Screwed Up NES Crap

Infiltrator   Ultra-realistic graphics!

Some might argue that looking for ridiculous stuff in videogames, particularly those of the NES era, is like shooting dead turkeys in a washbin. But there is some stuff that goes beyond even the normal standards of weirdness. The best part about it is that I don't think most of it was intentionally meant to be weird. These days if a game is goofy or quirky, it pretty much had to have been done on purpose. But due to the graphical limitations of the 8-bit NES console, oftentimes the line between what is supposed to be quirky and what is supposed to be taken seriously is indistinct and often becomes quite blurred. Let's start with Infiltrator, a game that made some attempt at being a realistic helicopter flight-and-combat sim but has what is quite possibly the most ridiculous opening cinema I've ever seen.

Dinner Theatre?   Urgent Message Arrives!

I'll try to ignore the obvious with the first image here. That's like the type of joke I would've found funny when I was 12. Notice that it says an urgent message "arrives"..."ARRIVES". How does this message arrive? It somehow mysteriously appears on a piece of notebook paper. No, it's not that someone left the notebook there. It actually writes itself out on the page. And even if you think it might just be symbolic of someone writing it out...

Urgent Message #2

It actually erases itself and writes out the second part of the "urgent message"! Wow! Never mind the Infiltrator's home weapons lab and dinner theatre. He's got the most technologically-advanced notebook in the damn universe.

Meanwhile   The MAD LEADER

There are so many things wrong with that, I don't even know where to begin. First of all, his name is the "Mad Leader". And I thought "Dark Lord" and "Divine Ruler" were bad, but "Mad Leader" is only about a half-step up from naming your character "Leader-1", and it only gets that extra step because it's unintentionally funnier. Second, he's green. He's fucking GREEN! WHY is he green??? Third, he's wearing what looks like a really badly-homemade Batman mask. His right pupil is somehow not quite the same size and shape as the left one. He's looking downwards for some inexplicable reason. His face is shaped like a warped shoehorn. And finally...why is he just sitting around his base yelling like that?

Ultra-Sophisticated, unlike anything else in this game

Somebody, please shoot me. I can't take any more of this game's dialogue.

Airwolf   More Ultra-realistic graphics!

I vaguely remember this TV series from the 80's called Airwolf. I think it was about an hour in length, and all I can really remember is that nobody cared about the first 45 minutes of the show. During the last 15 minutes, there'd be a shoot-out between the Airwolf helicopter and some other thing and that's pretty much when everyone would tune in to watch, and then promptly change the channel once the model being piloted by the villains would go up in flames.

The ole back from retirement cliche   Desperate, indeed

I thought I'd take a look at this game out of my morbid sense of curiosity, and other than the fact that you're apparently being given your missions by a sunburnt Saddam Hussein, it's not really weird or out-of-the-ordinary yet...

Mission 1

Once again, a message appears on a magic piece of paper. You know, I'm getting this suspicious feeling that this is some 80's Government technology that we weren't let in on...But still, this really isn't all that weird, so let's see what "Misson 1" is, and...




Wait a minute! Hold it! Back up here. Don't tell me you didn't just see that?

Subliminal Scares

This game is flashing subliminal images between cinemas, like those faces in The Exorcist. That thing looked like Satan himself designed it, (and judging from what the game is like, he probably was the programmer, too.)

Rambo   Yet another mission

As of typing this, I confess I've never seen a Rambo movie. I'm somehow under the impression that they aren't comedies. Unlike this game, which could've been sold as a parody of the Rambo movies and no one would've known the difference. Now, I've heard the rumors about how screwed up the ending of this game is, but I might be the first to actually present pictures of it. Because, really, it's the type of thing you just have to see for yourself to believe it.

I feel better in prison   The game doesn't start until you say YES!

And while I knew the ending was insane, I had no idea until I actually played the game how preposterous the rest of the story and dialogue was. Apparently, we're dealing with characters that are self-aware they're in a videogame.

Photograph?   Not rescue them?

I feel like I'm playing the videogame version of a Late Night with Conan O'Brien sketch. Do I even need to point out how ridiculous the characters are drawn? Or Rambo's limp grasp on the English language? Or how ludicrous that mission is? Why bother getting a guy like Rambo out of jail if you only need the work of a photographer?

