Ikari Warriors

by David Shea, Nick Jones
Elite Systems Ltd
Crash Issue 51, Apr 1988   page(s) 104

Producer: Elite
Retail Price: £8.99 cassette, £12.99 disk
Author: David Shea

A band of revolutionaries have stormed the jungle HQ of General Alexander Bonn, and are holding him hostage. Unknown to the guerrillas, however, he managed to send a mayday message before being captured. On hearing of this the Ikari Warriors are rushed to the scene to attempt a daring rescue.

Unfortunately the warriors' plane crashlands some distance from the planned lz and the two surviving warriors are faced with a trek through dense jungle in order to rescue the General. From here, the mission may be undertaken as a solo venture or with the help of a friend controlling the second mercenary.

As the intrepid soldiers yomp through the vertically scrolling landscape, they are attacked by squads of enemy marksmen and combateers. Equipped with a limited supply of ammunition, grenades and only six lives each, they go about cutting a swathe through the enemy ranks. As the baddies are decimated, the occasional bonus tile appears, bestowing such goodies as additional ammo, extra grenades and fuel for the enemy tanks that are to be found at certain locations.

Boarding these tanks allow the players to provide themselves with some protection and, more importantly, extra firepower. Enemy soldiers who get in the way are squashed and the large gun emplacements - which can also be removed by a well placed grenade - are despatched with relative ease. However, land mines and grenades are more dangerous: contact with these sees the tank bursts into flame along with its passenger.

The Ikari Warriors' mission ends only when their last life has faded away, or when the HQ is breached and the General escorted to safety.


Joysticks: Cursor, Kempston, Sinclair
Graphics: the constant scrolling keeps the action coming thick and fast
Sound: rough and tough tune, but feeble effects
Options: Kempston mouse, one or two players

The release of Ikari Warriors has been eagerly awaited by the games playing fraternity for quite a while, and the question is, 'Is it any good?'. The answer: Well I like it, at least! There have been a lot of examples of this vertically scrolling 'massacre the enemy'style of game since the release of the classic Commando a couple of years ago but Ikari Warriors carries on the tradition in fine style. Graphically the game is good, with some very Ramboesque main sprites charging around causing widespread carnage. I particularly liked the tanks which our warmongering friends can use to explosive effect. Overall, a great game in the classic Commando mould.

Yes it's Ikari Warriors, the game that seems to have been years in the making. is it really just a full priced U.C.M? Well the graphics are close, the layout is similar and the idea is almost identical, so the answer must undoubtedly be 'Yes'. It seems that this game has suffered in the same way as games like Knight Rider and Scooby Doo did. They have just taken so long to write that the initial expectation wears off by the time they appear. Ikari Warriors has a nice tune at the beginning and there are a few nicely detailed screens further up the scrolling landscape but that's about it. There are problems with colour, as per usual, but they can't helped . It may be worth buying this just in curiosity but I can't recommend it.

The long awaited, much anticipated Ikari Warriors has finally negotiated the conversion from the arcades. Graphically it has survived the inevitable loss of colour content and detail: the landscape is well defined and retains the boldly contrasting features of the original. Crashing fiercely through the undergrowth, dodging bullets, hijacking tanks and hurling grenades are mercenary pleasures which never seem to pale. Failed missions are sufficiently frustrating to keep hardened guerilla fighters charging back for more. A minor drawback is the inadvertent camouflage of some of the enemy fighters; being zapped in the back by what looks like a harmless piece of vegetation can be infuriating at moments of strategic tension. Vigilant warriors are unlikely to be troubled by this and who cares when you've got the crucial elements of an arcade game in the comfort of your own home.

Presentation: 85%
Graphics: 77%
Playability: 74%
Addictive Qualities: 76%
Overall: 76%

Summary: General Rating: If Ikari Warriors had come out when it was first advertised it would have been an amazing success - however much more is needed nowadays.

