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File:N A R C 1488.png

 "Say no or die!"

N.A.R.C. was an arcade game released in 1988 by Williams Electronics where one or two players take part in the War on Drugs... literally.

The player controls of N.O. (Narcotics Opposition) officers Max Force or Hit Man as they wage war on drugs. And we do mean war. The entire game consists of shooting drug dealers and other crooks with machine guns and rocket launchers en masse. Sometimes you run them over with your car. Your ultimate goal is to defeat the man behind the entire operation, "Mr. Big". Naturally, the players do this by making him explode. Turning the murder-factor Up to Eleven was essentially the only way to make teenagers pay attention to a game with an anti-drug message.

A remake was released in 2005, changing the formula from an arcade shoot'em up to a Grand Theft Auto-style experience. It had rather mixed reviews.


N.A.R.C. contains examples of:

  • Animated Adaptation: Max Force was one of the main heroes in the Acclaim's Power Team cartoon, while Mr. Big and his lackeys (Dr. Spike and Rocko) were the main villains.
  • Bowdlerize: The NES version, which changed the color of the blood spatter from red to yellow, renamed the "K.R.A.K." stores into "K.W.A.K." stores and changed the game's catchphrase from "Say no... or die" to "Just say no."
  • Canon Dis Continuity: Eugene Jarvis has virtually all but disowned the remake.
  • Cool Car: The Porsches on the Bridge stage.
  • Completely Missing the Point: One of the reasons Midway Arcade Treasures 2 (which includes this game) got an M rating is because of "drug references"[1]. The game's mentioning of drugs (including Mr. Big's operation being called "K.R.A.K.") is used strictly for educational purposes (namely to remind game players that Drugs Are Bad).
  • Color-Coded Multiplayer
    • Max Force
    • Hit Man
  • Cowboy Cop: You are playing a police officer...one who solves his problems with mass murder. In a slight subversion, you are encouraged to bust enemies whenever you can, instead of shooting them.
    • However there is a limit to the number of busts you can make per level (perhaps the local lockup fills up?) After that you can no longer arrest perps and wasting them is the only option.
  • Drugs Are Bad: Why else would the cops walk down Main Street shooting all the drug users with fully automatic weapons?
    • Amusingly (or not), the remake reverses this by treating drugs as powerups (for instance, crack temporarily makes you a "crack shot.")
  • Fun with Acronyms: Our heroes are employed by a group called the Narcotics Opposition, or "N.O." for short.
  • Guns Akimbo: You dual wield a machine gun and a rocket launcher.
  • Ludicrous Gibs: What happens when you hit a baddie with a rocket launcher.
  • Monster Clown: One of the villains, Kinky Pinky. For even more creepy, he's the one running Mr. Big's porn business.
  • Names to Run Away From Really Fast: The identities of the player characters, according to the manual of the NES version, are Max Force and Hit Man.
  • No Animals Were Harmed: For all the geysers of blood in this game, shooting an attack dog simply makes it turn into a puppy and run away.
  • No Indoor Voice: Once you put a coin in the slot, you're almost knocked backwards by how loud the speakers are turned up (the synthesized quality of 80s video-game sound effects didn't help).
  • Ultra Super Death Gore Fest Chainsawer 3000: Although the remake trades off the ultraviolence for...the glorification of drug use, oddly enough.
  • A Winner Is You: After defeating Mr. Big, players are rewarded the message, "You have completed the NARC training mission... CONTACT YOUR LOCAL DEA RECRUITER."

Notes

  1. Which implies glorification of drug use...like the remake does
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