Final Fantasy NES Review

Final Fantasy NES Review

Final Fantasy NES Review

Final Fantasy NES review

Final Fantasy for NES was the original retro game in the popular Final Fantasy series. Developed by Square, it was released in Japan on December 18, 1987, and in North America on September 2, 1990. The NES version of Final Fantasy is similar to another 8-bit game by Square: Dragon Warrior or Dragon Quest as it is called in Japan. These two video games share similar sprites and over-world navigation although the actual combat screen is different.

Game Story

The Light Warriors are the main characters in the original Final Fantasy game for NES. Each of the party members represents different classes that one would see in a typical fantasy story: 

  • Warrior Class
  • Thief Class
  • Black Mage Class
  • Red Mage Class
  • Monk Class
  • White Mage Class. 

This game follows their journey to save the world from the evil Garland. There isn’t one particular main character the player uses in this story but a group of heroes who push the story forward.


The weapons in the original Final Fantasy game for NES are swords, staves, rods, bows, and daggers. Warrior can equip swords, axes, and assorted heavy weapons. Thief can equip daggers and bows. Black Mage can equip rods, staves, and daggers while the White Mage can equip rods, staves, and hammers. Red Mage is a bit different in that they can equip the same equipment as the Mage class but also weapons the physical attackers use. Monk or Black Belt as it is called in the North American version of the game fights barefisted, while the class can use weapons the Monk does far more damage without a weapon. 

There are weapons that bear iconic names like Excalibur or Masamune that also make appearances in later Final Fantasies. Mage classes use various forms of magic appropriate to their class, Black Mage uses black magic that is destructive for example, the White Mage uses healing magic or white magic. Red Mages use both black and white magic but their spell level never reaches quite as high which balances out their versatility when compared to the other magic users.


Armor in the original Final Fantasy game for NES is shields, helmets, mail, and chain-mail. The Warrior is able to equip shields, helmets, and mail and the Thief is able to equip helmets and chain-mail. The Black Mage and White Mage are only able to equip robes. The Red Mage is able to equip shields, helmets, and chain-mail. The Monk can equip the least amount of armor and wears primarily vests and other light armor options meaning the defense is often low.

Game Levels

Final Fantasy has many different areas that the player could explore like grasslands, deserts, mountain caves, and underwater as well at some point. The player acquires various modes of transportation like a canoe, ship, and even an airship for flying. Within each of the various areas, there are several towns, dungeons, and caves that the player could explore. 

Oftentimes enemies would be encountered on the world map which would lead to a battle screen. The bulk of the player’s exploration will be seen on a world map view controlling a sprite as they navigate the areas. Within dungeons, random battle encounters happen at a higher rate and treasure chests can be found that may contain equipment and money.

Bosses and Enemies


Enemies in the original Final Fantasy game for NES are creatures often seen in fantasy RPG games, imps, demons, various ghosts, and wolves among many others. There is a huge variety of monsters to fight in this world as well as palette-swapped stronger versions of weaker monsters. The minute you leave a safe area like a town you will have random encounters where you face monsters and engage in battle. In Final Fantasy the random encounter rate is fairly high so be prepared to fight quite often when traveling.


Garland is the main antagonist and he is fought at the beginning of the game and seen much later if the player advances the story far enough. There are plenty of boss battles in the game but the main bosses who play critical roles in the story are The Four Fiends who represent the four elements, Lich, Tiamat, Marilith, or Kary in the US, and Kraken. The final boss is a surprise and involves a unique story twist.

Music and Gameplay

Music in the original Final Fantasy game for NES was composed by Nobuo Uematsu. The opening theme “Prelude” has become one of the most recognizable songs in video games. Other memorable tracks include “The Battle”, “The Cave” and “The Castle”. Music in Final Fantasy helps to set the tone for the game and create an immersive experience for the player.

The combat system in the original Final Fantasy for NES was turn-based. Each of your party members would take their turn and then the enemy would take theirs. The player could choose to attack, use magic or items, or run away from the battle. Some commands such as attacking or using an item could be used multiple times in a turn. However, other commands such as magic could only be used once per turn.

Overall Game Length

Final Fantasy 1 is not a lengthy game for an RPG, the game can be completed in under 20 hours depending if you use a guide or you favor grinding experience for leveling. There are many areas to explore, and the player must complete several quests before they can face the final boss. The game can take 17 hours to complete, making it a great investment for RPG fans who want a shorter experience.


The first Final Fantasy game for NES is a great role-playing game with interesting characters, weapons, and armor. The story is engaging and the bosses provide extra challenges. This is a must-play for any fan of the Final Fantasy titles. Square who created this game is now Square Enix and even now they are creating new Final Fantasy games that are single-player and multiplayer as well. 

