Rambo (NES) Playthrough – NintendoComplete



A playthrough of Acclaim’s 1988 NES game, Rambo.

For a full review, complete with soundtrack and screenshot gallery, be sure to check out

Rambo is a game that, no matter what else people want to accuse it of, does really try to stay as faithful to the movie (First Blood Part 2) as possible. It’s an interesting Zelda 2/Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest style action-adventure game, and while nowhere near as good as those games, is a reasonable enough a game in its own right.

The soundtrack is arguably the game’s best feature, and really deserves a listen (I’ve linked it in the cards if you’re interested), and the graphics are clean, colorful, and beyond ridiculous. Rambo struts around Nam wearing what appears to be someone’s dad’s Sunday sweatpants (or he raided Karnovs closet and pulled that drawstring REALLY tight), and some of these enemy designs are hilarious: my favorites are the rabid attack flamingos and the two bosses whose heads blow up to about 500x the normal size when they get hit.

Rambo was clearly not intended for novice gamers, but it was one of those games that would toughen you up if you persevered and got through it, kinda like the original TMNT game. As a kid, if you hadn’t had any hair grow on your chest yet, finishing this game would’ve changed that.

Like many NES games, the hit-detection is hyper-specific, so you’ll oftentimes get hit by an enemy after thinking you got a hit – it feels a lot like The Battle of Olympus in that regard – and the most maddening issue with the game: until you’ve played it to death, the map layout will make no sense whatsoever. You can leave the right side of the screen, go back left, and sometimes find yourself somewhere utterly foreign. There is a system to it, but you won’t get anywhere without making maps. I mean, sure, you could memorize it, but you’d be so frustrated that you’d probably never want to finish it without some form of note taking.

Finally, the dialogue scenes are nearly worth the price of the game alone. The art is insanely bad, the phrasings are all really amusingly stilted and awkward, and no matter how dramatic the plot is that is unfolding, you always get that stupid cheery dialogue music.

I always enjoyed the game, but no doubt nostalgia weighs heavy on this one. I beat it for the first time when I was 8 or 9, and always got a kick out of going back to it in the years following.

Co Bao lives in this playthrough, but if you’d like to see the action follow the movie a bit closer, jump to the end of the video. I included the “alternate” outcome that you get if you with her at the waterfall.

Also, please note that there are three specific spots where I spliced the recording together. I did this to grind out some experience without boring everyone to tears. The transitions can easily be seen if you look at the experience points and level at the top of the screen – they will jump at these transitions. Between all three gaps, I cut out around 13 minutes of the video, because really, how exciting can entering a screen, stabbing a stalactite, exiting, re-entering, and repeating be for minutes on end?
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No cheats were used during the recording of this video.

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Comments

  • "You're not to engage the enemy." Followed by "Go to the hanger for weapons" WHAT?!

    C T July 11, 2020 11:09 am Reply
  • Asian bees

    jorje contreras July 11, 2020 11:09 am Reply
  • I remember a glitch at the beginning where you walk to through jumble/scramble screen for a while looking for a door that drops you off at a random spot in the game. Anyone remember where to enter that screen?

    Whoa!six July 11, 2020 11:09 am Reply
  • buen video

    Imarginacion 🇲🇽 Mx July 11, 2020 11:09 am Reply
  • I love the music in this game.

    jarjon76 July 11, 2020 11:09 am Reply
  • JayTee RC July 11, 2020 11:09 am Reply
  • I remember finishing this game. Worst part was code entering, very long!

    Meanpooh July 11, 2020 11:09 am Reply
  • The game is very faithful to the movie, especially the part where Rambo shoots Chinese letters at Murdock and turns him into a frog

    madgameradam July 11, 2020 11:09 am Reply
  • Game is Pure Trash

    T Jay July 11, 2020 11:09 am Reply
  • 34:51 hopping motorcycle attack

    BikerBenny July 11, 2020 11:09 am Reply
  • 1:01:18. What the Hell just happened?

    Diamond King July 11, 2020 11:09 am Reply
  • The music is awesome

    FallicIdol July 11, 2020 11:09 am Reply
  • Came for the music lol

    Truong GameZ July 11, 2020 11:09 am Reply
  • 56:44

    wait, why do their heads get massive upon taking damage- sometimes.

    i dont get it.

    Sliider July 11, 2020 11:09 am Reply
  • I remember playing this game

    Karen Conyers July 11, 2020 11:09 am Reply
  • So Michael Flatley is NES Rambo…

    William Smith July 11, 2020 11:09 am Reply
  • I remember playing this has a little kid. Could never get past the animals attacking you. Barely made it to the actual insurgents. And flying skulls… WTF?

