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26 Features

Retro Vault: X-Men vs Street Fighter, Barbarian, WipEout, Project Reality

Plus: CVG's surprisingly before-its-time April Fools joke

Retro Vault is our regular weekly feature in which we dive into gaming's past and share five classic nuggets of retro nostalgia. If you want to catch up on previous Retro Vaults, check out the CVG Retro Vault archive.

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Barbarian: The Ultimate Warrior C64 artwork

In late 1987, London-based publisher Palace Software released Barbarian for a variety of home computers, including the Commodore 64 version you see above.

An early example of the one-on-one fighting genre, Barbarian pitted two sword-wielding warriors against each other in a fight to the death, with relatively complex controls for the time.

Most people don't remember the game, however: instead, when most gamers of a certain age think of Barbarian the first thing that springs to mind is the game's cover image, which was also used on promotional material.

It featured two scantily clad models, one female (page 3 model Maria Whittaker) and one male (bodybuilder Michael Van Wijk, later known as Wolf from Gladiators), causing mass outrage from the public.

Of course, it's a good job those displaying this outrage didn't actually play the game, otherwise they would have spotted its notorious decapitation move that can end fights in seconds.

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