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Star Wars (1987)

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Star Wars
"I am your father, and I am also a fucking scorpion!"
The Angry Video Game Nerd Darth Vader
Genre(s): Platform
Platform(s): Family Computer
Release: December 4, 1987
Developer(s): Namco
Publisher(s): Namco
Country: Japan
Series: Star Wars

Star Wars is a 1987 platform game based on the first Star Wars movie, or A New Hope. It was developed and published by Namco (under the Namcot brand). It was released only in Japan for the Family Computer.


Just like in the film, Luke Skywalker receives Leia's message from Obi-Wan and must traverse across planets to rescue her from the Death Star.

Why the Force Is Not Strong with This One

  1. Losing in this game is unforgiving. Having no life meter means you suffer one hit deaths (unless you are on the Landspeeder), and you're given only three lives at the start and extra lives are very hard to come by. Lose all your lives at any point in the game, and you have to start the game all over again. However, it is possible to continue after getting a game-over, but this requires that the player use code as well as have enough Force Crystals.
  2. Horrible and inconsistent hit detection. Blasts from laser guns can kill you even if you simply graze them, your lightsaber's hitbox is so small that the tip of it goes through enemies without hurting them. This makes the already difficult side-scrolling levels even more unbearable.
  3. The game is extremely unfaithful to the source material. To start with;
    • The opening shows Luke with blond hair, but his hair is black in the gameplay.
    • Luke fights Darth Vader at least seven times in scenes that don't happen in any of the movies.
      • The first six times that you fight Vader, after you hit him once he appears to transform into various creatures, such as a scorpion, a shark, a Wampa (which doesn't appear until The Empire Strikes Back), and a pterosaur. These enemies are actually changelings and are not really Darth Vader, only assuming his form, much like Bowser from Super Mario Bros. Yes, there are changelings in the Star Wars universe (which actually do exist in canon, but didn't first appear until 15 years later, in Attack of the Clones).
    • When you leave Tatooine in the Millennium Falcon, instead of going to the Death Star, you end up going through random planet after planet. You even end up on the planet Hoth from the movie The Empire Strikes back before you destroy the Death Star.
  4. Extremely difficult. Like with The Transformers: Mystery of Convoy, the editors suggest using your copy of this with a Nintendo Entertainment System, Game Genie and a HoneyBee adapter. The difficulty curve itself is also inconsistent; as some levels like the Landspeeder level are too easy as you are invincible and can dash through enemies, while most of the platforming stages are like something that would normally only be expected in a Kaizo ROM-hack.
  5. The space combat stages suffer from stiff controls and not only do you have a limited number of shields, but you also have to activate them at the right time or else you'll still die anyway; not to mention that every time you leave a planet, you have to engage in a dogfight.
  6. In the vertical climbing stages such as the Egyptian temple planet and Yavin 4, you can't fall off the bottom of the screen, or you die like in Beetlejuice.
  7. Some parts of the game are almost impossible to figure out without a walkthrough; The Death Star is a maze, there are parts where you have to get C-3PO to convince a random guard on Hoth to let you progress as well as summon a whale to carry you across the ocean to Echo Base. The latter is even made redundant by being able to levitate across the ocean if you have enough Force Crystals.
  8. The power-ups are hidden and don't last long, and the blaster pistol you pick up has its own share of problems.
  9. Barring the starting music and boss music, a loop of Luke's theme is the only music in the game.
  10. Luke is the only playable character in the game. No Han Solo, Chewbacca, or other characters. The latter characters are instead kidnapped across planets and you have to rescue them.
  11. The trench-run on the Death Star is almost impossible due to a tight time limit, several instances of having to choose the right path and hoping you don't crash into a dead end and lose a life, sometimes the game respawns you inside a wall, killing you instantly and if the timer runs out or you lose all your lives at this part it's game over, even if you have enough Force Crystals to continue, and have to start from the beginning.

Redeeming Qualities

  1. The platforming controls are good.
  2. Even if the music is repetitive, it is still good.



AVGN Enraged.jpg "What were they thinking?"
The Shit Scale
Games that are debatably bad High level of shit contamination The very high category The severe zone Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Major code red
This game/console belongs to the "Very High Category" category of the AVGN's Shit Scale.
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