Spiritual Warfare was an unlicensed Christian video game released in 1992 by Wisdom Tree, primarily for the NES
, though also sold for other systems such as the Game Boy
. In it, the player plays a young Christian whose town has been overrun by demons, causing innocent townsfolk to become corrupted. The gameplay and graphics were amazingly simplistic for its release year, being an 8-bit title in a time when the 16-bit generation was gaining popularity. It used the same engine as Bible Buffet
before it, but minus the board game elements of that game.
To complete your goal of converting your town back to the straight and narrow, you must go forth and minister to all the poor, downtrodden sinners using the allegorical Fruits of the Holy Spirit, which are represented in the game by literal pieces of fruit. That you throw at people. So even though you're supposed to be going around proseltyzing to the masses and saving souls, in the game it looks like you're getting people to kneel and pray by blasting them in the face with bananas and pears. Hey, it's still a video game.
Apart from collecting this fruit, the player also collects the Armour of God, in six pieces, to prepare for the final confrontation with the "ultimate source of evil" in the character's town, and other biblical items, such as the Jawbone of Samson and Anointing Oil.
Encyclopedia Obscura has a review of the game
handy, and Syd Lexia has a more in-depth review here
This game provides examples of:
- Convection Schmonvection: The boiling lava in the Demon's Lair poses no threat whatsoever; you can't even fall in.
- Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Defeating Satan, the game's Final Boss.
- Edible Ammunition: Pear, pomegranate, apple, grape, and banana serve as the player's primary weapon; they are are referred to in-game as the "Fruit of the Holy Spirit".
- Follow the Leader: To Nintendo's original The Legend of Zelda.
- Flip Screen Scrolling: At least the enemies don't respawn until a few screens later.
- Heart Container
- Holy Hand Grenade: Vials of "God's Wrath" function as bombs, demolishing terrain and, ahem, blasting the "Hell" out of any nearby sinners.
- Infinity+1 Sword: The Sword of Spirit works much like the sword beams from Zelda, only you don't need full life to use them, and they EXPLODE when they hit something. Suffice to say that once you get this, you're pretty much done flinging fruit at people.
- Kung-Fu Proof Mook: Stray dogs and wild animals cannot be defeated with any weapon, and must simply be avoided. Likewise, the traffic in the Residential area and the forklifts in the Warehouse sector.
- The strongmen on the beach are immune to fruit of the spirit; it harmlessly bounces off of them. They are not, however, immune to any holy 'splosions. Adjust your strategy as needed.
- Metroid Vania / Plot Coupon That Does Something: Acquiring pieces of the "Armor of God" grants the player new abilities which, for the most part, enable them to access the next area.
- The Moral Substitute: Sure, it's a Christianity-themed clone of Zelda, but it's still pretty enjoyable by virtue of copying one of the most beloved adventure games of all time.
- Pop Quiz: Roaming angels ask Bible-related questions of the player.
- Precision-Guided Boomerang: The "Jawbone of Samson". (For those in the know, it's not Samson's own jaw, but from an animal he killed. With his bare hands.)
- Spread Shot: The Mighty Grapes, which alternate between firing straight ahead and at opposing 45-degree angles.
- The Very Definitely Final Dungeon: The foreboding architecture of the "Demon's Lair", located underneath the prison.
- Warp Whistle: The "RR Ticket" allows the player to use the train stations.