Saturday, November 12, 2016

Robocop Vs. Terminator (Super NES, 1993)

Time for a game that's better than it has any right to be, as I play the very different Super NES version of a Genesis game I played previously. Like Terminator? Like Robocop? Well, check out what happens when the two make sweet, sweet love and have a game-child. My only question is... in a Robocop / Terminator relationship, which one is the butch and which one is the bitch?

I just recently watched all four of these movies for the first time, specifically so that I'd get all the references in this game. The 1987 movie is super-campy, but it's a fun one. I preferred the 2014 version, which had more gravitas and none of the 80's camp, but your mileage may vary. Those two should be closer in score, IMO. As for the second and third movies in the original trilogy... yech. They're abysmal trainwrecks, and not even the entertaining kind. They're just flat-out boring. At least Robocop 2 has an awesome final battle between him and a mech, with some impressive special effects for the time. Other than that, there's nothing to see in the 1990 or 1992 movies.

Now that I've quickly reviewed the movie series, let's see what this game has to offer.

 Virgin Games: Also made World of Warcraft. HAW HAW! ...Sorry.

In the year 2029, Moe from The Three Stooges breaks into Skynet and discovers that... Robocop is the reason Skynet exists. They interfaced a computer with Robocop's brain and it allowed Skynet to develop self-awareness, or something like that.

 Moe from The Three Stooges isn't making very much sense. Skynet turned into an army of Terminators? I don't think that's quite how it went.

It turns out that Moe from The Three Stooges is actually a female resistance soldier - with an amount of androgyny that would give Japanese video game makers an erection. She sends herself back in time to stop Robocop right after learning of his treachery. Shouldn't she maybe check with John Connor first? How'd she even get in here?

But wait! Some terminator walks in and discovers that the Time Displacement Equipment was just used by a human. Again, how did she get in there? The humans clearly haven't won the war yet, otherwise JC and Friends would be here and there wouldn't be any terminators. Was Moe-lady the stealthiest human ever or something? ONE DOES NOT SIMPLY WALK INTO SKYNET.

The bad guys then proceed to send a bunch of terminators back in time. stop the woman who just went back to destroy Robocop. the terminators are going back in time to PROTECT Robocop?

And I have no idea what's going on as the game begins. Here we see Robocop battling through the ruins of 2029!

...wait, this is 90's Detroit. Well, honest mistake.

This is your standard action game for the era. You move around ponderously and shoot enemies. Robocop can't really jump high (probably because he's white), which adds a bit of a spin to any platforming in this game. Luckily, there aren't many pits.

 At the end of the first stage, Moe appears! And she's going to whoop Robocop's ass! ...or something. Not sure how she plans on doing that.

...It doesn't matter, because she immediately gets killed in a drive-by shooting. Yes, Moe survived the Future War, but a few minutes in modern Detroit do her in.

::insert any D12 song here::

One shot two shot! where the fun stops.

Robocop scans the driver of the car as he escapes, and... well, that's quite the obvious terminator. They aren't even trying anymore!

Robocop then cradles the dying Moe in an emotional scene as she rants at him that it's all his fault and stuff. Okay, calm down Sarah Connor.

...and then she dies. But now Robocop thinks he should investigate her claims that he'll be linked up to Cyberdyne, and thus we're off and running. If Robocop finds out it's true and attempts to prevent the war himself, then won't the terminators have to come back again to stop him? After just helping him? And won't killing him also stop Skynet from exist... AH FUCK IT.

This is why time-travelers don't come to our time and prevent all the terrible things from happening. It'd cause different, more-terrible things later.

But first! Robocop has to battle the first boss: Erectile Dysfunction 209.

This thing is somewhat iconic, and it has been emulated in quite a few video games. Axelay comes to mind. It's basically a smaller, cooler version of an AT-ST Imperial Walker.

Victory gets me his weapon, a chaingun type deal. If this is like the Genesis version, I'll replace this with stronger weapons before too long.

The next stage has Robocop battling redheads in skin-tight outfits. When this lady showed up I paused the game and took off my pants in real life out of force of habit.

This area is full of annoying fire jets that blast you from above. They're pretty much a constant threat.

At the end is... ARNOLD a terminator of indeterminate face because we can't afford an exact Arnold likeness plz don't sue.

 Shoot him one time and all of his skin blasts off, revealing an endoskeleton that takes tons of punishment to bring down. One hit, really? In the Genesis version it takes like half his HP to lose the skin, which is a lot more realistic and gives us more Arnold screentime. In any case, this fight is mind-bogglingly easy since your shots stun the boss, and can be won without taking any damage.

Note: In a real fight, a single Terminator would totally kick Robocop's ass. In this game, he destroys a bunch of them with little trouble. Yeah, okay.

Tangent time: It turns out there was a planned NES version of this game, as well, but it was cancelled. Still, one can emulate the unfinished game if they're so inclined. I'm not, but here are a couple shots for comparison's sake.

This looks like the level I just played, complete with fire jets and seemingly unreachable 1-ups. It also makes me thankful for the Super NES version. As much as I like most retro games, I'm not really a fan of some NES sidescroller graphics.

I'm guessing this is the game over screen for the NES version. It might as well be representative of the game itself, since it never saw the light of day.

The NES did, however, get Robocop 3, an awful and overly-difficult game. Here's the ending screen, which apparently has Robocop nuking Detroit by passing gas. He then flies away with what appear to be two naked women on his back. Where are their clothes?

Back to the game that this post is actually about. The next level varies things up a bit, as I have to hit switches to open these giant doors inside Omnicorp HQ. Turns out Omnicorp are the ones responsible for interfacing Robocop with Skynet. Not Cyberdyne (or the military in post-T2 properties)?

