Top Gun (franchise)

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Top Gun
Basic Information
Commodore 64, DOS, GameCube, iOS, Microsoft Windows, Nintendo DS, NES, PlayStation, PlayStation 2 and ZX Spectrum
Nintendo 64

The popularity of the 1986 film Top Gun resulted in a number of licensed video games that have been released since the film's theatrical debut:

Top Gun[edit | edit source]

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.

A sequel, 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.

Gameplay[edit | edit source]

Top Gun[edit | edit source]

File:Top Gun Title.gif
Top Gun's main menu
File:Top Gun Game.gif
Top Gun in game

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.

The Second Mission[edit | edit source]

In the 1989 sequel, 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 computer game[edit | edit source]

The version for computers is a one-on-one dogfighting simulator with wireframe 3D graphics (opposed to more traditional sprite-based graphics and straightforward gameplay of the NES version). The game features a two player mode, in single player mode the other aircraft is maneuvered by the computer.

Top Gun: Fire At Will[edit | edit source]

Top Gun: Fire At Will was released by Spectrum Holobyte in 1996 for the PC and Sony PlayStation, but was an aborted title for the Nintendo 64. It was the first Top Gun game published since Second Mission. It is also the only title to feature any actors from the film, with James Tolkan reprising his role as a commanding officer (he was called Stinger in the film, but is called "Hondo" here for reasons unknown.) The game's overall plot focuses on the player-character, Maverick, going to combat in Cuba, North Korea, and Libya against a secret group of mercenary pilots called the "Cadre."

Top Gun: Hornet's Nest[edit | edit source]

Top Gun: Hornet's Nest was released for PC by Atari and Zipper Interactive in 1998. Instead of the F-14 Tomcat, players have the opportunity to pilot the F/A-18E. It was considered to be a complete washout and received bad reviews for its noticeably lackluster design and gameplay.

Top Gun: Combat Zones[edit | edit source]

Top Gun: Combat Zones was released for the PlayStation 2 in 2001. It was developed by the now-defunct English developer Digital Integration, and published by similarly defunct French publishers Titus Software.

It was later released for PC and Nintendo GameCube the following year.

Gameplay[edit | edit source]

The game is composed of 36 missions spread over 3 eras (distinct periods in history), intended to illustrate the history of the Top Gun combat school and its near future. In each era, missions are located both at the Top Gun academy at Miramar and in a live combat zone. Upon gaining access to each era the academy missions must be performed before moving to the combat zone itself, but whilst the former do introduce new game concepts, aircraft and weapons they are not simple training missions - players must face tough opponents and live fire to succeed. The game features various Navy fighter aircraft and bonus fighter aircraft.

Only the first era is accessible from the outset, and is set in South East Asia, towards the end of the Vietnam War (erroneously showing the F-14 engaging in combat with North Vietnamese forces, despite never having fired a shot in action during that conflict). During the second era, the action is set in the Persian Gulf States circa 1990; although the game story does not make direct reference, parallels can be drawn to the real-world Gulf conflicts of that time (such as hunting for Scud missiles and protecting oil refineries). The final era is set within the Arctic Circle and depicts a future conflict based around disputed borders and a global fuel crisis.

Top Gun DS[edit | edit source]

Top Gun for the Nintendo DS was released on February 23, 2006 in Japan and May 3, 2006 in North America. The game was developed by Interactive Vision, and published by Mastiff Inc in North America, and Taito in Japan.

The game lets players play through a story-driven campaign (featuring appearances by characters from the film) as well as a set of solo missions and a multiplayer mode that supports up to 4 players.[1] The bottom screen is used as a map and weapons readout. There are two control schemes offered, but there seems to be no difference between them. However, the game was not well received.[2]

Top Gun for iPhone OS/Mobile phone games[edit | edit source]

Top Gun for the iPhone OS was announced by Freeverse.[3] It is a 3rd person flight combat simulator that uses the accelerometer to pilot the plane around and touch firing controls. The plot involves the Miramar Top Gun School featuring cartoon versions of the movie characters, Maverick, Iceman and Viper. Mobile game publisher Hands-On Mobile (formerly known as Mforma) have published three mobile phone games based around Top Gun. The first two were top-down scrolling arcade shooters. The third game takes a different approach as a third-person perspective game, similar to Sega's After Burner games.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Top Gun for DS Review - DS Top Gun Review
  2. Top Gun Reviews
  3. Buchanan, Levi (2009-03-26). Top Gun Preview. IGN. Retrieved on 2009-04-23

External links[edit | edit source]

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