Release Date: February 1987
Genre: Beat ‘em Up
We’re welcomed to 1987 with Capcom’s Trojan on NES. This game is a post-apocalyptic Beat ‘em Up. You’re the Trojan Warrior, master of martial arts, and you carry around a sword and shield. Your quest is to fight your way to the warlord Achilles. Only by defeating him will you be able to put an end to the evil sects of terrorists dominating the countryside.
The main enemies are clad in gray and carrying a mace. These guys go down in one hit and constantly spawn. Then there are the red clad knife throwers. These guys take two hits and if you just try to block them, they’ll throw a bomb of sorts that will cause you to lose your sword and shield. I guess this is why it’s important that Trojan is also a master of martial arts. Luckily, you find the sword and shield shortly after losing them.
Levels feature mid-bosses whose patterns must be learned in order to survive. Iron Arm was probably my least favorite mid-boss. He took a long time for me to defeat the first time. But then I figured out his pattern and was fine in subsequent fights with him. Armadillon was also annoying, but only because I could only get one hit in on him before he’d roll up into his little ball, then jumping over him got annoying. It took me a little while to figure out that using the shield is truly a necessity. Bombs coming at you from above? Point your shield up. Enemies shooting projectiles? Raise your shield. Block and counter.
I didn’t really like the game at first, but my tune changed as I got farther along. It was pretty easy to learn enemy patterns, even if I don’t know how not to take damage from Muscler and his tree trunk. When you die, you start at the beginning of the stage or right after the mid-boss. When you lose your last life, you can continue from the last level you completed by holding up when pressing start on the main menu.
The final level and boss were actually quite easy. Really, getting good with the shield is how to win the game. Learning when to attack from the crouching position or from a jump will help immensely, as well. The instruction manual claims the existence of a few powerups that I never saw. I guess they weren’t necessary to beat this one. Something else Trojan does is introduce a two player fighting mode. First to three wins, wins the battle!
I think they did a nice job with the graphics. Even if the backgrounds have to have similar color schemes because of technical limitations, there is enough detail for my liking. The mid-bosses all look interesting.
I like the songs, but I had to dock from an average score because of some bad sound effects. Don’t try to make static on NES sound hardware.
The control is actually pretty solid. You have to learn when to attack and when to defend.
I wouldn’t call this a hard game. I got through it in a half hour with probably around a dozen continues.
Fun Factor: 2.5
You know what, after not thinking I’d like it during the first level, it turned a corner and I found myself enjoying it.
Overall Grade: 2.2
Trojan earns a C+ and could have done better if it weren’t for some odd sound design choices. Oh well, it was a good start to 1987!