The Super Spy is an early SNK Neo Geo action game, and one of their few arcade releases which plays out like a First-Person Shooter / Beat 'em Up hybrid. And it is one of the very few single-player only games on the platform.
The terrorist group Zolge King detonated a bomb in the subway, killing hundreds of people. As CIA agent Roy Heart, the titular super spy, you are first to take out the Zolge King's bomb factory, then take out the group's eight leaders inside the occupied Tayoda car company's HQ.
In a gameplay format reminiscient of Punch-Out!!, you move forward or backward, with the gameplay screen from your point-of-view, as you throw punches and kicks at enemies coming at you. Additional moves you can pull off via joystick includes ducking, sidestepping and blocking attacks, and you can collect daggers and firearms to use against enemies, besides saving hostages for life bonuses. And of course, the environment can be destroyed for points, since this is a Beat 'em Up, where you can send mooks into windows and walls leaving behind broken glass and smashed concrete.
SNK will re-visit the formula with Crossed Swords, a much better-received and memorable game which is medieval fantasy-themed.
The Super Spy contain examples of:
- Actually a Doombot: You fight King, the terrorist leader halfway into the game, and if you win, King then pulls off his latex mask revealing himself to be his decoy, Back Gallop. You'll need to finish another stage before facing the real leader.Back Gallop: "You fool, I'm not King!"
- The Ahnold: The terrorist boss who appropriately calls himself "Machine" is a villainous Schwarzenegger clone, whose face even looks like the original 1984 Terminator. And using an identical-looking M16 Machine-gun.
- Alliterative Title: You're a Spy who's quite Super at your job.
- Bandaged Face: The muscular strongmen thugs wear sleeveless vests, cargo pants, and have their faces covered in bandages, for reasons unexplained. No other enemy utilizes this design.
- Bloodless Carnage: You can obtain a dagger for slashing and stabbing at enemies, but you're not going to see a single drop of red at any point. Not even if you stab them so hard that they fly into the background.
- Combat Stilettos: Pink, the terrorist henchwoman, wears them and will frequently execute a high-kick at you during her boss fight. With an accompanying Panty Shot each time, one that takes away your health that is...
- Company Cameo: Rooms where you recover hostages will often have a "Neo Geo" poster on it's back. You can also find vending machines with the parent company "SNK" logo plastered on them.
- Dark Action Girl: Pink, the sole female terrorist henchwoman who puts up quite a fight against you.
- Dual Boss: A pair of strongmen - musclebound terrorists who fights bare-fisted - serves as the first boss, and will attack you in tandem until you took down both. They return degraded as a recurring, stronger-than-average (but still mook-level) enemy.
- Dual Wield:
- There's a mook enemy who comes at you wielding a baton in one hand and a taser in another, where you'll frequently see a taser's bolt being shoved at you from a first-person perspective.
- Nick attacks you with a spray-can of poison in one hand and a knife in another.
- Excuse Plot: You're a spy, there's hostages waiting to be rescued and bad guys waiting to get their asses kicked...
- Faceless Goons: Every single onscreen enemy are generic, generic thugs whose faces are never shown in-game. They're either clad in balaclavas, gasmasks, or wrapped in bandages, and doesn't have any personality whatsoever. The terrorist bosses, on the other hand, fights unmasked.
- Flash of Pain: Suffer a hit and the screen flashes red for a split-second.
- High-Class Glass: One of the terrorist bosses (the only one who's unnamed save for the strongmen duo), a Bald of Evil villain with a monocle over his right eye.
- Informed Ability: You're supposed to be the titular spy, but you barely perform any spying or espionage-related activities in-game. Instead you simply rush into enemy territory, kicking and punching your way through everything in sight.
- Knife Fight: One of the recurring weapon you can obtain is a dagger, and many enemies - including Geese, one of the bosses - uses daggers. You'll get busy slicing each other to shreds throughout.
- Master Poisoner: Nick Donaugau, the terrorists' poison expert, who attacks you with a spray-can that drains your health.
- Palette Swap: Owing to the game being a really old arcade title, sprites for enemies are constantly reused, with only minor changes being coloring. The recurring balaclava-clad mooks, for example, are faceless goons in black, blue, purple, white armor, and sometimes a mix of colors.
- Pre-Asskicking One-Liner: King, the terrorist leader delivers a surprisingly good one when you confront him, right before the boss battle.King: Who is it? Government dogs! I'll return you in a body bag!
- Psycho Knife Nut: The unhinged, mentally-unstable terrorist henchman called "Geese" swings a wicked knife. When first encountered he's threatening to slice open a hostage's face with his trusty weapon before you interrupt him, and the battle is set in a partially-destroyed office badly vandalized with a knife.
- Punched Across the Room: Landing an uppercut on a mook will send him into the background. They'll often crash into windows, barrels, or destroyable environments for good measure.
- Sharp-Dressed Man: Unlike his underlings, the terrorist leader (and his double, which is fought a few stages before him) is dressed in a slick black suit. And fights you in it.
- Taking You with Me: Subverted with Geese. After you defeat him, he pulls open his clothes to reveal a bundle of dynamite, and blows up... but nothing happens to your health.Geese: Die with me! [explodes harmlessly into a pile of guts]
- Wounded Gazelle Gambit: Pink attempts this when you first met her, pretending to be an injured hostage asking for your help before suddenly pulling a knife to stab you. It happens during a cutscene and doesn't affect your health in any way, and then the boss battle continues as usual.