Playing the first game is a nice nostalgia trip to see where most of the monsters and central gameplay mechanics come from. Those people who might worry about the dated graphics and mechanics but still want to experience the original game can try Final Fantasy Origins, which is a definitive version and HD remaster of the first game and the direct sequel Final Fantasy 2 as well.

Contra NES Review

Contra NES Review

Contra NES Review

The NES video game Contra is an action game that was developed by the Japanese company Konami, and it was based on the arcade game of the same name. Our Contra NES review will have the whole low-down for you.

Game Story

The story in the Contra NES retro game is based on a war between aliens and humans. The aliens have invaded Earth, and it is up to the player to fight them off and save the planet. The game is set in various locations around the world, including a jungle, a snow-covered forest, and an ancient temple. The player must battle their way through these levels, defeating aliens along the way.

Main Characters

One interesting note about the Contra video game is that the character names were changed in the Japanese version of the game by Nintendo Entertainment. The original arcade game featured two American commandos as the main characters, but in the Japanese version, they were replaced by two Japanese soldiers. This change was likely made due to cultural sensitivities concerning America’s role in World War II.

The character of Bill Rizer was based on Arnold Schwarzenegger, and his likeness was used in early promotional material for the game. However, Schwarzenegger’s name could not be used due to licensing issues, so the character was simply referred to as “the guy with the big gun.”

Unique Weapons

The weapons in Contra were varied and powerful, and they allowed players to take down enemies with ease. The spread gun or spread shot is useful for taking out large groups of enemies, and the machine gun was great for quickly clearing a path. Flame throwers were also effective against entrenched enemies, and they could quickly clear out a room full of baddies.

Game Levels

The game levels in Contra are horizontal primarily, and the player must battle their way through various enemies and obstacles to reach it. The level design is well-done, and it is often difficult to navigate through the levels without taking damage. Not all levels were horizontal, there were some vertical levels too, as well as third-person perspectives inside the enemy base.

Gameplay and Music

The arcade version of Contra was popular for its fast-paced action and violence, and the NES version was no different. Pressing the start button at the title screen immediately drops the player into the action. To make the game more challenging, the developers added an extra enemy to each level, and they also increased the number of bullets that could be onscreen at once. They also made it possible for players to shoot in all directions, which added to the frenetic gameplay.

The sound in Contra is also well-done. The music is fast-paced and adrenaline-pumping, and it does a good job of fitting the game’s action-packed gameplay. The sound effects are also appropriate, and they add to the game’s overall intensity.


The bosses in the Contra NES game were difficult to beat, and they required a lot of skill and firepower to take down. These bosses typically were faced at the end of each stage and hopefully, you have some power ups on hand.

  1. The first boss was a large alien that could shoot fireballs from its mouth. The player had to avoid the fireballs while shooting at the alien’s weak spot. 
  2. The second boss was a giant robot that could shoot missiles and lasers. The player had to destroy the robot’s weak spot while avoiding its attacks. 
  3. The third boss was a giant alien queen that could shoot fireballs and summon smaller aliens to attack the player. The player had to shoot at the queen’s weak spot while avoiding her attacks. 

In the final stages of the game, you start to recognize the enemies resembling a certain movie franchise, especially the final boss at the end of the level.

Defeating the Bosses

NES Contra is difficult, but it is possible to beat if you are skilled and have the right weapons and cheat codes to lessen the difficulty. The best weapon for taking down bosses is the spread gun. The machine gun is also effective, but it can be difficult to hit the boss with all of the bullets. The flame thrower is also effective against bosses, but it can be difficult to use in tight quarters.

If you are having trouble defeating the bosses, try using a cheat code. The infamous Konami Code “up, up, down, down, left right, left right, B, A,” will give you 30 extra lives, and it will make the game much easier.


The graphics in Contra are colorful and detailed, the different environments are well-rendered, and the enemy characters are distinct and easily distinguishable from one another. The player’s character is also well-animated, and their movements are fluid and realistic.

Contra provides a great challenge, but it was also very rewarding and was known for having tight controls. Players who were able to complete the game were treated to a great ending sequence that showed the heroes triumphantly returning to earth. 

Overall, Contra is a great game that is perfect for gamers who enjoy fast-paced action in the run-and-gun genre. There were numerous Contra games such as Contra 3: Alien Wars, Operation C, Contra Force, and Super Contra. All these gun platformers featured the same exciting gameplay and features shown in the original Contra, so there is plenty of sequel games to play after finishing this title.

