Total Carnage

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a game by Black Pearl Software, and Midway
Genres: Action, Shooting Games
Platforms: PC, SNESSNES, GameBoy
Editor Rating: 6/10, based on 3 reviews, 6 reviews are shown
User Rating: 7.0/10 - 2 votes
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See also: First Person Shooter Games, Old School Games, Cult Classic Games, Monsters Games

If you loved Ikari Warriors and Super Smash TV, you're gonna wanna love Total Carnage. You may be disappointed, though. It's not a superb translation from the arcades to the SNES, but it isn't total garbage, either.

Private Briefing

The Doomsday Squad (Captain Carnage and Major Mayhem) is sent in to retrieve innocent hostages and reporters, and to otherwise clean up the aftermath of the War of 1999. You must battle through four classified missions in the country of Kookistan to reach the dreaded warlord, General Akhboob. Each mission takes you through very hostile territories, swarming with Akhboob's soldiers and mutant robots. Your fighters must take on scads of combat vehicles, from jeeps and trucks to tanks and planes. Your missions send you out to destroy key military installations, though you'll also have to wipe out one of Kookistan's baby milk factories, as well.

ProTip: When you're armed with the Personnel Shield, you can pick off more of Akboob's soldiers by walking into a group of foes and shooting in the opposite direction.

The game isn't all that tough, however. Special weapons and gear pop up throughout the game to aid you in your battle. Likewise, point-valued items (including eggs, gems and, of course, the United States flag) show up to renew your partriotism and spur you on to victory.

General Info

Total Carnage is a shooting adventure game presented with an action-packed overhead view. Few of its graphics are of any real accomplishment. Still, the animation Purple sequences are amusing, and the destruction animations suit the game's "graphic" title.

In the Orcus Boss Stage, the Personnel Shields are a priority. They'll insure protection from all things, and enable you to get close enough to lay Mines.

The sounds are somewhat realistic. The explosions boom, and you can hear the clip change when you pick up a new weapon. Some of the dialogue in the cut-scene animation sequences comes straight from the Super Smash TV sound-bites, which adds to the humor and ties the game into its predecessor.

Major Ending

Though the game lacks originality, Total Carnage isn't a bad game, all in all. The controls are quite simple, with separate moving and firing directionals. The strategies aren't very complex, in that certain areas can be easily passed or defeated. However, the game is no walk in the park either. It's challenging enough to provide plenty of fun and excitement, especially in the two-player simultaneous mode.

Check out this SNES game, because in Total Carnage there are only two kinds of video gamers: skilled, or be killed.

Download Total Carnage


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
  • Pentium II (or equivalent) 266MHz (500MHz recommended), RAM: 64MB (128MB recommended), DirectX v8.0a or later must be installed

System requirements:

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

Game Reviews

The great thing about PC arcade conversions is that no one expects them to be any good. Let's face it, if pcs had been meant to run shoot 'em ups, God wouldn't have invented dos. But Total Carnage came as a bit of a surprise by actually being pretty good, and this coming from a man who normally loathes anything with the words "Power-ups" in it.

I'll make no secret of the fact that I can't play arcade games. I've got the reflexes of a frozen turkey and the hand/eye co-ordination of a blind snake, but I must admit to becoming fair near hooked on this version of a game that's been doing the rounds for quite a while now on other, more keypad-orientated machines.

So what's the deal?

I could go into lengthy discourse about the plot but let's be realists about this - you and I both know that the only thing that counts is shooting everything that moves, everything that stands still, everything that stands still but looks like it will move and everything that doesn't move, doesn't look like it'll move, but it's best to be sure so we'll shoot it anyway.

And believe me, Total Carnage lives up to its name. I haven't seen a body count this high, with this much blood since Macca last played Doom.

Total Carnage is hard. Even in two-player mode. The enemy comes from all directions, has a multitude of weapons and tends to employ the "if we all rush him at once he might eventually run out of bullets" technique.

To counter this. Total Carnage uses a slightly odd control method, one that you might not take to as easily as perhaps you should.

Moving the joystick left or right rotates your on-screen persona rather than just moving him in the required direction. Not only that, but if you hold down fire, your character doesn't turn at all but strafes in a single direction instead. This is all well and good for arcade machines and computers with decent control devices, but I think we all know what an absolute pain in the arse pc joysticks can be, don't we? What normally happens is, while you are struggling to turn your character around to face the oncoming horde, the oncoming horde has already come on and beaten you about the head a few times.

Pretty good, you said?

