I first had my own NES when I was 12 or 13. I was renting games willy-nilly, and one of the games I rented was Bionic Commando. I never played Commando very much because days and days and days of playing Ikari Warriors had tired me out of the Overhead-View Vertical-One-Way Battlefield Scroller genre. But when I got my hands on the Manually Deficient (the book was lost) Bionic Commando cartridge, I was glad to see this wasn't just another scroller.
But what the heck was this -- the guy couldn't jump. And the enemies left bullets but there was no apparent loss of ammunition when I fired my gun... and the guy couldn't jump ! The grappling was tough to grasp, and it wasn't until after I died twice that I realized you could SWING on the arm ! Well that changed everything.
I restarted the game a few times trying to beat old AREA 1 and boy was I surprised when the boss turned out to be not some macho warrior, but a huge energy cell of some sort. I quickly obtained the flare gun and headed for the neutral area. Wow ! There was a parade and this Generalissimo (wow!) Killt (whoa!) was in the trail. Shooting at the offensive scoundrel only prompted swift airborne attacks from the peacekeepers so I zoomed out of the area and headed for AREA 4.
I didn't have a manual so I didn't understand that to light up the area I had to press START while I had the Flare Gun as my option. I didn't even know how to select options in the opening screen ! Needless to say I spent a reset managing AREA 4 totally in the dark.
After this the game only got better, until I reached the point where I was faced with a rigid girder wall and no way around it. I had to reset ! Later on I learned that I could call for a lift ticket by pulling the controller out of the plug (or by pressing a secret combination of buttons) .
Somewhere in there, I reached Super ... Joe , and fought my way into the enemy base. Little did I know I was going to come face to face not only with Genralissimo Killt but the man they call "Master-D" ... Adolph Hitler !
I was in awe when I saw the chaplain mustacchioed face appear in the dialog box. Who in the world put Adolph Hitler into the video game ?
He said DAMN ! Holy Gosh ! I totally felt like a little kid being badgered by some way-over-my-head adult figures ! It didn't help much that throughout the game everybody kept calling me a "little boy".
What a Machine ! Not even the notorious Dr. Wily could come up with such a powerful and quick mechanism ! Laser barricades a-plenty , and only one obvious weak spot located at the apex of the sinister sentinel. It took me four lives to finally get lucky enough to latch on in front of the glowing dome and thumb-punch it into oblivion with my trust Rocket Launcher.
I made my way across the pits and met up with the man who changed sides yet again and even decided to keep the bazooka all to himself. I guess he was just into that thing. I swung down, saw a huge helicopter, shot, and BAM ! Meat Sandwich ! I got toasted by a constant barrage of fire from the tiny gun on the bottom of the chopper. I used one of my continues (I had gotten good at obtaining maximum continues from the enemy transports) and took another go at it. This time my aim was dead on and again I saw the notorious Adolph Hitler's face, this time as it screamed and broke into several bloody pieces with eyeball flying out and brain matter exposed ! Holy Damn !
Oh no, what I always dread : a race against the clock . And the worst of the enemies was in my way, a giant grappler robot. I sacrificed a few hit points letting him grapple me close to him and as I fell backward, shooting him with the rocket launcher, I destroyed his face, too. Negotiating the rest of the platforms was rather easy and I got out with plenty of time to spare. The ending to this game was remarkable. And as the curtain closed, I experienced a mix of emotions. Sentiment ... longing ... sadness . It was too bad that the whole story would be hushed for so long. And yet as I watched the ongoings I felt a feeling like I belonged. I felt normal, human. I felt like I was among comrades.
I got my own NES again, now 21 years of age. One of the first titles I bought was Bionic Commando. I played it, beat it, played it and beat it again, and did this several times, enjoying each consecutive play more than the last. I was still held in thrall by every aspect of the game. I still am ! I quickly remastered the game and began writing down notes for quick easy access should I become old and grey any time soon and need something to jog my memory while playing. When I got onto the internet and saw the GameFAQs site I decided I should make a FAQ for Bionic Commando.
I did ! You can see my Bionic Commando GameFAQ (the only one) at the GameFAQ website. I also went through and recorded every dialogue I could find in the game, and put it into a symbol-coded file.
You can see these at my site
look under Bionic Commando
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