comes to the future, the fate of the civilized world typically rests
in the hands of one man who has typically settled into a nice groove
as far as post-apocalyptic settings go. Maybe he's a loner who just
does what he does to get by; maybe he's a former cop out for a little
frontier justice; maybe he's a wandering do-gooder. You've heard it
all before, right? Well what if the hero of the story was not a tough
guy with a five-o'clock shadow, but a ferocious creature of the night?
In that case, my friends, you would have Werewolf: The Last
on the role of a man known simply as "Werewolf", who's on a mission to
reclaim the world from the insidious Dr. Faryan and his motley band of
mutants. Somehow, the group has managed to "imprisoned nearly the
entire population," and so the most logical thing to do is kill the
doc and his buddies. They're monsters, you're a werewolf. It seems
like a fair match-up to me. The problem is that you start out as a
hunched shirtless guy who has to earn his way to werewolf-dom by
finding a red "W". This bit is explained in not so many words by your
guide, a crazy homeless guy named Kinju.
suppose the only guide suited for a movie monster would be a very
creepy fellow with unkempt hair. He chimes in at the beginning of each
stage with helpful information about the level ahead, with an
occasional bit of trivia thrown in to keep it fresh. Did you know that
"water is the natural enemy of the werewolf"? I sure didn't, but he
claimed that he didn't need to remind me of that, which he did, so
who's the asshole here?
Enough with the preliminaries. That first red "W" triggers a
remarkable transformation not seen since the days of
werewolves weren't dangerous enough, this one has giant hook arms! It
sure looks like he doesn't have any hands, but apparently, he can
retract those hooks when he's not using them, which is good because it
would be very difficult to use chopsticks with those things.
As a werewolf, or "as Werewolf" if you like, you can do all sorts of
neat tricks apart from hacking your enemies to death with your arm
blades. For one, those things make great pitons, and so climbing on
walls and ceilings is a breeze. Backflips and high jumps, no problem.
Swimming... remains difficult, as silver bullets are not nearly as
perilous to a werewolf as even the smallest body of water. Running
also seems to be impossible. If he'd diversify a little, he could
learn to take running jumps in order to better avoid water. Still, if
you collect a quintet of small black "anger" orbs, you can temporarily
upgrade to "Super Werewolf" status.
it doesn't seem like much, but the Super Werewolf hits harder and
jumps much higher, ridiculously so in fact. And it lasts almost a full
minute! Why, that almost makes up for the fact that you might only
gain Super Werewolf status once the whole game.
Further complicating your journey is the fact that when you take too
much damage, you revert to your considerably less hirsute form, and
pretty much get your ass kicked. The human Werewolf does have one
trick up his sleeve:
kind of embarrassing to play a hero whose strongest attack just
happens to be shouting "noo!" at his enemies. I can't argue
with the results, though, as it does pretty good damage and travels
all the way across the screen. The bad guys will even try their best
to duplicate the effect:
just can't beat the original. Unless the enemy is using something more
effective than a scared shriek. Early on, when you're fighting off
menacing foes like bats and flying twigs, this isn't much of a
problem, but you don't want screaming to be your only weapon against a
boss. Of course, there are exceptions to every rule:
Throughout the game, you'll be menaced by a large shirtless man that
the game calls "The Giant Head". As you can see, however, his
head is proportional to the rest of his body. A more accurate name for
him would be The Giant Bald Idiot. He doesn't put up much of a
fight, and as far as I can tell, his only real purpose is to be
defeated by you and provide you with more werewolf power, if need be.
Sort of the Aquaman of Dr. Faryan's evil empire. Other than him,
you've got some pretty unremarkable bosses, including a guy who looks
suspiciously like the Juggernaut.
good doctor drinks a magic potion to turn himself into werewolf with
blade arms (what are the odds?). Even more interesting than
werewolf-on-werewolf action is the ending: in the Japanese version of
the game, a little epilogue rolls and you get a shot of Werewolf
looking at the moon:
US version, you get the same epilogue, but a slightly different
that, rest of the world! Werewolf works for us, now!!! USA! USA!!
That must've stung a bit back in the day, considering he was supposed
to be saving the whole world, and not just the US. And why is his
chest bare? Perhaps the hair was chewed off by the flying piranha from
the infuriating fourth level. Then again, he probably just shaved it
off with his blade arms in preparation for his photo op. He is in the
US, after all.
Questions or Comments about this piece?
email Dr. Boogie
*** You too can play Werewolf: The Last Warrior! ***
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Note: to play this game you'll need a NES emulator.
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