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Monday, December 01, 2014

U.N. Squadron...

Taking on a giant battle tank armed with a rocket launcher in U.N. SQUADRON.

In a tradition that started four years ago with me talking about the old Disney animated TV show Darkwing Duck, just thought I'd start this month off by getting all nostalgic about the Super Nintendo (SNES) video game, U.N. Squadron. This side-scrolling shooting game involved playing as one of three pilots (Shin Kazama, Mickey Simon or Greg Gates) and piloting aircraft ranging from actual fighters such as the A-10 Thunderbolt and YF-23, to the fictional F-200 stealth jet (which was my favorite to use). In all of the missions, you spent the majority of the levels battling it out with other conventional combat aircraft and armored vehicles on the surface. It wasn't till the very end of the level that you confronted the bosses...which ranged from a giant battle tank armed with a rocket launcher, a trio of F-117 Stealth Fighters, a B-2 Bomber and a Yamato-like battleship, to a huge land-based aircraft carrier, a heavily-armed jungle fortress and a large um, underground-lurking mothership that was the final boss you had to defeat in order to complete the game. In fact, what made me like this game was the fact that a few of the missions involved flying your aircraft inside of a mountain or into underground caves. They reminded me of the chase sequence inside the Death Star tunnel at the climax of Return of the Jedi!

The Super Nintendo video game cartridge for U.N. SQUADRON.

U.N. Squadron was such a fun game to play that it tended to make me daydream about what it would be like to be an aviator and fight against these kinds of outlandish foes in real life. The idea that you could pilot a jet traveling at Mach 1 underground (though it never appeared that you were flying that fast in the game) was obviously ridiculous, but to think that there could be an enemy that possessed a giant fortress in the middle of a jungle and a huge aircraft carrier in the desert was pretty interesting. Of course, I was 13 at the time...so I was thinking a lot of crazy things about the games I played on SNES. But heck— If I ever had the opportunity to play U.N. Squadron again, I would. If I could download Star Wars: X-Wing to my laptop and play it like it was 1995, then I can definitely do the same thing with U.N. Squadron. Not only that, but I'd probably download another favorite SNES title of mine to my computer, F-Zero. (I no longer have the SNES; one of my siblings probably sold it!) Speaking of F-Zero, I think I have my next childhood / adolescent thing to talk about this following December... Carry on.

Taking on a huge land-based aircraft carrier in U.N. SQUADRON.

Taking on a large jungle fortress in U.N. SQUADRON.

Taking on a B-2 Stealth Bomber in U.N. SQUADRON.

Taking on an underground pod armed with flamethrowers in U.N. SQUADRON.

Taking on the final boss: a mothership that lurked underground in U.N. SQUADRON.

Reuniting with the other heroes of U.N. SQUADRON after completing the game...using an F-200 stealth jet.

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