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Video Game / Vigilante

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"The police cannot stop the street gangs. As a Vigilante, you must defend your turf!"

Vigilante is a 1988 single-plane Beat 'em Up game by Irem, the Spiritual Successor to their earlier Kung Fu Master. Originally an Arcade Game, it was ported to numerous computers and the Sega Master System and TurboGrafx-16.

In the metropolis of New York City, law and order have broken down. As the Vigilante, you must take the law into your own hands and venture into the mean streets of New York in pursuit of your kidnapped girlfriend Madonna (nope, not her), engaging thugs in street combat.



  • The Big Rotten Apple: This game depicts a version of New York City where the Police are Useless and crime has overrun the city.
  • Bowdlerise:
    • In the Master System version, the Skinheads were renamed the Rogues. The ending text was also changed — compare the arcade ending("Law and order failed but, the Vigilante prevailed") and the Master System Ending("You prevailed... and the Rogues bit the dust!").
    • Likewise, the opening text in thein the Turbografx-16 version was changed from "Take the law into your own hands!" was changed to "Take the power..."
  • Down in the Dumps: The second stage is set in a junkyard.
  • Dual Boss: The Mad Brothers (a.k.a. the Tough Brothers) at the end of Stage 2. The Master System version just has a standard boss named Mad Dog.
  • Dub Name Change: Madonna was renamed Maria in the Master System version, likely to avoid having people mistaking her for you-know-who. Almost all of the enemy characters are also named differently in the manuals for both, the Master System and TurboGrafx 16 versions.
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  • Fake Difficulty: The arcade version does not refill your life bar at the start of the next level. For example, if you loss half of your health on stage 2, it will not be refilled when you get to stage 3. Your health will only be refilled if you lost a life. This was fixed in the Sega Master System and TurboGrafx-16 ports.
  • Fighting with Chucks: Nunchakus are your only obtainable weapons.
  • Police are Useless: The game's intro states this.
  • Regenerating Health: All of the bosses can slowly regain life if not hit often.
  • Rooftop Confrontation: The fifth and final stage.
  • Save the Princess: Your girlfriend has been taken hostage.
  • Timed Mission: Each stage has a time limit.
  • Unwilling Suspension: Madonna is being suspended from a pulley in the final stage.
  • Your Princess Is in Another Castle!: You can see the van holding Madonna at the end of each of the first three stages, but it always drives off after the boss is defeated.


Example of: