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Terminator - Angry Video Game Nerd - Episode 70

(Terminator-styled AVGN intro, followed by the Nerd picking up the NES "Terminator" cartridge. He uses Terminator vision to choose from a selection of responses: "This sucks!", "No way!", "Oh no!", "What a piece of fucking dog shit!", and "Go to hell!". He settles on "What a piece of fucking dog shit!".)

The Nerd: What a piece of fuckin' dog shit! Makin' a game based off the first Terminator movie had a lot of potential. The movie was like film noir, action, science fiction, and time travel all thrown together into a blender. But the game was like takin' that same blender to put cat piss, horse dump, and pig vomit. Yeah, now THAT'S a shake you DON'T want.

The Nerd: So if you played this game, you're probably traumatized. But don't worry, because now is the time to purge those inner demons, (takes off eye glasses) because the battle for the past (puts on sunglasses) is gonna be fought in the present, right here, right now. (Looks around a bit and takes off sunglasses) Man, that's too dark. Let's just start the game.

The Terminator (NES)[]

(Game starts up)

The Nerd: As far as the plot's concerned, you're not the Terminator, you're Kyle Reese in the future, which seems like the best possible concept. But look at the graphics. This is what you call 8-bit barf. You're jumpin' around on half-disappeared blocks, Q-Tips, and pipes. What is this, Super Mario Bros.?

The Nerd: The backgrounds are just a random mishmash of gray bricks. It's so depressing to look at. Am I not mistaken? Wasn't the NES capable of a more versatile color scheme? The top bar's monochrome; it's just black, white, and green. Look at the life meter; the black part's the amount of life ya have and the green is the empty part, which is real confusing because when I look at it, I can't help but feel it should be the other way around.

The Nerd: The music is unacceptable. Listen. (Horrible music plays) What do you call that? It's just a five-second loop that repeats forever. There aren't many sound effects either, so it really fails in the auditory department. If your ears could puke, they would. Now you wanna talk about the controls? My God, is it busted. When you try to jump, first he goes into this squat. Probably the most delayed jump I've ever seen.

The Nerd: The gun is even worse. When you push A, you go into this crouching position; let's call it "gun mode". When you're in this "gun mode", A shoots, and Up and Down on the D-Pad controls your aim. So let me put this in a nutshell: You can't shoot when standing, you can't shoot when duckin' like normal, and you can't shoot when jumping! It goes against every natural instinct you would have in a side scrolling shooting game. Did the game designers ever play fuckin' Contra? Can you imagine how much of a problem it is that you can't shoot while you're jumping?

The Nerd: But the nail that seals the fuckin' coffin is that there's no continues. If you die three times, the game starts over. Simple as that. That first level, you better get used to it, because you're gonna see it a whole fuckin' hell of a lot. Another big problem, whenever you try to jump on something, you fall through. It is an awe-inspiring joke of legendary bad game design. It's almost as bad as Wizard of Oz.

The Nerd: The hit detection is also fucked. If you try to shoot something, it goes right through - unless you're dead center. This game is like a cheating, spoiled, rotten kid and you have to let it win. For taking out these automated guns, your best bet is to use the grenades. But up 'til this point, you can only find grenades in the first part in the sewers. After that, once you run out, you're fucked. This part here, you're faced with two guns at the same time. You can only take 'em out one by one, so unavoidably you're gonna get shot by the other one.

The Nerd: No matter how far you get, there's still no continues. To my knowledge, there's no code either, not even for Game Genie, nothing. The only way to beat it is to not fuck up at all, which would be outrageous. However, every time you get 50,000 points, you get an extra life. So fair enough, I'm gonna sit here and shoot this fucker again and again 'til that happens. The enemies re-spawn, so it's not a problem to stay in one spot and just keep rackin' up points. The only real sacrifice is that you're gonna be doing this for a long time.

(The Nerd is sitting there just shooting enemies and getting bored. He then gets an extra life.)

