Die Hard was developed by Pack-in-Video and published by Activision in 1990 for the North American and European Market. It is based on the movie of the same name, produced by Gordon Company and Silver Pictures and distributed by 20th Century Fox in 1988.
Die Hard for the NES reproduce the key events of the movie as soon as the terrorist raid the building. As described in the instruction manual, the player plays John McClane, a tough New York cop that came to the Nakatomi Building for Christmas vacation. Joining his wife there, the two enjoy a party until the terrorist take control of the building, stealing millions and millions of dollars. During the chaotic situation, John manages to go unnoticed and found himself away from the terrorist. Eventually, the terrorist will be aware of John and will attempt to kill him. Thus, John has to prevent Hans to kill his wife, Holly, blow up the building and escape via a helicopter.
The goal of the game is to kill 40 terrorists, including Hans who are fought at the end. John starts with a pistol and 15 rounds. The action takes place between the 30th floor and the roof, while also including the Warehouse Storage that is located on the fourth floor. The 30th floor is the final area of the game and can only be accessed after Theo, the computer expert hired by Hans, break every vault’s locks. Karl and Henrich are two characters from the movie that appear has unique, stronger opponents during the game.
Die Hard is a mix of an overhead shooter and survival game. John has two health bars, one for his life and one for his feets. When his life bar is depleted, the game will end, requiring the start from the beginning. His feets meter allow him to run very fast around the building, but it will deplete over time or when he steps on breaking glass. Once the bar is depleted, he is only able to walk. In both cases, it is possible to restore them with soda (for the life bar) and the medic kit for the feet meter. John can also find C4, Flashbang grenade which stuns enemy, as well as the submachine gun. Being the best weapon in the game the latter allow John to shoot a volley of projectile while walking or turning around.
When John comes across the radio, he will be able to listen to Hans, giving orders to his terrorists as well as Theo, who is trying to break the locks. After the second lock is broken, Hans will be aware of John listening to the radio and will order everyone to stop using it. This will prevent him to send terrorists at John. Later dialogue is present to give insight for the player.
As soon as the game start, there is an active time. Each time 5 minutes pass, Theo will break one of the 7 locks. Once he breaks the seventh, it is possible to go to the 30th floor and fight Hans and the remaining terrorists. John can take either the stairs or the elevator to go around the building, but taking the former will deplete the time much faster.
Thus, a player can decide to go up and down the stairs over and over to get access to the final area early. However, he/she will have to fight against all terrorists on one go before confronting Hans, which is almost impossible as the player will run ammo well before he kills all the terrorists.
Instead, the game encourages the player to wander around the building and perform or trigger key actions from the movie.
The player can also perform all the required steps before fighting Hans, killing terrorist on the way
Once John finds the radio and call the police, he will befriend Sergeant Al Powell, an L.A.P.D. agent who will give him useful information about the terrorists.
Die Hard Playthrough
The playthrough is done with the North American version of the game. The goal is to eliminate every terrorist without getting once. The secondary goal is to trigger the key events that benefits the player. Some cutscene were not shown, such as John McClane using the rope to go down the building (like in the movie) and the bad ending which will show the roof of the building being destroyed by the helicopter Hans called.
TAS tools were used in this playthrough.