Midnight Resistance last edited by fiye on 05/19/18 01:29AM View full history


Take a ride on the jeep (Arcade)
Take a ride on the jeep (Arcade)

Midnight Resistance is a side-scrolling platform shoot 'em-up and a sequel to the 1987 game Heavy Barrel. Developed and published by Data East for the arcades in 1989 its gameplay is very reminiscent of the Contra / Probotector saga released by Konami.

In Europe the game was ported by Special FX to several 8-bit and 16-bit home computers and published in 1990 by Ocean Software. The Genesis conversion was done in 1991 by ISCO / Opera House and given a new soundtrack composed by Hitoshi Sakimoto.

It is notable in its original arcade format for having a rotatable hat as part of the joystick. The joystick 'hat's rotation would then relate to the direction the player's character aimed their weapon in the game. This was an innovative approach to solving a re-occuring problem in platform shoot 'em-ups, of aiming in a different direction to the movement of the player's character. The arcade version also supports a two players co-op mode which was omitted in all other portings except on the Amiga.


There are different story versions depending on the platform the game was released on:

Time to free the family (Genesis)
Time to free the family (Genesis)
  • In the Arcade version, two nameless brothers are on a mission to rescue their family from an alien mutant known as King Crimson.
  • In the home computer versions published by Ocean Software, a ruthless Commissar, leader of a vicious regime of megalomaniacs, has kidnapped the players family (including the grandfather - a world famous scientist in the field of weapons research). Now it is the task of the player to free his relatives before the evil Commissar forces the grandfather to reveal his superior weapons research which he can then use to subjugate the world.
  • In the Genesis version, the player assumes the role of Johnny Ford (Daichi Madoka in the Japanese version) a member of an operative group who shuts down drug cartels. Johnny's father, Dr. Malcom Ford, is also a fighter against drug abuse and is about to research a serum that would break people's addiction to lethal drugs. He has tested it on laboratory rats, and is in the process of making it safe for use by human beings. When Crimson King, the head of the most powerfull drug cartel, finds out about the research he loses no time and immediately kidnaps the whole family. After completing his last mission, Johnny returns home only to find an devastated house. When he sees a note in which King Crimson kidnapped his entire family he immediately starts for the tropical island called Matano. Since Johnny knows the Crimson King's organization inside and out, he suspects this to be the place where his family is being held.


With a character, that resembles Rambo and is armed with an automatic weapon, nine rather short levels have to be crossed before the final showdown with King Crimson. The play mechanics and controls are similar to that of the Contra series and the Arcade and Amiga versions can be played by two players in a co-op mode. The main protagonist can run in two directions, jump, crawl, climb ladders and shoot in eight directions(clockwise or counter-clockwise).

The Arcade game has as already mentioned a special rotating joystick similar to the one used in Ikari Warriors for independent control of movement and firing. This property has been cumbersome ported to the other systems that lack this joystick. In the home computer versions for example, pressing and holding the fire button will maintain the last movement (standing, walking, crawling) and after that the joystick lever can be used to determine the direction of the shot. In the Genesis version two control schemes are offered: The first one is a basic method of shooting the direction of the D-pad while the second one, which is considerably trickier to control and requires more practice, allows the player to continually shoot in a particular direction no matter what the D-pad is doing.

Weapon storage room (C64)
Weapon storage room (C64)

On the way, the player must fight enemies such as soldiers, tanks, jets, saws, helicopters, ships and metal snakes. Some of the defeated soldiers lose red keys that can be picked up and used to buy weapons at the end of each level where the player enters a weapon storage room. There are six glass cases with a different number of key slots at the bottom, each holding one weapon or item. The number of the key slots shows how many keys are required to open the case and release the weapon or item included in it. Since each player can carry only six keys at the same time he will never be able to open every case and should therefore experiment early with each different type of weapon and find out which ones are more effective.

The two types of weapons that can be purchased in the weaponry are hand-held weapons(Full Auto, 3-Way, Fire, Shot Gun) and backpack weapons(Nitro, Shower, Homing Missile) that are launched by pushing the joystick up while pressing the shoot button or simply with the space key in the home computer versions. All types of weapons have limited ammunition and when the player runs out of ammo, he will revert to the default "Full Auto" rifle which is the only one with unlimited ammo. Additional ammo for the player's current weapon and other power-ups can be purchased in the weaponry.

When the player character comes in contact with an enemy or is downed by enemy fire he loses one life and drops the weapons and keys he is carrying. But these all can be picked up again if they don't fall off-screen.

After the penultimate level the player enters again the weapon storage room. But this time the glass cases are holding instead of weapons or items the relatives of the player. Those can be freed in exchange for the collected keys. So to free all relatives it must be ensured that the last armory is entered with six keys.

Weapons & Power-ups

Icon in the WeaponryItemDescription
No Caption Provided
Full AutoThe standard hand-held weapon with unlimited ammunition and a long range.
No Caption Provided
3-WayA powerfull hand-held weapon which fires in three directions. With limited ammunition and long range.
No Caption Provided
Shot GunA hand-held weapon which fires not many but very powerfull bullets. The ammunition is limited.
No Caption Provided
FireA hand-held weapon which throws flames. It's the most powerfull weapon in the game with limited ammunition and range.
No Caption Provided
Homing MissilesA backpack weapon limited to 50 charges. When fired, eight missiles lock automatically on the nearest enemies.
No Caption Provided
NitroA backpack weapon limited to 50 charges. When fired, flames spread in eight directions from the top of the screen.
No Caption Provided
ShowerA backpack weapon limited to 50 charges. When fired, lethal spikes come from top of the screen and sift through enemies in their way.
No Caption Provided

Super ChargePowers up the carried hand-held weapon to its full capabilities. Especially usefull with the flamethrower.
No Caption Provided
BarrierTime limited shield protection for the playing character.
No Caption Provided
BulletIncreases the count on the carried hand-held weapon counter by 500.
No Caption Provided
1 UpExtra life.