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Your Sinclair Issue 29, May 1988   page(s) 48

£8.99 cass/£12.99 disk
Reviewer: Jonathan Davies

You can burn em, rip 'em in two; you could even beat 'em' till they're black an' blue. What ever you do, they wont go away, scrolling shoot-'em-ups are here to stay!

Ah, nothing like a bit of hip-hop to start a review, eh? Okay, so it was more like rap with a capital C, but at least it was different. Which is one thing Ikari Warriors isn't, but it's certainly a darned nifty game.

Remember Commando? it was released years ago, but it's still one of the best coin-op conversions around. Well, Ikari Warriors is the much-rumoured sequel, which has finally appeared after months of anguished waiting for all the other versions to be finished.

So what's new? Well, there's a plot for a start. You've received an SOS call from General Alexander Bonn, CIOF of the US Forces in Central America, saying that he's been captured by revolutionaries. If it's not too much trouble, he'd really like someone to come and get him out. So off you go, but Oops! You crash your plane, and have to walk through the jungle, either alone or with a friend, to the base where he's being held.

Needless to say, the jungles saturated with baddies, each with their own portable arsenal of nasty weapons. You'll have to fight back, using your standard issue machine gun, grenade launcher and red headband.

And I haven't had so much fun in ages! Not since I last connected my pet gerbil to the mains, anyway. (Letters of complaint to the editor as usual, please). Elite has managed to cram oodles of action into what could have been just another scroller.

Yeah, well, so the graphics are a bit iffy in places, and most of the colours been left out this time round, but who cares? Everything's so fast moving you don't really have time to complain about the crummy-looking hunk you're controlling, and at least the scrollings up to scratch.

There are plenty of improvements over the original, the two-player option being the most obvious. Being a solitary kinda guy (sob!) I didn't get much of a chance to try it out, but no doubt it adds a lot to the game.

No arguing over who gets to waggle the joystick, though! While on the move you'll notice fuel and weapons being left behind by the enemy as you wipe them out. The function of the extra ammo is pretty obvious, but the fuel? Surely our hero hasn't taken to sniffing petrol to calm his nerves? Certainly not. It's to fill up the enemy tanks you'll find knocking around. Ambush one, and you'll be able to drive it round to your hearts content, squashing soldiers under foot and watching their bullets bounce off your armour. My wings are like a shield of steel! (Obscure Batfink reference.)

Also making their first appearance on the small-screen are rivers. These can be waded through, but watch out for sub-aqua snipers who pop up at the nastiest of moments, and you'll have problems if you try crossing one in a tank. Further on in the game you'll find enemy tanks and even a rather rinky helicopter to deal with.

And fortunately all this programming effort hasn't gone to waste. Just the right balance of playability, difficulty and pure mass destruction has been achieved, and, to use an all-time great reviewing cliche, it'll keep you coming back for more.

Once again, Elite has come up trumps with this one (another cliche to tick off), and when you see the size of the box its packed in, it could even be considered as good value.

Maybe with a few extra touches of originality (difficult in a conversion, I know), Ikari Warriors could have hit the top of the Clapometer, but as it stands, no-one's gonna be disappointed.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I feel like another crack at that helicopter, and I still haven't found out what "Ikari" means, or even how to pronounce it!

Graphics: 7/10
Playability: 9/10
Value For Money: 7/10
Addictiveness: 8/10
Overall: 8/10

Summary: "Pure, unadulterated destruction, all wrapped up in one hell of a good game. Just watch those pixels fly!"

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Your Sinclair Issue 53, May 1990   page(s) 44


Another delve into the recesses of Speccy softstuff with Dr Marcus "stand very still and try not to scream" Berkmann.

Reviewer: Marcus Berkmann

This was an enormous hit the last time it came out - a big number one on all charts. Personally, though, I thought it was deadly dull - a middling arcade game converted by Elite with little apparent imagination or flair. The cover artwork says it all, really - two geezers with rippling muscles and machine guns killing everyone within reasonable range. Good clean fun, I hear you cry, and you'd be right, but the amazing lack of variety in the game eventually sent me into a deep coma, from which only the loving care of a series of trained Filipino nurses helped me escape. In the arcade game, some nifty graphics distracted you from the essential dullness of the game, but the poor old Spectrum's tiny stick-figures and unbelievably slow bullets don't really seem the same. Serious zzzz time, and not helped by the fact that you need an electron microscope to read the inlay notes.

