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Born in light and now lost deep in the darkest of shadows, the beast Aarbron is on a quest for vengeance.

Snatched from his loving parents as an infant, the child was seen as the key to ultimate power by the evil mage Maletoth − the fearsome reaper of spirits.

Now twisted into a monstrous warrior, Aarbron is forced to carry out his master’s destructive will.

But his chains won’t hold him forever, and Aarbron will one day have his chance to fight for his freedom.

That day has come.

Lead Aarbron on a quest across the mystical and eerie lands of Karamoon to find his creator and then… well… what happens then is up to you.

The true meaning of Aarbron’s tale is in your hands.

DIFFICULTY LEVELS

BEGINNER
Enemies are simpler to kill and you can restart from exactly the same place where Aarbron dies. This is ideal for newer players, or for those who simply want to enjoy the world of Karamoon and Aarbron’s story.

NORMAL
Your enemies are trickier to take down, and if you perish in battle you must restart from the beginning of the fight. This is suited to experienced players, or those familiar with fighting games.

BEAST
In homage to the notorious difficulty of the original Shadow of the Beast, this setting is the most punishing. Aarbron starts with reduced health points and suffers more damage from each attack. The bosses you encounter are substantially stronger and death means restarting the level from the very beginning!

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As Aarbron you may have the terrifying appearance and unnatural abilities of a monstrous beast – but inside still beats the heart of a human being.

You are not controlled by instinct – you have the ability to think, and to plan.

Only by experimenting with different moves, attacks and the magical Talisman devices will you get the top scores as you carve your way through the world.

Your enemies all have different ways to kill you, and will become more sophisticated and dangerous as you progress through your adventures.

Assess their attacks, plot your next move and then execute your plan… and your foes.

Remember, all of your combat sequences are ranked depending on the timing of your strikes, the types of attacks you use, and the length of attack combos you can build without being hit.

CONTROLS

Move left stick
Roll right stick
Attack F button
Grab/Use object A button
Jump/Sidestep S button
Stun D button
Block E button
Counter Q button or E button + F button
Parry E button + D button
Rage Chain Q button + E button or E button + R button
Advanced Combat Moves R button + D, F,A, or S button
Wrath of Aarbron Touch pad button (press)
Draw Gun (once acquired) W button
Fire Gun (once acquired) W button + R button or W button + E
Shadow Stone B button + N button

You can customise your controls from the Options menu.

COMBAT

The four powerful claws extending from your hands can slice open anything foolish enough to stand in your way.

But your enemies are no fools, so you need to string your moves together to be effective.

From blocks to counters, and special moves to bone-breaking combos − timing and tactics are everything.

Mastering these moves is the only way to gain the huge multiplier bonuses you need to achieve the top scores.

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ATTACK
The most simple, yet most devastating way to take down your enemies; you will be rewarded with points, as well as the blood of your fallen foes – vital for unlocking special moves.

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STUN
Stop a charging enemy in its tracks and leave them vulnerable to attacks. Useful when you’re surrounded. Stunned enemies are worth more points and if repeatedly stunned can give you a greater combo multiplier.

GRAB
Impale your foe on your claws and use the left stick to throw them aside. Try throwing a victim into oncoming enemies…

COUNTER
Some enemies are armed – time your counter just right and you can turn their own weapon against them. If you counter at the very last moment before their attack hits you’ll achieve a perfect score, which will increase your combo multiplier and give you a lot more points.

BLOCK
Aarbron has an incredibly powerful guard that can repel almost anything.

Combine a block with a stun move, and Aarbron will pull off a skull crushing headbutt.
And if you’re good enough (and fast enough) you might be able to block two attacks, and complete a dramatic counter in one fluid move.

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WRATH OF AARBRON
When faced with overwhelming odds, you can call upon the devastating Wrath of Aarbron to release a burst of vicious, razor-sharp spikes from the earth to impale all around you. Use this move wisely; you can only carry a limited number of Wrath of Aarbron charges at a time.

ADVANCED COMBAT MOVES

Aarbron is powered by his victims’ blood − every kill generates blood that fills up his on-screen Blood Bar.

This allows Aarbron to perform some very powerful attacks.

Unleash the true nature of the beast by performing an Advanced Combat Move on a hapless enemy, but beware: each Advanced Combat Move drains one portion of your Blood Bar.

Once you’ve started an Advanced Combat Move you can also channel the power of the beast in a Frenzy Moment − time will slow down, and you must repeatedly tap the button shown on-screen to maximise the unique abilities of each move.

