The next Turbographix 16 game was their first arcade conversion. And by the looks of this one- everyone knew that the Turbographix did arcade games right! I’m talking about the great side scrolling brawler- Vigilante! This version was ported and published in Japan on January 14, 1989 by Irem and published in North America by NEC the same year. given that the game released in the arcades in 1988- that’s a quick turnaround! And fun fact- in the NES original “black box” series- the first games released on the system- the original Kung Fu Master- renamed Kung Fu was one of them! A great arcade conversion for the NES!
On the baddest streets of the city they know your name. You are lean and mean… the karate master they call the Vigilante! Your turf was left alone. Your friends and neighbors lived in peace. Until the Rogue gang got too big for their britches. You chilled, hoping things wouldn’t get too rough. No such luck. They’ve taken your girlfriend Madonna, and there’s only one thing you can do… get her back… anyway you can! You have fists of steel! Legs like pistons! And courage that just won’t quit! You will need all three because the Rogues are waiting with knives, guns and a whole bunch of nasty punks. And you’ll have to fight fast. If the Rogues make it back to their headquarters before you rescue Maria, all hope will be lost. But catch them first and you’ll fight the leader of the Rogues. Win Madonna… and your turf… will remain safe. Feel any pressure? No way. You’re the Vigilante! Players control the titular character using punches and kicks to defeat the Skinheads in a 2D platform manner, while sometimes picking up and using nunchaku against them. If players get hurt while holding nunchuku, they become unarmed. There are five stages in order of appearance: a street, a junkyard, the Brooklyn Bridge, a back street scene and on top of a building that is under construction. Skinheads with Mohawk or spiked hairdo attack the vigilante with knives, chains, motorbikes, guns and other kinds of weapons. They will also choke him if he lets them get too close.
The game is a “sequel” to one of the first (if not- FIRST) side scrolling beat em’ ups- 1984’s Kung Fu Master!
A game with a amazing history we will get into in another post.
Move ahead four years – IREM saw the potential to do an updated sequel, as Double Dragon was kicking butt (pun intended) in the arcades. An arcade sequel to Kung-Fu Master called Beyond Kung-Fu: Return of the Master was developed by Irem and underwent location testing in 1987, but was shelved after it underperformed. They decided to give the game a more Americanized setting. Taking the core game and giving it new locations, updated graphics, sounds, and weapons- Vigilante was born!
The game did well- but not as good as the two player Double Dragon did.
Ports were done on many systems- the ease of porting a single player was easier than a multiplayer experience. The Sega Master System, Commodore 64, MSX, ZX Spectrum, and the Atari ST all had decent ports. But- it was the Turbographix 16 has the best of all. Check this out!
What do you think of Vigilante? did you ever play this amazing game? Let me know in the comments!
Keep Playin’ Like It’s 1981!