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Golgo 13: Top Secret Episode
Golgo 13 - NES game (cover art).jpg
Gamebox Cover: Golgo 13: Top Secret Episode
Developer(s) Vic Tokai (programming)

Seibu Lease (planning, graphics)

Publisher(s) Vic Tokai
Platform(s) NES
Release date(s) JP March 26, 1988
NA September 1988
Genre(s) Action adventure
Mode(s) Single-player

Golgo 13: Top Secret Episode (ゴルゴ13 第一章神々の黄昏 Gorugo Sātīn Dai-Isshō Kamigami no Tasogare ?, Golgo 13 Episode 1: Twilight of the Gods) is a video game for the Nintendo Entertainment System, released in 1988. In this game, based on a popular Japanese manga, the player takes on the role of Golgo 13 (also known as Duke Togo), an assassin whose objective is to destroy the leader of the Drek group. On the way, Golgo 13 must pass through several areas, including East Berlin, Athens, and Alexander Island, off the coast of Antarctica. It is necessary to navigate several mazes in order to win, but one maze is a fake base with no way out. The mazes account for a large amount of the frustration players encounter with this game. The instruction manual contains maps for the mazes.



(as given by Nintendo)

High above New York City a helicopter explodes. Aboard the craft is the latest biological warfare weapon which has been secretly developed by the CIA (Central Intelligence Agency)... Cassandra-G. A vaccine and plans have been stolen are among the fragments of the helicopter wreckage along with a shell fired from an M16.

The copter was shot down from fire of an expert sharpshooter armed with an M-16. The CIA concludes that the act was the responsibility of the super sniper, Golgo-13. An official release by the CIA links Golgo-13 to the KGB (the Soviet intelligence group).

Under these circumstances, The CIA copter incident and the unknown where-abouts of Cassandra-G become entangled. A representative of the secret international organization, FIXER, transmits a message. FIXER believes the affair is the work of the remnants of the DREK Empire and not Golgo-13.

After the dispatch, the representative disappears. The situation becomes more and more mysterious. A man who calls himself Condor agrees to help FIXER. In East Berlin, because Condor has received some information on Cassandra-G, the CIA, KGB, and even DREK are threatening his life

Upon a request from FIXER, Golgo-13 has gone into action. He is to get information on a vaccine from Condor and eliminate the leader of the DREK group...

Nintendo censorship

What is lesser known about the US release of the game is that DREK "empire" is actually the resurrected Nazi regime - Nintendo removed all Nazi references. The final boss, Smirk, is supposed to be a cyborg version of Adolf Hitler. The removal of all Nazi/Hitler references can be likened to NES game Top Secret: Hitler no Fukkatsu (Bionic Commando in the US).

Although Nintendo of America attempted to remove all Nazi references, some escaped censor. For example, a file retrieved by Togo during a base infiltration in Greece retains a swastika on it, which is visible in the player's inventory area.

It should be noted that Nintendo required that Golgo had his profession changed to spy rather than assassin.

Sexual themes, violence and smoking

Golgo 13 - ss 4.gif
Golgo 13 - ss 3.gif

Golgo 13 is one of the first Nintendo games to feature sex, drug use and graphic violence. It was an unusual release, because at the time Nintendo of America had strict content guidelines preventing the release of such content on its systems. Although the depictions were either implied or limited by the 8-bit technology of the NES, the content is mild when compared to modern video games, and was not controversial at the time of its release.

In the maze levels featured in the game, as well as one "sniper mode" mission in East Berlin, enemies are seen briefly bleeding from the head when killed. While the depiction is fairly tame due to the limited technology, most NES games at this time did not feature blood.

In the beginning of the mission in Greece, if the player walks to the right several paces and then walks back to the beginning of the level, a pack of cigarettes is seen on the ground - Golgo 13 is seen smoking if the player walks over the cigarettes, and his health is restored.

Throughout his lengthy mission, Golgo 13 encounters many female operatives who not only offer intelligence, but also themselves. The actual depiction of sexual consummation takes the shape of two small and primitive shaped silhouettes briefly coming together and voyeuristically viewed from a distant, wide-angle shot of a hotel room window. In a strangely comedic twist, the player's energy is restored in the morning.

In the sequel, The Mafat Conspiracy, scenes are even more 'graphic' taking into consideration the technology of the time.


  • Duke Togo (Golgo-13) - Uses a custom-made M-16 regularly, a sharpshooter with 100% accuracy, the ultimate sniper. His details are shrouded in secrecy. Dragged into the scene when a CIA chopper explodes and goes down, he now undertakes to solve the whole mess as requested.
  • Cherry Grace - Dispatched from FIXER, she is assigned to assist Golgo-13.
  • Condor - Because he has acquired information on Cassandra-G, the CIA, KGB, and DREK are after him.
  • Oz Windham He is a FIXER investigator whose whereabouts are currently unknown. He is being held prisoner in the underground base of the DREK group somewhere in East Berlin.


Golgo 13's energy level starts at 200 and continuously declines. Destroying enemies increases his energy level and bullets. The game consists, chronologically, of 13 acts (all named for classic films):

  • Act 1 - The Iron Curtain
  • Act 2 - The Moving Target
  • Act 3 - River of No Return
  • Act 4 - A Farewell to Arms
  • Act 5 - Spartacus
  • Act 6 - The Third Man
  • Act 7 - Sleeping Beauty
  • Act 8 - All About Eve
  • Act 9 - Apocalypse Now
  • Act 10 - From Here to Eternity
  • Act 11 - The Godfather
  • Act 12 - In the Twilight
  • Act 13 - And There Were None

See also

External links

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