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Video Game / Rambo

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Remember your Grandpa's war stories about the killer robots?
Rambo is the title of multiple console and arcade games, over the years, with the most famous being a 1988note  action-adventure game for the NES. Adapted from Rambo: First Blood Part II, it featured gameplay similar to that of Zelda II: The Adventure of Link: Experience points, levels, side scrolling exploration, dark maps requiring a light source, similar default weapons, and so on. Due the Zelda II's protracted localization timeframe, however, Rambo ended up introducing that style of gameplay to North America.

The game is known for being pretty faithful to the actual storyline, barring the numerous encounters with wild animals and their fantasy "giant" boss varieties, along with androids near the end. It also has a rudimentary amount of player choice, allowing the player to get a better ending than the movie.

Tropes in the Nintendo Entertainment System version include:

  • Adaptation Expansion: The video game, while mostly true to the film, now chronicles Rambo's many battles with the mutant wildlife of Vietnam, along with his battles against androids as he goes to rescue the POWs for a second time.
  • And Now for Someone Completely Different: Rambo is captured in the middle of the game, and you briefly play as the non-combatant Co, who wines and dines the enemy General before freeing Rambo. It was actually pretty innovative for its time, as such cutscenes are often used in modern games.
  • Asian Buck Teeth: Bearing in mind that the game was produced by a Japanese company, while playing as Co you come across a blue haired Vietnamese man with widely gapped, enormous bucked teeth.
  • Bowdlerise: While Co dressed up as a prostitute for cover to save Rambo in the film, the game toned down the sexual content so that her disguise is as a General's wife instead.
  • But Thou Must!:
    • Lampshaded. At the beginning, you're given a choice to take on the game's mission or remain in prison, and the colonel tells you the game can't begin until you choose "yes".
    • Played straight several times throughout the game after the opening scene.
  • Critical Annoyance: The screen flashes constantly when you're low on health.
  • Crate Expectations: Lots of crates can be found in some of the bases.
  • Dem Bones: One of the enemies is a flying skull.
  • Demon Head: Whenever a human boss enemy is attacked, he is briefly stunned and his head grows to enormous proportions, around twice the size of his body, as a detailed caricature.
  • Doomed by Canon: Played with quite beautifully. If you speak to Co (roughly) where she dies in the movie, she dies in game. If you ignore the movie's plot, she lives until the end. You also get a slightly different ending if Co survives.
  • Everything Trying to Kill You: Aside from the enemy soldiers, the entire wildlife is out to kill Rambo: Birds, bats, spiders, tigers, fish, giant insects. In addition to that, Rambo has to watch out for rocks, bubbles and flying skulls.
  • Forced Transformation: During the ending, the player can throw the kanji of "anger" (怒) at Murdock, which turns him into a frog.
  • Giant Spider: At one point, Rambo fights a gigantic spider.
  • Guide Dang It!: A lack of signs and a couple localization issues can make your destination unclear.
  • Knockback: While the knockback itself is not very severe, and the game doesn't have bottomless pits, it can knock you through certain floors such as bridges.
  • The Lost Woods: Though the world is generally navigable, many of the paths loop endlessly, send the player to a far off and geographically questionable location, or are inexplicably one-way in outdoor and flat locations.
  • Metroidvania: It has very rudimentary metroidvania elements, requiring the player to collect a couple items or NPCs and then backtrack to progress in a generally open environment.
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands: While generally harmless as it's a post-game power, Rambo gains the ability to throw an ikari (怒) kanji, which means "anger", at Murdock, turning him into a frog.
  • Playable Epilogue: You can wander around, talk to people, and turn Murdock into a frog. You know, the usual.
  • Sentry Gun: One of the enemies is a floor-mounted sentry gun.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: Co's death occurs during a conversation cutscene that sort of mirrors the events of the movie. Skipping the conversation skips her death scene, which is accounted for in the ending.
  • Translation Convention: You come across some Vietnamese people who speak English in some parts of the village, especially when you're playing as Co. This is understandable in the game, as Co and the villagers spoke Vietnamese with each other in the film.
  • Unintentionally Unwinnable: There is one bridge near the end that knockback doesn't send you through, but if you jump down it by mistake, you are trapped.
  • You Don't Look Like You: Murdock, who in the film is a blonde and fit bureaucrat, is an overweight grey-haired man in the game.