The Mafat Conspiracy (NES)

The Mafat Conspiracy Box Art

The Mafat Conspiracy

System: NES

Release Date: June 1990

Developer: Aicom

Publisher: Vic Tokai

Genre: Action

Golgo 13 is back in action to take down The Mafat Conspiracy. A satellite falls from the sky, but who is to blame? The United States and the Soviets each blame one another, but taking responsibility is the Mafat Revolutionary Group. They want the world powers acquiesce to their demands or all satellites will fall. Who are these new terrorists? The CIA brings in Duke Togo to figure it out and neutralize the baddies.

Upon watching the exposition story, the Golgo 13 theme song plays… and it’s of lower quality than found in Top Secret Episode. That’s disappointing. Once again there are five different modes you control Togo through. The main meat of the game is the side scrolling action beat ‘em up. These are linear and straightforward. Jump with the A Button and get a boost if you hold up on the d-pad. Kick or shoot when you get a gun with the B Button. You are allowed to shoot while ducking, which is an improvement.

The 3D maze returns, but is a whole lot worse. There’s no visual indication of movement. Every button press feels extremely delayed. There’s nothing to find in these mazes, outside of the boss battle in Act 1, just the exit to the next stage. Speaking of boss battles, there are a few and will require trial and error to find the right technique. Luckily, infinite continues returns… except against the boss of stage 5-7, if you die against him, it’s game over.

Sniper sections are upgraded, requiring you to account for wind speed and direction. This actually creates a bit of challenge beyond lining your target’s head up in your sights. Driving stages replace the side scrolling shoot ‘em up. It looks just like a racing game demo with some enemy cars trying to stop your progress. You’re armed with hand grenades, but they never destroyed the rival vehicles, so I don’t know if they are useful or not. Most stages, including the driving sections, are timed, but they are generous.

Even more generous is the manual containing maps for the mazes. If you look at them, you see how much wasted padding there is to artificially lengthen your time in them. Many enemies on the side scrolling stages like to jump around, causing you to miss with your bullets. Others like to stand on small platforms that you also need to land on. I tried jump kicks, but you drop from the position you press to kick, losing all forward momentum.

The stages are just something to do between story scenes. We’re treated to a more coherent story this time around with characters that are easier to track. Being the ultimate ladies’ man, Duke does find time to fool around with one of the characters, but as you should expect, it’s not a good ending for her.

Graphics: 2.0

It’s a mixed bag. Beat em’ ups, sniper, and boss sections are animated well, driving and maze portions are boring to look at.

Sound: 2.5

The soundtracks and sounds are better than average, but the lower quality of the title theme is heartbreaking.

Gameplay: 2.0

Everything works fine. The mazes suck and the beat ‘em up physics are not up to what I’d expect.

Difficulty: 2.5

Unlimited continues through most of the game is nice. You have to learn patterns of enemy spawns and limits of jumps to survive.

Fun Factor: 2.5

I had an overall enjoyable time. It wasn’t my favorite or anything, but it wasn’t bad.

Overall Grade: 2.3

The Mafat Conspiracy earns a C+. Golgo 13’s second outing is similar, but different to his first. It’s worth a play, but don’t expect anything earth shattering.

The Mafat Conspiracy Video Review on YouTube