Sunday, 14 November 2010


Delved back into 1985 tonight and booted up Capcom's run and gunner, Commando. It was a favourite of mine back in the eighties and its certainly not too bad on the eyes today. Its not the longest of games, but thats by the by, arcade games weren't built like that in days of old (they were purely a 10p fix) and it was the one-more-go factor which kept players coming back.
Commando, along with a lot of titles back in the day, had neat little touches which always fleshed the game out that bit more. In this game (for me) it was the way the soldier puffed on a cigarette after succesfully completing a level. He stood there all defiant with his foot on a raised mound like he was saying, 'bring on the next army.'


The next thing that grabbed me by the 80's quiff was the Hi-Scores. Or more precisely the way you in inputted your initials ~ crosshairs would appear over the alphabet and the gamer would shoot the relevant letters onto the scoreboard. (Which also included heart symbols!) Believe me, when you're a fourteen year old computer games geek it was little touches like that which wedged themselves deep into the brainbox. Or maybe it was just me?
Gameplay was pretty straightfoward and after a helicopter dropped your commando (Super Joe) at the start of the game, you would have to charge UP the screen, facing waves of enemy, which were on foot, jeep or motorcycle. It was the first veryical scrolling game id played and was easily the inspiration for other titles like Ikari Warriors and Gun.Smoke.
Super Joe was armed with a machine gun and limited grenades (more supplies could be picked up) and as well as plugging the enemy, you were also able to free hostages being marched up the screen between two bad guys. After reaching the top a gate would open, spilling enemies out, including an officer of rank (bonus points), which had to be dealt with before the levels end and that well deserved ciggie break.
Commando was one of those early games that truly had that one-more-go factor and could be very addictive. I dropped a ton of coinage into this in the arcades and am able to lose a swift hour even in this day of Modern Warfares and Medal Of Honours.
Lock and load Joe.


  1. I only ever played the Speccy version of this but it was a great game on that too! :)

  2. Sorry for nor replying sooner (im hopeless with these comments LOL) I liked the Speccy version :)