Retro: Cybernoid: The Fighting Machine (NES)

Cybernoid: the Fighting Machine is a side scrolling shooter or a ‘Shoot Em Up’ on the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), however this isn’t your traditional Shoot Em Up.  

The story behind this title is simple. In the distant future, pirates have come and stolen weapons, minerals and other resources from your space colony. As their last hope of survival, the space colony sends their ultimate Fighting Machine ‘The Cybernoid’ into space after the pirates to retrieve the stolen items. The Cybernoid is equipped with a variety of weapons to do battle, however, the machine has limited resources. These resources must be used to breach the pirate colony, defeat their planetary defenses, destroy the pirates  base and return the stolen items before all of the resources are depleted.

Traditional ‘Shoot Em Up’ titles would consist of games like 1942, 1943, Gradius, Lifeforce etc. Cybernoid’s gameplay style is different in that it involves the player progressing through different screens, which involve numerous hazards coming towards the ship vertically and horizontally.

In order to get through these hazards The Cybernoid is equipped with different weapons and power-ups. The Cybernoid’s primary weapon is its laser which can destroy regular enemies. However, for other enemies and hazards it’s equipped with:

  • Bombs – Destroys tougher enemies
  • Genocides – Extremely powerful weapon that destroys all enemies on-screen
  • Shields – Gives ten seconds of invincibility
  • Bouncers – Shoots 4 destructive balls that destroys and ships/blocks in the way
  • Seekers –Homing missiles

If you have never played Cybernoid before, one of the first things you’ll notice about this game is that it is weird. When you first start the game you’re immediately faced with 3 options on whether you want to play on Easy Hard or Lethal (It is strongly advised to play on Easy), you are then thrust into the world of Cybernoid. Using the excuse that this game is set in the future, the game developers/designers made sure to push their creative freedom to the limit. Everything about this game looks alien. The only thing that is recognizable is the Cybernoid ship. The very first screen of the game (the picture below), is nothing short of confusion. There are pink veins everywhere, a random volcano, a turret of some sort……  This first screen of the game is just a hint of what is yet to come. ‘Welcome to Cybernoid. I hope you survive!

Much less when you are faced with a situation like this (picture below). What is this green thing supposed to be? Why is it blowing deadly bubbles? Which weapon do i need to use to destroy it? These will be common questions you’ll be asking yourself after each screen as you progress further along in this game.

Cybernoid is one of the most difficult games in the NES library. Even though you are given nine lives (one hit kills you) each time you die your powers ups e.g. Bombs, Genocide etc. is refilled it is still a very difficult game. To traverse through each screen requires precise timing and sometimes luck due to the random placement of enemies and their sporadic movements. The game is very unforgiving in that no matter how far you get, there are no checkpoints throughout the levels. There are 3 levels in the game, but once your 9 lives run out you are sent to the beginning of your current level.

If you are a ‘Nintendo Master’ or you want to try your hand at this difficult gem from the NES library definitely grab a copy of Cybernoid: the Fighting Machine and load it up. It might be frustrating, but if you truly desire a challenge, then you might just have some fun from this title.


ESCL Review Scores:

Gameplay – 4/10

Story – 1/10

Aesthetics – 3/10

Overall Score: 3/10

Frustrating, difficult, but somehow fun!


Cybernoid gameplay –

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