Top Gun (NES game)

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Top Gun

Top Gun - NES - USA.jpg

NES - USA - 1st edition.

Developer Konami
Publisher Konami
Published 1987-11-??
Platforms NES, VS. System
Genres Flight simulator, Shooter, Vehicular combat
Themes War
Series Top Gun

Top Gun is a combat flight simulator game developed and published by Konami for the NES in November 1987. It is very loosely based on the film of the same name. It was also ported to VS. System as Vs. Top Gun.

In the game you pilot an F-14 Tomcat across four missions where you must destroy enemy aircraft and ground installations, and, ultimately, their space shuttle before it can launch.


My brother got this game from a friend of his and we played it for a while. While I liked the intro song and generally enjoyed the game play, I could never figure out the landing or refueling sections which always left me without enough lives to get through mission three which frustrated me to no end. I do remember my friend Rob finally getting good enough and watching him beat the game.

I own this game, but I've never beaten it.


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4 3 5 4 2

Best Version: NES

— This section contains spoilers! —


  • The game's title music is a really good rendition of the Top Gun Anthem.
  • The rolling horizon was an impressive technical feat for the NES in 1987.
  • The manual has some pretty great drawings.


  • The flight controls are pretty weak which makes it very difficult to avoid missiles and not very easy to target enemies.
  • The "missions" aren't really missions at all, but just pointless runs you have to make. The first mission can be completed simply by holding up and left and avoiding every enemy until you reach the landing sequence. The only enemy you actually have to defeat in order to win the game is the space shuttle at the end of mission 4.
  • Most of the game is devoid of music. I guess the designers thought players would want to hear the whine of turbines. Only the title screen and the refueling section has anything worth listening to. The Japanese release switches this.
  • With only four missions, the game is quite short.


  • Far and away, the most annoying thing about this game is the landing and refueling sections. You must juggle speed and altitude, but they are extremely difficult to get right, and the game's on-screen hints will only lead you astray. You basically just have to ignore the screen and just figure out how to land properly on your own if you expect to beat the game.


Box Art



Angry Video Game Nerd.
Longplay, North American.


Strong female character?FailThere are no clear female characters.
Bechdel test?FailThere are no clear female characters.
Strong person of color character?FailThere are no clear people of color.
Queer character?FailThere are no clear queer characters.


The game contains credits, but all of the names are aliases. Over time, several of those names have been identified.

Role Staff
Programmers 'Camry' Yatchan, 'Howitzer' E-DA, 'Katino' Mu'
Character Designers 'Bonobo'-Noriko, 'Kitt' Bunko, 'Kujakusama' Akemi, 'Nekomanma' Iku, 'Amadeus' Mitchy
Visual Design Kenji Shimoide ('Shimoneta' Kenji), Naoki Sato ('Smile' Sato), Daibutsu Mari ('Daibutsu' Mario)
Music & Sound Effects Kiyohiro Sada ('Charly' Sada), Kazuki Muraoka ('Jah!' Kazuki), Kouji Murata ('Lazy' Koji)


Language Native Transliteration Translation
English Top Gun
Japanese トップガン Toppu Gan Top Gun


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