DOMINATION – R button + D button
Aarbron lifts an enemy into the air… and rips out their heart. You can double your score by successfully completing the Frenzy Moment.

PARASITE – R button + F button
Aarbron consumes the blood of his fallen foe. Completing the Frenzy Moment successfully will restore some of Aarbron’s health.

REKINDLE WRATH – R button + A button
Aarbron rains pounding blows on a pinned enemy. You can restore one Wrath of Aarbron charge if the Frenzy Moment is successful.

MARTYRS FIRE – R button + S button
Unlocked later in the adventure, this move focuses the power of the beast through his gun, with shots literally burning through an opponent. Success will replenish Aarbron’s Blood Bar, but be warned – this is at the cost of his own health.

Each of the Advanced Combat Moves – and the Wrath of Aarbron − can be improved in the Combat section of the Wisdom of Shadows.

Learn more in the WISDOM OF SHADOWS section of this gamer guide.

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RAGE CHAIN
When Aarbron’s Blood Bar is full to maximum capacity, you have the chance to carry out a powerful Rage Chain manoeuvre.

Press the E and Q buttons – or the E and R buttons − together and Aarbron will roar into action.

Once you’ve activated the attack, you’ll need to push the left stick in the direction of the next enemy and press the attack button show on-screen. If you press the button too soon or too late, the chain will end.

Timing is critical – get it right and you can devastate groups of enemies and gain a huge score.

But… there is a penalty to be paid for this incredible destructive power − when the chain does eventually end, your combo multiplier will return to zero.

USING TALISMANS

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Unlock Aarbron’s dark magic and augment his abilities by discovering and equipping arcane Talismans.

You can equip up to three Talismans at the start of each level.

Talismans contain unique powers – which can be even more effective when combined together.

Make sure you mix, match and experiment with different combinations to prepare Aarbron for the challenges ahead.

Each level has different characteristics, and your own play style will dictate the best choices.

For example, attempting a speed run through the game will require quite different choices when compared to playing for high scores.

Learn more in the WISDOM OF SHADOWS section of this gamer guide.

DEATH?

Should Aarbron die at the hands of his enemies, you will have the chance to resurrect him and continue on your quest.

But to do this you will have to make a choice to resurrect by either:

USING A SOUL
Consume the soul of an innocent being.

USING AN ELIXIR
Drink a magical elixir you earn from performing well in combat – or that you receive as a gift from other players online.

Your choices could have consequences…

  • Be aware that your options will be different when you dare to play on the Beast difficulty level.

TIMELINES

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Discover the story of Aarbron by unlocking timelines from the map screen.

Each timeline gives you a hint of how it can be viewed.

Some timelines can be unlocked by finding and destroying a Prophecy Orb by using the Wrath of Aarbron.

Connect to PlayStation™Network for the chance to devour the souls of fallen friends and other Shadow of the Beast™ players, and test yourself in the ultra-competitive online leaderboard rankings.

Note: when disabling social features in the Options menu, it may take a short period of time before you stop receiving messages.

THE SHADOW REALM

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During your adventures in Karamoon you may encounter a vapourish Blood Mark – this is a soul lost to the Shadow Realm, showing you where an online player’s beast has been killed.

You can choose to release the soul and gift them a life-saving elixir.

Or you can desecrate the soul of this fallen beast by devouring it; you will earn points based on how quickly you can consume the beast’s soul.

You will then be rewarded with a Shadow Stone – a powerful enchantment that compels the soul of the other player’s slain beast to fight alongside you for a period of time.

The other player will receive a notification of this battle and be invited to try and beat your effort.

However, if they fail you will be gifted a bonus elixir to celebrate their humiliation!

LEADERBOARDS

Your performance in each location on the map is ranked against your friends and other Shadow of the Beast™ players.

You will be ranked on your score and how fast you can complete a level.

Speed rankings are divided into two categories: ‘regular’ runs, where you must reach the end of the level as fast as possible, and ‘completionist’ runs, where you must clear every encounter and collect every Summon Seal and Prophecy Orb in the level.

Defeating enemies and discovering secrets will earn you Mana Points, which can be used in the Wisdom of Shadows to purchase:

COMBAT UPGRADES

HEALTH
Increase your health by one, two or three points.

STUN
Power up the stun move to leave your foes dazed for even longer.

BLOOD YIELD
Absorb more blood from your helpless enemies.

