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Title: Golgo 13: Top Secret Episode (2nd Review)
Rom Player: NESticle
Reviewer: Joey Mustaine

Synopsis: What we need is an anti-hero. Someone who wears bright blue, jumps 30 feet high, and responds to questions with a vague "...". We need Duke Togo.

Duke Togo is on a mission. I have never actually figured out what the mission is despite playing through this game hundreds of times. To be honest, stories bore me. If I want to read, I'll go pick up If Chins Could Kill. Rest assured you'll run into some nice cinematics, a purple human being, and a talking brain (not Krang). Let's just focus on gameplay here.

No actually, fuck gameplay. Let's talk about what sets this game apart from practically every other NES game: cigarettes and fucking.

In Rome (and maybe in another stage I can't remember), you'll run into a pack of cigarettes laying on the ground. Not only will Duke pick up these street-fouled smokes, but he'll sit there and light one up for you. Joe Camel never did anything for me but seeing a star like Duke Togo smoke got me on a two pack a day habit back in sixth grade. Oh, and while Duke is smoking he recovers life at the same time.

The fucking. At least twice and I believe three times Duke will have sex with three practically anonymous definitely sexually devious ladies with porn star names (Cherry Lane? C'mon!). The shot pans away for a dramatic look at their window from afar and you're treated to a shadow approaching another shadow. When they connect, the light in the room inexplicably flashes in different colors like they scored a goal on Championship Soccer for Atari. And of course, Duke's life is fully restored.

OK now we can do gameplay. For whatever reason Duke can do a jump kick that is higher than most buildings. It's at least four times his own height. The jump kick ends up being your main weapon because Duke is a horribly slow draw and when you aren't moving Duke spreads his legs an unspeakably long distance that is disturbing to me even today. So you end up jump kicking bad guys, motorcycles, laser towers, and even missiles. When you get to underwater stages you'll get a harpoon gun instead which amazingly Duke can fire faster than his pistol. You'll get the ASPCA-approved pleasure of nullifying squid, sharks, and uh, mines underwater. Every time you kill something you receive life and bullets too.

But that's just the side-scrolling portions for, you see, Golgo 13 is really three games in one. There are also the chopper missions. You're in a helicopter and the stages play like a poor man's Gradius. No, more like a poor man's Star Force. Anyway you just dodge and shoot.

There's also maze stages that are like the underground on Ultima Exodus (aka Ultima III). Duke has to rely on his gun for this one. He also gets some grenades to blow holes in walls. Killing a soldier in the mazes is a gorefest unlike anything else on the NES. A geyser of blood spews from their head as they hit the ground. Nice.

This game is truly a unique NES experience - it has plenty of things you just don't see in other NES games. Going rate on eBay is a mere $3 and the gameplay, music, and quirkiness is worth far more than that.

Best Cheats: Kill pedestrians - If you jump kick a pedestrian just right, you'll hear the "damage" sound. From that point give them around 15 bullets in the head and they're gone.

Stage Select - Right when you see Golgo's eyes in the intro, hit START on controller 1. Hold Left+Up A + B on controller 2 and Up + A + B on controller one. With this impossible combination held, press Start on Controller 1.

Game Play: 7
Graphics: 5
Music/Sound: 8
Originality: 10
Overall Rating: 8

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