#607 – Star Wars

All your friends are here, but that means nothing.
At least the cover’s cool.
Groovin’ while you’re shootin’.



DEVELOPER: Beam Software

GENRE: Action

RELEASE DATE: November 1991

If I were the Retro Gaming Judge, sentencing grumpy edicts from on high, I’d hold Star Wars in permanent contempt for besmirching the mostly reputable (in 1991, anyway) sci-fi franchise. Its crimes are numerous and belligerent: 1) Short cave exploration sequences, complete with creatures who attack you while you’re jumping, wide gaps that are easy to fall through, and generic level design. 2) Luke’s initial blaster weapon is, and I quote from the court records, “piss-poor.” It takes several hits to kill any enemy, ranging from a rat to Greedo. Some enemies seemingly can not be killed at all, no matter how long you pump them “full of red.” 3) If you are shot by an enemy, your standard length life-bar will decrease by four points. If you touch an enemy, your life goes down by half. 4) Once you acquire Han Solo into your party, you can never let him die. Otherwise, you’ll have to travel back to the cantina and wade through a mess of Greedos and bizarre cantina remix music (that sounds suspiciously like Mega Man) just to pick him up again. 5) If you touch Boba Fett or his clones, he becomes a spewing mess of bullets, much like any shmup end-boss. I’m not sure there’s any way to kill him. After many deaths, I stopped caring. Leia, the Death Star, and I’d imagine, unprecedented amounts of rage await players who soldier forth through Star Wars. Much like “Attack of the Clones,” the Star Wars Christmas Special, and Jar Jar Binks, it’s not worth it.


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10 replies on “#607 – Star Wars”

This game first part is a lot like Metroid. You need to find certain things in order to survive. When you find Obi-Wan Kenobi he can revive Leia and Han Solo several times and you get access to a lightsaber (one hit kill on most enemies). It is not that hard, I have done it in the 90s when I was about 10 years old. You just need a little patience.

This game deserves a C in my opinion.

I too enjoyed this game oddly enough. If you find Obi-Wan right away the game does get easier for sure. It is tough if you don’t know where to go though. I definitely spent more time in the sand dunes than any area in the rest of the game.

Not for everyone, but I thought this game was the tits when I was a kiddo.


The Amiga Star Wars trilogy was nothing like the NES games. I’m quite surprised at the differences. The first 2 (ep. 4 & 5) were X-Wing flight sims with vector graphics just like the arcade version. Ep. 6 was more cinematic in presentation. I guess each developer had their own spin on the movie. The variety is nice if you’re a Star Wars fan.

Running jump: Hold B and start moving, press A when Luke builds up momentum – wide gaps sorted

Lightsaber: Find Obi-Wan in top-right cave after a series of running jumps, have the courage in your convictions when using it, all (including Boba Fett) but the sand people, purple guy in cantina bar and stormtroopers behind turrets on the Death Star will die in one hit. Weak weaponry sorted, and you can attack the creatures while you’re jumping.

The Sandcrawler (top-left of Tattooine map) has two branching paths, accessible through the anti-gravity chutes, one right and one wrong, which is pretty clever. You find R2-d2 there and once you’ve found him, if you find Obi-Wan you can bring him along to resurrect Han and Leia five times each across your 33 lives.

Admittedly, finding your way through the Cantina and Mos Eisley bar without the lightsaber is impossible, and the objectives could have been fixed with a couple of on-screen prompts, but I love this game dearly and I’m not sure you were able to give it a decent playthrough. It has some of the best controls, graphics and music I’ve seen on the NES and I think is the best movie licence title on the console not made by Sunsoft.

If you don’t like the borderline abusive difficulty I get it, but it doesn’t deserve a spot on your worst list, especially higher than Ubisoft’s Last Crusade.

Sorry if I’m ranting a bit, I love your reviews ๐Ÿ™‚

Sure do, home skillet – almost beaten the Death Star ๐Ÿ˜€

And as for fond memories, I’m a college boy exploring the retro library for the first time, with your help of course ๐Ÿ™‚ I hope my advice comes into play when you have to tackle the near-identical 1993 Master System version by NMS Software over at Sega Does. Have fun with that!

This game I feel should be graded at b-. Sure its a tough game, but its certainly no worse than other exploration games that rank higher than an f. I completed it after much difficulty, and the levels vary, there’s top down shooting, another level where you shoot from the cockpit of the millenium falcon. Back in the day the review score for this game was 90% plus.

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