Overall: 57%

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Sinclair User Issue 73, Apr 1988   page(s) 105

As you may recall, everybody expected ikari Warriors a while back - well a year ago, to be exact. It's quite a long time to wait. Is I i W worth it? The first thing is the game comes in one of these new giant cardboard boxes filled mostly with air - I think the size of packaging is becoming an kind of software house one-upmanship, but (chortle chortle) it isn't the size that counts.

Enough of that. Ikari I Warriors was a coin-op beloved by many in the oldenish days and it's in the Commando mode of lonesoldier-running-along-firing*allthe-time-blowing-things-tobits-top-to-bottom-scroll. The only significant feature really is the fact that you can toggle between two players and from time to time grab a tank to do some serious damage.

Do you need a plot? Well, this general has been held captive by a band of revolutionaries and desperately needs rescuing. Instead of sending in serious numbers of nuclear forces to blow them away, the forces of truth, justice and the American way have decided to send just you instead, and a friend if you're doing the two player option. Maybe they don't really want this guy back . ..

From moment one. streaming hordes of revolutionaries leap on you, filling the screen with the large and small black blobs that stand for grenades and bullets in this game. You blast and dodge your way past them, occasionally taking out big gun emplacements, which crumble away to reveal bonus bullets, grenades, lives and fuel. This last is for the odd tanks which seem to have been left thoughtfully scattered around the screen.

Main characters are small, though they zoom around pretty speedily, but some of the gun turrets, boulders and other bits 8nd pieces that litter the playing area are quite detailed and effective. Though several basic designs seem to crop up over and over again ...

For all that ikari I Warriors is fast and more addictive than you might expect. I had a severe case of the 'just-on-mores'. despite feeling pretty unimpressed with the overall look of the game.

A quick word on the sound.

Whilst on the 48K it's merely average, on the 128K it's excellent, in fact it may be the closest to a real 'coin-op' sounding soundtrack I've ever heard and adds significantly to the game.

Ikari I Warriors is very late, looks fairly out of date and won't be anybody's all-time favourite game, but the gameplay is strong and the action is fast, and that counts for quite a lot in my book. Worth the wait? just about.

Label: Elite
Author: David Snea
Price: £8.99
Memory: 48K/128K
Joystick: various
Reviewer: Graham Taylor

Overall: 7/10

Summary: Somewhat old-fashioned Commando clone, good fun nonetheless.

Transcript by Chris Bourne

ACE (Advanced Computer Entertainment) Issue 8, May 1988   page(s) 72

Spectrum, £8.99cs, £12.99dk
Amstrad, £9.99cs, £14.99dk
C64/128, £9.99cs, £14.99dk
Atari ST, £14.99dk
Amiga, £19.99dk

A classic amongst two-player games because it not only features frenetic action but demands cooperation and agreed tactics between the players. It's basically a two-player version of Commando with tank driving thrown in. The fighters make their way up a downward scrolling screen, initially armed with machine guns and grenades. You'll encounter enemy soldiers, pill boxes, tanks, helicopters, grenade launchers and much more. The best feature is when you can hop into a tank and drive that around crushing the enemy, while player two follows safely behind until he can find his own tank. Also measures up superbly as a one-player game.

Transcript by Chris Bourne

C&VG (Computer & Video Games) Issue 101, Apr 1990   page(s) 63

Spectrum, C64, Amstrad £2.99

General Bonn has been kidnapped by jungle guerrillas and it's up to you (and a chum) to rescue him in this conversion of SNK's Commando-clone. One or two Rambo lookalikes storm up the vertically-scrolling screen, dealing death and destruction to the oncoming hordes. Those careless guerrillas have left a few unguarded tanks lying around, and the boys can jump in and feel quite safe for a while - until the fuel level drops to critical, that is! Pick up extra petrol, bullets and grenades as you go, and try not to lose any of your lives it you want any chance of reaching the General.

