Die Hard (Pack-In Video, 1990)

Die Hard is such a great movie. John McClane is the perfect action hero — he’s tough, likable, and funny, and yet he has enough flaws to make him a believable character. He also straight-up murders lots of dudes on Christmas Eve.

Die Hard is packed with memorable moments, too. Who can forget McClane’s hilarious killing spree in the forest? Personally, my favorite part is when he gets lost in that swamp maze. And then when he finally reaches the 34th floor of Nakatomi Plaza only to discover that the terrorists have secretly replaced it with an ocean? Priceless.


Oh, I’m sorry. You may not be familiar with the Japanese laserdisc cut of Die Hard. It’s kind of rare nowadays, but there’s a more-or-less faithful retelling in Die Hard for the PC Engine, available in English for the first time thanks to a translation patch released today by my buddy and roommate Spinner 8. You should play it!

You wouldn’t think that there would be much to translate in a fairly straightforward Bloody Wolf clone, but you’ll be glad to have English dialog when you end up lost in the underground labyrinth (classic scene, by the way) in level three. It’s quite helpful.

If you get stuck, consult this exhaustively detailed video walkthrough…which by all means should not be, given that we’re talking about a 20-year-old Japan-exclusive game based on American movie for the TurboGrafx-16, for chrissakes. As unlikely a thing as it is, though, I’m very glad that it exists.

Or you can just enter the debug code — Up, Up, Left, Left, Left, Down, Run — at the title screen. That’ll let you see most of the game’s content without actually having to play it. Honestly, you’re not going to want to play through the whole thing. It gets stupidly difficult later on, and the bosses are a pain in the ass. Still! It’s Die Hard!

(You might also want to check out Spinner’s recently updated translation for Nintendo’s obscure but super-fun The Mysterious Murasame Castle, which really needs an American Virtual Console release already.)

9 Responses to “Die Hard (Pack-In Video, 1990)”

  1. Tweets that mention Dream and Friends» Blog Archive » Die Hard (Pack-In Video, 1990) -- Topsy.com Says:

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  2. Shih Tzu Says:

    I still maintain that the taxi game in Die Hard Trilogy is possibly the best reason to own a PSX, or at least a PSX emulator. You have 18 seconds to stop a terrorist bomb from exploding… by racing across town to hit another bomb with your car… whereupon it detonates and ignites a handful of unfortunate pedestrians and a flock of pigeons SUCCESS USA NO. 1

  3. I am Christina Aguilera Says:

    “Nintendo’s obscure but super-fun The Mysterious Murasame Castle, which really needs an American Virtual Console release already.”

    OH MY SWEET JESUS YES.

  4. Spinner 8 Says:

    Hey, that screenshot isn’t from the Murasame translation! What are you trying to pull, man?

  5. f.r. sixenhaus Says:

    Can we talk about how different and interesting Pack-In’s NES Die Hard is, though? I mean, they could’ve reskinned Predator and called it a day, but we got this nonlinear, short-form replayable game with a ton of fascinating little touches in it. And a FEET meter.

  6. sardoose Says:

    I love NES Die Hard! No other game I’ve played is structured in quite the same way, and it’s got a surprising amount of depth to it.

    It’s also really faithful to its source material, especially for an NES game. It’s so weird that Pack-In would make a by-the-numbers cash-in game using the same license for another platform.

  7. sardoose Says:

    Shih Tzu: Oh man, Die Hard Trilogy was the best. Dudes would just explode into fountains of gore for no reason after you shot them. I think I remember first-person mode in the taxi being practically unplayable since the windshield was almost always covered in blood.

    Spinner: Uhhhhhh shit, I actually didn’t notice that you added the clock icon to your version. I better delete all mention of your translations everywhere and silence anyone who tries to acknowledge their existence (there is no conspiracy)

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