ZX Spectrum Games

ZX Spectrum Games

12 May 2009

ZX Spectrum Games - Green Beret - ZX Spectrum retro game

ZX Spectrum Green Beret
Not quite a shoot em up, more of a stab em up, this classic retro arcade conversion still holds fond memories for many.

Arcade stab em up game Green Beret (also known as Rush 'n attack - notice the play on words?) was released by gaming giants Konami in 1985.

In 1986 it was converted to most home computer formats, and the ZX Spectrum effort was an excellent conversion.

Green Beret ZX Spectrum
Another of F D Thorpe's excellent loading screens

Imagine software (and programmer Jonathan (Jof) Smith) were onto another winner with their version of the original arcade game.

The game was well received and scored a whopping 88% in Crash magazine.

The game involved taking control of a highly trained soldier, with the objective to rescue some prisoners. This classic arcade game stood out from the crowd slightly because of your characters main weapon being the famous Green Beret knife - although you never did get to stitch your own arm up in a First Blood stylee. There were four stages to fight through (or four levels) which were:
  1. A missile base
  2. A Harbour
  3. An incredibly long military bridge
  4. A prison camp
You would begin this arcade game with the usual three lives, and each stage was littered with enemy soldiers, gun weilding commandos, karate specialists, paratroopers, attack dogs and hardpoints such as mortar emplacements.
On top of all of this, there were land mines to avoid too! Make no mistake, this game was tough... but it was beatable if you had the minerals to persevere with it.

Green Beret faces a karate trooper on the ZX Spectrum
Our man is about to take a flying kick to the face
Our hero could move left or right, could jump, could lay flat (handy to avoid incoming fire) and could of course, stab anyone with his trusty blade. As you moved through the levels (nicely scrolling from left to right) you would be swarmed with enemy attackers.

Fortunately, every once in a while a commandant would appear and if you killed him then you would be rewarded with a nice weapon powerup. Depending on the current game level you could be given a flame thrower, some hand grenades, a bazooka etc. It was always handy to make sure you had one of these when you got to the end of the level as there was always truck loads of soldiers, dogs etc to take out.

Plenty of practice was required to make it through to the end of this arcade game - but once you got to know the levels it was possible to run, jump and stab your way through to the end. Extra lives could be earned by scoring points (every 70,000 points yielded another life) - I would say this game was hard - but fair.

On Release:
This classic game was popular in the amusement arcades, and the home conversion was eagerly anticipated. Most Speccy gamers were happy with the conversion, the levels were re-created accurately (with nicely scrolling backdrops), the enemies were all in there (such as dogs, paratroopers etc) and all of the graphics were about as good as you could expect for the era. The price of £7.95 was deemed pretty good value for the title too. It went on to be a big hit.

The test of time:
Well this game is still playable today - it was excellent back then. The ZX Spectrum version is a pretty good rendition of the original arcade game, and it still has that 'one more go' factor. Once again we here in the land of Spectrum Games are amazed at what Jonathan Smith managed to squeeze into 48K of memory. Nice one Jof!

Dig out a bit of Sly from your retro movie collection, and drop a line to Colonel Trautman and give it a go. After all, they drew first blood.

This retro arcade game for the ZX Spectrum is definately worth another look after all these years.

We recommend getting hold of the real hardware - but if not then download a ZX Spectrum emulator and download it for the ZX Spectrum. Alternatively you could try and play it online.

GENRE: Arcade game (stab em up?)
RELEASE DATE: April of 1986
RELEASED BY: Imagine Software
DEVELOPER(S): Jonathan Smith (Jof)
PRICE: £7.95 - UK

Mart overcomes all takers and takes you on a tour of the first level in one of his all time favourite classic arcade games

Classic Games and Arcade Games


Anonymous said...

One of the games that I completed. So great!
Thanks for the blog.

RolyRetro said...

I loved this game, but had a really dodgy tape that took several attempts to load, which only increased the excitement when I actually got to play.

Great site by the way, lots of detail in your posts.

rennmaxbeta said...

For me this game was one of those flippin' hard games that mostly frustrated me as a 12-year-old. But I really loved most is the technical skills on display from Joffa; his art skills and ability to produce such amazing results from so little. I'd load those games up just to listen to the title music or marvel at the smooth scrolling :) I miss those days.

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