I think I'm gonna hurl!

The Game Over screen. I can't blame Rambo for that one. I wanted to spew after playing a few of this game's action scenes, too. And why is he wearing a green shirt in the cinema scenes when he's obviously shirtless in the action scenes?

The ending   Find Murdock

I couldn't stand to play this game for very long, so I plugged in a password that sent me right to the final boss with invicibility. After taking what seemed like an eternity to destroy it, I finally got to see the bad acid trip of an ending I had only heard fleeting rumors about. And now I'm giving it to you. After you beat the Flying Fortress you can still run around a bit at the base. For some bizarre reason, when you shoot your weapon here, a big text block of some kind comes flying out of it. At least, I think that's what it is. I have no idea what language it's written in or what it says. If you explore around just a tiny bit, you should eventually see Murdock frantically running back and forth in place...

Shoot Murdock   Murdock is a Frog

Shoot Murdock with the flying text block...and he turns into a frog. He turns into a FROG!!! Whoever is responsible for this either didn't realize Rambo is not a comedy, or else he hated Rambo and really resented working on this game.

Frankenstein   Yeah. The terrible truth is that this game sucks.

Apparently, Bandai tried to capitalize on the popularity of Konami's Castlevania series. Judging by this game's opening cinema and overall graphic style, it's like they thought they could do for the Frankenstein Monster what Castlevania did for Dracula. Unfortunately, the terrible truth is that this game has a story so unintentionally funny and dialogue so laughably bad that it doesn't even need to give way to its awful gameplay before it loses all credibility as gamers hit the floor rolling.



Lays waste   Uhhh...what??

Maybe I'm not the world's foremost authority on the matter, but is that how the Frankenstein Monster generally behaved and talked? And what was with that ninja in the previous cinema scenes?? I thought that "bad world filled with evil" line from Castlevania 3 was amusing, but it has nothing on this game.

Shinobi   A hostage situation

Okay, yes, the title screen is majorly fucked up. But it gets better. Much better. First of all, the character you control in this game looks about as much like a ninja as I do. Allright, that's an exaggeration, I know. I actually look a LOT more like a ninja than that. Unless your idea of a ninja is a guy with a hernia dressed in oversized fatigues made from several types of garbage bags and wearing absolutely no mask of any kind while running around in broad daylight. But, yes, it gets even better. See that little hostage tied up there on the right side of the screen? You've probably guessed that you have to save that hostage. What happens when you save a hostage? Do you untie him? Does he thank you and run away?


You punt him like a football and away he goes. Diagonally, up off the screen, in a straight line, with no animation.

Another one   And there he goes...

Fuck. I mean, wow. What can I say, but wow. I had no idea that the baby punt was a staple of the ninja's mysterious repertoire of ancient martial arts.


Real-life reenactment of NES Shinobi's hostage rescue scenes.

Donkey Kong 3   Stanley, I presume?

I hope somebody at Nintendo got fired over this one. Here's an idea for a sequel! Let's torture Donkey Kong by shooting him up the ass with bugspray over and over again. This is even worse than the treatment Rambo got. Why is Donkey Kong even in this game? WTF is he doing in a greenhouse? And just who is Stanley? What kind of videogame hero thinks that raping poor gorillas with a spraycan is a valid source of amusement? Like King Kong before him, DK always was a slightly misunderstood character, but this is just pathetic. Never before and never again has any game character's face cried out "Please, get me out of here! Please...PLEASE!!" the way his does in that second screenshot.

Ghostbusters   I, Vigo, will knock you all down!

The original Ghostbusters movie is one of my all-time favorites, but I didn't care much for the second one, and here's one of the major reasons why: Vigo was a really lame villain. The first law of villain dialogue is never have him say, "I," followed by his own name, because no matter what actually comes next, the audience is only going to read it as "will knock you all down!"

Vigo painting.   Lame jumping animation

So what happens if Vigo knocks you, defeats you? He leaps out of the painting...

It's no Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man. That's for sure.   I've gotta hunka' hunka' burnin' love!

...and covers New York in slime while making Elvis lip sneers. Even in 1989, I doubt few New Yorkers would've even noticed this or cared.

Treasure Master   Oh no...

And finally, Treasure Master...You know, I don't like using the word "gay" to describe things, but...

Oh no, no, no...



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