The fated tower is back in The Return of Ishtar from the Arcade Archives

Too old for all these stairs…

Retro editor Hamster can’t get off his Namco kick right now, bringing something particularly lefty to Arcade Archives this week. Now available on PS4 and Nintendo Switch, it’s a dungeon crawling classic. The return of Ishtar.

Released to arcades in 1986, before being ported to formative platforms like the Sharp X68000 and Fujitsu FM-7, Ishtar’s return it is a sequel to 1984 The Tower of Druagaand it’s the second release on the cute ‘n’ compact Babylon Castle Saga. Established immediately after the events of dredger, Ishtar sees the hero Gilgamesh and the recently rescued maiden Ki as they try to escape from the towering dungeon. You can see the action in the trailer below, courtesy of YouTuber Replay Burners.

Like something new Ishtar’s return features two-player cooperative action, with player one controlling Gilgamesh and player two guiding Ki. The former uses his steel weaponry to defeat various ghosts and demons, while the latter is equipped with a variety of magical attacks to fend off evildoers. As a duo, the protagonists must battle their way through the tower’s 60 floors, housing over 120 screens – pretty epic for what is supposedly a coin-munching arcade release.

Ishtar’s return it would be followed by various sequels, spin-offs and even a prequel, in the form of 1988 Ki’s search. This title told the story of the maiden’s doomed quest to reach the top of the tower, which would ultimately lead to her imprisonment and thus the events of the original game. Pretty deep and clever gameplay continuity for the early years of the genre.

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Ishtar’s return is available to download now on PS4 and Nintendo Switch. The Tower of Druaga joined Arcade Archives in June of this year.

Chris Moyse

Senior Editor: Chris has been playing video games since the 1980s. Former Master of Saturday Night Slam. Graduated from Galaxy High with honors. Twitter: @ChrisxMoyse

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