Clash at Demonhead (NES)

Clash at Demonhead Box Art

Clash at Demonhead

System: NES

Release Date: January 1990

Developer: Vic Tokai

Publisher: Vic Tokai

Genre: Action

Clash at Demonhead was a game that kept me stumped when I was a kid. I came back to it probably a decade ago and beat it, but I didn’t remember a thing starting up now. Get ready for some Vic Tokai silliness. You are Bang member of Saber Tiger, and you’re on the beach with your lady Mary. You’re called out of vacation to disarm a bomb threatening planet Earth.

Controls are pretty simple, the A Button jumps. On some levels there is water that will hurt you if you fall into, but if you time it right, you can skip across the surface. The B Button fires your weapon. You have unlimited ammo, so should be shooting most of the time. Enemies show up as you scroll the screen forward or back and respawn. This is helpful because you may want to grind for money, power, or hearts. But can also be quite annoying.

Money is used in the shop, which you can call from the menu screen by pressing the Select Button. There will be a selection of items available for purchase, assuming you have the money available. It’s always best to make sure you have an extra shop call in your inventory. There are plenty of items. Some of them are special weapons with limited ammo. Others are special suits that help you in the water, in the lava, and flying through the air. Others replenish health or give extra power.

The levels are split into different routes. You have to hit them in a certain order to unlock the story to move along. The main goal is to collect Medallions, which are necessary to disarm the bomb and save the world. Many levels have a similar layout to one another, which is disappointing. Bosses appear on certain routes and take some practice to get through. I played light with the items, but they probably make the fights easier.

Walking through a level and getting thrust into “Talking Time” is funny to me. The game is goofy, overall. It has its moments and it let’s down in others. The walking animation goes a bit after you let go. Some spots really force you to take damage unless you have an item on. I suppose if I played it again, I’d rely on the jetpack and farming for gold to turn into money when I needed to. The Hermit’s teleport power would make that pretty easy in the end.

Graphics: 3.0

I think the graphics are pretty decent. I like the cutscene pictures, especially that Bang’s face changes based on the suit he’s wearing.

Sound: 2.5

Music is fine if repetitive, sounds are ok, it’s nothing super special, but it works.

Gameplay: 3.0

It’s pretty easy to get acclimated to the controls. There are a lot of options available to get through the levels.

Difficulty: 2.5

Getting through the levels in the right order can be obtuse. There are unlimited continues that just take your power and cut your money.

Fun Factor: 2.0

I don’t know, I didn’t have a ton of fun with it, but I played through to the end.

Overall Grade: 2.6

Clash at Demonhead earns a B-. It’s not a hidden gem as some people have thrown out there, but it’s in the better half of NES games and you could enjoy it.