Trojan was released by Capcom on the NES in North America waaay back in 1987. There was a previous version released as an arcade machine the year before. I have no clue why this game is even called Trojan. I might’ve called it Wastelands or Badlands.
The back of the box claims that you control "Trojan", and that you need to free the people from the evil empire, but when you beat the game, you get to see a cast of characters, and Trojan is the red guy... the blue guy, the one you control, is never shown...
Anyway, far as I can gather, you’re some crazy psychopath armed with a sword and shield in post apocalyptic times, and for some reason, you’ve decided to slash your way through even crazier people and mutants in order to fight some nutbag named Achilles. Never mind the dudes with rocket powered fists or machine guns!
I’ve never read the game manual, but there’s no story line to my knowledge outside what's on the back of the box, which is pretty generic. You just march from left to right and clobber whomever’s in front of you. Eventually, you’ll reach the end of a stage and fight a boss before progressing to the next portion of the game. It’s just a mediocre side scroller, but inexplicably, this game is very fun to play. It even has a versus mode where two players can fight each other.
Most notably, the graphics are great for a NES game released back in 1987, but hey, it’s a Capcom game, so naturally, it’s pretty good. There’s cool music, which varies from stage to stage, and a fairly reasonable variety of bad guys. You also have to figure out the best ways to kill each boss because it isn’t always as simple as swinging your sword like an asshole. Sometimes, you have to swing once and run back, or block, or jump, or whatever.
I mean, this game doesn’t require the precision and timing of sniping in Call of Duty, but it requires a little bit of trial and error. There are also different kinds of stages. In some cases, you just run straight from left to right, but in other cases, you may have to go down elevators or find keys in sewers to advance to the next portion.
The final confrontation with Achilles will likely prove deadly… for him or you. You. You’re going to get creamed because he’s huge, and he can whack you with his big ass sword, and you’ll die in two hits. In all my years of playing this game, I think I only actually beat Achilles twice, but getting to him is pretty fun.
Obviously, with only a handful of stages, and a single character with which to play, the game gets fairly monotonous. Trojan is most likely not the kind of game in which you invest numerous hours. There aren’t really any secrets to discover. You can find a letter P in some of the sewers if you know where to swing your blade. Getting the P lets you do double damage.
There’s a boot that lets you jump higher, but it’s only useful to jump back out from the sewers. I think there’s an S, too, but I have no clue what it does.
The game is also pretty hard. While the first stage is a cinch, the second stage boss—some ugly bro with rocket fists—can do you in surprisingly fast. If you get past that jerk off, you can find yourself dead in the stage with the elevators. Finally, as mentioned earlier, you probably won’t beat Achilles anyway, and even if you do, the end is pretty lame.
Regardless of Trojan’s drawbacks, it’s a great NES game to pop in while having a few beers. You can take turns with your buds and see how far each of you get, and hey, if you’re reading this review, you might be one of few who know that you can actually continue by holding "up" at the game over screen and pressing "start."
All in all, Trojan gets a B-, I think. It’s a game that certainly made me angry as a child, but I always wanted to play it again, and even after I beat it, it was still fun to run through again and again. That’s what a game is all about, right?
You want to enjoy it for what it is—a game; something fun to waste time. It’s not an epic rpg, but it’s every bit as fun as any Mega Man on the NES.