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Video Game / Guerrilla War

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Guerrilla War​ (originally titled Guevara in Japan) is an overhead run and gun game produced by SNK. It was released for arcades in 1987 as a coin-operated Arcade Game. It was ported to the ZX Spectrum and the NES in 1988.

Guerrilla War followed the adventures of two unnamed rebel commandos (Che Guevara and Fidel Castro in the Japanese version) as they raid an unnamed Caribbean Island (Cuba in the originalnote ) in order to free it from the rule of an unnamed tyrannical dictator (Fulgencio Batista). Along the way the players vanquish hordes of unnamed enemy soldiers (originally part of the Batista regime) while attempting to rescue hostages, collecting weapons from troopers and operating tanks.

This game provides the following examples:

  • Absurdly-Spacious Sewer: One of the levels in the NES version, in which your characters are tossed inside by the Plow Brothers.
  • Badass Normal: The final boss (Batista in the Japanese original). He spams missiles and bombs, and can take A LOT of damage before he goes down.
  • Banana Republic: This is where your revolutionary fights, from start to finish. From farms, to the dictator's palace.
  • Bowdlerise: As the game was released during the Cold War and anti-communist sentiments were still high, SNK simply removed the identities of Che and Fidel in the North American arcade and NES versions.
  • Bittersweet Ending: In the arcade version, the Big Bad is overthrown, but manages to escape. Subverted in the NES version, where he is killed instead.
  • Bottomless Magazines: Only in the NES version, for both your gun and bombs.
  • Co-Dragons: The Plow Brothers in the NES version.
  • Collision Damage: Touch a Mook and you will die. Unless you're in a tank, in which case they'll die (unless they're in a tank, in which case your tank will die).
  • Death by Adaptation: The Big Bad escapes in the Arcade version of the game, but dies in the NES version.
  • Dual Boss: The NES version has the Plow Brothers, two big burly men who ride a plow. The first time you destroy their plow, they toss your characters into a mine. Later, you encounter them in a city and they toss you into a sewer. You get your revenge when you fight their plow the second time, as they fail to get out before it explodes.
  • Fire-Breathing Weapon: The flamethrower, which can kill many enemies in a row.
  • Flunky Boss: The first boss in the arcade version is a commander who summons mooks to aid him. Most of the vehicle bosses also do this.
  • Hopeless Boss Fight:
    • The first boss of the arcade version has a commander that dances back and forth and laughs at you, while mooks swarm in. You can't harm the commander. You have to wait him out until the the (beatable) helicopter boss flies in.
    • At the end of Stage 6 (the first half of the city) in the NES version, you encounter the Plow Brothers again, only this time they're not inside a plow. You can't do anything, and no matter how long you try to dodge them, they'll throw you into a sewer in the next stage.
  • Hostage Spirit-Link: Averted, although you do lose a lot of points if you accidentally gun one down.
  • Jungle Japes: Stage 1.
  • Karma Houdini: The Big Bad in the arcade version manages to run away from the fight. note  In the NES version, you give him a well-deserved killing.
  • Kill It with Fire: One of the weapons available is a flame thrower.
  • Macross Missile Massacre: The Final Boss.
  • Made of Iron: The Big Bad in the NES version can take more damage than a few tanks (see here).
  • Minecart Madness: One stage is set on one, and gives you a rope to sling any captives that pass by.
  • Multi-Mook Melee: The boss of the NES version's sewer stage is a lot of soldiers. You also fight one on the NES battleship level.
  • No Politicians Were Harmed: In the original Japanese release, the player's characters are Che Guevara and Fidel Castro, and the main villain from the same release is Fulgencio Batista.
  • One-Hit-Point Wonder: Your character dies in one hit. If you're in a tank, it can take one explosive attack before you have to get out (or it explodes on you).
  • Recurring Boss: The Plow Brothers and their plow. The tank-driving Mini-Boss in the second stage may also count, as you fight a similar but stronger one as the boss.
  • Smart Bomb: A Power-Up in the NES version made your next grenade nuke all enemies on the screen.
  • Spread Shot: The NES version's "S" weapon gives you a traditional spread shot, and the "T" weapon gives you a shrapnel rocket, which explodes into three shots after it hits an enemy or if it travels a specific distance.
    • Some enemies will also use these on you.
  • Stalked by the Bell: Stay too long in an area in the arcade version and the entire screen starts getting bombed until you lose a life.
  • Tank Goodness: As with Ikari Warriors, you can ride in a tank, which is immune to regular bullets. However, a single explosive will put it out of commission. The same goes for enemies in tanks you have to hit them with grenades or special weapons.
  • Underground Monkey: Mostly averted with the regular soldiers, played straight with the enemy tanks.
  • Vehicular Assault: Most of the bosses.
  • Video Game Cruelty Punishment: You lose points for accidentally shooting captives—Yet this is inverted with animals, who give points for being shot.
  • Villain: Exit, Stage Left: The Big Bad does this at the end of the arcade version.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Hostages are not immune to the heroes' bullets. However, killing an innocent will only result in a small score deduction.
  • "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: The Japanese version ends with what happened to Guevara and Castro. Guevara was later executed in Bolivia following his promotion to the rank of lieutenant for his actions, and Castro would become the prime minister of Cuba.