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(Bethesda, 1990) – DOS
As the first officially licensed Terminator game, you can either play as Kyle Reese and protect Sarah Connor, or you’re the Terminator and have to kill both. Apparently, the square mileage of the “3D” game is huge, representing a large chunk of central Los Angeles accurately.
(Radical Entertainment, 1992) – NES
(Virgin Software, 1992) – Genesis, Sega CD
(Gray Matter, 1993) – SNES
The three versions of The Terminator follow the same basic platforming gameplay but are by no means identical. Each game follows the rough plot outline of the movie - play as Kyle Reese, run away from police officers, save Sarah Connor and stop the Terminator. Some key differences: the NES version begins with a platforming segment in the sewers OF THE FUTURE, while the Genesis version tasks you with blowing up giant robotic Hunter-Killers during the future war. And those versions destroy the Terminator with a giant steel press, unlike the SNES version which ends once you stick a pipebomb in the Terminator’s chest.
Above: A steel press dispatches of the killing machine in the NES version
Above: Same thing happens in the Genesis version
Above: However, the SNES version ends with a pipebomb to the chest
T2: The Arcade Game
(Midway/Virgin, 1991) – Arcade, Genesis, SNES, Game Gear, Game Boy, Amiga
A fairly popular lightgun game following the events of the second movie, the Arcade game utilized digitized actors from footage that was specially shot for the game. Shoot robots, cyborgs and blow the T-1000 away into molten steel. On home consoles the game utilized the Super Scope 6 for the SNES and Menacer for the Genesis.
(LJN, 1991) – NES, Game Gear, Master System, Game Boy
(Ocean, 1991) – Amiga
(Flying Edge/LJN, 1991) – Genesis, SNES
If you notice those release dates, you’ll see that T2 actually hit shelves on every major platform before the Terminator platformer games were developed (not surprising considering the sequel was out in theaters at the time). And again, each game provided slightly different gameplay, even though they followed the events of the film closely. Essentially, the levels were made up of side-scrolling beat ‘em up stages and some driving levels. Our favorite gameplay idea? If you shot hospital employees in the knees in the NES version, you’re rewarded with a better gun at the end of the level.
Above: Punch and kick the T-1000 into molten steel in the NES version
Above: Shoot your chaingun at the lava monster in the SNES version
Above: Engage in fisticuffs on the Amiga. Be sure to knock his block off
Terminator 2: Judgment Day – Chess Wars
(Capstone Software, 1993) – DOS
Wow. Terminator characters… in a futuristic battle for humanity, the planet and all civilization as we know it… played out in a game of chess. That’s only slightly more epic than playing against the Grim Reaper.
Above: The eternal battle