Green Beret


by Jonathan M. Smith, F. David Thorpe
Imagine Software Ltd
1986
Crash Issue 28, May 1986   (1986-04-24)   page(s) 118

In the very beginning there was Commando, then came Rambo. Now Green Beret continues the military microchip craze that's sweeping the UK penetrating deep behind enemy lines and blowing up several armies single handed. Yes it's you versus the rest of the world in this game of skill and dexterity. Rescuing captives is the object of this arcade conversion, and Green B has to delve deep behind enemy lines through a missile base, around a harbour, over a bridge and into a prison camp to rescue his fighting buddies.

Armed with only a knife your soldier has to ward off many kinds of enemies GI Joe Kung Fu specialists, gun toting commandos and kilted kamikaze killers. No matter what the enemy soldiers look like, they all take one of Green's three lives if they touch him. Pressing the fire button gets the 'stab action' going and any renegades who are careless enough to run into the swift and silent blade are instantly stabbed to death. Green Beret is a pretty able fellow, capable of jumping and lying down whilst repeatedly stabbing pretty useful if he is to avoid the waist high bullets shot at him. He can also climb up and down ladders and other artefacts. Occasionally an enemy Commandant appears in the battlezone and if he's killed the player is awarded either a machine gun, a flame thrower or rocket launcher good for three shots, or three grenades.

Each of the four scenarios is made up of four separate screens which scroll to the left. Once Mr Beret has scrolled the screen left it can't be scrolled right, rather like Scramble, but the hero can move around the screen in view however he wishes, scampering over the ground, along catwalks and up and down ladders to his heart's content.

All the scenes have their own distinctive landscape the first starts with a series of iron girder bridges connected to the ground by a number of ladders. Green can climb these and trundle along the catwalk, missing most of the enemy soldiers who stampede below. After the girder bridge comes a group of missile launcher lorries which have ladders at the back of them and can also be climbed over. Once the hero has negotiated them then it's a quick sprint past a collection of static missile launchers to the end of the landscape. Once he reaches the end a lorry zooms by, pulls up at the extreme right hand of the screen and heaps of enemy soldiers pour out. If Green doesn't have a rocket launcher or another device of devastating destruction then the going gets really tough. When all the buddies have been disposed of then he can tackle the next mission.

Points are awarded for blowing away enemy soldiers and enemy installations. Bonus lives are available at 30,000 points and every 70,000 points thereafter. Marauding soldiers aren't the only hazard to Green's health. Occasionally he may stumble across a mine, and if he doesn't jump over or avoid it by clambering over one of the features of the scenery he'll be blown up. Mortar bombers also pose problems by hurling bombs at our hapless hero, although once their bombs have been avoided the bombers can be stabbed to death. Fire from the sky rains down in later stages of the game.

When the sequence of four missions has been completed the sequence starts again, only this time there are even more soldiers coming at your hero. How mean a fighting machine are you?

COMMENTS
Control keys: redefinable
Joystick: Kempston, Interface 2, Cursor
Keyboard play: fine
Use of colour: neat use of bright, avoids clashes
Graphics: well animated, great
Sound: a little disappointing
Skill levels: one
Screens: scrolling


'At first you may think it's Commando or Rambo looking from a different viewpoint. The objective is almost the same as in Rambo: rescue the captives and advance through hostile ground. As you are super tough, making your way behind the lines single handed is possible, though tricky. The graphics in the background are quite impressive, with some neat scenery scrolling by as you go over bridges or pass rocket launchers. Dodging bullets and bombs and dealing out death becomes quite addictive, once you get the hang of stabbing every baddie that comes your way. It's a good shoot em up but not quite worthy of a CRASH Smash'

'Green Beret is an excellent conversion of the arcade game, and Imagine deserve a pat on the back for making such good jobs of all the Kjonami games. As far as l could make out, the Spectrum version has got all the features of the great arcade game. It contains lots of good little characters, all of which are well animated (especially the jumping soldiers). Meeting the commandant is just like meeting Rambo - a small muscly figure in a T-Shirt with a headband- not much like a real commandant. The game contains lots of colour and avoids any chance of attribute clashes very neatly. Green Beret has lots of very well drawn backgrounds with loads of trees, missile carriers and so on. All this, combined with excellent gameplay make it one of the best bash bomb blow games around'

'The arcade game isn't exactly the best game I've played but Imagine have done a pretty good job with the conversion, and produced quite a playable, if a little difficult, knife em down/blow em up. The graphics are fine, but I must confess to being a little disappointed at the sound, especially after the standard of Imagine's last few games. The other niggling point is that once the keys have been selected there is no chance to change them without reloading. These quibbles aside, the game is still very playable presents quite a challenge. Worth buying if you like this sort of game.'

