At a Glance: Conan: barbarian, womanizer, guy in furry underwear. How many fans of the books, movies, and animated series have wished upon a bright star in the night, "oh, if only there were a video game based on the exploits of Conan, so that I may live my fantasy of being the man himself for just a little while." If this sounds familiar to you then this game's existence is all your fault and I hope you spend eternity in Hell. On the positive side, if you've been looking for an excuse to commit suicide, playing this game for five minutes will be all the justification you need.
Platform: NES (Download Emulator here - 192k)
Download: Download ROM here - 73k
Game Plot: After loading this game, you're treated to a gray title screen and an obnoxiously composed looping sequence of beeps which I believe is supposed to be some kind of music. I wouldn't go far enough to declare it as such since all it did was piss me off and send my dog into seizures. After turning my speakers down, I let the game sit for a time, foolishly hoping that eventually some explanation of this voyage into stupidity would be revealed. Of course there were no demos, scrolling text, or really anything that could help explain why Conan needs my help. Playing the game itself didn't help to explain the plot either.
Conan starts the game in Hell. How do I know this? There are flames, demons, and flaming demons everywhere. Plus Satan makes a brief appearance so you can steal his pitchfork, but I'll get to that later. After running past the edge of Hell, the game shifts to Greece. As far as I can tell, the plot of this game is that Conan has taken up a quest to run around like a complete retard in various and seemingly random areas of the world. While he does that, I'll take up an equally noble quest: punching myself in the groin until I vomit and lose consciousness.
Weapons: Conan begins the game with three attacks to use on his enemies: a punch to the head, a kick to the groin, and a jump kick to the throat. Other items and weapons are dropped by enemies at their time of death, including a sword that can't kill anything, fireballs that Conan can shoot from his hands, Satan's pitchfork, Medusa's severed eye laser shooting head, and a green ball of gas that restores some of Conan's life. There's space in the inventory for fifteen items but those are all the items I encountered. You have to crouch down in order to pick up the items, and this brings into light one of the most annoying parts of this game: pressing down on the control pad makes Conan jump forward. You wouldn't think this is too much of a problem except the levels are full of pits and Conan seems more that happy to hop into them for any fucking reason at all. I understand his feelings (since the thought of suicide crossed my mind more than once while playing this festival of crap), but you're limited to three lives and no continues and the levels are annoying enough to play through once, let alone over and over again. This game was never "developed"... it was spawned in Hell.
Enemies: This game sports a variety of outstandingly retarded enemies that could only have come from a genius the caliber of that crazy guy on the corner that spends his days screaming at birds flying overhead. Skeletons, flying green monkeys, Greek soldiers, Vikings, Medusa, and Satan to name a few. Satan didn't even get enough respect to be a boss in this collage of bullshit. Despite having several weapons to choose from, most enemies can only be killed by repeated punching and kicking. Medusa is the ONLY enemy that can be killed using the sword, and Satan must be burned to death with one of Conan's fireballs. I can't tell which is more retarded, Conan shooting fireballs or having to burn Satan to death. How the fuck does that work anyway? Satan's been burning in Hell for thirteen trillion years and some flaming barbarian in fur underwear comes along and inflicts him with third degree burns by using a pussy fireball originally obtained from a flying green monkey?
Number of Levels: There's at least four levels to this game: Hell, Greece, a bunch of floating platforms in the middle of space, and a Viking ship. I'm not sure how many levels are past the ship since I lost all will to even look at games after I was killed by the uber boss that controlled the level. I wouldn't recommend trying to play past the Viking ship. Hell, I wouldn't recommend playing this game at all. I hate this fucking game and I fucking hate Conan.
Number of Bosses: I'm not sure if there are any real bosses in this game, but there are enemies that are somewhat of a pain in the ass to kill. Hell has a donkey / dog with a snake for a tail that spits fireballs at you. This would be a fearsome opponent if the fireballs actually did any damage to you at all. The only way this thing can kill you is if you run up and touch it, assuming it doesn't knock you back into the gap between platforms before you reach it. Dogkey can only be killed by using Satan's pitchfork, but to get that you first have to locate Satan and burn him to death. Greece has some annoying broad that transforms into a giant snake and kills you if you touch her. I'm not sure how you officially kill her; I just shot her with some of Conan's pussy fireballs, then ran up and pushed her over (I'm not kidding). The floating platforms in space are controlled by a three headed dragon which can only be killed using the lasers that Medusa's head shoots from her eyes. But instead of the dragon turning to stone, as you would expect from being exposed to Medusa's head, it simply explodes and teleports you to the Viking ship. The boss of the ship appears to be a bird that perches on top of the ship's figurehead and stares down at Conan menacingly while you fight off Vikings, until the bird decides that it's time to act and promptly swoops down to kill you in one hit. Hooray.
Defining Moment: Jumping off one of the floating platforms into empty space for the 300th time. This game has a perfect mix of poor controls and crappy level design. In fact, the pitfalls in this game are about a thousand times more threatening than the actual enemies. Of the 313 lives I lost playing this game, 300 were lost to falling into a pit or some form of empty space. If you'd like to properly emulate the experience of trying to control Conan then follow these simple steps:
1. Climb onto your roof.
2. Inject a syringe of Heroin directly into your left eyeball, making sure to twist the needle before you pull it out.
3. Jump from your roof to your neighbor's roof. Repeat this process until you fail to reach your designated target and instead plummet to the ground.
4. Land on your head and immediately proceed to die.
Now if you'll excuse me I have to go shove a coat hanger up my nose in the hope that I'll pull out the chunk of brain that holds all memories of this craptacular experience.
Each category in the rating system is based out of a possible -10 score (-10 being the worst). The overall score is based out of a possible -50 score (-50 being the worst).