136. Lethal Weapon

Lethal Weapon (1992, NES) by Ocean

Current Any% leaderboard (Speedrun.com)

I was going to write a long story using a ton of Lethal Weapon quotes to add some spice and humor… Well, what do you wanna hear, man? Do you wanna hear that sometimes I think about speedrunnin’ crappy games? Huh? Well, I do! I even got a special strat for this occasion with a .5 second time save, look! Make sure I’m frame perfect at the backend of my goddamned eaten input and do the job right! Every single day I wake up and I think of a reason not to do it! Every single day! You know why I don’t do it? This is gonna make you laugh! You know why I don’t do it? The PB! Gettin’ the PB! Now that’s the reason!

I… had more, but then that ended up rambling.  But you get the idea.

I’m getting too old for this shit…

Lethal Weapon is an NES title, a side-scrolling beat-em-up, that I never even gave a chance.  I always assumed this was a crappy game, another Double Dragon clone.  Punch, jump, kick, sometimes shoot, and die a lot.  Honestly, if I’m keeping it real, this game is that to a tee.  There’s not a lot of variety here.  You kick and punch and… wait… where’s Murdough?  I’m playing as Riggs and… oh I went off the screen?  If you go off the screen to the left, you switch characters!  And they have their own life bars and ammunition, also!  This actually adds a TON of variety, at least to the speedrun; Riggs is faster, jumps higher, and has a devastating jump kick, while Murdough is stronger, can absorb more damage, can throw boxes, and has this punch that is honestly the best weapon in the game.

You travel through 9 levels and beat things up, but the ammo and health management is critical here.  The game has the best difficulty curve I’ve ever seen in a game; in level 1 you one-shot every enemy… halfway through level 2 they start taking 2 hits.  By the end of the game, you have to strategically approach each encounter as the damage sponges hit hard as heck!  But the game eases you in, allowing you to acclimate to this tough beat-em-up.

This game controls amazingly, and this leads to one of the most fun speedruns I’ve done yet in the Trials.  Sure, this isn’t going to win any awards or anything, but this lovely sounding, nice looking, fun beat-em-up has been flying under people’s radars for far too long!  I strongly suggest you give this one a try!

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