The Nerd: There we go, extra life. Now I'm gonna be real careful because you don't wanna lose all that hard work. This fuckin' slime here, I just gotta watch out... (Kyle bumps into an enemy from above and falls onto some spikes, killing him) Oh, my fuckin' God! The only hope you have is to spend hours and get as many extra lives as possible. You'll lose 'em fast, but at least you'd have enough to keep goin' for a while. But who has the patience to do this? And we're not talkin' emulators or save states or any of that, we're talkin' real life sittin' in front of your TV, holding the A button. Sounds like fun, right? Yeah, well check it out, I got an idea. Get yourself a wrench, or somethin' like this here, and you just clamp it down on the A button, just like that... (clamps the wrench onto the A button on the NES controller) and there ya go. Just sit back and... you don't gotta do a damn thing. I'll be back.

(Time passes and the Nerd comes back. He now has six lives.)

The Nerd: Now look at that, I have six lives already. So I'm just gonna go to bed, I'm gonna come back, and it's gonna be all maxed out. Now isn't that a good idea? Well guess what? I have an even better idea. How 'bout, have some fuckin' continues?! Make me have to put a wrench on a controller, is that what you wanna do with your life? That's senseless. But that's what happens, man.

(The next day...)

The Nerd: Alright, I'm back. I'm all refreshed, ready to play some more Terminator with all new extra lives. All six of 'em...

(The Nerd stops after he finds out that he still only has six lives)

The Nerd: (shocked) Six? Only SIX?! OK, I gotta be honest. It's only one digit, I didn't expect more than nine. But why a random number like six?! That means that some fucked up masochist actually programmed it that way, and made a decision, "Hmm, let's see. Well, anything more than six. That's too much." Fuckin' asshole! The only thing I can think of now, is to wait 'til ya die five times and do it again.

The Nerd: But then all of a sudden, you're in a truck getting showered with fireballs. There's little you can do to control the truck, so all that's gonna happen, you're just gonna die, and die, and die. You can't hit it either, because your bullets just scatter all over the place. Eventually, you outrun the fuckin' thing, but next, you're being shot at by some metal tank monstrosity. At this point, you're just takin' it in the fuckin' ass. All that's gonna happen, you're gonna get shot again, and again, and again.

The Nerd: The next part of the game is just another death trap. Now do ya see what happened? All those extra lives? Gone. And there's still no regular enemies, so I have no hopes of getting any more. If I die, the game's over. But this is the most frustrating thing I've ever seen. The spears don't have any clear pattern; they just pop up at random. So I gotta get lucky.

The Nerd: Now look at these platforms, could they be any smaller? Realizing before how hard it is to make your mark, imagine how insane it is to land dead center on a space that's more narrow than the character itself. If you land on your feet, it doesn't count. You have to land on the empty space in between your feet. (Kyle falls down a pit) Aw, fuck! OK, zero lives, that means I have one more chance.

The Nerd: Jump... Jump... JUMP...! (Of course, he fails and gets a game over as he exclaims in frustration) AUUUUUUUUUGH! FUCK!

The Nerd: (throws the controller in anger as he grunts twice) GRR! GDAH! THEY'RE TOO FUCKIN' SMALL! TOO FUCKIN' SMALL! (The Nerd screams into a pillow and grabs the game and an NES Zapper) You're terminated. (The Nerd shoots the game)

The Nerd: I can't believe that shit like that could've been released on the NES as late as 1992. December 1992. By then, Super Nintendo was out. Speakin' of which, let's check out its 16-bit counterpart.

The Terminator (SNES)[]

(Footage of "The Terminator" on SNES is shown)

The Nerd: Thankfully, it's not just a graphical enhancement of the same game. This one's entirely different. I wonder why they recreated the title sequence from the movie, but not used the music? Instead, it's the music from the final battle. That's like if you use the opening Star Wars title, but used different music. ("Super Star Wars" title screen with different music)

The Nerd: So if there's anything these games are missing right off the bat, it's the Terminator theme. Again you're Kyle Reese, but instead of being in the sewers, you're in the battlefield, just like the flashback scenes in the movie. So we're definitely a step in the right direction. The gunfire is way better. This time, you can actually shoot like normal, rather than goin' into that stupid crouching mode. You can even shoot on the ladders which is kinda cool. But the only thing that sucks, you can't shoot straight up or toward the ground. There's no other perfect example than the Contra series. You can shoot in any fuckin' direction you want, and they're still challenging games. But here, you're stuck with all these enemies that you can only hit with grenades. Once you run out of grenades, you're fucked. If you're gonna make a game where you can't shoot the ground, don't have enemies that are on the fuckin' ground!

