Top Gun (NES)

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Not to be confused with the DOS game based on the same movie.

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Top Gun
"ASSSS! FUUUUCK!" - The Angry Video Game Nerd
Genre: Shoot'em up
Combat flight simulation
Platforms: Nintendo Entertainment System
Release Date: NA: November, 1987
JP: December 11, 1987
EU/AU: 1988
Developer: Konami
Publisher: Konami
Franchise: Top Gun

Top Gun is a video game developed and published by Konami based on the movie of the same name. It was released for the Nintendo Entertainment System on November 1987 in North America, December 11, 1987 in Japan and on November 30, 1988 in Europe and Australia. An arcade port was also distributed for the Nintendo Vs. System under the title of Vs. Top Gun. According to Game Over by David Sheff, the NES version sold over 2 million copies.


The player, piloting an F-14 Tomcat as the film's protagonist Maverick, has to complete four missions. Given a choice of missiles, and starting with a training mission, the player is sent after an enemy aircraft carrier, an enemy base, and finally an enemy space shuttle. The game has two endings. If the player loses but achieves a minimum score of 50,000 points, a still image is shown of the player being presented the Top Gun plaque that was awarded to Iceman in the film. If the player completes all four missions and successfully lands on the aircraft carrier, a scene is shown of the F-14 taxiing on the carrier and the player waving to the LSO crew.

Why It Sucks

  1. Very short gameplay as it has only four missions.
  2. The storyline doesn't seem to be connected to the movie it was based on.
  3. When the plane's fuel gets low, a refueling plane will appear, but it's extremely hard to connect your plane to the fuel tube.
  4. Each choice of missile offers more firepower in exchange for a reduction to the maximum amount of missiles the player can carry, but it's utterly pointless since every enemy plane gets blown up in one hit.
  5. The landing part is infamous for being frustratingly difficult, as you have to line up your jet with the landing area in a limited amount of time. And with the movement controls on the D-Pad being reversed (pressing down increases the altitude and up lowers it, just like in a real jet), some players will have a hard time completing these sections (however, AVGN did managed to land the plane with the Power Glove)
  6. The instructions on the landing part are also confusing. Example: It says to “Speed Up”, then the message changes to “Up, Up!”. Does it mean go up, or keep speeding up? Of course, it's the former, trying to tell you to increase your altitude, but it's still confusing in terms of context, especially for younger players.

Redeeming Qualities

  1. The intro theme is pretty good.
  2. Decent sprites (like the planes for example).





17 months ago
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11 months ago
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7 months ago
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I have this game.


3 months ago
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JaguarByte Productions

one month ago
Score 0
Why can't I land the plane?


20 days ago
Score 0
You need a Power Glove.


3 days ago
Score 0
What is the 19th letter of the alphabet?

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