1993 Virgin Games
Platform: Nintendo Entertainment System
Well, if you’ve been following the GTW Youtube channel we have, you probably have seen the clips to this already. You’ve probably even already got the roms (you naughty people!) and played it yourself. Its about time we said a little something therefore on the game.
You think these days that it is bad with sequel after sequel and various bits of recycling going on in films and games. Well, the early signs of ideas running out became apparent when someone came up with the idea of taking the two big film characters and merging them into one game, which would be quite naff for a film (Though don’t doubt for a second that a film wont eventually appear!), but would probably be excusable enough for a game – Robocop VS Terminator was born.
The game is typical of the past Robocop games, with a controllable Robocop that shoots in all directions, and who runs and jumps their way through various levels, climbing ladders and along pipes while avoiding sewer sludge and destroying force fields. At the end of levels you’ll find bosses from the Terminator range of games. Its a tried and tested formula, and not a game which is gonna grab you for too long.
The relevance of this particular title is its history. The game was produced across a wide range of platforms, which included the NES system, which was just about surviving in the world of 16-bits. Creator of Mc Kids on the NES, Gregg Tavaress was assigned to the conversion over the space of a few months. However, once the game was pretty much complete, baring testing and some fixing, it was 1993, and most people had begun to leave the NES behind as they moved onto the 16-bit platforms. For these reasons, Virgin dropped the NES before Robocop VS Terminator ever made the shelves.
But no-one even knew that the game was in production, with no press on the conversion. It was in 1998 when Gregg Tavaress spoke about the game in an interview. Gregg was told that the game would most likely only make a European release, though this was never to happen. Although Gregg didn’t have the game, it mysteriously turned up not long after the interview and it was exclusively ported for TSRs NES Archive (http://www.atarihq.com/tsr/).
Few have labelled it as the first ever unreleased NES game to be released to the public via emulation. Quite possibly Gregg put the site in touch with someone who probably did have a prototype cartridge, or the source code, though it isn’t confirmed.
In his interview, Gregg commented
“It was a very bad game. The artists couldn’t deal well with the limits of the NES so it looks very bad and the designer was a recently promoted play-tester and he didn’t really know what he was doing.”
Gregg was certainly right, it wasn’t the hottest NES game ever seen and certainly wouldn’t have lived up to his previous Mc Kids effort. Graphics were particularly poor, and music was not as good as it maybe could have been. Gameplay was not too bad, but there were already hundreds of better games from this genre on the NES.
Although looking to be the complete game, there are many glitches in places for graphics and sprites, but these are luckily not fatal. Although not the best game ever, its finding is of large importance for preservation and is a particularly good finding for the NES community.