At a Glance: Back in the late 80's, when the youth of America liked their Communists dead, their hair long and resembling some form of cancerous weed, and their video games hard as shit, there came upon the nation a new and horrible threat. Yes, I'm talking about drugs. Evil, horrible, smelly drugs, slaughtering our youth by the truckloads, and giving the moral right another thing to blame the existence of blasphemy, cursing, homosexuality, and the band Dio on. Even the video game industry got into it. And believe or not, there was a game to go with that .002 second Surgeon General's warning that you always ignore when you're lighting up your crack pipe before a game of Tekken. We call it NARC, the game about the blissful slaughter of drug dealers.
Platform: NES (Download Emulator here - 192k)
Download: Download ROM here - 73k
Game Plot: The city, which is a real shithole mind you, is in trouble. Drug dealers are walking all over the streets, selling drugs, making evil grins and holding out bags and needles to any passerby. You are some NARC dude who drives a nice coupe, packs a machine gun, a rocket launcher, and goes around wearing a flagrantly homosexual blue or red getup complete with motorcycle helmet. Because drug dealers are obviously all evil, satanic, hateful men, who, beyond the redemption of God, seek to walk the streets in daylight shooting innocent people and selling them drugs, in either order, they are more than deserving of death. You, as a noble protector of the law must kill, arrest, blow to shit, or run over as many of these dealers as possible, steal their money, drugs, and bullets, and honestly hand it over to the police so they can sell it back to the CIA who can then sell it back to the drug dealers, thus allowing you to steal it again. At the end of every level you must retrieve a mysterious keycard that will allow you to get to the next level, because, as we all know, the real reason you're out there isn't to kill drug dealers by the hundreds, it's to bring control of the various doors throughout the city under the control of the police.
Weapons: Your Narc, who, aside from being on steroids which allow him to jump ten feet into the air and absorb entire clips of bullets, carries some pretty nasty weaponry. Let's look at the controls:
A: Fire machine gun
B: Crouch, in order to blow off enemy kneecaps before they die a horrible, horrible death at your hands.
Double tap A (the geniuses at Williams, to balance the game, made it so that this will only work approximately 12% of the time, meaning most of the time you'll simply fire a single shot.): Fires Rocket Launcher
Double tap B: Like a true winner who doesn't any drugs whatsoever, you launch yourself ten feet into the air, drawing your strength from the sheer goodness of your cause.
As logic would assume, you cannot hold an infinite amount of ammo for your weapons. Fortunately the multitude (and let me emphasize again that there must be hundreds of drug dealers walking around in this city. How do they sell it all? Don't they know anything about supply and demand? Sheesh.) of dealers in this city are always happily equipped with bullets, cash, drugs, and naturally, rockets. You can then use these items, especially the rockets, to blow up these evil foes. I'm not kidding either. Blow up. Not turn into a puff of smoke, or make fall over, I mean BLOW UP. As in body parts flying everywhere, heads rolling, stuff like that. Really quite historical if you think about it, the first NES game where somebody's limbs go flying. Of course, this was 1989, and these WERE drug dealers we're talking about, so it's OK to murder, run over, or blow up these guys. After all, they ARE walking in the middle of the road, selling drugs and shooting people for no good reason, right?
I guess I should also mention your ability to bust people. If you get close to an enemy, and you will, because they seem to think there's something smart about getting close to some guy who's carrying around a rocket launcher and can withstand multiple rounds of gunfire, you can arrest them. Because you're just so damn close, they surrender immediately, hold up their hands, and magically fly away, just like in real life. Sure, it gets you more points, but why let these hellfiends live when you can make their limbs fly into the air, rejoicing in their freedom from the tyranny of the hated torso?
There's also a few parts in the game where you get a sporty coupe that you can run over people in. However, no sooner are you up to high gear that you run into a wall or land mine, conveniently placed so that there's nothing you can do to dodge it if you're not psychic or incredibly lucky. Or riding the brake. In other words, it sucks.
Enemies: Imagine every anti-drug ad, every very special episode of Saved By the Bell, Alvin and the Chipmunks, or Mr. Belvedere, and every Robocop movie you've ever seen. That's your cast of enemies. For some reason they all seem to like hanging out on the street together, shooting any cops they see. I don't get this. If I was a drug dealer I'd keep a low profile, but I guess these guys must be new or something. Oh well. None of these guys have good business practices. Take a look.
The first enemy you encounter is some balding, evil-grinning, sunglasses wearing crack dealer, who must not be doing well given that all he's wearing is an overcoat and pants, without a shirt or shoes. It makes you wonder where his cash and gun come from, considering he can't be actually SELLING any drugs, what with the street filled with dozens of them.
Then there's Hypoman, an 80's hair metal reject who attacks you by throwing, you guessed it, hypodermic needles full of heroin at you. That shit's expensive, yet they literally throw it all away. Man, some people don't know the rules of da bidness.
Thirdly there's some big, burly drug addict, who feels compelled to punch you because you're packing a machine gun and he's on drugs. He can also take a few rounds in the chest because of all the smack he does. No rehab for these guys, death by rocket is the only punishment for being a drug addict who tries to punch a police officer. The sweetness of Justice.
Fourthly is a small army of circus clowns all called Kinky Pinky (don't ask, please please for the love of all that is holy please don't ask) who feel it necessary to run up to you and try stabbing you to death. Aside from being a pervert, they can also withstand lots of bullets. They suck.
Next we have an attack dog, who, like all dogs, loves him some Kibbles and Crack. They try to bite your throat out. In keeping with the high realism of the game, they turn into puppies when you shoot them and they run away. Isn't that cute?
Finally there's some guy who throws grenades at you and wears a lab coat. By this point in the game I stopped caring. I shot them up and then worried about those goddamn knife-wielding clowns.
Also at random points a helicopter will fly overhead and shoot at you and drop bombs at you, which will miss horribly. The damage to my soul, however, from their sheer stupidity, cuts right to the core.
Number of Levels: I really wish I could tell you this, but ya see, you need this card to leave level 4, and as I waited for some clown or other enemy to come along carrying it (they don't make these things easy to get, you have to stand around for a few minutes while you get killed a few times until some random enemy drops it) I realized that it wasn't coming. With this excuse, I thankfully let myself quit the game, smoked a fat bowl of crack and called up my dealer to see when the next E shipment was going to be in.
Number of Bosses: If by Bosses you mean "random enemy holding keycard to exit level", I still couldn't tell you, because the game decided that Jesus didn't love me enough to give me that fourth card.
Defining Moment: After capping a few homeless drug dealers, hopping into my nice red coupe that was just sitting on the highway, revving it up to high gear, and instantly crashing into a large wall that blocked the entire road except for one small pass.
Thus, in conclusion, NARC is a fine piece of craftsmanship that has helped to keep our nation off drugs for eleven years going. So pick up a machine gun, a rocket launcher, a blue motorcycle helmet, and go out on your street and start blasting all those bald homeless guys who are holding out a little cocaine, asking for your money. Or it could be a change cup. Doesn't matter.
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).