Top Gun was released in 1987 for the PC, Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum and Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) (with an equivalent version for Nintendo Vs. Series arcade cabinets). The Commodore and Spectrum versions were developed by Ocean, while Thunder Mountain handled the PC version of the game. Konami developed the Nintendo versions. The NES version was released on November 1987 in North America, December 11, 1987 in Japan and on November 30, 1988 in Europe and Australia.
Piloting an F-14 Tomcat fighter, the player, as Top Gun's main character Maverick, has to complete four missions. Given a choice of missiles, and starting with a training mission, the player is sent after an enemy aircraft carrier, an enemy base and finally must destroy an enemy space shuttle.
Top Gun: The Second Mission
Top Gun: The Second Mission (titled: Top Gun: Dual Fighters in Japan), was developed for the NES by Konami. It was released in Japan on December 15, 1989, in North America on January 1990, and in Europe and Australia on October 24, 1991.
The player assumes the role of Maverick in an F-14 Tomcat as he is summoned for a new operation. There are three missions. The 1st mission is to destroy an enemy bomber. The second mission (which includes an obstacle course through a forest in which the player must avoid crashing into trees) is to destroy an advanced version of a Hind helicopter. The third (and final) mission (which has two obstacle courses of avoiding lightning bolts and laser beams) is to destroy an enemy shuttle.
Aside from the mission mode, the player can also select a one-on-one dogfight mode against seven aces.
The game is noted for its improved graphics, and more notably for its easier carrier landing sequence than the first game.
The game was first reviewed by The Angry Video Game Nerd in "Top Gun", and is played and referenced by The Nerd several times in later episodes like "The Power Glove" and "NES Accessories". The episode was released on September 15, 2006. The Nerd revisited the game 4 years later in Back to the Future Trilogy.
The line "Why can't I land the plane?" from the full intro theme, originated from this episode, and also created the running gag of The Nerd trying to land the plane, but fails almost everytime.
For the transcript, see Transcript of AVGN episode Top Gun.