Once again I have another much unloved game for you, this time Total Recall for NES – US mag Electronic Gaming Monthly rated it worst film to game tie-in in 1990…ouch!
Now I know licensed games have a stigma for being of poor or inferior quality, usually a quick cash-in rush job and more often than not it is true. Is Total Recall for NES any different? It all depends on your point of view, there are always many factors to account for…in any case I found the game to be nothing short of fascinating and quite absorbing in its approach to tie together a basic platform game with the film it is based upon.
Something neat about film tie-ins is that often the game developers are given the movie script perhaps several months or even a year before the film comes out. Obviously some time is needed to develop the game so when it is completed it can coincide with the release of the movie. Of course, script changes are an ongoing process during the gestation of a films’ development, so often the video game will contain remnants of this old script ergo what you get in the game won’t be totally in sync with the movie and this is most definitely the case with Total Recall.
The standout difference is the trip to the cement factory after the talk on the phone with the mysterious stranger (pic above), this plays out totally different in the film where upon a briefcase is left by the pay phone by the stranger, and Quaid wrestles it from the grasp of an obnoxious woman.
In the game, Quaid travels to the aforesaid cement factory where he battles with winos and there is a ‘boss’ wino you must fight for the briefcase – the winos are briefly described in the fifth revision of the script that can be viewed at imsdb.com, however the script Interplay were working from was evidently quite a bit further along and closer to the final script. Also, the way in which Benny is killed in the game differs from the movie, and may have been described as such in the script.
If you have watched the movie and decide to check out the script at imsdb.com you will notice many differences from the final, it precedes the rewrite to be tailored to Arnold so the tone of the movie was completely different with pervading dark humour, it makes for a great read!
GAME GENIE CODES FOR TOTAL RECALL (EU)
Super Mars Jump tm
note: both codes are necessary. The affect of these codes extends to the enemies, this is because the game economises\recycles code quite extensively. One time during the first boss fight Lori became stuck in the ceiling, but I was not able to reproduce this again.
Canisters grant twice normal health boost
Canisters additionally grant Machine Gun (press pause & then resume to fix gfx)
note: obviously can’t use these ones on real hardware, sorry about that.
All Bosses start with much less energy
final note: if you want to have these codes on your own site, that’s okay, but please drop me the credit as I did spend some time developing them.