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a game by Acclaim
Genre: Action
Platforms: GameCube, XBox, Playstation 2, NESNES
Editor Rating: 7/10, based on 6 reviews
User Rating: 6.0/10 - 2 votes
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See also: Shoot-Them-Up
  • Nintendo / Acclaim
  • Type: Action
  • Release: June 1990
  • Levels: 8
  • Difficulty: Avg.

Undoubtedly one of the most daring coin-op titles to ever appear, Narc brings the standard side-scrolling action into the world of crime.

You and an optional friend suit up as police enforcers of the future, taking on the big-time criminal Bosses in a fictional city. Confiscate drugs, avoid rabid dogs and lethal psychos as you reclaim the city from Mr. Big with your guns, missiles, weapon-filled Porsche and skill.

People say:


I miss the blood and guts of the arcade original, but even with them absent, Narc is a bold and daring title on the NES. Beyond the graphics, which are merely alright, you're still left with a good action/shooter...just don't expect great graphics.


A graphically unexciting game with stick-type figures and significant screen flicker. Those expecting game play similar to the arcade will not be disappointed, however the lack of attention to the graphics in the arcade is a major problem in design.


Acclaim has done a nice job duplicating the arcade version, despite the NES's obvious graphic handicaps. Other than the toned down violence and detail, Narc plays just like the coin-op in nearly every other way. Narc fans should love it.


You can look at this game in two ways. If you want the coin-op looks, you'll be disappointed. But if you want the game play, then NES Narc is on-target. You still get some dandy graphics, and there's always a lot to interact with.

Download NARC


System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP


System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

Playstation 2

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP


System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP
  • P-200, 32 MB RAM

Game Reviews


Hitman and Max Force (yes, those really are their names) form part of the elite N.A.R.C. squad charged with destroying the K.R.A.K. drug cartel (see previous note) and taking down its boss, Mr. Big (yep, that's a bad-guy name from a bygone era).


About the only thing this drug-busting adventure borrows from its old arcade namesake is all the stupid names. The new NARC has more in common with Grand Theft Auto and State of Emergency, where busting crooks requires following clues and some good ol' fashioned fisticuffs. Stopping unrelated random crimes during your travels earns you the good-cop moniker, meaning folks will help you out in a jam. But go all The Shield on the general public and just see if you get invited to any policemen's balls.

  • Manufacturer: ACCLAIM
  • Machine: Nintendo Entertainment System

The first couple of pages in the NARC instruction booklet feature a letter to the video gamer from the CEO of Acclaim Entertainment, Inc. In it, NARC is described as the first NES title with a strong anti-drug message, and Acclaim claims "it conveys what may often be the harsh realities of the drug environment ".

Actually, the scenario to NARC - based on the hit Williams Electronic arcade game - is an extreme oversimplification of the real-life societal implications and complexities regarding the use of illegal substances in this country. But what Acclaim's NARC does - and does best - is take the timely issue of the war on drugs and make it the backdrop for an immensely challenging action game.

The game scenario takes place in 1997, and not too surprisingly, the drug problem has become worse than it already is today. A government operation, Narcotics Opposition, has determined that all illegal drug trafficking is being led by, rather conveniently, one person - somebody they call simply "Mr. Big".

N.O. has enlisted you and a friend, under the code names "Max Force" and "Hit Man", to undertake a covert operation to bring down this entire drug cartel and the big guy himself. That is, if you define "covert" as rampaging through city streets and buildings, firing off machine guns and rocket launchers. In other words, N.O. - with your help - intends to solve the nation's drug crisis within a matter of minutes. In the video-gaming world, anything is possible, I guess.

There are nine levels of play in NARC that need to be completed before you face off with Mr. Big. Enemies to deal with include a motley assortment of gun-wielding drug traffickers, helicopters, attacking pit bulls and, somewhat out of place here, swarms of killer insects. Helpful items that enemies drop and that you should pick up are packs of machine-gun rounds, rocket bombs and access cards that open certain doors.

A sports car named "NarcMobile" (as expected) is available for Max Force and Hit Man to hop into. It comes in handy for committing effortless hit-and-runs on the bad guys, but be careful. Wrecking this car is a cinch to do if you're reckless with your driving.

Another unique way of doing in your enemies is arresting them. This can be done by simply standing over them. However, not all of the baddies can be busted. Nevertheless, a captured criminal is worth more points than a dead one. If taking the time to "Mirandize" your suspect gets in the way of your game, conventional rounds of machine-gun fire will do the job easier and quicker. Come across several of the drug peddlers together in a group and you can greet them with an incoming rocket bomb. The resultant explosion will blow them apart into numerous, flailing limbs and other body pieces that rain down from the sky, presumably illustrating the "harsh realities" of the drug environment.

All the standard and expected game play conventions of other similar NES titles are found here in NARC. Unfortunately, one crucial thing is obviously and sorely missed: there is neither a documented game-continue function nor any way to replenish Max Force's and Hit Man's precious lifelines. Nothing is available for the inner-city warriors to pick up to partially restore their life energy - nor are they rewarded with maximum energy for completing a level. Coupled with the lack of a continue option and already intense game play, NARC is a "play as you go" contest that can quickly become exhausting for most players except the very best.

Thus, just getting past the first three levels successfully is a challenge - a major accomplishment if you're playing alone. Secret maneuvers, hidden cheats and Easter eggs, if any, probably won't help you here. This is a video game of pure skill. So novices beware: Acclaim's NARC doesn't just cover tough territory, it is tough territory.

