Designed by the creators of Deadly Towers, crafted in the image of Bokosuka Wars and King’s Knight, Mercenary Force should by all accounts have been awful. But no, it was great!
Japanese title: Tenjin Kaisen • 天神怪戦
Developer: Lenar/Live Planning
Release date: 4.28.1990 [JP] | 10.1990 [US] | 1990 [EU]
Super Game Boy: None
Previous in series: None
Next in series: Tenjin Kaisen 2: Yomihon Yumegoyomi [KaZe/Meldac, 1992]
Similar titles: King’s Knight [Bits Laboratory/Squaresoft, 1986 (NES)], Nemesis [Konami, 1990]
Thanks for the great coverage of this particular game. I would never have known that this was what the game actually was. My interpretation of the cover art in magazine ads (back in the 90’s) left me with the impression that the game was a strategy or puzzle game. It actually looks like an amazing addition to the shooter genre. As an aside, I always felt like King’s Knight was a great premise for a game, but was hampered by its implementation. It looks like this improved on that game’s formula and then went beyond it to deliver something really unique.
Parish, honestly I thought Game Boy World was a ridiculous idea when it started. But it’s turned out to be fascinating, and this Mercenary Force piece was totally worth viewing.
Contributing to the old Toastyfrog wiki and writing from my direct experience, it felt like just sharing old stories with like-minded folks, the kind of thing that lives or dies by its community. Long-term I think GBW has more legs — with the focus on forgotten history and gameplay/design, you’re not only doing novel research, but making a strong case for why this history is worth revisiting at all. It still seems like such a crazy niche to be covering, but you’re a video-games journalist, so you have the leg up on crazy, and your readers are all better for it. Cheers man 🙂