Ikari Warriors Review

Caution: Contains Spoilers

The late 80’s were part of my “pupa” stage, as I’ve come to call it. Heading into middle school I gained 20 lbs, seemingly shrunk 2 inches, got auto-tinting glasses that could start a forest fire from 20 yards, and sported plague like acne that made even my mother turn her head if I attempted a good night kiss. So naturally, my only friend became my trusty NES (original Nintendo Entertainment System for the kiddies out there). I spent hours in front of the TV playing that thing, usually while shoving fistful after fistful of Doritos into my gaping maw. I ate because I was unhappy….and I was unhappy, because I ate. (Sorry, but I love that one)

I was also a white-trash, mullet wearing small town boy who, true to form, worshiped Arnold, Sly, and Ninjas. I know, Ninjas?, it’s part of the culture, so just go with it. Trust me, there wasn’t a late 80’s county fair anywhere in the northwest that didn’t have spiked bracelets, nun-chucks, and Chinese stars. So I wasn’t alone, and quite honestly, Ninjas still kinda kick ass.

So now that you have the background, you would probably guess that Ninja Gaiden and Contra were my games of choice, and you would be right. They were and still are awesome, but not my favorite. For that, my bro and I would head down to the local Arcade and play a game called Ikari Warriors. We pumped quarter after quarter into that thing and loved it. When I found out that they were brining it out on the NES, I started saving and jumped on it the first time I saw it. (What else would I save my money for? A date? Wasn’t going to happen.)

To my delight, when I got it home and started playing, it was very similar to the Arcade version. You could be one of two identical twin (red or blue to differentiate) Warriors made after the fashion of Rambo. Of course it was a top down view so you kind of just saw the headband, but that was enough. The grenades the size of humans and bullets the size of someone’s head didn’t bother me a bit. We are talking about an 8-bit architecture people, and even so, we got a soundtrack that still plagues my brain. Dun, Dun, Duuuh…….Duuuh, Duh, Duh… Ok, soundtrack may be a little lofty for 6 beeps sequenced together in a continual loop, but it was catchy. This was the 80’s. Milk was a penny, we just got cars, and computers were the size of small cities. It didn’t take much to impress us.

The top-down, scrolling game play was fairly unique and made the levels seem super long. The great thing about the NES version was the fact that there was no limit on the continues either. I have mixed emotions about that one, but at the time it rocked. You can just keep continuing forever (or until your mom pulls the plug out of the wall 6 hours into a marathon battle, damn her to the horned one).

Now we come to a source of great contention amongst my fellow nerds of that era. I contend that nobody ever finished the game, because there is no attainable end. Many claim that they conquered the game without issue. I say Nay, Nay. I distinctly remember playing for hours on end only to get to a point where no matter what you do, you will die. Problem is, when you are resurrected, your little guy comes back in a trench that locks you in place. He can’t be moved. I even challenged a coworker who called “Bull” and he spent hours repeating this exact sequence of events only to prove me right again and again. The game rocks, but can’t be beaten.

You have to know that these are all guys that claimed they beat Mike Tyson in the Punch-Out game too. Well, in the early days, I remember that anyone who beat him and took a snapshot of the final screen could send that picture in to Nintendo Power magazine and get their name published. Problem is, nobody ever beat him. That page of punchers stayed empty. Again, I offered up my still functioning system to these mis-remembering bastards and none were able to match the crazy upper cut of Tyson. What they didn’t know is, Mike Tyson couldn’t be beaten. The programmers made him that way. If you made it to the third round, the program would invoke the undefendable “ear bite” maneuver that instantly dropped “Little Mac” to the canvas. If you are reading this now and are saying to yourself, “I beat him easily.” quit rewriting history and think hard. He kicked your ass just like the rest of us….and you didn’t beat Ikari Warriors either.

Because of the glitch that locks you in place, and the fact that you will repeat the 8 hr arduous journey many, many times, just to make sure you really can’t get past that point, I’ve got to deduct a star. Otherwise, Ikari Warriors is a work of art.


Anonymous said...

yeah...u can beat tyson. u just dodge punch everytime he blinks. its frustrating but it was doable. he commends you for "never seeing such finger speed"

Anonymous said...

Ya man, totally beat Tyson when I was a kid.
Are you sure you remember the early days, because Mike Tyson Punchout was made about 10 years before he bit off holyfield's ear. Also here is how to beat him http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZChSzoYy8D8&feature=related You just sucked at nintendo dude.
Ikari warriors on the other hand was harder, but I used the ABBA trick and beat it with my brother.
This dude did it withought the ABBA code. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nahbHjAYrdc
I know you wrote this a year ago, but just thought you should know.

sigepcannon said...

As far as punchout goes. Tyson was beatable. U couldn't afford to make a mistake and had to work a perfect pattern but I even to this day can beat him every time. 007 373 5963. Lol even remember the code. However. My brother and I played ikari warriors for years and agree that there is NO way to beat that game. If anyone knows how please share. I will go buy another NES as this was the only game never completed by me

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