Playing rules: Difficulty: Factory Default. Continues: Not allowed
Dip switch bank A: 1-5=Unused [ALWAYS OFF]; 6=OFF; 7-8=ON.
Dip switch bank B: 1-2=ON; 3-4=OFF; 5-6=ON; 7-8=OFF.
Current Record holders:
1st: 1,500,000 - Dwayne Richard - 2002
2nd: 1,000,290 - Jim Iaquinta - 1982
9th: 24,080 - Gary A.Hatt - 2002
Ok, before I even play it – initial signs don’t look good.
1,500,000 (*from young Dwayne, who I have since had the pleasure of meeting several times since originally writing this) looks like a mighty round number to me, and it would suggest that either the machine dies at that point with some crazy crash, or it actually finishes, on purpose like. Either way, 1st place doesn’t look remotely likely, even if I find myself being an accidental ninja at the game. Interestingly though, 2nd place is half a million points less, at just over a million – so quite a leap.
9th place, and a spot on the leaderboard looks a whole different ballgame with an easier looking 24 thousand, so I think I’ll aim for that if that’s ok with you.
Ok, I’ve had three goes now. That was quick right? Yeah, good reason for that – what the fuck was going on? Keeping with the age old 80’s arcade tradition, the game makes absolutely no attempt at explaining itself at any stage. None at all. Actually I would wager the original arcade cabinet (which usually at least has a few words of help scrawled on it somewhere) leaves you in the dark as well the bastard. In fact playing with MAME makes this even more bewildering as for some reason it really needs you to stab that “start player 1” button, hold it down even, before the game starts. It had me looking through the key settings and everything before I got it to start.
The game starts with you being helicoptered in to the game map (as pictured above) and you have to quickly wander about before any of the copper type people get to you. They clearly dont muck about, so I hurried into the nearest door, which just so happened to have an ice skate painted on the roof – for good reason, as it’s an ice rink. Two coppers stream in from the top of the screen and it looks like I need to avoid them and get to the helicopter hovering about at the top. Which I do, suprisingly easily.
Ok – if escaping was the object then it makes going into the ice rink pretty pointless in the first place and indeed before you know it another chap is helicoptered in and I feel compelled to choose another door generic cialis eu. This time I go for one with a forklift on the roof. Again, escape seems the key and the top of the screen (full of boxes being a warehouse thingie I guess) seems to be the way – but this time the coppers have come better prepared and have torches. Torches that trigger a mental speed attack when successfully pointed at you. Despite this, I got past this suprisingly easy, which was nice. How we doing? 1.5 million yet? oh.
That was where my luck finished. Clearly bored of wandering in and out of buildings I found myself in a helicopter level, shooting bubbles either side while avoiding: missiles from above, the bubbles themselves (as they waxed and waned their way towards me) and small balloons rising from the ground ( the helicopter’s natural enemy obviously, your small balloon). Pretty bloody tricky, especially as I had absolutely no idea what my purpose was. I tried to shoot a path through the bubbles to reach the edge of the screen but nowt happened. Ok, i’ll try and clear the screen of bubbles then thought I – bad idea, that just angered the helicopter at the top of the screen who chose to stop sending slow missiles downward at me and fly down itself and zap me directly – which he did very easily. 3 times in a row. DEAD. GAME OVER.
Second go, similar “success” until I got to that same level, same thing happened.
Third time, I couldnt even get past the first forklift room level as the fuckers surrounded me, and because you start again where you died each time, I couldnt get away.
Score: a laughable 500
So. All in all, quite an odd game. My highest score wasn’t actually that far from the records however, and I reckon that a bit of reading up to discover the secret of the helicopter level and the 9th place will be in my reach at least.
Not a bad start really! potential certainly. Mind you, 1,500,000? sod that.
Right, forward-wind to 2011, have the years honed my skills on the mysteries that are 005? I’ll be honest, I haven’t even thought about it until now, so expectations are low.
Oh, 2007 version of me – how foolish you were! Just a few goes in and I spot all manner of things that I missed first time. You don’t just wander about, you’re clearly a spy like fella who is all about stealing little briefcase things from the bottom of the screen and you don’t just wander through buildings, you are trying to get back to your helicopter so you can escape. Sure, a few instructions would have been nice, but all you need to do is look!
Saying that, the game is still batshit crazy – although now, being able to get a feel for the character my motivation is at an all time high. So, I grab the case (imagining it to hold some cracking sandwiches to be enjoyed in the helicopter home – tuna I reckon, or maybe good old fashioned cheese and pickle) and straight into the ice rink. Oh you crazy policemen, don’t follow me onto the ice, you clearly don’t have the correct footwear for these slippery conditions. Me? No of course I don’t either, but I wager these giant skates on the ice are just ripe for a’collecting and then I shall weave my merry way out of here like Torvill herself (or was Dean the bird? Must be Torvill, Dean isn’t any sort of name for a girl? Oh, who knows).
Or I would if they weren’t just decoration and not collectable at all. Thanks SEGA, thanks for really cementing the illusion that I am in an ice rink by adding these giant skates painted on the very obvious ice, inside the very obvious ice rink building with a massive skate stencilled on the roof. No matter, skid and sliding as I go I make my escape.
See, this all makes perfect sense – now I helicopter in again to grab myself another case (this one definitely corned beef I can feel it) and this time pop into the warehouse thingie. Ah, there they are, the crazy torch coppers wandering about. Fantastically, another thing I didn’t notice last time, a lot of the corridors are too thin for us fat spies to fit through, so instead you just stand there sadly as you jab the direction button. You never heard of sidestepping man? Sheesh, it’s as if you didn’t want to escape. This time as well there is a copper wandering around the top of the screen, almost guarding the awaiting helicopter – cheeky.
Eventually, again, the helicopter level. Now, with a new sense of purpose I’m pretty convinced the idea is to kill the other helicopter at the top of the screen and make my escape complete. Sure enough, I hang around long enough, shooting bits and bobs that come towards me and a gap starts opening up at the top of the screen. I manage to pop up there, only for the helicopter to double speed it’s way to me and kill me, but still progress!
If only I could say the same for the scores. a few attempts and my best score is 15,550 – less than last time even. No matter, at least I feel like I got to know the game a bit better this time. That’s not to say it doesn’t still have it’s mysteries to work out. I accidentally hit a button a few times and my spy fired out some sort of water pistol thingie that made the coppers fall about laughing (?), what’s that all about? Also, why do some buildings have small blue squares in the doorway? They are harder to get to, but don’t seem to give any more score? Who knows or dares to dream – I think I’ll leave them undiscovered for now, but I can’t promise I wont try and better this rubbish score of mine in the meantime.
HA! got the bastard. Just as I was having a few last goes before bed I managed to kill the helicopter. Looks like shooting all the gubbins until he comes down and attacks you is the way and then it’s a case of dodgeroonie and bob’s your uncle, dodgy version of the opening bars of the entertainer, level complete. Yeah baby. It all starts again, this time with the next two cases. Who cares, 32,100 – enough for 9th place baby!