Saturday, February 6, 2021

Matter of Import 021: Golgo 13 (SG-1000, 1984)


Today's game is Golgo 13. No, not that Golgo 13, this one was released for Sega's SG-1000 console and predates the Famicom's Top Secret Episode by four years. Long before he was tracking down spy rings in Berlin, Duke Togo was driving down the highway plinking out train windows and trying not to kill himself.

I'm not kidding, that's the game.

In Duke's first video game outing the player takes on the role of the infamous assassin as he engages in a little senseless vandalism, shooting out the windows of a series of trains. I imagine the guy has to blow off steam some way, and putting complete strangers into moral peril makes as much sense as anything else.

Or maybe he's been hired by the oil industry to discourage public transit; he's not killing anyone, you can see the people from the train running off after each window gets blown out, and no, you can't kill them.

After blowing out all of a train's windows you're moved on to the next stage, another train, only this time there are cars passing by. Armored cars. In fact, if you hit just about anything it sends your bullets ricocheting back at you – get hit, and you'll wreck your ride.

From the third stage on it seems like the rail company is retaliating by hiring attack choppers to try and drop bombs down on you – fortunately, the military vehicles are not bulletproof, and a single shot causes them to explode.

The challenge of the game comes from trying to time your shots and line them up with the SG-1000 joystick. It's not a great game, but it's not bad... just a little silly, and the controls are a little rough. I give it a C-.

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