Nightmare on Elm Street is a video game for use on the Nintendo Entertainment System and loosely based on A Nightmare on Elm Street franchise. It was developed by UK-based video game company Rare and published by LJN. It should not be confused with an unrelated game with the same title for the Commodore 64 and IBM PC released in 1989. This game was released in October 1989.
The game box and the manual contain the following synopsis: 'Something frightening has been happening on Elm Street lately. It seems that with each waking day another gruesome discovery is made... another neighborhood teen has mysteriously passed away into the dark stillness of the night. Everyone says it's 'natural causes,' but it seems as if something (or someone) has been picking them off one by one in their sleep. It's a horrible nightmare come true... and this nightmare has a name; Freddy Krueger. It's up to you and your remaining friends to search Elm Street for his bones, which have been scattered about, then collect and burn them in the High School furnace. If you can just stay awake long enough, you might be able to end Freddy's reign of terror for good. You had better hurry though, it's getting late and you can feel your eyelids getting heavier and heavier by the minute.'
The plot is a spin-off from the film series. The game can be played by up to four players, either using the NES Satellite or NES Four Score. The game is a side-scrolling platform game in which the player fights his way through different parts of Elm Street (houses, junk yard, etc.). Players fight enemies such as snakes and bats outside of houses and ghosts and other creatures inside.
Gameplay consists of a sleep meter that goes down slowly as the player progresses through the level, or if the player stands still. The sleep meter also goes down when the player takes damage. When the sleep meter runs out, the player character falls asleep and the screen colors change to darker colors and the enemies change and become harder to defeat. Scattered throughout the game are dream tokens that allow the player to change into dream characters with special abilities. Players can boost their sleep meter by picking up cups of coffee scattered throughout buildings, and wake up by finding a boombox.
Throughout the levels, players collect Freddy Krueger's bones to throw into a furnace at the end of the game. Before completing each level, players must face a boss. Bosses include a giant Freddy glove with a long chain arm, a chomping Freddy head on a long chain neck, a floating Freddy hand and head, a bat with a vampire head, a ghost with a Freddy head, and Freddy Krueger himself. A defeated boss leaves behind a key, which when touched transports the player character back onto Elm Street.
Controls vary between the teenager character and the dream characters in the game. For example, one of the dream characters has the ability to shoot projectiles and perform a higher jump.
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