At the end of this level is another terminator, and this one doesn't even bother with skin. How do these T-800s have plasma rifles with them in the present? They can't bring weapons back, remember? And how the hell can Robocop withstand plasma rifle fire, much less barely take damage from it?

Well... put all that aside and the graphics in this game actually look quite good. Both Robocop and the terminator here are super-detailed.


Here's the Game Over screen. SKTR, huh? Apparently the design of the T-800 is twofold: It's a human skeleton shape so that it can better look like a human when it has living tissue. It also looks like a grim reaper when unleashed on the battlefield without skin, giving it a psychological warfare advantage. After all, if you're scared, you don't fight effectively or confidently. And if you see a goddamn grim reaper walking towards you, you'll get scared.

Next up, Robocop interfaces with Skynet. In Omnicorp. Weird. He then gets sucked into it South Park Trapper Keeper style.

Then he becomes a part of Skynet and watches as thirty years go by and the human race gets destroyed. All of this happens fairly rapidly for him since he's essentially frozen in time and space. Holy shit.

 As a part of Skynet's control system, he uses one of the automated factories to build himself a new body and install his essence in it. This game is full of surprises, I gotta say.

Mission for the second half of the game? Destroy Skynet here in the year 2029.

So, the story as it is: Basically, a lady in the future found out Robocop was responsible for Skynet becoming self-aware. She goes back in time to kill him. Terminators go back in time and kill her before she can do anything. She tells Robocop with her dying breaths about Skynet. He doesn't believe her, but he goes to investigate regardless. The terminators then try to stop Robocop because he might shut down Skynet. ...I guess? He finds Skynet and gets absorbed by it, thereby causing Judgment Day just like the lady told him. He breaks away from Skynet thirty years later and terminators come after him again on the battlefield because he's a damn Judas.

Outstanding. James Cameron couldn't have spun a better tale.

These future stages are full of terminators, and you start with a super-weak plasma pistol that barely fazes them.

What the hell? Terminator dog-skeletons? That's a new idea, and one that makes a lot of sense. Wonder if they put living tissue on these things to fool people, too. Jesus Christ, the terminator future is horrible.

 Before too long I get a plasma rifle. Disappointingly, it doesn't fire purple beams like in the movies.

Yeah, there we go.

A massive vehicle? Please be an HK Tank, please be an HK Tank.


 This thing is HUGE and quite formidable. This is the kind of HK Tank fight I want in like, every Terminator game

After defeating the tank, our hero pilots it...I think. At this point we get a cool Mode-7 stage as Robocop heads for the Skynet complex. That's it over there. It's a rough approximation of the pyramid, anyway. Looks nothing like Cameron's version.

In this stage you have to blast a certain number of terminators to move on. Piloting the HK Tank is a recurring trope that a number of games have used; both Terminator 3: Redemption and Terminator Salvation had levels where you pilot a reprogrammed HK tank.

The final levels of the game take place in and around the Skynet pyramid. These levels are where the difficulty of the game ratchets up, going from easy to very tedious and stressful.

Lots and lots of climbing follows. Climbing and shooting at turrets.

Boss fight! An infinite supply of terminators march out of this Garage Door From Hell. Gotta take out the turrets, then shoot the door a lot, then walk through the terminators to the exit. Taking damage is unavoidable since they spawn infinitely from the exit. I hate when games do that.

The interior of Skynet is...odd. It has zero resemblance to the Skynet interior from T2's concept art, which is universally accepted as "the way Skynet's interior looks". Every other game that has Skynet's interior follows that mold. This...looks more like something out of Aliens. There's green goop everywhere and lots of hanging wires. It's a far cry from the sterile, pristine, gleaming hallways of Cameron's version.

There's some sort of mini-HK boss in here and it's a complete pain in the ass to fight. It's only vulnerable occasionally and takes MASSIVE amounts of damage to bring down.

The Skynet interior continues, and looks even less like the way it's supposed to look. Why are there tattered webs everywhere? Why is this place so creepy?

After mowing through more terminators, I run into this game's version of "The Skynet Boss". While it's a giant terminator head in the Genesis version, here it's some sort of solid hologram deal.

This fight goes on and on and ON, but the Seeker Gun makes it somewhat manageable. It's a completely different fight from the Genesis version.

Afterwards is an escape sequence where you need to get out of the Skynet complex before it blows up. It's full of terminator corpses, since apparently most of the terminators "died" when Skynet did.

Unfortunately, the world is still in shambles, and it's ALL ROBOCOP'S FAULT. This won't bring back Moe from The Three Stooges, damn it!

And that's it for this game. It was actually pretty good.


  1. It is kind of funny they just kill off the "moe" character like that haha damn what a strange choice.

    I think Making Robocop "responsible" for skynet isn't a bad idea for this crossover even tho it is weird. What a ridiculous game tho, right? I have never played it but a game like this couldn't exist today. I mean obviously, this is an old game. But, a weird, "what if?" crossover thing like this just wouldn't happen like it could back then. I think the same is true for the Robocop movie. The new movie was pretty good (better than I expected for sure) but they could never get at the same tone as the original since it is just such a different time.

  2. "Robocop must help rebuild a world he has helped destroy." That and the final shot must be why they made this game. Really solid and haunting stuff, that. This was not bad.

  3. A Terminator ran Moe down in a car? That's semi-ridiculous, but I suppose not out of the question.
    The HK Tank fight is like the Technodrome in Turtles 1, except there's a fair chance of the player actually beating it.