Saturday, March 24, 2012

Top Gun NES 1987

Top Gun NES 1987

While working on my plan to convert our family's old pictures to a digital format, I ran into this interesting piece of nostalgia for me. It's a photo of the ending screen of the Top Gun game on the NES that came out in 1987. Its a bit dark because I used a film camera to take a picture of the TV screen. I did it because I had finished the game and wanted to post proof to my friends that I had indeed finished the game.

The Top Gun NES game was based off the 1986 movie featuring Tom Cruise and Val Kilmer. The movie was about a group of Navy Fighter pilots who were flying the F-14 Tomcat. From a documentary I watched about the making the movie and its impact on modern day pop culture I learned that the movie sparked a large request for entry into the US Navy. It also cemented the career of Tom Cruise as a bankable superstar in Hollywood. Of couse who can forget such memorable catchphrases as " I feel the need, the need for speed", " Jester's Dead!", etc. Then there were the cool callsigns used by the pilots: Maverick, Iceman, Viper, Goose, etc. To top it off, it also had a great soundtrack to it.

If the movie was good (albeit slightly unrealistic *snicker*) the Nintendo console game that was born out of it was truly fantastic! It gave you a first person point of view of flying a fighter jet while giving you just the right mix of complexity and simpleness to be able to make it as a console game. I admit that the amount of missiles that one could carry was totally ridiculous but if you look past that it was really a ton of fun. Aside from the shooting and dodging of enemy aircraft you also had to contend with the regular stuff that F-14 pilots had to deal with, such as landing on an aircraft carrier and in-flight refueling. Those two things, I feel, was what really made the game immersive and make you feel that you are really an F-14 pilot.

I found some videos at Youtube showing the ending of that game as well as the gameplay.