I was in Japan recently for work. I stayed in some hot spring resort in a town called Kusatsu. There was an arcade in the hotel that had a bunch of weird games in it. More importantly, it had a Golgo 13 game in it, one I had never seen before.
Golgo 13 was a video game, undoubtably of Japanese origins, that we had for the NES way back in the day. It’s notable for several reasons:
- It was cool as shit.
- At one level, when you walked to the left of the start of the board, you could find a pack of smokes. If you smoked them, you got some health back.
- There was a ‘sex’ scene after you finished one board. This was NES, so the scene consisted of the silhouettes of your character and a female in the window of a high rise. They moved together, the lights went out, and all your health came back.
- There were some cool sniper-style segments of the game.
- … … …
Now, you have to remember, this was 1988. I was 9 and my brother was 12, so all of the above makes for a pretty neat game.
The game I played in Japan was a sniper type game. I don’t speak or read Japanese, so I had zero idea what was going on. However, all you had a was a gun, so you would think the game was self explanatory. Not so.
I was presented with a grid of boards to choose from. I shot the fourth one, chosen at random. A scene with rocky terrain shows up. Guys start popping up from behind the rocks, shooting at you, so I shot them back. I managed to get all of them but one before the time ran out.
I was given my score (pretty good) and a new board to select. So I chose the 3rd one. This time there were 3 people standing in the woods, dressed in civilian clothes, all with their backs to me. Nobody was threatening me, so I didn’t shoot anyone.
… … …
Then time ran out on the board. Nothing ever happened, but apparently I didn’t mow down the man I was supposed to, so I got a big fat zero, but I was allowed to continue.
Next, I chose board two. This time, there was the side of a brick building with regularly spaced windows. Cross hairs went around one window and I think the word ‘target’ popped up. The screen zoomed into a window; I think it was the same window as the one that was just highlighted, but maybe I am mistaken on that point. Anyway, there was a guy sitting at a desk, so I shot him in the head. This clearly was a sniper job, and I assumed that’s what you were supposed to do. Apparently not. I scored zero here too and at this point, was not allowed to continue.
So there you go. It was kind of a fun 3 minutes. I had to skip a lot of the cut scenes because they were all in Japanese. They probably would have told me what was going on and what I was supposed to do. Oh well.