(Terminator-styled AVGN intro, followed by the Nerd picking up the NES "Terminator" cartridge. He uses Terminator vision to choose from a selection of responses: "This sucks!", "No way!", "Oh no!", "What a piece of fucking dog shit!" and "Go to Hell!". He settles on "What a piece of fucking dog shit!")
The Nerd: What a piece of fucking dog shit! Making a game based off the first Terminator movie had a lot of potential. The movie was like film noir, action, science fiction, and time travel all thrown together into a blender. But the game was like taking that same blender to put cat piss, horse dump and pig vomit. Yeah, now THAT'S a shake you DON'T want.
The Nerd: So if you've played this game, you're probably traumatized, but don't worry. Because now is the time to purge those inner demons (takes off eye glasses) because the battle for the past (puts on sunglasses) is gonna be fought in the present, right here, right now. (Looks around a bit and takes off sunglasses) Man, that's too dark. Let's just start the game.
(Game starts up)
The Nerd: As far as the plot's concerned, you're not the Terminator, you're Kyle Reese in the future, which seems like the best possible concept. But look at the graphics. This is what you call 8-bit barf. You're jumping around on half-disappeared blocks, Q-Tips and pipes. What is this, Super Mario Bros.?
The Nerd: The backgrounds are just a random mishmash of gray bricks. It's so depressing to look at. Am I not mistaken? Wasn't the NES capable of a more versatile color scheme? The top bar's monochrome, it's just black, white and green. Look at the life meter, the black part's the amount of life you have and the green is the empty part, which is real confusing because when I look at it, I can't help but feel it should be the other way around.
The Nerd: The music is unacceptable. Listen. (Horrible music plays) What do you call that? It's just a 5-second loop that repeats forever. There aren't any sound effects either, so it really fails in the auditory department. If your ears could puke, they would. Now you want to talk about the controls? My God, is it busted. When you try to jump, first he goes into this squat. Probably the most delayed jump I've ever seen.
The Nerd: The gun is even worse. When you press A you go into this crouching position, let's call it "gun mode". When you're in this gun mode, A shoots and Up and Down on the D-Pad controls your aim. So, let me put this in a nutshell: You can't shoot when standing, you can't shoot when ducking like normal, and you can't shoot when jumping. It goes against every natural instinct you would have in a side scrolling shooting game. Did the game designers ever play fucking Contra? Can you imagine how much of a problem it is that you can't shoot while you're jumping?
The Nerd: But the nail that seals the fucking coffin is that there's no continues. If you die 3 times, the game starts over. Simple as that. That first level, you better get used to it, because you're going to see it a whole fucking Hell of a lot. Another big problem, whenever you try to jump on something, you fall through. It is an awe-inspiring joke of legendary bad game design. It's almost as bad as Wizard of Oz.
The Nerd: The hit detection is also fucked. When you try to shoot something, it goes right through, unless you're dead center. This game is like a cheating, spoiled, rotten kid, and you have to let it win. For taking out these automated guns, your best bet is to use the grenades. But up 'til this point, you can only find grenades in the first part in the sewers. After that, once you run out, you're fucked. This part here, you're faced with two guns at the same time. You can only take them out one by one, so unavoidably you're going to get shot by the other one.
The Nerd: No matter how far you get, there's still no continues. To my knowledge, there's no code either, not even for Game Genie, nothing. The only way to beat it is to not fuck up at all, which would be outrageous. However, every time you get 50,000 points, you get an extra life. So, fair enough, I'm just going to sit here and shoot this fucker again and again till that happens. The enemies re-spawn, so it's not a problem to stay in one spot and just keep racking up points. The only real sacrifice is that you're gonna be doing this for a long time.
(The Nerd is sitting there just shooting enemies and getting bored. He then gets an extra life.)