Double Dragon 2

Double Dragon 2

Double Dragon 2: The Revenge Review

“Double Dragon 2: The Revenge” was released by Technōs Japan in 1988 for the Nintendo Entertainment System. It’s the sequel to the original 8-bit game Double Dragon on the NES game “Double Dragon”, one of the earliest and most influential beat ’em up games. This great retro game is a side-scrolling beat ’em up where players take control of martial artists Billy and Jimmy Lee as they fight their way through waves of enemies on their quest for revenge after the death of Marian.

Main Characters

Lee brothers, Billy and Jimmy, are the protagonists of Double Dragon 2: The Revenge. Rugged heroes trained as martial artists are on a quest for revenge against the Black Warriors. After learning of a series of events that led to Marian’s death. In the original game on the home version, Billy was the only playable character in only two levels. For Double Dragon 2: The Revenge, Technos Japan made them playable from beginning to end in two player mode. The brothers have the same fighting styles as Billy is the blue colored sprite and Jimmy is the red one.

Fighting and Unique Weapons

In Double Dragon 2, the Lee brothers have many weapons to help them defeat their foes. Their most basic weapon is their fists, but they can use new moves like a hyper uppercut and the knee kick to dispatch enemies. These attacks are all very powerful and some moves like hurricane kick easily take down multiple opponents at once, similar to an AoE attack.

Double Dragon 2: The Revenge game has two attack buttons. Separate buttons exist for jump and kick attacks. Players can use these buttons to unleash various moves on their opponents, including punches, kicks, and throws. The game also features a button that allows players to pick up and throw objects.

Players can string together different combinations of light and heavy attacks to create different moves. The controls are different from most fighting games, and in the previous game Double Dragon the “A” button and “B” button dictated which direction you attack. The player does not have kick buttons to use, but you kick in the opposite direction you are currently facing.

There are also new items that can be picked up and used as weapons, including knives and whips. Some of these can be found lying around on the ground, while others must be taken from defeated enemies. Like in the first game, certain enemies will only be vulnerable to certain types of attacks. So, it is important to experiment with different weapons and moves to find the best way to defeat each enemy.

Game Levels

Double Dragon 2 features level designs that are more varied than the first game. The lumber storehouse level, for example, has you fighting in a maze of stacked lumber, while the fourth stage takes place in an undersea base and there is a level where you jump across conveyor belts. The enemies are also more varied, with new types appearing as you progress through the game.


There are several different bosses in Double Dragon 2. One of the most difficult is Machine Gun Willy, who can easily kill the player with his machine gun. The player must use quick reflexes and dodge the bullets while attacking willy to defeat him.

The final boss is the leader of the Black Warriors. He is a very powerful enemy, and can take a lot of damage before finally being defeated. The player must use all of their skills and weapons to defeat him.

Minor Enemies

Most enemies in Double Dragon 2 are street gang members. They’re not very smart, and can easily be defeated with a combination of light and heavy attacks. However, there are also giant mutant fighters such as Abobo who can take a lot of damage before finally being defeated. The player must use all of their skills and weapons to defeat them.

The hands of the shadow warriors are a new type of enemy in Double Dragon 2. These enemies are very quick and can teleport around the screen. They are also difficult to hit, as they’ll often dodge the player’s attacks. Quick reflexes and accuracy are necessary to defeat them.

Overall Difficulty Level & Game Length

The overall level of difficulty in Double Dragon 2 is slightly higher than in the first NES game. Enemies are more aggressive and can take more damage before they are defeated. The final boss at the end of the game is also much more difficult to defeat than the final boss in the first game. Game length is also slightly longer, with more levels to play through and more enemies to fight.

Players can choose from three different difficulty settings: easy, medium, and hard. The easy setting is recommended for players who are new to the game or want to take a less challenging path. The medium setting is the default difficulty and is suitable for most players. The hard setting is only recommended for experienced players who want a greater challenge. That said, the game is much more manageable with a second player.


If you enjoy side-scrolling beat ‘em up games, you should try out Double Dragon 2. It’s an enjoyable and challenging experience that can be enjoyed by gamers of all ages. The game offers three different difficulty settings, so players can choose how challenging they want the game to be. 

Additionally, there are multiple versions of Double Dragon 2 available, so players can find a version that is available on their gaming platform of choice. The original NES version is considered one of the best, with tight controls and challenging enemies. Another version available on the Sega Master System is pretty good, too, with colorful graphics and a more difficult difficulty level.

The first “Double Dragon” game was revolutionary for its time, and “Double Dragon 2” built on that success. It’s an essential title for any fan of the genre, and still fun to play today.