This is a brilliant conversion of the coin-op, across the board, and considering that it reached number one when first released £2.99 is a small price to pay for such a good game. Graphics are scaled down yet effective, and sound is tip-top too; the 64's tune is a corker! If you enjoyed the coin-op, or simply crave for a spot of no-holds-barred killing, Ikari is the one for you!

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Overall: 84%

Summary: Crisp, monochrome graphics have a strange appeal, and the limited effects don't harm the tough and demanding gameplay at all.

Transcript by Chris Bourne

The Games Machine Issue 6, May 1988   page(s) 38,39

Spectrum 48/128 Cassette: £9.99, Diskette: £12.99
Commodore 64/128 Cassette: £9.95, Diskette: £14.95


Two years ago, Ikari Warriors was released on the Amstrad CPC with the promise of other 8-bit versions to follow. It has taken Elite Systems over two years to fulfill that promise, but they have finally achieved it, with the added bonus of 16-bit versions to follow shortly, and all packaged in Elite's new-style large boxes.

Central America, the United State's backyard, is the setting for Elite's out and out shoot-'em-up Ikari Warriors. The scene is one of rebellion, bands of revolutionaries have captured US General Alexander Bonn and are now holding him prisoner in the US headquarters. Fortunately, just before he was taken prisoner, the General sent out a mayday which was picked up by two Ikari Warriors. These guys are pure fighting machines and just the men for the job when it comes to rescue missions involving use of maximum force.

Mishap sets in when the plane transporting the warriors is forced to crash land deep in the jungle, which is crawling with revolutionaries, enemy tanks and helicopters. These are the sort of men who have no qualms about shooting first and asking questions later. Clearly, only one thing remains: to get through, wasting the enemy en route.

The Ikari Warrior (or Warriors if the two-player option is selected) move(s) through the jungle taking out the guards with grenades and bullets. Retreating guards leave behind supplies of ammunition and extras for Ikari Warriors to pick up. Extras include longer bullet range, an immediate-effect smart bomb and an extra boost to the destructive power of grenades. The latter is the most important of all as it enables warriors to launch grenades from a safe distance: but beware of stray grenades and bullets, for they are just as likely to hit your partner, losing him a life.

Converted from the SNK coin-op, Ikari Warriors faithfully recreates the arcade machine in graphics. playability and general layout. There are some omissions such as the large enemy tank at the end of each region, but on the whole, the tactics used in the arcade original can be applied to the home computer versions with remarkable ease.


Jumping into one of the many deserted tanks dotted around the play area provides you with much needed protection from bullets and allows you to cut a path through the enemy ranks. The tanks fuel level must be kept topped up or it explodes on reaching zero. Warning is given, but with only a few seconds in which to get clear, and a horde of guards taking pot shots nearby, it is risky. Careful driving is essential to avoid trundling over mines, while quick reactions and some slick steering are needed to dodge thrown grenades.

As the game progresses, helicopter gunships fly down the screen firing bullets all over the place, shell-firing tanks patrol the jungle paths and machine gun bunkers bar the way, unless destroyed with a well placed grenade.

The game continues through the jungle, across lakes, along wooden bridges and eventually into the enemy occupied US base to rescue the General and return home with the satisfaction of a job well done.

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Overall: 84%

Summary: Ikari Warriors is a game which works best with two players, if only for the fun of working as a team. Despite smooth scrolling, high degree of graphic detail and variation, there's not an awful lot of room on screen in which to run around. Elite opted to place the status displays on either side of a resultingly smaller combat zone, in turn scaling down the graphics as small as possible without losing any of the detail. To avoid potentially disastrous attribute clash, warriors and enemy soldiers are the same colour as the background, a simple solution which works well and makes the game pleasing to look at and play. With the comprehensive front end (including a novel Kempston Mouse control method), Ikari Warriors is enjoyable mindless blasting, worthy of any fan of the original.

Transcript by Chris Bourne

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