Bionic Commando

Bionic Commando is the sequel to Commando, a game I never played. Although, I don’t really think that matters much. All that connects this to the first game is that your character has to rescue the hero of that game, Super Joe.

What makes this game really weird is that the hero can’t jump. He makes up for this with a grapple attached to his arm that lets him grab onto things, swing around, climb on things he wouldn’t be able to normally, pretty much all the things you would thing a guy with a grapple attached to his arm would be able to do.

In each stage you have to find a wiretapping station and the boss. Compounding your mission is the fact that the levels are very large and very hard to maneuver in. Even better is that you will eventually find multiple radios and multiple items. You have the chance to take one radio and one item into the stage. Only one radio will work on a particular stage, the other ones will only get you garbage. It’s not imperative that you take the correct radio in, the information that you get is nice, maybe how to defeat the stage boss or something. What is slightly more important is the item you take with you. If you’re going into a cave, you better take your lantern, otherwise you’re fighting in the dark.

I found out many years after I’d moved on from this game that the story was pretty heavily altered to make this square peg of a game fit into the round hole of Nintendo’s censorship policy at the time. I don’t know that having the original story in place would have enhanced the game at all, but it does explain why the last boss bears a striking resemblance to Adolph Hitler, who you have to hit full in the face with a bazooka. It’s uncharacteristically brutal for the heyday of the NES, but it’s at the very end of a pretty tough game, so there’s not a lot of people that are going to get to see it, unless they cheat. Or know where to search on the Internet.

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