HOLD PUMMEL
Unlock or upgrade a new devastating attack.

WRATH OF AARBRON
Increase the maximum number of Wrath of Aarbron charges you can hold at one time.

ADVANCED COMBAT MOVES
Dial up the ferocity of your Advanced Combat Moves, and acquire Frenzy Focus to speed up your fighting.

GUN POWERS
Improve your aim and fire power.

TALISMANS

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Make sure you explore Karamoon to discover any hidden areas – you might find Summon Seals, the secret key to acquiring magical Talisman charms.

Follow the on-screen instructions to break the Summon Seal and unlock a Talisman.

Once a Talisman is unlocked you can read about its secret powers in the Wisdom of Shadows and decide if it’s worth purchasing with your hard-earned Mana Points.

Learn more in the USING TALISMANS part of the HOW TO PLAY section of this gamer guide.

FORBIDDEN TOMES

TRANSLATE SPEECH
You probably don’t speak the languages of the natives of Karamoon, so use your Mana Points to unlock their on-screen subtitles.

Do you think you know your enemies? This might change a few opinions.

1989 MUSIC
Play the game with the unforgettable music from the original 1989 version.

VISIONS

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BESTIARY
Learn all about the different characters and monsters from Shadow of the Beast™ – and pick up a few helpful hints on how to defeat them.

CONCEPT ART
View galleries of eye-catching concept art.

HISTORY

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ORIGINAL 1989 GAME
Play an emulation of the 16-bit Shadow of the Beast™ from 1989.

While the original game required players to restart from the beginning every time they died, this emulated version lets you restart from the beginning of any chapter you’ve reached.

Your progress through this version is not strictly linear – so reaching a new area won’t necessarily unlock a new chapter unless you’ve already picked up other vital items.

Your experience of the original game can be customised further from its own Options menu.
The optional hints give you a small amount of advice on how to get past certain obstacles, while other settings allow you to customise the graphics.

You can also switch the game speed between 50hz – how the game was originally meant to be played – and 60hz, which is slightly smoother and faster, and also matches the experience of gamers who played the original game in America and Canada.

Note that playing the game in 60hz mode makes it considerably more challenging!

INFINITE LIFE IN 1989 GAME
If the original game is a little bit too hard for you, then unlock this option to cheat your way through. After purchasing, the Infinite Life cheat can be turned on and off from the 1989 Game options menu.

1989 GAME PLAYTHROUGH
Watch an expert gamer put his skills to the ultimate test.

BOX ART FROM 1989
Take a look at the original artwork created by celebrated artist Roger Dean.

RETROSPECTIVE 1989
Delve into a deeply detailed history of the original game franchise.

ORIGINAL AMIGA SOUNDTRACK
Composed by David Whittaker, this original soundtrack is burned into the memory of many gamers. Unlock this and find out why.

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Established in 2011, Heavy Spectrum Entertainment Labs is made up of a skilled group of very passionate and experienced game creators.

Industry veteran and company CEO Matt Birch is leading the team on their first foray into PlayStation®4 development after creating PlayStation®Mobile titles Puzziball™ and Bullion Blitz™.

Here Matt shares his thoughts on the game creation process.

WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO BRING SHADOW OF THE BEAST™ TO PS4™?

We wanted to bring our vision of the intriguing world of Karamoon to life, reimagining its eerie and striking alien landscapes with cutting-edge console technology.

This version is intended to introduce the game to a new generation of players who are yet to experience the world of Aarbron − whilst also reigniting that sense of nostalgia for those who remember the original.

DO YOU THINK FANS OF THE ORIGINAL GAME WILL HAVE THE SAME EXPERIENCE ON PS4™?

There are many references for them to discover, whilst also experiencing the world of Karamoon in a new light.

We’re huge fans of the original, so we have tried to push many things that were special to us into this game.

I’d like to think fans will spend a lot of time in the Visions part of the Wisdom of Shadows; I hope that seeing how we imagined the world of Karamoon will appeal to them.

Of course, if anyone wants to literally re-experience the original game, then we have been able to provide that too! This was something we really wanted to do, so I’m really glad we managed to sneak it in there.

WAS THIS A HIGH-PRESSURE PROJECT – DO YOU FEEL A LOT OF EXPECTATION FROM FANS?

I am hugely passionate about Shadow of the Beast™ and we couldn’t believe our luck when we were told we could make this game.

As fans ourselves we could definitely feel the pressure on our shoulders!

