Guerrilla War

Have you ever wished that you were tangled up in the violent, bloody Cuban Revolution of 1959? If you answered yes, turn off your computer and seek help immediately. If you're curious but not completely sold, please consult Guerrilla War.

Just The Facts

  1. Made by SNK in 1987, Guerrilla War made it way into arcades and later on to the NES, the Commodore 64, and the ZX Spectrum home systems.
  2. The port I'm going to address is the NES version that came out in 1989 (because its the only version I have ever played).
  3. In the aforementioned NES Guerrilla War, there are no game overs. Just mash buttons like a 6 year old at the continue screen and play until you beat it. That's the stuff.

Guerrilla War (NES)

The year is 1989. Buttrock musician is still is a valid career choice, the Reagan Administration has come to an end, and Zubaz are fuckin' rad, am I right? More importantly though, in 1989 SNK gave the American Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) market a remarkable gift. That gift, compacted into a little green computer chip snuggly held in place within a grey cartridge, would later become one of my earliest and fondest memories of awesome multiplayer gaming. Flash forward a few years. Playing NES at a buddy's place, I became introduced to the overhead shooter for the first time and saw the light. From that moment in about 1992 to now I've beaten Guerrilla War, like, a million times, and have had countless great times playing the shit out of this game. These reasons, along with the fact that I still possess an original Nintendo system to play this game on, make me a 100% certified expert on the NES version of Guerrilla War. That's why you should read this. Here's why Guerrilla War on the NES is awesome.


Guerrilla War is the working title for the game released here in the United States. In Japan though, where the game was made, it was called Guevara. As in Che Guevara, you know, the famous Cuban revolutionary and guy you've seen on t-shirts at Hot Topic. Guevara stars you, Che Guevara, and your wingman, some guy named Fidel Castro, tearing shit up with bullets and grenades on your way to becoming America's geographically nearest ideological enemy. You reach the end and have to face Batista, Cuba's president at the time of the revolution. You hand his ass to him and bam, you win, exchange a customary high five with your friend, and then are free to unleash your communist dictatorship upon Cuba while smoking fine cigars during the game's credits.

But yeah... all of the Castro/Guevara/Cuba stuff got removed from the western release of the game. Consistent with America's fear and hatred of all things even closely resembling the truth, all traces of historical fact were wiped from the instruction manual and game. Cuba became "tropical island", Batista became "dictator", the Cuban Revolution became ".... Revolution", and Che Guevara and Fidel Castro became "player 1" and "player 2". At least they kept Che's(?) winking(?) face in it.

¡Viva la censura!

The game

Guerrilla War as far as I know is the only NES game, other than Excitebike, that places the gamer in the center of a Marxist coup.

Waist deep in poop water.

Guerrilla War begins with you front flipping out of a speed boat and into an erupting warzone. Yeah, it even starts out awesomely. Things are constantly flashing and flickering and explosions are going off everywhere all the time. This is normal. Also, upon playing the game, you will soon realize that you die a whole lot. This too is normal. Continues are infinite, don't worry about it. This game is a simple overhead "run-around-and-shoot-shit" kind of game, and unlike other shooters in the same vein like Ikari Warriors, Guerrilla War kicks ass. You huck grenades, shoot dudes (and an occasionally a pig), get power ups, save captives, jam to some good NES music, and drive tanks across a bunch of levels, fighting your way through like, 2 million enemies. All in like 45 minutes. What's not to like?

Historical accuracy

In the interest of historical accuracy, Guerrilla War/Guevara's structure and story trajectory adhere closely to a historical account of the Cuban Revolution famously penned in 1986 by a gas huffing homeless man who yelled the story at anyone unfortunate enough to be near his favorite street corner [citation needed]. According to documents I had read aloud to me by someone who can actually read, the events of the SNK historical perspective include insight into the time that Cast- I mean player 1 and player 2 went into this cool mine cart level and saved hostages using whips from inside the cart. And then they fought a train. History is fascinating, isn't it? Also worth noting: SNK also accurately depicted Fidel Castro's access to unlimited continues.

I saw it on the same channel that airs UFO Hunters. It has to be true.

The War of Guerrillas

The powerups are all pretty rockin'. You can get a flamethrower, a laser, some other sweet guns, and a tank that eventually starts beeping rapidly while you're in it right before it explodes, which is bad ass.

You kill a bunch of dudes and vehicles, its easy to beat, and most importantly, its fun. This game is awesome. If you do not agree, I recommend that you either play the game with your damn eyes open or that you direct your stupid words towards the 1-800-BUTTERBALL hotline because, frankly, I do not give a fuck. I refuse to hear any naysaying about about one of the Nintendo's most awesome games and no degree of blasphemy will not be tolerated. Refusal to acknowledge this warning will result in me coming to your house on a Greyhound bus with my NES in a backpack and forcing you to play this shit with me until you're convinced. It usually takes about 30 seconds.

Anyway, you don't want that and neither do I. So just get out the old NES (or buy one off eBay if have to), phone up a friend, and play this game the way it was meant to be done - with another player. Its awesome and if you don't believe me yet, well, then reread this article. If that doesn't work, well, read it again. Repeat as necessary. That should do it.