Shack's Arcade Corner: Commando

Run and gun like a boss (or a commando) in this episode of Shacknews' quarter-munching, coin-op series.


Donkey Kong wasn't the first platform game, but it set the genre's mold going forward. Capcom's Commando arguably made as big an impact on run-and-gun scrollers.

Designed by Tokuro Fujiwara--more famous for Sweet Home, an 8-bit survival horror RPG that inspired Resident Evil, and designer of the inaugural Mega Man--Commando casts you in the role of a generic soldier named Super Joe. But who cares? Story takes a backseat to action in run-and-gunners, and Command's got action in spades. The premise is simple: Run around the screen shooting at everything that moves. Instead of fighting bosses at the end of each level, soldiers swarm your avatar, putting your reflexes and hand-eye coordination to the test as you dodge and weave around bullets and grenades.

Commando touched down in arcades in May 1985 but arguably made a bigger splash on the NES, selling 1.1 million copies globally and earning praise from the likes of Computer Gaming World magazine and the "best arcade-style game of the year" at the 1986 Golden Joystick Awards.

Mercs, a sequel, followed in 1989, but today Commando is perhaps more well-known for spawning the Bionic Commando series, where Super Joe puts in a cameo appearance in the inaugural game.

For more great videos, including interviews and gameplay, check out the Shacknews and YouTube channels.

If you have a suggestion for a future episode of Shack's Arcade Corner, please let us know in the comments section or tweet @shacknews & @GregBurke85 with #ArcadeCorner.

In case you missed any of the over 100 episodes, check out our Shack's Arcade Corner YouTube Playlist.

Head of Video

Greg is the head of Video Production for Shacknews. If you've ever enjoyed a video on, it was most likely edited by him. Follow him on Twitter @GregBurke85

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