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"Commando" (NES)

This shoot-em-up game that has fun written all over it. Aside of the flickering graphics due to high animation at times, and it's another game that made the NES that much more fun to play on.

"Shoot 'em up!"

That's it, that's all you need to do in this game. My beloved father was a huge fan of racing- and military-based games; My mom loved the puzzle and casino games. When I was a kid, as soon as my dad showed this game to me and how it played, it was rapid-shooting fun. I loved it....except when I lose, of course.

Fast forward to today, and here I am. I had to go all out to beat the game, which I did (video below). Nevertheless, I knew little that this fun game is said to be one of the most difficult games in the NES library.

Knowing that, I had to do what everyone else here is thinking: use a rapid-fire controller. Sure, that defeats the purpose of the challenge using the regular controller but to prevent dislocating my thumbs, sometimes, you have to use the rapid-fire controller. (I own the QuickShot controller.)

This game is impossible to beat in one try. You are guaranteed to lose so get used to that reality, and get use to seeing the title screen wanting to continue again. In the menu screen, you have the option to have 2 players and a 1P/2P CONT option—the CONT being short for "continue." The music is very catchy and is sure to stick to your head even after playing this game. Other than that, it's generic and I have nothing much to say about it. The graphics represent NES goodness, but due to the fact that there are a flood of endless enemy troops, there are pixels that do flicker often. To pixel peepers out there: believe me, some of these minor glitches can be helpful when bullets are aimed at you and you don't get killed because of the graphical flickers. Oh, you're welcome, just want to help out our fellow video gamers without charging for gaming advice (do 'professional' video gamers do that, like doctors do?).

The controls are okay, though there can be some delays at time especially in the heat of the game. Super Joe walks kind of slow but the bullets targeted at you travel slower giving you enough time to dodge them. There are no weapon upgrades, just your rifle "pea shooter" gun. Throughout the game, you'll find men in blue outfits, like yours, tied up in sewers, trees and/or held hostage against enemy troops. Doing the best you can, saving them gives you 1,000 points. Points are crucial as they give you extra lives given how difficult this game can get. You don't have to save all of them, but those points can help a lot.

Along the way, you'll find Tetris-like blocks on the floor—those are grenades. Depending on the area and enemies, grenades are your best friends, meaning something you don't want to neglect. When there's a clump of enemies in one place, throw a little "egg-plosion" to knock them out in one shot.

As for the levels, there are four, each with four stages all each with different areas. Each level is a mission, and your job is beat and finish all four missions. The fourth and final mission is crazy hard, and you'll end up playing the game standing up. Beat the final mission and....you get a thank you message, and the game restarts from the beginning. According to one, if you beat the game with 5 lives remaining and over 20 grenades on hand, you get a personal congratulations from the programmers of the game (I never was able to get that).

After I defeated this game in about 3 hours, the adrenaline was so intense, I was still shaking for about 20 minutes. It truly demands your full attention, and if you play this with someone, for the two-player mode, try not to yell at each other causing a ruin in the friendship. Saying this game is tough makes games like Battletoads look impossible to beat. Yeah, it's tougher than I thought but challenge can be fun, right?

For such a game with a simple concept, it's sure to test those egotistical gamers at their own will. It's a testament of how good a player you are, as this game contrasts other crazy difficult shooting games. It will make your hands sweat, the controller buttons broken in to and possibly have you cursing and swearing at the TV. In that case, if you're watching someone play this, get your cell phones ready because a funny reaction will commence during the peak of the game's intensity triggering video/image memes for the Internet to see. Yeah, I know, I'm so horrible.

Put your skills to test and give this a shot!





  • Music is catchy but very "NES."
  • Decent controls, and works with rapid-fire controllers.
  • Great top-down shoot-em-up that defied the NES.
  • Boss fights range from okay to brutal.
  • Humorous misspelling when you beat the game (see video above).
90% (A-)
Fan Rating
Game Title Commando

CAPTAIN COMMANDO: Challenge Series

COMMANDO—"Super Joe" and your skill on a highly secret mission... challenging the Evil Empire Army in fierce guerilla warfare.

Super Joe and your skill — armed only with Super Joe's rifle and unlimited ammunition, plus a hand grenade that requires replenishing. Your assignment... find and destroy;... stopping attempts to dominate the world's population and resources.

You must skillfully control Super Joe's venture into a deep, unexplored jungle region. Surprisingly, you and Super Joe find the enemy behind iron walls, on bridges to cross, in trucks and Jeeps that try to ram Super Joe.

Can Super Joe and you carry out this reckless, almost impossible mission?
ISBN / Bar Code number 0 13388 11001 8
Video Format 1.33:1 (4:3) Full screen
Audio Format Stereo
Language(s) English
Disk/Cartridge One (1)
Region(s) NTSC
Genre Action
Rated ????
Released September 1986 (JP), November 1986 (US)
Video Specification Color
Licensed by Nintendo
Developed by CAPCOM©
Distributed by CAPCOM© U.S.A. Inc.,
Sunnyvale, CA 94089
Product / Item / Catalog Number ???? / NES-GP

© 1986 All Rights Reserved.

Nintendo and Nintendo Entertainment System are trademarks of Nintendo of America, Inc.
Game Pak "NES-GP"

CAPCOM© and Captain Commando™ are Registered Trademarks of CAPCOM© U.S.A., Inc.
Other Formats Atari 2600, Atari 7800, Amiga, Arcade, BBC Micro, Commodore 64, Amstrad CPC, Intellivision, Mobile, MSX
Quoted Reviews --
Other In the Japanese release, this game is titled Senjou no Ookami.

State-of-the-Art          High Resolution Graphics


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