    Cytron1515 July 11, 2020 11:09 am Reply
  • After you finish the game put in the password all number 9 or it was 0 it was a long long time since i play this game.
    And when you talk to the guy with beard for the first time you will skip to the part that you speak with him for the last time in the game.
    You don't get the lantern if you do this.
    Kinda pointless since you have to beat the game for it to work but what ya gonna do?

    Tcheco Lee July 11, 2020 11:09 am Reply
  • I don't care how bad this game is- I rather have the Japanese do licensed games based off of Western Properties than a bunch of damn geeks and nerds who love their audience and love to have fun and actually SEEN the movie do the damn games. I rather be a weeaboo than a damn Patriot, and I am not ashamed to admit it.

    Jeremy M July 11, 2020 11:09 am Reply
  • You don't engage them. I repeat do not engage them. Now go to the armory and collect your weapons.

    Jerry Lee July 11, 2020 11:09 am Reply
  • >"I feel better in prison"
    >"But it's up to you. The game doesn't start until you say Y E S"
    XDD

    Luis Lizano July 11, 2020 11:09 am Reply
  • Dear Lord, this game. Have years of heavy meme intake burned my brain out, or was there some code/secret thing that allowed Rambo to launch a giant kanji symbol out of his knife?!

    Uncle Buckle July 11, 2020 11:09 am Reply
  • Most God-awful music ever and that's just the music.. It's like the makers never saw Rambo

    DAUGHTERS 4 LIFE July 11, 2020 11:09 am Reply
  • How the fuck do you talk to the first guy you talk to it won’t do anything

    Danny Hageman July 11, 2020 11:09 am Reply
  • This looks a lot like Rush N’ Attack meets The Adventure of Link.

    JohnnyOTGS July 11, 2020 11:09 am Reply
  • Murdoch: "Rambo you are not to engage the enemy!"
    Rambo: "OK"

    Rambo kills absolutely fucking everything that moves…

    Dennis Woycheshen July 11, 2020 11:09 am Reply
  • Not a perfect game, but they managed to recreate my absolute favorite part of the movie; When Rambo hops in a pond and slaughters a bunch of flamingos with a bowie knife.

    GDShenanigans July 11, 2020 11:09 am Reply
  • "What are you going to do?" "Day by day." Poetry at its poetrist.

    Weird Video Games July 11, 2020 11:09 am Reply
  • I think they got the body models for Rambo and Karate Kid mixed up for this game. And when did Rambo kill so many animals in the movie? Weird lol

    James Dixon July 11, 2020 11:09 am Reply
  • Thoroughly enjoyed this. Thanks for the walk down memory lane.

    James Dixon July 11, 2020 11:09 am Reply
  • 2:50 I'm surprised the Big N let the word "hell" slip past them into the game.

    thecowboy2 July 11, 2020 11:09 am Reply
  • The part around 28:48, when Co asks to go to America, Rambo says no. What a dick, lol. Everything else from the movie is pretty much true, why'd they change that part? OH. I didn't know there was an alternate ending to the game. I see now.

    Robert Anderson July 11, 2020 11:09 am Reply
  • Apparently all the enemy soldiers vacated the jungle due to the freakishly large insects and snakes running around.

    Yellowblanka July 11, 2020 11:09 am Reply
  • Wait the woman's name is Co?

    whotookthemoney July 11, 2020 11:09 am Reply
  • Great playthrough. I'm not sure if you know this but it is possible for Co. not to die. Simply walk past here after she saves Rambo, where she'd normally get shot at, and don't talk to her. She'll actually appear in later cutscenes, and it changes the ending a bit.

    GunnerGG July 11, 2020 11:09 am Reply
  • Is it just me, or does Rambo in the cutscenes looks like a 70's Hanna-Barbera character? And at 31:59 I was brushing my teeth and almost sprayed toothpaste everywhere from laughing.

    Simaginary Friend July 11, 2020 11:09 am Reply
  • Oh Lord, Rambo's facial expression is incredible in this game. Looks as if he was trying to hold some matter in his posterior during the cutscenes. xD The cutscenes themselves are pretty great as well…

    Mariusz Bosy July 11, 2020 11:09 am Reply
  • oh god. those cutscenes with rambo's face. that had to be a satirical rendition of him. lol

    _rmaze_ Quiambao July 11, 2020 11:09 am Reply

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