Lethal Enforcers


"Experience the thrill of an arcade machine in your own home!"

"As a street-smart cop you've gotta stamp out crime in the toughest parts of the city and rise through the police ranks as you combat the criminals in bank robberies, high speed car chases, kidnapping and hijacking attempts.  Intense digitized action in this top arcade hit conversion is brought to life as you taken control of the unique Konami gun inside this pack."

Game Information
Developer Konami
Publisher Konami
Copyright Date 1993
Players 1 - 2
Age Rating(s) BBGC PG

Part Numbers
Game T-95015-50
Box None specific
Manual None specific
Spine Card N/A
CD 1 None specific

One of the original light gun shooters came to the Mega-CD (and Mega Drive).  Dropped in as a rookie cop, make your way through five levels of this criminal shooting gallery to gain rank and make the city a safer place.

The digitised footage comes across very well, even giving Digital Pictures a run for their money on some occasions, although it actually isn't that complex.  Generally the action scrolls back and forth along a pre-rendered background with enemies and innocents popping up to be blasted.  This also means that by and large the background is non-interactive and cannot be damaged no matter how much you shoot it.  What is noticeable these days, but can be forgiven when you remember the time and the technology, is that there's no point in going for head or chest shots - a bank robber shot in the toe goes down just as fast as his friend who took two rounds through the heart.  There are also assorted weapon upgrades such as a magnum, automatic pistol and a rifle that are won by shooting an icon on screen, and which can be reloaded and last until you next take a hit.  Whilst most enemies drop with one shot from your basic weapon anyway, preserving one of these bonuses until the end of the level can make the last enemy a whole lot easier.

Yes, each assignment finishes with an end of level "boss", which is a bit strange given that this is meant to be a semi-realistic shooter.  Cue an ordinary looking enemy who takes an obscene number of hits to kill, all the while firing projectiles at you that must be shot out of the air if you're going to survive.  At the end of each level the number of enemies killed and accuracy achieved award you points to move up police ranks, and you need to clear a certain rank by the end of each stage or it's back to the start (or even back to a previous level) for you.  What can be really annoying is that you'll drop one rank for every innocent victim you shoot, so it's entirely possible for one slip to send you back to the start of the level you just spent ten minutes slogging through.  When this does happen it's all too tempting to turn the thing off and wish that the game just docked you a health point instead, especially given the lack of any form of save game or level select function.

The real downside to the game comes if you don't have the light gun.  Whilst early levels are just about manageable with a joypad and reticule, the sheer volume of enemies and speed of reaction required later on mean that getting the sight from one side of the screen to the other in time just isn't possible.  If there's two of you and you divide the screen down the middle life becomes a little easier, but for full enjoyment a light gun really is the only way to go.  Thankfully reload is bound to the "C" button, meaning you don't have to move the cursor to the edge of the screen every few seconds, whilst gun users have the now standard shoot off the screen to reload mechanism.  Amazingly, Konami also managed to cram this game in to a cartridge version (which was also packaged with a gun), but the Mega-CD looks and sounds cleaner and sharper and stands as the version of choice.

This game came packaged with the blue "Justifier" light gun, a Mega Drive-sized manual and the disc in a plain jewel case in the box - it seems that the game was never released alone.  A second gun (in a fetching bright pink colour) was sold separately and plugged into the first for two-player games.  If you need any further reason to make sure you get the gun as well as the game, the Justifier can be used during the shooting sections of the excellent Snatcher.

The western-themed sequel Lethal Enforcers 2: Gun Fighters was also released for the Mega-CD.