Sword Fight

Sword Fight
Company: Mattel
Model #:
Stephen Tatsumi (Deign/Program) & Pat Lewis Du Long (Sound Effects)
Year: 1983
Originally called Swordfighting

In case you didn't guess from the title, Sword Fight is one-on-one fighting game in which two players try and subdue each other with large swords.  Sword Fight never saw release during the 2600's heyday, but Intellivision Productions produced a limited number of professionally produced carts in 2000.  These carts sold out quickly and due to copyright restrictions the rom file has not released, making it still widely unavailable to most gamers.


The goal of Sword Fight is simple, hit your opponent enough times until he's dead.  Your hit points are shown as circles underneath each player.  Your warrior has three different types of swings: a left slice, a right slice, and an overhead chop.  Each type of swing has it's own advantages and disadvantages, so it's up to the player to determine which swing is appropriate at the time.  Of course Sword Fight would be much of a game if all you could do is attack, so your player also can block the various blows that are thrown at him.  If the graphics of Sword Fight look a little odd, it's because of an interesting technique used by programmer Stephen Tatsumi.  Stephen used background graphics to increase the player size, this made for much larger (if slightly blocky) characters that are unique amongst 2600 games.


So why was Sword Fight never released?  According to the Blue Sky Rangers, Mattel was trying to promote one player games and since Sword Fight was two players only it was shelved.  A similar fate befell Sea Battle which was also finished around the same time.  One has to wonder why a simple computer AI wasn't added to make the game more marketable?  Whatever the reason, Sword Fight is definitely one of the lost classics of the 2600.

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