When I was a kid I played the original a lot and would invent reasons why things in the game existed. I would flesh out the characters, the enemies and the world.

It was a game that really sparked my imagination and this was one of the reasons I loved it so much.

We really hope we’ve created a game and an experience to inspire a new generation of players in the same way the first version inspired us all those years ago, and built something additive to the legacy of Shadow of the Beast™.

HOW DID YOU BEGIN DEVELOPING THE GAME?

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I got the team together and asked everyone to write down and draw anything they remember from the game – characters, bosses, level design… how it made them feel.

I wanted to capture the emotions − not necessarily the absolute reality − and base our creations around that.

Quite often when you play an old favourite game, you end up disappointed because it doesn’t look or play anything like you remember. That was the basis of our ‘emotional’ approach − we wanted to evoke the same feelings as our memories of the original game, but also to reflect the advances in technology and design that have happened since that era.

We hope it’s resulted in something special for people who played the original, and equally something that’s exciting and fresh for those who weren’t even aware of it.

HOW INSPIRED WERE YOU BY THE ARTWORK FROM THE ORIGINAL GAME?

The sheer variety seen in the original artwork is inspiring, and one of the things that really cemented Karamoon as a living world full of wondrous sights.

The diverse styles seen in the original release − from the amazing Roger Dean cover to the illustrative images in the manual, and the beautiful palettes and strange creatures in the game − were something that we wanted to reflect in the diversity of levels we created.

We set ourselves the objective of making every level different to the previous − which for a small team like ours turned out to be a huge challenge!

ARE YOU ANY GOOD AT THE ORIGINAL (VERY HARD) GAME?

Replaying the game was emotional for me; I have this deep connection to it.

I died almost immediately. And repeatedly.

For anyone who struggled to get beyond the castle, or indeed struggles to even get into the castle (sadly a not entirely uncommon experience for the team here), we’ve added a few crutches to our rendition.

You can now restart from the beginning of any chapter you have reached, and use the Infinite Life cheat included should the later stages still prove too hazardous.

We’ve also added a few hints for some of the puzzles that we recall causing us great confusion back in the day.

Thanks to all of this, I can now proudly say that I have beaten the original game.

By cheating.

A lot.

These pieces of incredible concept art were created during the early stages of the game’s development.

To unlock more images, press the D button on the map screen to enter the Wisdom of Shadows and go into the Visions section – make sure you have plenty of Mana Points to spend.

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BLOCK, BLOCK, BLOCK!
Mastering this simple technique is key to the heart of combat and managing incoming attacks from enemies. Blocking keeps you and your attack combo multiplier alive, and has another feature – while holding the block button you can switch direction instantly.

MANAGE YOUR RESOURCES
Difficult enemies can be dispatched with ease if you attack them during a Rage Chain, or you can use the Wrath of Aarbron for a guaranteed risk-free kill.

KILL ONE, SAVE ONE FOR LATER
You can easily dispatch most opponents in a head-on assault, but watch your back as you could leave yourself exposed. Sometimes the smart option is to use a non-lethal stun move to quickly stall an enemy, buying time to turn around and stop his comrades from closing in from behind.

SCORE IS IN THE DETAIL
Pay attention and consider your options for every kill. Some enemies are worth more points, whilst different moves offer different point yields.

The combo multiplier is applied to all scores, and goes up at different rates depending on the moves you perform, and the enemy’s state when killed.

COUNTER THE RIGHT WAY

Whilst using the dedicated counter move is helpful for newer players, holding the block button and then tapping an attack button just at the moment the enemy is about to strike is often safer and more effective, as you are protected if your timing is late.

KEEP YOUR COMBO MULTIPLIER
Your combo multiplier gets reset when you finish a Rage Chain, when you are hit or a short time after your last kill when you’re not in an encounter. Avoid this at all costs when aiming for high scores.

CHOOSE YOUR TALISMANS CAREFULLY
If you’re going to push your combat skills to the limit then master the Shield of Leander, as it can not only save you in a tight situation but can also boost your multiplier without losing a kill opportunity.

For speed running through the game, using the Talisman of Descent can open up shortcuts you couldn’t normally consider.

FRENZY FOCUS
This is the combat upgrade advanced player cannot live without.

Once purchased from the Wisdom of Shadows you can shortcut Frenzy Moments by holding down the block button and an attack button – this will save you time in the heat of battle and let you concentrate on your next move.

You cannot perform a Frenzy Moment when devouring another player’s beast in the Shadow Realm.


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