The Goonies
Box Shot
The Goonies
Platform: NES
Publisher: Konami
Designer: Konami
Genre: Action
Players: 1
Published Date 1986
Reviewed by: Rob Strangman

Surely everyone has seen the movie The Goonies. It didn't do too well at the box office, but was wildly sucessful on video. It seems that the movie has developed something of a cult following after all these years - everyone I've talked to who has seen the movie has loved it, myself included. I was one of the people that only got to see it after it came out on video. It was one hell of a movie, too - these kids searching for pirate treasure in underground caves full of booby traps, while being chased by the Fratellis - what a ride! When I found out that there was an NES game based on the movie called The Goonies II, I had to check it out! Cool! What a fun game! I found myself wondering something, though - did they ever make a game based on the movie itself, instead of creating a sequel? My question was answered a few weeks later in a little arcade that I went to - The Goonies: The Arcade Game! I spent all my quarters on it that day, and I knew that I had to find the home game. Unfortunately, it seemed that one didn't exist.

Many years later, I learned that Konami DID release a home game of the arcade Goonies - unfortunately, it was only for the Famicom in Japan. . . DAMN! Finally, though, I was able to play the Famicom version of The Goonies. Wow - it's just like I remember it!

At first glance, The Goonies looks vaguely similiar to The Goonies II. The Goonies controls a lot like TGII, as well. However, there the similarities end. TGII was more like a Metroidesque quest game, and The Goonies is more of a puzzle game, kind of like the old game Montezuma's Revenge (SMS). Mikey must run around the Fratelli's hideout, freeing the other Goonies from these rooms that they've been locked in by Mama and her boys. To open the doors (each one marked by a huge skull), you must collect a bomb and set it off in front of the door. The rats running around the Fratelli's hideout carry bombs, as well as other items. You must also find keys, which are also trapped behind doors. When you have gathered all of the keys in a level and freed the trapped Goonie, you can move onto the next level.

The graphics are very similiar to TGII - which is a good thing, as the graphics in TGII were pretty good. The controls run pretty smoothly - I had very few problems with them. The controls are quite simple - A jumps, B kicks and pushing Down and B drops bombs. A word of warning, though: when you've dropped a bomb, GET OUT OF THE WAY! Mikey has a life bar, but a bomb blast will kill him instantly. The music is also quite good - the game even has a rendition of Cyndi Lauper's "The Goonies 'R Good Enough". It sounds just like the one in The Goonies II. The rest of the music, although not quite as memorable, is pretty good.

An intersting note - the title screen contains a little-seen promotional drawing for the movie: you see a silhouette of Sloth and six of the seven Goonies all standing together, while over to the left, you can see Data running toward the group (How do you know that it's Data? Just look for the trenchcoat that he was wearing in the movie). The title screen also has the now discontinued 70's style Konami logo, instead of the symbol that everyone is used to seeing.

The Goonies was a fun game in the arcade, and remains a fun game for the Famicom. If you ever find a copy of the game, pick it up (or better yet, email me and tell me where to get it!). Of course, even the most common Famicom titles are getting harder and harder to find, so the chances of actually finding it are slim to none. That aside, if you liked the movie, and liked The Goonies II, then you would probably like The Goonies. It's too bad that Konami decided not to release The Goonies here - it would have been great!

(Ed Note: This game was released in the United States in those old Play Choice 10 Nintendo machines in the arcades. For whatever reason, they put the game in there but never released it to the American public. I also remember calling Nintendo and asking them about it, and they didn't know squat. Anyway, it seems that Goonies is one of the more common games to find on those pirate multi-carts floating around, so you may be able to get a hold of it.)