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Dman's First Bionic Commando Experience
I finally got a NES in 1988 after waiting 2 years for one. However, I did have a friend who got one before me. His name is Kerry Wilkie, and I met him the summer before I got my NES. I remember spending the night at his house one weekend, and we rented Double Dragon. Although that game has some flaws, it was one of the best games out there at the time. From that time on, when I spent the night at his house we would rent a game and stay up all night trying to beat it. Many a video game villain was slain by our combined video game playing prowess.
One weekend Kerry borrowed Bionic Commando from a friend. When I arrived at his house he was already playing the game. My initial reaction to the game was a combination of awe and intimidation. I was awed by the coolness of the bionic arm, but at the same time I was intimidated by the newness of it. I was not sure if I liked the idea of swinging around rather than jumping! We spent several hours playing, and although it was difficult to get the hang of using the bionic arm, we were learning slowly but surely. We finally got frustrated on Area 6 due to some of the extremely difficult maneuvers required to get past that level. Although we were stuck, we were having a blast with the game because of its unique and very entertaining gameplay.
After spending the next day outdoors jumping on the trampoline and playing basketball, we were ready for another night of Bionic Commando enjoyment! We quickly made our way back to level 6, and after a lot of experimenting and dying, I finally made it to the boss. I got wasted by that boss! He was the toughest boss yet! However, we kept trying and finally beat that level. Now we could reach all but 3 of the levels on the map. After being lost in level 8 for hours, we had our life meter maxed out to 8 energy units. We went on to beat all the levels except for the final 3. It took us a long time to figure out how to get the machine gun, but we finally opened our eyes and read the names of the guys we were talking to! That was the secret. At first we were amazed by the machine gun, but I soon reverted to using the rocket launcher unconditionally. Kerry preferred the machine gun because he said it just "eats'em up", but I preferred the power of the rocket launcher even though only one shot could be fired at a time.
After working our way through the very tough Areas 10 and 11, we were finally ready for the final Area... Area 12!
We expended many continues here before finally figuring out where to go, and we soon reached the room where Generalissimo Killt was trying to revive the mysterious Master-D. Even though Killt cut off the switch to the revival device, we were not surprised to see Master-D come waltzing out of his containment unit. However, we were awestricken to see that Master-D was really Adolf Hitler! At that point we realized the whole Badds/Nazi connection. This game was getting cooler by the second! On top of that, Hitler actually called us a "Damn fool" for choosing to fight him! I couldn't believe that a video game had cussing in it! It was a very mild cuss word, but it was cussing nonetheless! It was cool though because I could picture that being said within the context of the situation.
After that moment of awe, Hitler unleashed the ALBATROS on us! The ALBATROS was huge, and it seemed invincible. After being toasted a few times, I noticed a spot near the top that looked vulnerable. I managed to swing up there and shoot it once before dying, and sure enough that was the weak point! The problem was getting up there without getting hit! After some careful study and cooperative brainstorming, we devised a method to swing up to the ALBATROS and hit it several times without taking a hit. No matter how many times we hit the thing, we couldn't seem to blow it up. It was then that I suggested using my favorite weapon... THE ROCKET LAUNCHER! We made our way back to the ALBATROS, and sure enough, we made quick work of the monstrosity.
We started to celebrate because we thought the game was over. It was a great surprise to see that we still had more left! After getting the Bazooka from HAL and learning that Hitler was making his escape in a chopper, I swung down to get him but missed the cockpit... I was instantly cut to ribbons by the chopper's machine gun. After taking turns, Kerry was cut down by the gun too. It was my turn again, and this time I timed it perfectly and shot right through the cockpit! We were then treated to one of the most awesome scenes I have ever seen in a video game! I won't tell you what it was, but it was the most gore I had ever seen on a video game screen! It ruled! You'll have to see it yourself to understand why I enjoyed it so much.
The game still wasn't over! I now had to escape from the base in sixty seconds. I almost didn't make it because of an annoying bad guy in one spot, but I got out with 2 seconds left! We were then treated to one of the best endings I had ever seen... Although the ending isn't great by today's standards, it was awesome in a time where you were lucky to see more than just the credits after winning a game. I remember being really ticked off after seeing the ending to Contra. Kerry and I also beat that game one weekend, but that's another story...
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