The Terminator is a game developed by Radical Entertainmetn and released by Mindscape. It came out on December 1992, being part of the last wave of NES release until the beginning of 1994.
The game is loosely based on the event of the 1984 movie, referencing many important parts of it.
According to the manual, the machines rose from the ashes after a nuclear fire. They are now ready to exterminate mankind by going into the past instead of the future. It is interesting to note that SkyNet and the Terminator themselves are not mentioned by name in the game, with the exception of The Terminator himself, portrayed by Arnold Schwarzenegger in the movie.
You are Kyle Reese, a time traveller and urban commando. He must go back in 1984 to prevent The Terminator from killing Sarah Connor. Sarah herself is not aware that Kyle is actually her son, but her death would mean that the machine rise destroys mankind.
The game is divided into six levels. Some of them have more than one part.
The first level is set in an underground Human Resistance Base, in the near future (after the nuclear holocaust initiated by SkyNet). The goal of the level is to drive through the street to get to the SkyNet base and warp to 1984.
Kyle is equipped with a gun, and he can also have a grenade that are found through the level. He is able to run and perform high jump to reach higher edge. He will resist fire shoot by both types of Terminator, but after too many shots, he will lose a life. With his gun, he can crouch and aim with it. Out of the base, he will walk through the dilapited Los Angeles, getting attack by automatic canon. Once he finds the transport pickup truck, he drives it and fight against two bosses, one at a time. The first is the Hunter Killer and the second is the Destroyer Tanks. He can defend himself by shooting them with the vehicle’s turrets.
The second level is set, according to the manual at Los Angeles, May 12, 1982, 1:52 AM. There, Kyle must avoid a police officer, dogs and street thugs while walking around alleys until he gets to the streets. Unlike the first level, there is no driving sequence.
The third level is set in the streets of L.A. It is an overhead driving stage in which Kyle and Sarah must avoid contact with The Terminator as much as possible. Both can nudge or shoot at each other.
Arriving at the police station, Sarah is somehow captured by the police and throw in a jail. Since you arrive at the same time as The Terminator, who is looking for her, he storms the Police Department, causing the building to be in fire. Kyle doesn’t have weapons in this level, so he must use his martial arts to defend himself from Police Officer and get Sarah before The Terminator does.
The fifth level is a much harder version of the third level, where you drive through the Los Angeles streets again, but head toward the industrial section of the city.
The sixth and final level reference the end of the movie. In this level, The Terminator himself is the only enemies (but unfortunately, use the regular Terminator enemy sprite instead of the iconic one). The idea is to lure him into the compressor and once he is crushed, an ending screen is shown and the game is beaten.
The Terminator playthrough
The playthrough use the USA version of the Terminator. The goal is to beat the game without taking damage at all. For both driving stage, it is easier to avoid shooting the Terminator’s car unless it is really necessary.
TAS tools were used to offer a high quality playthrough.