Use of Computer: 86%
Graphics: 87%
Playability: 89%
Getting Started: 84%
Addictive Qualities: 89%
Value for Money: 89%
Overall: 88%

Summary: General Rating: Quite a tasty fighting game.

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Your Sinclair Issue 06, June 1986   page(s) 30

There are games of destruction, there are games of mass destruction and there is... Green Beret. Never in the field of micro conflict have so many been slaughtered by so few. By one in fact - the eponymous Green Beret - or Green Bert as he became owing to a nifty typing error on my part. His aim's to rescue the captives but no retread Rambo this. The game is not only extremely playable - it's also infuriatingly addictive and extremely hard.

For those of you who've kept your blood lust out of the arcades and on the streets where it belongs, the plot is this. Bert is sent to single handedly wipe out as many of the enemy as he can over four game sections - the Missile Base, Harbour, Bridge and finally the Prison Camp itself. At first hes armed only with a knife, times being hard in the Quartermasters stores, but if he kills the commandant he's rewarded with additions to his arsenal, such as a flame thrower, grenade or rocket launcher. Sadly shots from these are limited and if he loses a life he also loses the weapon.

Still, Bert can bound like a ballerina and he's going to need to with all these nasties on his tail. Some of them are real karate experts too and the only way to defeat them is to match leap with leap. Otherwise hitting the mud is the only thing that'll stop Bert biting the dust - keep an eye open for troops who hesitate to fire and duck immediately. No time to he around though because there're always more pistol packing palookas in reserve and when the going gets tough the tough get going so it's up and at 'em.

The other thing that makes it all so speedy is that the smoothly scrolling landscape has up to three levels and used wisely they can give Bert a distinct advantage. After all, there's very little sense in Bert running along the ground, trying to jump mines, when he could climb onto a missile launcher.

I confess that I'd have been happier with a beginners level owing to the speed of the game. But it's one of those arcade treats that makes you want to go back for more and practice your skills until you too are worthy of a Green Beret. And for those who're of a less heroic bent there's sure to be a good market for POKES for infinite lives! Go on, get out there and blow up a batallion or two - you know you'll feel better for it.


Graphics: 8/10
Playability: 8/10
Value For Money: 9/10
Addictiveness: 9/10
Overall: 9/10

Award: Your Sinclair Hot Shot

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Your Sinclair Issue 47, November 1989   page(s) 46,47

Quite a seriously old side-view scrolling shooter this, but one which provoked enormous interest for a while after it first came out. It's not hard to see why. But I'll tell you anyway.

The scenario is essentially violent, which is always a good selling point. This time you're a Green Bert with all that that entails, namely a mission to slash and shoot your way through four levels against overwhelming odds. The odds consist of enemy soldiers armed with assorted weapons, some of which you can nick for your own use. Each level is arranged differently and packed with, er, action, and the backgrounds and sprites are beautifully drawn. My only criticism (I like to find at least one each time) is that it's a bit difficult - there's no gradual build up or anything.

If you missed it the first time round...


Overall: 83%

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Sinclair User Issue 51, June 1986   page(s) 35

IF IMAGINE thinks it can turn you into a hero just by making you wear a funny hat, it's got another think coming. By the third game I was sweating with hardly enough strength to lift a fork, let alone a knife. More training required. The game - very much in the Commando mould - is an almost perfect replica of Konami's Green Beret arcade machine in its graphics, the tactics needed to avoid the enemy and its plot to rescue four wilting hostages.

Sounds familiar? Forget about the scenery. As a story line it is almost exactly the same as Rambo but blows Ocean's effort out of sight in the graphics and game play stakes. Rambo tends to be very sparse on vegetation. By comparison, Green Beret is positively burgeoning with detailed graphics and colourful backdrops - which include the harbour, the bridge, and the hostages at the prison camp.

To reach them you jump, duck, fire and stab your way through four scenarios. The first, the 'bridge and missile base' is supposed to be easy. Believe me, it's not.