  • Number of Levels: 8
  • Theme: Action
  • Difficulty: Average
  • Number of Players: 1
  • Available: July 1990

In Narc you are one of the elite members of the drug enforcement squad. Your equipment is the best available, 50 cal., fully-automatic assault rifle, 357 pistol, plus a specially designed, portable missile launcher. For protection, you have full body armor, capable of taking up to a dozen hits from any weapon known to man. Overkill? Hardly! You're going up against the scum of the Earth who will do anything to keep their illegal business going.

Your job is to clean up the streets one gang at a time and to destroy all the illegal narcotic factories. If you need help, take a friend in this super two-player conversion of the arcade classic.


In the introductory level your job is to clean up the streets and make as many 'busts' as you can. To get to the end you must go down into the subways to get the special red safe key and then come back up and arrest the dos lof gang.


In level three you must cross a suspension bridge. You have to hoof the first part but then you find a Porsche and can drive part of the way until you come to a brick wall. Finish the rest of the way on foot and go after Joe Rockhead.

If you're tired of just saying "no" to drugs, now you can say "N.O." -- Narcotics Opposition, that is. NARC from Acclaim makes you top cop in that elite government force organized to fight drug trafficking and terrorism.

N.O.'s recently discovered that a big drug operation is being financed and directed by (Who else?) Mr. Big. You're out to stop him.

Shoot to Thrill

NARC is an ultra-intense horizontally scrolling shoot-em-up that takes you on a search and destroy trek through the seamy drug underworld. The theme here is "better living through superior firepower."

NARC's been around as an arcade and an eye-catching PC title called Crime Wave. The graphics in the NES version are good, but the game's strong point is its faithfulness to the game-play of the original. And that means non-stop, thumb-numbing gun fighting!

The action's top-notch for both one and two players, and the second player can join in any time! Find a buddy that gets off on gunning and running; this is a radical two player game!

ProTip: During two-player action, if only one of you goes through a door you both go.

Anti-drug Paraphernalia

This game is great for itchy trigger fingers. The strategy's basic: Shoot or be shot. You're tricked out with a machine pistol and a rocket launcher. Grab ammo from fallen baddies. You start out with three lives, but you build up points for more.

  • Ammo meters stop at 99, but you can store more.
  • You can always shoot single shots, even when the display indicates no ammo left.

Sometimes, you cruise to bruise in a slick Porshe 911 Turbo Carrera Narcmobile. But don't get attached to it, it takes a beating.

  • Drive slowly and carefully, it's easy to wreck your car.
  • When you're in the Narcmobile, the bad guys can't get you but you can run them down to save ammo.

Drug Thugs

You face a formidable horde of slimy villains. Their overwhelming numbers make this shooter tough. Blast 'em or bust 'em. Busting them builds up points, but be prepared to take some hits. You also build up your score by snatching contraband such cash and drugs.

  • Crouch and shoot on the move by holding down A and B simultaneously and using the directional pad.
  • You can't duck shots, but you can leap over them by rapidly tapping B twice.

All the creeps are clones of several basic bad guys. The ever present Das Lof gangsters look a mess, but they'll shoot you down. Dr. Spike tries to shoot you up -- full of nasty chemicals. The muscle-bound Dumpster Man's power punch puts the hurt on you. Kinky Pinky's a slashed clown who's pretty sharp but not as funny as he looks. His dynamite-tossin' partner, Bevon Face, will blow you away. Sgt. Skyhigh is a drug-crazed Rambo wannabee. But you're after Mr. Big, dead or alive, and you have to fight him both ways. Rabid Pit Bulls and Mutant Bugs represent the animal kingdom in this urban nightmare.

  • You can't bust Kinky Pinky or Bevon Face. Kinky takes several hits unless you use a rocket.
  • You can outrun the Dumpster Man.

Mean Streets

You have to clean up seven main sectors. Each of these are split into several scenes.

Check the radar in the screen display to see where you are in a sector.

You start at the Junkyard, where you rock and roll through an industrial ghetto and a stifling subway. Next, you're in a gruesome gunfight on K.W.A.K. Street. On the Sunset Strip the Kennel's a dogfight, and Kinky's Bigtop is no circus. The crazy crowd on the Bridge creates a murderous traffic jam. By the time you finish button pressing your way to Sky-high's Nursery, you'll really have green thumbs, but don't stop to smell the flowers. Downtown is a two-level hotel that's a real riot. When you finally reach Mr. Big's Office, he might be out to lunch but his bodyguards are ready for business.

  • Every 100,000 points earns an extra life. To rack up mucho points, find the last exit at any level. K.W.A.K. Street is particularly good. First, get the Safe Cards, so you can make a quick getaway. Move to the right edge of the screen near the exit. Now you can slide up and down the screen edge to host guys as they appear onscreen. Stay sharp, dogs bite you and gangsters can shoot you from off-screen. Exit before you perish. With two players, one at each side of the screen, this move's awesome.
  • Blast the vats in the drug labs for 1000 points each.
  • To get the gold Safe Card in Mr. Big's Office, blast Mr. Big with rockets then bust him before he crawls away.

No Guts, No Glory

The drug war is dirty business, and in NARC it's messy, too. Blast criminals with rockets and you're going to see some body parts.

You want action? NARC's got it! Don't get high, unless it's on points.

If you're going to "just say "no" to drugs," you've got to first "just say yes," to the destruction of Mr. Big and his fiendish K.R.A.K. criminal empire. Now, the drug-infested streets of Narc, an arcade blockbuster, can be fought on the NES in your own living room! As Max Force (one player) and Hit Man (two players), battle your way through eight levels of treachery, seizing illegal drugs and the ruthless scum that sell them along the way Subway stations, pawn shops, and barbed wire fences make up the seedy terrain where Mr. Big's drug dealing lackies love to hang out. Get past these losers and you'll get to meet face-to-face with the ultimate sleezeball himself, Mr. Big. Help fight the war on drugs!

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