Monday, October 12, 2009

Retro Game of the Day! Golgo 13 - Top Secret Episode

Retro Game of the Day! Golgo 13 - Top Secret Episode

Golgo 13 - Top Secret Episode by Vic Tokai for Nintendo Entertainment System, released in 1988.

So what is this all about? No one remembers now, but a select few of people are probably jumping up and down enthusiastically "ohhh crap it's Golgo 13!" This was Japan's answer to James Bond - in a way - though rather than being a spy, he was a hitman! Still, a stylish guy with a knack for weapons and ladies -

This was a very interesting game at the time, though it was a fair bit lopsided. Top Secret Episode (nice name) looked different than anything else on the market and was unusual in that way. In stills it looked very close to Rolling Thunder (which immediately caught my eye, as I was a fan of that game!) In that regard, it was a letdown to load this title up and rather than being flung into nonstop action, I had to button-press my way through numerous dialogue screens of people talking to Golgo about "FIXER" while he would only reply with "..." over and over.

The game was stylish and had some moments, however. It was nice to walk through the streets, then bust out into a karate kick and incinerate people on the street. This made no sense but it sure felt cool.
I have to give it up to this game for having a lot of guts to it -- they really tried to attempt something unique, with several different gameplay modes. There were first person combat modes (nearly unheard of on the NES at the time) where you'd be sniping, or flying a plane in air-to-air combat, or just rushing soldiers through mazelike hallways. I guess in the end the devs bit off a tad more than they could chew, but it was quite impressive (hell there's even a scuba mode!)

The game was very notable for it's raciness and violence, such as it was - especially during the iron-fist conservatism of Nintendo back in the late 80s. I don't know how they slipped this stuff past! You can pick up a pack of smokes to regenerate health - likewise, you can hook up with ladies. Though the side-view violence is cartoony, when you waste fools in 1st person you'll see blood splatter (almost no NES games show any blood!)

Golgo 13 is an interesting diversion, tough for the likes of me to get into (I wasn't patient enough) but I do remember some exciting things in there. I would like to check out the other games in this franchise, come to think of it..

1 comment:

  1. If you tried to use a "turbo" button like on the Nintendo Advantage, the game would tell you to stop cheating. Awesome. Years ahead of its time.