The bridge itself has three levels so you can at least dodge the hoards of suicidal maniacs who leap upon you from all directions. As a well trained commando you should have no problems sorting out this motley bunch - just whip out your dagger and start stabbing while leaping from level to level to confuse the devils. The enemy have several tactics. Soldiers which run fast often carry guns. Duck or leap over the bullets or you'll disappear in a puff of smoke. Others leap - listen for the 'boing,' 'boing' sound, jump up to meet them in mid-air and use your knife. Ordinary patrols can be dispatched with a spot of nifty knife work but watch your back.

At the end of the bridge dodge the mortar fire and run to the missile launchers. You'll be attacked from all directions but if you time it right you should be able to climb on to the launchers and run across the top. That way you'll dodge three flashing mines concealed at ground level.

The graphics are excellent, not as highly coloured as the original arcade version or even the Commodore version, but with an incredible amount of detail. Sound is minimal and I miss the rousing marching jingle that went with the arcade game. That's on the 48K - the loud splutter and pops you hear on a 128K almost make up for the lack of music.

Additional weapons can be picked up by killing the enemy Commandant. He'll leave behind either a flame thrower, grenade or rocket launcher which becomes yours until you've used it three times, or until you're killed. One useful tip is to save the bonus weapons to the end of the screen where you'll need all the additional fire power you can get your hands on.

Now you can storm the harbour. Use the storage containers as levels and, again, try to outwit the enemy. Full marks to Imagine for sticking so closely to detail.

With practice you'll learn which soldiers and objects to dodge, duck and jump and your rescue mission will stand more chance of success. After the harbour it's on to the hostages, and the prison camp. One small grouse. If you're playing with a joystick and you want to use one of the special weapons, you have to press a key on the keyboard - it's virtually impossible to do this with ease while holding the joystick base with one hand and pushing the stick to move right with the other. By the time you manage it it's highly likely that you'll have been killed, in which case you lose your weapons.

You'll find Green Beret more challenging than Commando - another game in this reactionary Ramboesque Smash the Red Threat phase. Commando closely follows its arcade counterpart and though play is different in terms of strategy. Green Beret wins hands down. Great programming. Anyone who gets anywhere near the hostages please tell me how you did it.

Clare Edgeley

Publisher: Imagine
Programmer: Jonathan Smith
Price: £7.95
Memory: 48K/128K
Joystick: Kempston, Sinclair, cursor

*****


Overall: 5/5

Transcript by Chris Bourne

ACE Issue 26, November 1989   page(s) 114

Hit Squad, £2.99
Spectrum, C64, Amstrad

One of the first military shoot 'em ups and a monster hit in the arcades when launched by Taito way back in 1985. Ocean cleaned up with the home conversions in Summer '86 and now they offer you a second attempt to rescue the hostages at £2.99.

Deep behind enemy lines six hostages are roped to stakes about to face the firing squad. You are one of the green beret commandos sent in to rescue them. Dash left to right taking out the Russians as impressive back drops of a naval base, aircraft base, missile base, and giant army rocket launchers and tanks scroll past.

Intelligently thought out shoot 'em up with excellent graphics and implemented on all 8-bit systems.


Overall: 4/5

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Computer & Videogames Issue 56, June 1986   page(s) 19

MACHINE: Spectrum 48K + 128/C64/Amstrad
SUPPLIER: Imagine
PRICE: £7.95 (Spectrum), £8.95 (C64/Amstrad)

Will you please bid a warm welcome to son of Commando, Green Beret! This was Konami's arcade answer to Capcom's all conquering Commando coin-slot game - and its destined get all you warlike gamesters foaming at the mouth!

Green Beret is a mixture of Commando and Rambo. Instead of horizontally scrolling play area, this one scrolls left to right. Like Commando you have to fight off the enemy - and there are masses of them - while attempting to release captured buddies.

Like Rambo you can collect extra armaments along the way by killing off the enemy commanders. And you'll need them - all you get to start with is a simple knife. These weapons are a flame thrower - found on the first of the four stages - grenades and a rocket launcher. These have limited powers so use them wisely. For example, you only get three shots with the flame thrower, so it's best to wait until you are in a really tight spot before using it.

Unlike either Rambo or Commando your Green Beret can jump and climb and throw himself on the ground to avoid the enemy. Platforms and ladders abound to help him - but you'll have to move fast as the enemy troops are always on your tail.

You have to advance Green Beret through four enemy defence stages. It begins with the missile base, the harbour, the bridge and finally the prison camp where your buddies are waiting to be freed.

At the end of each stage the enemy throws everything they have at you -with stuff like helicopters coming in from the air to cause you even more problems. That's why it's a good idea to hang onto the extra firepower until the end!

