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Video Game / Jaws

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This time there's no escape!

Jaws is a NES game from the year 1987, based on the Jaws franchise, mostly on the fourth film. It was released by LJN Toys and developed by Westone, better known for their work on the Wonder Boy series.

Your main goal is to kill the giant shark, Jaws (yes, its name is actually Jaws here.) To accomplish this, you sail between two ports with your boat. Most of the gameplay features you being drafted into underwater segments where you harpoon your way out of attacking jellyfish, stingrays and sharks and collect stuff from them. Occasionally, you are attacked by the giant shark itself. You gradually become stronger as you travel in the sea, and once you reach your limit, you'll able to finish the giant shark for good.


  • 1-Up: Received every time you score 30000 points.
  • Adam Smith Hates Your Guts: The price to upgrade the power of your harpoon gun goes up with every level up. The first level up costs three shells, the second costs five, then seven, then ten, then all subsequent upgrades go up by increments of five.
  • Antagonist Title: The shark's name is Jaws, the game's name is Jaws. Thus, the game is named after the shark.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: If you are on the surface of the water, Jaws can't hurt you, though you can't hurt him either.
  • Bonus Stage: If you kill enough sharks, you'll get to play a stage where you have to fly a plane and bombard jellyfish with depth charges, Galaga style. The more jellyfish you hit, the more points and shells you will earn.
  • Cap: The highest level the power of the harpoon gun can reach is level 9. Once it's fully upgraded, visiting harbors will instead allow you to buy extra strobes for the final scene.
  • Cool Boat: You sometimes find a submarine, which contains extra firepower.
  • Damage-Sponge Boss: The goal of the game is to kill Jaws, but this is very difficult at the start, as it takes many shots from your harpoon gun to drain just one unit of his health, and he slowly heals as long as you aren't fighting him. This issue can be mitigated by purchasing upgrades to your gun, which will make it much easier to drain his health in a reasonable amount of time.
  • Harpoon Gun: In the underwater sequences, the diver uses a gun that fires harpoons as their main attack.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: The final scene involves you trying to impale the shark using the front of your boat, similarly to its fate in Jaws: The Revenge.
  • Level Grinding: The primary goal of the underwater sequences is to gather enough shells to purchase level ups for your harpoon gun so you can deal enough damage to defeat Jaws.
  • Lucky Charms Title: The shark replaces the "A" in the game's titlescreen.
  • Money Spider: Enemies will sometimes drop shells upon being defeated. In particular, the baby sharks will always drop one.
  • Named by the Adaptation: The shark's name actually is "Jaws" here, when it was unnamed in the films.
  • One-Hit-Point Wonder:
    • Getting hit by anything during the underwater segments will result in the player losing a life. The only way to get one extra hit point is to get the submarine power up.
    • In the final scene, it only takes one hit from the front of your boat to finish off Jaws, but that hit requires top-notch timing, as you need to make him jump out of the water when he is directly in front of your boat, then you must thrust the bow forward when his white underside is visibile.
  • One-Word Title: Just like the movie. It also becomes an Antagonist Title since the shark is referred to as Jaws in-game.
  • Riding into the Sunset: The ending shows a plane flying into the sunset.
  • RPG Elements: The game plays like an RPG grindquest; you travel between two towns, take part in random battles and use the points you receive to make yourself stronger.
  • Scoring Points: You get points for harpooning fish, or by collecting the starfish that sometimes fall out of them upon defeat.
  • Sinister Stingrays: One of the most common enemies in the underwater segments are stingrays. They swim from one side of the screen to the other.
  • Threatening Shark: The main antagonist of the game is a giant shark. Additionally, you encounter smaller sharks in the underwater segments.
  • Under the Sea: Anytime you hit something while on the boat, your diver gets out of the boat to swim undersea to do battle with various sea creatures, possibly including the shark you're after.
  • Underwater Boss Battle: Sans the final confrontation, the fights against the shark take place underwater.