The Nerd: There we go, extra life. Now I'm going to be real careful because you don't want to lose all that hard work. This fucking slime here, I just got to watch out... (Kyle falls onto some spikes, killing him) Oh my fucking God! The only hope is to spend hours to get as many extra lives as possible. You'll lose them fast, but at least you'll have enough to keep going for a while. But who has the patience to do this? And we're not talking about emulators or save states or anything like that, we're talking real life sitting in front of your TV holding the A button. Sounds like fun, right? Yeah, well, check it out, I got an idea. Get yourself a wrench or something like this here, and you just clamp it down on the A button, just like that... (clamps the wrench onto the A button on the NES controller) and there you go. Just sit back and... you don't got to do a damn thing. I'll be back.
(Time passes and the Nerd comes back. He now has 6 lives.)
The Nerd: Look at that, I have 6 lives already. So I'm just gonna go to bed, I'm gonna come back, and it's gonna be all maxed out. Now isn't that a good idea? Well, guess what, I have an even better idea. How about have some fucking continues?! Make me have to put a wrench on a controller, is that what you want to do with your life?! That's senseless. But that's what happens, man.
(The next day...)
The Nerd: Alright, I'm back, I'm all refreshed, ready to play some more Terminator with all new extra lives. All 6 of them...
(The Nerd stops after he finds out that he still only has 6 lives)
The Nerd: (shocked) 6? Only 6?! OK, I gotta be honest, it's only one digit, I didn't expect more than nine. But why a random number like 6?! That means that some fucked up masochist actually programmed it that way, and made the decision, "Hmm, well, let's see. Anything more than 6, that's too much." Fucking asshole! The only thing I can think of now is wait 'til you die 5 times and do it again.
(The "Angry Video Game Nerd" crew and the Nerd didn't know that you can actually get 7 lives.)
The Nerd: But then all of a sudden, you're in a truck getting showered by fireballs. There's little you can do to control the truck, so all that's gonna happen; you're just gonna die, and die, and die. You can't hit it either, because your bullets just scatter all over the place. Eventually you outrun the fucking thing, but next, you're being shot at by some metal tank monstrosity. At this point, you're just taking it in the fucking ass. All that's gonna happen; you're gonna get shot again, and again, and again.
The Nerd: The next part of the game is just another death trap. Now do you see what happened? All those extra lives? Gone. And there's still no regular enemies, so I have no hopes of getting any more. If I die, the game's over. But this is the most frustrating thing I've ever seen. The spears don't have any clear pattern, they just pop up at random. So I gotta get lucky.
The Nerd: Now look at these platforms, could they be any smaller? Realizing before how hard it is to make your mark, imagine how insane it is to land dead center in a space that's more narrow than the character itself. If you land on your feet, it doesn't count. You have to land on the empty space between your feet. (Kyle falls down a pit) Aw, fuck! OK, 0 lives, that means I have one more chance.
The Nerd: Jump... Jump... JUMP...! (Of course, he fails and gets a game over as he exclaims in frustration) FUCK!!!
The Nerd: (throws the controller in anger as he grunts twice) THEY'RE TOO!!! FUCKING SMALL!!! TOO FUCKING SMALL!!! (The Nerd yells into a pillow and grabs the game and an NES Zapper) You're terminated. (The Nerd shoots the game)
The Nerd: I can't believe shit like that could have been released on the NES as late as 1992. December 1992. By then, Super Nintendo was out. Speaking of which, let's check out its 16-bit counterpart.
(Footage of "The Terminator" on SNES is shown)
The Nerd: Thankfully, it's not just a graphical enhancement of the same game, this one's entirely different. I wonder why they recreated the title sequence from the movie, but not used the music? Instead, it's the music from the final battle. That's like if you use the opening Star Wars title, but used different music. ("Super Star Wars" title screen with different music)
The Nerd: So, if there's anything these games are missing right off the bat, it's the Terminator theme. Again, you're Kyle Reese, but instead of being in the sewers, you're in the battlefields, just like the flashback scenes in the movie. So we're definitely a step in the right direction. The gunfire is way better. This time, you can actually shoot like normal, rather than going into that stupid crouching mode. You can even shoot on the ladders which is kinda cool. But the only thing that sucks; you can't shoot straight up or towards the ground. There's no other perfect example than the Contra series. You can shoot in any fucking direction you want, and they're still challenging games. But here, you're stuck with all these enemies you can only hit with grenades. Once you run out of grenades, you're fucked. If you're going to make a game where you can't shoot the ground, don't have enemies that are on the fucking ground!