Games-X05/199136Genesis96 out of 10096
Your Commodore11/199042,43C6495 out of 10095
Your Sinclair06/199275ZX Spectrum94 out of 10094
Crash07/199040ZX Spectrum93 out of 10093
Mark, NickEnglish
Zzap04/199249C6493 out of 10093
The Games Machine07/199044,45Amiga, ZX Spectrum92 out of 10092
Mark CaswellEnglish
Your Sinclair08/199035ZX Spectrum92 out of 10092
Zero08/199032,33,34,35Amiga91 out of 10091
Paul Lakin, Teresa MaughanEnglish
The Games Machine07/199044,45Atari ST90 out of 10090
Mark CaswellEnglish
Sinclair User08/199018,19ZX Spectrum90 out of 10090
Jim DouglasEnglish
Zzap12/199014,15C6490 out of 10090
Stuart Wynne, Robin Hogg, Phil KingEnglish
CU Amiga07/199036,37Amiga89 out of 10089
Tony DillonEnglish
Zzap10/199093Amiga89 out of 10089
Stuart Wynne, Robin HoggEnglish
Zero08/199032,33,34,35Atari ST88 out of 10088
Paul Lakin, Teresa MaughanEnglish
Micro Hobby09/199033ZX Spectrum88 out of 10088
Sinclair User05/199260,61ZX Spectrum87 out of 10087
Sinclair User04/199319ZX Spectrum87 out of 10087
C+VG (Computer + Video Games)06/199144,45,46Genesis86 out of 10086
Robert Swan, Paul GlanceyEnglish
Amiga Action04/199280Amiga86 out of 10086
Amiga Action08/199066,67Amiga85 out of 10085
Steve Kennedy, Alex Simmons, Doug JohnsEnglish
Generation 409/199012,13Amiga85 out of 10085
Amiga Joker10/199034Amiga85 out of 10085
Carsten BorgmeierGerman
Mega Tech01/199279Genesis85 out of 10085
Commodore Force08/199316C6485 out of 10085
Amstrad Cent Pour Cent11/199028,29Amstrad CPC84 out of 10084
Matt MurdockFrench
Mean Machines05/199182,83,84Genesis84 out of 10084
Matt, JulianEnglish
Sinclair User03/199156ZX Spectrum84 out of 10084
Mathew DentonEnglish
Amiga Power06/199281Amiga84 out of 10084
Stuart CampbellEnglish
The One08/199052,53Amiga81 out of 10081
Gary WhittaEnglish
Amiga Magazine12/199082Amiga81 out of 10081
CU Amiga01/1990113Arcade80 out of 10080
C+VG (Computer + Video Games)08/199068,69Amiga80 out of 10080
Robert SwanEnglish
ASM (Aktueller Software Markt)10/199056Amiga9.6 out of 1280
Manfred KleimannGerman
Commodore Format11/199034,35C6480 out of 10080
Joystick11/1990280Amstrad CPC80 out of 10080
Datormagazin12/199059C648 out of 1080
Pontus BergSwedish
Micro News05/1991105Genesis4 out of 580
Electronic Gaming Monthly06/199122Genesis8 out of 1080
Raze09/199130,31Genesis80 out of 10080
Julian BoardmanEnglish
Joystick09/1990158Amiga79 out of 10079
C+VG (Computer + Video Games)10/199077Atari ST79 out of 10079
Zero06/199264Amiga79 out of 10079
Amiga Force03/199312Amiga77 out of 10077
Ben the BoffinEnglish
Joystick09/1990158Atari ST75 out of 10075
ASM (Aktueller Software Markt)10/199056Atari ST9 out of 1275
Manfred KleimannGerman
ASM (Aktueller Software Markt)10/199056C648.8 out of 1273
Manfred KleimannGerman
Datormagazin09/199065Amiga7 out of 1070
Johan PettersonSwedish
Power Play10/1990116Amiga70 out of 10070
Heinrich LenhardtGerman
64'er02/1991103C647 out of 1070Jörg FreymannGerman
Amiga Format09/199040Amiga69 out of 10069
Mark HillEnglish
Power Play01/1991161C6468 out of 10068
Heinrich LenhardtGerman
Video Games02/199189Genesis68 out of 10068
Winnie ForsterGerman
ACE (Advanced Computer Entertainment)06/199173Genesis680 out of 100068
Jim DouglasEnglish
Amiga Mania06/199272Amiga67 out of 10067
Huw PryceEnglish
Power Play07/1991124Genesis63 out of 10063
Michael HengstGerman
Amiga Power05/1991107,108Amiga3 out of 560
Power Play10/1990116Atari ST56 out of 10056
Heinrich LenhardtGerman
Commodore Format05/199248C6443 out of 10043
ST Format08/199046Atari ST41 out of 10041
Neil JacksonEnglish
Sega Visions04+05/199113Genesis--


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