Total Recall (Quaid’s Quazy Day!)

Name: Total Recall

System: NES

Release Date: 1990 (?)


I can’t think of a movie that has spawned a great video game. They seem to have a difficult time capturing the fun and excitement from the big screen. Total Recall is no exception…though it is “fun” for other strange reasons…Since it’s based on the awesome film of the same name, you play as Arnold Schwarzenegger aka Douglas Quaid aka Carl Hauser aka Man in a Green Onesie…


Much like the real Arnold, Quaid can walk and jump and punch and shoot once he gets a gun. Right away you notice that the hit detection is out of whack; taking a hit can cause no damage or it could cost you a whole bar of health. You can replenish this by picking up green soda cans that enemies drop, but these will either give you a full bar of health, or do nothing until you collect at least 3, it’s completely random! Just like Arnold!

The game very loosely touches on the main events of the movie, the first level being Quaid on the run after his “memories” are re-activated after visiting Total Recall. Quaid needs to get to his apartment which is conveniently at the top of a building with no stairs; forcing Quaid to walk all the way down the street and hop across roof tops in order to get to his front door. Though along the way you can pop into a movie theatre to watch the games credits. If you sit through all of them you get an extra life!

From there you experience levels based off of Quaid’s fight scene with his incredibly hot fake wife Sharon Stone, to a fun x-ray level where everyone is a skeleton to his escape through the subway. The cut scenes are poorly animated yet entertaining, my favourite being where Quaid needs to put a wet towel on his head and just having it instantly appear!


“Oh my God! He’s actually doing it…what!? Oh, that’s no one Quaid…now stick this up your nose!”

From here, the game takes a big step away from the plot of the film. The scene where Arnold walks to a phone booth to pick up a brief case is replaced with a level of Quaid massacring a building full of homeless men.


Homeless Odd-Job isn’t going to stand for that Quaid!

The Mars levels are just as confusing, mainly because there are absolutely no mutants, which was kind of prominent in the film in case you didn’t notice. What replaced the mutants? Australians with boomerangs and cats…


Are the cats for the Biker Mice problem…?

The worst level by far is a driving level which I guess takes place in the “Red Light District” on Mars. How you can screw up something like that is beyond me, but the car either goes incredibly slow or insanely fast and backing up into anything equals instant death. Your adventure eventually leads to the climactic battle with your nemesis Vilos Cohaagen!


Who is an incredible jumper!

Basically I just hugged the left side of the screen and shot him till he died, which isn’t the adrenalin filled finale of the film, but at least this strange game is over.

recall8    recall9

Speaking of strange, when you inevitably lose a life, this lovely picture of Arnold pops up telling you to get ready to try again. But, wait, what’s that say on the bottom…?


“I’ll Be Back”…that’s from The Terminator! Surely that’s just a coincidence…until you see the Game Over screen…


“Your Game has been Terminated”!?! Why are there Terminator references in Total Recall??? I actually watched the movie again thinking that maybe I missed something and there were some fun Easter Eggs hidden throughout the film but, nope, that’s just the game developers really liking The Terminator.

The music consists of two songs, which are not present in the film and are very upbeat and catchy in a “What the hell am I listening too” kind of way. Also, when you get to a new screen, this weird “DodododoDOOO” sound plays…no clue what they were trying to do there…

Should you play this game? Sure it’s good for a laugh, but don’t play this if you are looking for a fun and challenging platformer. I honestly think they missed out on plot points that would have made for a great level, like one where you have to try to get the homing device out of Quaid’s nose, or having to fight the vacuum of the Mars environment to get to the Alien switch, or even a mini game to pick the mutant whose face looks most like a vagina!



Prime Time Rating: 5/10

Prime Thumbs up



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