The Nerd: The foreground graphics always get in the way. How is it fair when I can barely see the enemies? And what the fuck are these things anyway, Decepticon dildos?

(Kyle jumps, but he hits a platform and steps onto a cyber worm, killing him)

The Nerd: Look, I just hit my head and died. Surprisingly, this game is really hard. Now I can imagine what Kyle Reese and good old Johnny C. had to go through. Just runnin' out into a wasteland full of maniacal machines shootin' bombs and lasers at ya left and right. There's shit shootin' from the sky, shit on the ground, there's shit everywhere! You'd get annihilated! Those movies are very unrealistic; there's no way they could have survived. But the time travel concept, that's okay.

The Nerd: Look at the bullets, they have no pattern. It's like there's a second player controlling them.

(A Terminator keeps shooting with no bullet pattern whatsoever)

The Nerd: Before you have any time to react, Terminators pop out and shoot you. It's not easy to take it slow when your character can do nothing but run. My only strategy is to step and duck. But even then, half the time, I still get hit. I don't get hit that often, but apparently enough to die, and you actually get five lives. Once they're gone, you guessed it, no continues. But it doesn't matter, because I can't even beat the first stage. It doesn't look that hard, but good Lord, it just goes on and on and on. Even with five lives and health power-ups, I can't last any further.

The Nerd: I got to this truck part which is still part of the first stage, but this is even worse than the truck stage in the NES version. You can only shoot in three directions which means you can't hit this thing when it goes between, and there's not a damn thing you can do to protect yourself. You can't move, you just keep takin' hits from these exploding bowling balls. Finally, it goes away, and you're back on foot.

The Nerd: After such a long sprint, you'd think that thing was maybe the boss, but no, how naïve. So you keep running this everlasting shitty marathon, shooting shit and getting shit shot at ya. Eventually you come to the boss, right? It's certainly big enough to be the boss, and it certainly took long enough to get this far. I'm gonna say it's the boss. Come on, die! Die! Yeah, alright, that's it. What now?

The Nerd: What? Are you fucking kidding me? Holy mother in fucking God shit holy mackerel gosh damn, how is it not over yet?! How long could this first level possibly go?! Unless maybe the whole game is like this. I just can't fuckin' believe it! So I died, like anybody would. Game Over. First level goes on forever. Can't beat it. End of story. The game's impossible.

The Terminator (Sega CD)[]

The Nerd: Real quick, let's take a look at The Terminator on Sega CD. I already mentioned it in my Sega CD review, but I have to say, looking back, this is a really great improvement over the other ones. There are some annoying things. Like the other games, there are certain directions you can't shoot. This makes it really hard to find a feasible angle to hit your enemies.

The Nerd: I don't know why, but only Contra it seems got it right. And sometimes it's confusing tryin' to figure out where to go. It has those unwatchable cutscenes from the movie which characterize the Sega CD. Never would we dream that one day you'd be able to watch videos in better quality on the Internet. But you can skip these scenes and aside from it, the game itself is a pretty good side-scroller. It even has the Terminator theme. As well as some great original music of its own.

(A great soundtrack from the game plays)

The Nerd: God, is that fuckin' awesome?! (sarcastically) Eh, it's a little better than the NES version, don't ya think? (The horrible music from the NES game plays)

The Nerd: From here on out, things can only get better. The second movie was even better than the first, so, we can assume that's the same for the games. I believe there's a light at the end of this tunnel. We've made it through the storm, and at the end of the storm is a rainbow. A ra--? Oh no.

(The Nerd looks at the "Terminator 2: Judgement Day" NES cartridge to see the LJN logo, with a horrified expression on his face, accompanied by the ending of the "Terminator 2: Judgment Day" theme)

See also[]