Technically, however. Total Carnage is a nice piece of work. For once, the pc handles the four-way scrolling very well and everything moves at just the right speed. The graphics are pretty faithful to the arcade original (very much cartoon violence, in case all you mums were worried), and the only quibble I have is with the sound. Not much support for anything other than a SoundBlaster, and even here the effects and music are pretty standard. A pity, some nice Doom-style fx would have matched the graphical action nicely.

Where it really works is in the playability stakes. Although I moaned a bit about the control method, let's not forget that I rank somewhere between root vegetables and people from Letchworth on the games-playing prowess chart. Even so, despite my inherent crapness, Total Carnage was still a lot of fun to play. The kind of fun you can only get when you're blowing away armies of racial stereotypes with a flamethrower. You know - good, clean fun.

Sounds a bit like Doom

Just a little bit. It's not Doom, though, and don't be fooled for one moment into thinking that it could be. Total Carnage is by no means an essential purchase, but it's definitely a fun one. As with a lot of games, the two-player option adds to the enjoyment immensely, and, surprisingly, doesn't slow down the machine or cause any major hardware hang-ups. Total Carnage is not the year's greatest game, but it is better than most of the arcade conversions we've seen of late.

  • Theme: Action

The relentless fury of the arcade hit comes home to the Super NES. Total Carnage sticks close to the coin-op with very little changed. You and an optional friend must save a small country from the tyrannical grip of a madman. The game play is similar to Smash TV, and you acquire many of the same icons.

The Super NES version has all the cinema displays from the arcade, and it even retains all of the voices. The sounds are impressive, too. Total Carnage is an all-out war that uses the Super NES's capabilities to the max. Will you be tough enough to destroy Akboob?

The creators of Smash TV have followed up their video megahit with another one- or two-player, all-action slugfest! The War of 1999 against the country of Kookistan has ended. However, vast numbers of reporters and civilians are still missing inside the War Zone.

The President has dispatched Capt. Carnage and Major Mayhem to rescue all the hostages held by the evil General Akhboob, who is reported to be creating disgusting mutant life forms and new weaponry within his secret inner sanctum.

Swirling warp disks, secret codes, a full arsenal of bombs, air-to-surface missiles, detailed maps, and various power-ups help players get through three major battlefields. The multi-scrolling, overhead action follows the heroes as they try to avoid land mines, flamethrowers, toxic slime, runaway jeeps, nuclear time bombs, and legions of mindless zombies out for blood! Immense Bosses, that make Smash TV's Mutoid Man look like a Keebler Elf, lurk at the end of each level!


  • In two-player games, cluster the two players and move as a single unit Cover each other's backs against oncoming enemies and obstacles.
  • At the start, soften up the Bosses with several Air-to- Surface Missile Strikes.

Total Carnage's Smash TV lineage is readily apparent. In addition to similar graphics and game play, the game features the same dual, multi-directional, move-and-fire joystick controls that everyone loved about Smash TV. But believe it or not, Total Carnage features even more guts, gore, and action than its predecessor!

You must collect at least 220 keys to enter General Akhboob's Pleasure Dome.

Total Carnage is total mayhem! A sensory overload of nonstop frenetic action, awesome graphics, and pulse- pounding music and sound effects. Although this game may seem like senseless chaos, only true gamers with lightning fast reflexes and focused concentration can make it through to the end. Total Carnage is total fun!

The Kookistan desert becomes the staging ground as General Akhboob begins to cause trouble around the world. Ace reporter Candy Blitzen is about to report on the news of the century when she and other reporters are suddenly captured by Akhboob's soldiers! Mayhem and Carnage have taken it upon themselves to rescue Candy from Akhboob!

In the arcade, Total Carnage is the sequel to Smash T.V. but this version contains even more action and hideous enemies to face than ever before!

You and a friend can take on the evil with an assortment of machine guns, flame throwers and other potent goodies! Are you tough enough to take on Akhboob's rebel forces?

The world is no longer a safe place to eat, drink and be merry. The villainous General Akhboob, infamous ruler of Kookistan, has made all types of militant mutant life-forms. You are part of the elite Doomsday Squad and you'll control either Captain Carnage or Major Mayhem through this incredible battle.

Every ounce of your fighting ability will be tested as you go against huge enemies and all sorts of dangers. Power-ups are plentiful and you'll need them to survive this non-stop shooting gallery. The game can be played by one or two players and there can be tons of enemies on the screen with no flicker or slowdown. Stay tuned to us for more coverage on this super intense cart!

Snapshots and Media

PC Screenshots

SNES/Super Nintendo/Super Famicom Screenshots

GameBoy Screenshots

See Also

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