Bionic Commando

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North American arcade cabinet.

Bionic Commando, known in Japan as トップシークレット [Toppu Shikuretto], "Top Secret" is an action platformer developed by Capcom, originally released for the arcade in 1987, but then ported to many other platforms. This was the first title in the series which has spawned several more games including remakes, reboots, and sequels.

In the game, you play a soldier with a bionic arm who is infiltrating an enemy army. You can throw your arm and connect it to various platforms to swing your way around the maps, but it can also be employed as a defensive shield by punching away enemies. You have to make your way through five stages before confronting the enemy general.

I first learned about Bionic Commando long after playing the NES remake. I wanted to create a web page shrine for the game, and learned about the original arcade game and its various ports. Having never even seen the game in an arcade, I played it on MAME, and was quite disappointed by it. The NES remake was markedly better.

Status

I do not own any version of this game and have not beaten it.

Review

  • Overall: 3/10
  • Best Version: Arcade

Good

  • The graphics and music are both top notch of the time.
  • Each stage is pretty unique introducing new enemies, hazards, and mechanics.
  • The swing mechanic was certainly a creative concept.

Bad

  • It takes a lot of practice to get used to the bionic arm mechanic.

Ugly

  • The game is way too hard, even when you set it into easy mode. This is mostly due to a frustratingly slow bionic arm and obnoxiously fast enemies. But there are also sections of the game where you have no choice but to move up to a platform swarming with enemies, which is extremely difficult

Media

Box Art

Documentation

Maps

Screenshots

Logos

There are four separate logos used for the various Bionic Commando arcade versions. The original Japanese Top Secret logo, the arcade cabinet logo, the arcade game logo, and a plural "Bionic Commandos" logo based on the in-game arcade logo.

Links