from an isometric perspective, and is an action-adventure game with puzzle elements.
  • Pentagram - Sabreman, who is now a wizard, attempts to find the dangerous magical artifact known as the Pentagram. Plays from an isometric perspective, and is an action-adventure game with puzzle elements.
  • Sabre Wulf (2004) - A reboot of the franchise, in which Sabreman attempts to assemble an amulet, but now in a vastly expanded world with platforming elements and non-playable characters. Plays from a top-down perspective.

There were also two games in the series that were never released:

  • Mire Mare - Nothing is known about this game other than that it would have been a sequel to Underwurlde and/or Pentagram.
  • Sabreman Stampede - Developed briefly from the unfinished Donkey Kong Racing after Rare changed hands from Nintendo to Microsoft, but ultimately scrapped.

Of the released games, the first three were released in 1984. Knight Lore was actually finished first, but was not released until after Underwurlde in order to keep the storyline more coherent.

Sabreman's appearance in Knight Lore inspired the character Konrad von Sabrewulf in the Killer Instinct series, while the character himself made a cameo in Banjo-Tooie (in Hailfire Peaks). In 1988, Ultimate released Ultimate Play The Game: The Collected Works, a compilation with 11 games made by them. The original Sabre Wulf and Knight Lore are included in this compilation. Later, in 2015, Rare released Rare Replay, another compilation with 30 games from their past, including games from the Ultimate Play The Games era. The original Sabre Wulf, Underwurlde and Knight Lore are included in this compilation.