The Nerd: The foreground graphics always get in the way. How is it fair that I can barely see the enemies? And what the fuck are these things anyway, Decepticon dildos? (Actually, they're cyber worms.)
(Kyle jumps, but he hits a platform and steps onto a cyber worm, killing him)
The Nerd: Look, I just hit my head and died. Surprisingly, this game is really hard. Now I can imagine what Kyle Reese and good old Johnny C. had to go through. Just running out into a wasteland full of maniacal machines shooting bombs and lasers out left and right. There's shit shooting from the sky, shit on the ground, there's shit everywhere! You'd get annihilated! Those movies are very unrealistic, there's no way they could have survived. But the time travel concept, that's okay.
The Nerd: Look at the bullets, they have no pattern. It's like there's a second player controlling them.
(A Terminator keeps shooting with no bullet pattern whatsoever)
The Nerd: Before you have any time to react, Terminators pop out and shoot you. It's not easy to take it slow when your character can do nothing but run. My only strategy is to step and duck. But even then, half the time, I still get hit. I don't get hit that often, but apparently enough to die, and you actually get 5 lives. Once they're gone, you guessed it, no continues. But it doesn't even matter, because I can't even beat the first stage. It doesn't look that hard, but good Lord, it just goes on and on and on. Even with 5 lives and health power ups, I can't last any further.
The Nerd: I got to this truck part which is still part of the first stage, but this is even worse than the truck stage in the NES version. You can only shoot in three directions which means you can't hit this thing when it goes in between, and there's not a damn thing you can do to protect yourself either. You can't move, you just keep taking hits from these exploding bowling balls. Finally, it goes away, and you're back on foot.
The Nerd: After such a long sprint, you'd think that thing was maybe the boss, but, no, how naïve. So you keep running this everlasting shitty marathon of shooting shit and getting shit shot at you. Eventually you come to the boss, right? It's certainly big enough to be the boss, and it certainly took long enough to get this far. I'm going to say it's the boss. Come on, die! Die! Yeah, alright, that's it, what now?
The Nerd: What? Are you fucking kidding me? Holy mother and fucking God shit holy mackerel gosh damn, how is it not over yet?! How long could this first level possibly go, unless maybe the whole game is like this?! I just can't fucking believe it! So I died, like anybody would. Game Over. First level goes on forever. Can't beat it. End of story. The game's impossible.
The Nerd: Real quick, let's take a look at The Terminator on Sega CD. I already mentioned it in my Sega CD review, but I have to say, looking back, this is a really great improvement over the other ones. There are some annoying things. Like the other games, there are certain directions which you can't shoot. This makes it really hard to find a feasible angle to hit your enemies.
The Nerd: I don't know why, but only Contra it seems got it right. And sometimes it's confusing to figure out where to go. It has those unwatchable cutscenes from the movie which characterize the Sega CD. Never would we dream that one day we'd be able to watch videos in better quality on the Internet. But you can skip these scenes and aside from it, the game itself is a pretty good sidescroller. It even has the Terminator theme, as well as some great original music of it's own.
(A great soundtrack from the game plays)
The Nerd: God, is that fucking awesome?! Eh, it's a little better than the NES version, don't you think? (The horrible music from the NES game plays)
The Nerd: From here on out, things can only get better. The second movie was even better than the first, so, we can assume that's the same for the games. I believe there's a light at the end of this tunnel. We've made it through the storm, and at the end of that storm is a rainbow. A ra--? Oh... no.
(The Nerd looks at the "Terminator 2: Judgement Day" NES cartridge to see the LJN logo, with a horrified expression on his face, accompanied by the ending of the "Terminator 2: Judgement Day" theme)