Nightshade, NES

NOT the infamous 1985 Ultimate game, but an obscure action/adventure classic from Aussie developer Beam Software, first released on the NES in 1992.

Nightshade is a light-hearted, humorous point-and-click adventure with beat ’em up elements, based on a vigilante good guy called Mark. Yes, Mark.

Thankfully Mark’s superhero alias is the rather more snappy “Nightshade“. And as Nightshade you must ply your trade as a night time street-crawler, looking to batter bad guys and rescue women from burning buildings, because doing so increases your popularity. At the same time you must also hunt down the infamous villain “Sutekh” whose bad guy forces have overrun Metro City.

In many ways Nightshade is the spiritual predecessor to Shadowrun on the Super Nintendo, also developed by Beam and released the following year in 1993. Both games share a lot of similarities and Nightshade was obviously a big influence on the design of Shadowrun (considered one of the best games of all time on the SNES).

Nightshade is obviously more primitive than Shadowrun, and the fighting sections are a little too fast and skittish for my liking, but overall it is an original and entertaining adventure on the NES, still worth playing now. Find a guide and work your way through it. If the fighting sections are too hard: use quicksaves in an emulator to edge yourself along. 🙂

More: Nightshade on Wikipedia

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