The Sega Master System version of Rambo: First Blood part II, is actually a re-skinning of a game originally titled Ashura (阿修羅) in Japan. The changes are relatively minor, as the original game was inspired in part by Rambo itself and its video-game imitators, namely Ikari Warriors, and to a lesser extent, Commando. The latter two were inspiration for the gameplay itself.
Players can play co-operatively or alone, fighting against soldiers who attack in certain patterns. Players have an upgradable semi-automatic weapon with unlimited ammunition, and explosive arrows which act similarly to grenades, with a definite arc and an area-effect explosion. The player character can't be hit or he immediately dies, and he cannot fire backward, just diagonally forward, to either side, and straight ahead.
Using the explosive arrows, you can free hostages which are held captive in huts. These captives then throw the player a power up, like extra explosive arrows, an extra life, or a zap-effect which kills all enemies on the screen.
At the end of each level, there is an obstacle that must be destroyed through use of explosive arrows, while an endless steam of minions pop up from either side to try to kill you. A certain amount of enemies must be killed before the barrier becomes vulnerable, however.
The fifth level is not like the first four (which take place in what is probably South East Asia and another nondescript, undeveloped area, alternating between the two), but is actually in an urban environment. It may be that the designers intended this to be a reference to First Blood, where Rambo's fight actually takes place in the United States against law enforcement officers. (Incidentally, there are no hostages to free, but when you blow up police cars, you are thrown power-ups from the building the ruined cop car was parked in front of!) The final level has no real analog to the movie series; the enemies all have gas-masks and the end-barrier is a huge, glowing face that actually fires back.
The end boss has quite a few hitpoints, and is rather difficult in comparison to the other end-level obstacles. Surviving that is no small feat, and the player is rewarded with a strangely emphatic, shirtless scene of POW liberation and a ride off into the sunset (aboard a helicopter).
Releases under different names
A separate version of the game was released in Europe and Australia called Secret Commando. The box features the title Secret Command, but the correct title of Secret Commando is present on the carrtridge and on the game's title screen. The game is mostly identical save for the lack of the Rambo license and cover art. Some small differences are linked to the game's other release (Ashura in Japan, see below), such as the names of the heroes (Ashura and Bishamon), althought they did keep their Rambo appearance in game. The title music in the game is the music from Ashura, not the Rambo music.
Similarly, the game was released in Japan with the name Ashura (阿修羅). Again, without the Rambo license. Ashura was the first release of the title; the game was later released in the US with Rambo artwork added in, under the name Rambo: First Blood Part II. Rather than featuring Rambo (or, indeed, a Secret Commando), the Japanese version had players control a pair of armed Buddhist monks named Ashura and Bishamon. The monks are on a mission to rescue their kidnapped friends from the enemy. The game has some other minor differences, namely the difficulty. The difficult was toned down for the American release. For example, some enemies (the flamethrower soldiers being one) that were only vulnerable to arrows in Ashura, were altered so that the player could kill them with bullets too.
Virtual Console releases
All three versions of Rambo: First Blood Part II (Rambo, Secret Commando and Ashura) were released on the Wii's Virtual Console between 2008 and 2009. They were released in their respective regions; Rambo in North America, Secret Commando in Europe & Australia and Ashura in Japan. Secret Commando was also released on the North American Virtual Console as an "import title".