Rambo: First Blood Part II (simply titled Rambo in-game) is an overhead action shoot-'em-up video game loosely based on the film Rambo: First Blood Part II that was released in North America by Sega for the Master System in 1986. It was originally released in Japan as Ashura (阿修羅?), where it was released without the Rambo license. Another version was released in Europe and Australia titled Secret Command (Secret Commando on its title screen), which also lacked the Rambo license. A separate game based on the same film had previously been released on the 8-bit computers.
Rambo is an overhead action shoot-'em-up in the vein of Commando and Ikari Warriors. The first player controls Rambo, who is armed with an M-60 machine gun with unlimited ammunition (which can only fire two shots on-screen) and a limited supply of explosive arrows used to take out tougher obstacles such as tanks and gates. A second player can play at the same time and control Rambo's partner Zane (a character created for the game), who wears a yellow headband. The objective of the game is to fight through the enemy's defenses, reach the gate at the end of each stage and then defeat as many enemy reinforcements as possible until the gate starts flashing in different colors. The player starts off the game with three lives and gains a new one every time he completes stage. A second player can join-in anytime during the first stage as well until the second stage, in which the game will end for either player if one loses all of his lives.
Unlike the aforementioned games, the player can only shoot his weapons in five directions (left, up, right, or diagonally up-left or up-right), even though movement is allowed for all eight basic directions. When the player moves downward, he will his weapon aimed upwards. However, enemies can shoot upwards in diagonal. Power-ups are obtained by killing a specific amount of enemy soldiers or as bonuses from the prisoners when they are freed from the huts located throughout the first four stages (which are only destroyable with arrows). Only one power-up can be on screen at a time, so if there's one dropped by an enemy at the time a prisoner should drop another, the prisoner will simply leave. These power-ups allow the player to increase the range of his shots, speed, increase the number of arrows and improving the firepower of the arrows hitting in four directions after the first explosion. There are also '?' marked which can kill all enemies in the screen or add a life.
The player starts out each life with a supply of five explosive arrows and every time he picks an item (no matter which one is it), he gains two more (although the in-game counter maxes out at '9', the player can actually carry more than that).
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