Beach Head 2: The Dictator Strikes Back

According to the manual for this game, there was a game called Beach Head. I never heard of it, never could find it, and never did play it. I did, however, manage to get some quality time with Beach Head 2, which was apparently superior in just about every way, so no big loss.

Beach Head 2 tells the classic story of the battles between Dictator of an Island Nation (presumably defeated at the end of the first game) and the Good Guy Army Corps. out to stop his Reign of Terror before it Spreads to Crush the Free World Under its Oppressive Boot.

How do you stop the Evil Dictator? With mini-games, duh.

There are four separate mini-missions for you to perform. The twist is that you can play either as the Allies or the Dictator. There are four or so missions that you can choose to do, but I only remember playing three of them, so the fourth one must have been terrible.

Game 1: You take control of the Allied Mobile Death Cannon, and scroll the screen slowly to the left while you control the cannon. You have to shoot the tanks, people, and ultimately what looks like a giant termite’s nest with guns, windows and flags all over it. I don’t think you can actually play as the Dictator in this one.

Game 2: The Dictator is in the Jungle with his Stationary Rapid-Fire Death Gun, in his Jungle Stronghold. The Allies parachute in, behind staggered walls, and run toward Hot Lead Death, in an attempt to make it all the way to the Gun. It’s kind of like Assault from American Gladiators, except with fake simulated bullets instead of tennis balls. You can either be the Dictator and gun down the Allies or you can be the Allied team deploying troops. Much more fun with two players.

Game 3: I dunno. Something with helicopters. I don’t remember much about it, so it must have been pretty boring.

Game 4: The final showdown, you’re on a platform on one side of a cave, and the Dictator is on the other. There is a river flowing beneath your platforms. Both sides have inexplicably run out of weapons, so they resort to sharpened sticks (poontas, the game calls them) that you throw at each other. You take enough hits, you fall into the water, and your side loses the War.

What’s striking about this game is that it makes use of digitized audio, which was pretty rare on for the Commodore 64. There are only three voice clips that I remember: the standard “Ungh!” when you get hit with something, the standard scream when you get hit with something that kills you, and the Dictator that says “You can’t hurt me!” when you throw a sharpened stick into his heart of course, he dictator sounded more like Snidely Whiplash than an actual villain, but it helped create an atmosphere. An atmosphere where I nearly jumped out of my pants the first time I heard it.

Fun times.

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