Obscure Shooter Flashback – Abadox on the NES


The NES had a plethora of different styles of games available for it.  Platformers had their strongest showing on the system, but it also had its fair share of RPGs, adventures, racers, puzzlers, and even shooters.  Many look back fondly at Gradius as one of the greatest shooters on the system.  However, there is another title that is grossly overlooked, which got away with a lot of things on the NES that were usually censored.

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Just imagine going into your local video game rental store in 1986 and seeing this cover art.  It’s got it all!  Blood dripping off a chrome logo, how often did you even see blood in an NES title?  And yes, you can say the space man looks generic, until you look over at that googly eyed creature he’s desperately trying to take on!  How could you pass this up in a rental store?  I know I couldn’t.  And what’s that in the corner?  This game has the Milton Bradley logo?  I thought they only made board games, but it turns out they produced a few NES games as well!  But this is no Candyland.

While reading the manual (yes, I was one of THOSE people), we learned that Abadox was the name of a planet consumed by a giant beast called Parasitis.  The Princess (it’s the NES, there’s gotta be a Princess) has been consumed as well, so those that are left send their greatest warrior “Nazal” to go inside the beast and rescue the princess.

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How many times does an NES game start with gore?  What this article can’t relate is the explosion that sounds right when this title pops up with no warning.  A great start for this game.  But whats a title screen with no gameplay?  Well, gameplay is hard.  This game lives up to the “NES hard” saying.  You have a large sprite, and all it takes is one hit to kill you.  You can pick up small orb powerups that spin around you that can block bullets, but if an enemy bullet (or body) slips through, you’re toast/  Thankfully, there’s an assortment of weapon upgrades as well, so your pea-shooter starter gun can be upgraded to a 3 way spread, laser, or 5 way spread.  You can also get a secondary weapon with either dumb or homing missles.  So whats our first look of Parasitis like in the opening stage?

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Something totally unexpected for the NES in 1986, that’s for sure.  Flying eyeballs, giant mouthed creatures, all small attackers on a giant being made of dessicated flesh and flaying tendrils.  A disturbing image, to be sure.  And remember kids…..we’re going INSIDE this beast.  Right through the mouth!

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You go in, teeth trying to impale you, tongue spewing aciding saliva at you.  You continue fighting your way in, until you reach the back of the throat, to get a face full of a surprise!

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Remember the googly eyed beast from the box art?  He’s the first stages boss.  This thing pops out of the wall, eyeballs flailing away spewing bullets at your spaceman.   But there is a sweet spot you can sit in without much moving too much, to get another huge surprise.

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This game features two different play modes, side scrolling AND top-down shooting!  This is something hardly any games did during this time, and it was a huge shock.  Combined with the graphic elements of the game, and the Sci-Fi aspects as well, and this game is a sleeper that I am amazed wasn’t talked about more back then, and doesn’t get the love it deserves now either.  So drop what you are doing, grab a copy of Abadox for your NES, and discover a new undiscovered classic.

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