Some troops will fire at you - but their bullets move so slowly that it's pretty easy to leap over them. The bullets are about the only thing that do move slowly. The rest of the game is really fast - a real challenge to joystick bashers and ace gamesters everywhere.

A few gripes. You have to use the keyboard to fire the extra weapon when you've got it - the joystick fire button only controls your knife.

The graphic backgrounds are good especially on the Spectrum. The Spectrum Green Beret and enemy troops are drawn in black and white cartoon styles but are extremely well animated. The C64 version features full colour "filled-in" characters, as you'd expect, and better sound. Although the Spectrum sound effects aren't bad.

Green Beret continues the warlike theme of Commando/Rambo-and if you like this style of game you'll enjoy GB. It's fast furious and terribly addictive. Shoot 'em up fans should apply for their call up papers today!


Graphics: 8/10
Sound: 7/10
Value: 9/10
Playability: 9/10

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Your Computer Issue May 1986   page(s) 45

Spectrum/Commodore
Imagine
Shoot-'em-up
Spectrum: £7.95, Commodore: £8.95

The controls of Green Beret are similar to the jump up, down, backwards and lie down movements which characterise the recent crop of martial arts games, although some of the more sophisticated movements available in the best of them are missing from beret. To compensate for the fact that you cannot somersault, though, you are equipped with an inexhaustable quantity of knives with which to wipe out The Enemy.

There are four defence stages to battle through, with an all-out offensive launched at you at the end of each stage. A series of platforms and ladders allow you to climb out of the way of the enemy troops, while to avoid the knives being thrown at you the only solution is to hit the deck.

At each stage it is possible to pick up extra weapons in the shape of flame-throwers, grenades and rocket launchers-you will need them to get safely to the next stage.

At the start of the game you have three lives, with bonus lives being given at 30,000 points and every 70,000 points after that.

Good graphics and plenty of on-screen action make it a very playable game. All but the most skillful of players will also find that Green Beret will take some time to master. The game is easy to get to grips with yet offers plenty of interesting action to ensure that it has more than a fleeting attraction.


Graphics: 4/5
Sound: 2/5
Playability: 4/5
Value For Money: 4/5
Overall Rating: 4/5

Transcript by Chris Bourne

ZX Computing Issue June 1986   page(s) 14,15

Imagine
£7.95

The latest arcade conversion from Imagine is Konami's Green Beret. There's none of your subtle problem solving arcade adventure stuff here, it's sheer mayhem - death and destruction from start to finish and it'll probably sell in bundles.

Your mission as the aforementioned Green Beret is to penetrate four Strategic defence bases and rescue the captives who are lined up in front of a firing squad. The four bases are a Harbour, Bridge, Missile Base and Prison Camp, with the captives being held in the last of these so that you have to get through all four stages of the game to succeed.

The scenery in each of these bases is different, with a series of bridges, missile launchers or whatever is appropriate for each base. The graphics are all finely drawn and smoothly animated and, apart from the limits that the Spectrum puts on the use of colour, are an almost exact reproduction of those in the original arcade game.

But though the scenery varies in each stage, the action is the same throughout - a never-ending stream of enemy soldiers who pour onto the screen from all directions, leaping, kicking, shooting and generally trying to ruin your health. But, being a 'highly trained combat machine' you too are capable of a fair bit of slaughter. Your figure can move left/right, jump forwards or backwards to avoid mines, bullets and so on, duck below leaping enemy soldiers and climb up onto bridges, trucks and any other useful parts of the scenery.

To begin with you are armed only with a knife, but as you skewer your way through the enemy ranks you will be able to capture some of their weapons for your own use. Flame throwers, grenades and rocket launchers are all up for grabs and these dispose of the enemy in spectacular style with bursts of flame and disintegrating skeletons littering the screen as you go on your merry way.

On the whole, Green Beret manages to avoid any of the nationalistic chest thumping that made Rambo and Raid Over Moscow controversial, but one unfortunately tacky little detail is the use of Soviet hammer and sickle symbols to indicate the number of lives left. Changing this would have been a sensible move and wouldn't have had any effect on the game itself as it serves absolutely no purpose in the actual gameplay.

With its single minded concentration on killing everyone in sight, Green Beret is one of those games that you'll find either completely absorbing and addictive or just too narrow in scope to hold your attention for very long. It all depends on what you like in your games, but either way Green Beret is a faithful conversion of the arcade original.


Overall: Great

Transcript by Chris Bourne

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