Cliffhanger is a game for the Super NES on November 17, 1993. It was also released on many other systems, including on Sega Genesis, Game Gear, Sega CD, Game Boy, NES and Amiga. Although all carrying the same name, the Super NES, Sega Genesis and Sega CD port are traditional beat’em up games while the other ports are platformer. The game follows the movie indirectly. A plane with terrorists in tries to steal money from a treasury plane while airborne. However, an FBI plane comes in and shot them down. The group of terrorists survive and send out a distress signal.
Gabe Walker, a mountain ranger played by Sylvester Stalonne in the movie of the same name, responds to the signals without knowing their true identity and proceed to help them out. However, reaching them, the terrorist capture Gabe’s partner, Hal and force him to get all the money in order to save him.
You start the game in the mountain, fighting the terrorists themselves. Unlike the movie, they are many, many of them. Most of the generic terrorists are original characters. However, beside the avalanche serving as the first boss, every other boss is character from the movie, starting with the henchman and ending with Eric Qualen himself.
Cliffhanger’s gameplay similarly to Final Fight or Double Dragon, but has three distinct gameplay elements. The first one is the fighting element. Most of the game is a beat’em up where you fight against the terrorists. Gabe Walker can punch, kick, does side punch and perform jump kick. He can also block moves (reducing damage) and run to perform a longer reach jump kick. Terrorists can drop knife or gun, which Gabe can pick up and use it against them.
In many areas of the game, you have to perform well timed jump or grab objects, while avoiding natural hazards or bats. The first “boss” is actually an avalanche that you must run from until you get to a secure ledge. This is the only instance of a non-human boss in the game.
The last gameplay element is the climbing sequence. In some of the level, Gabe Walker must climb up a mountain and avoid gunshot from terrorist or small avalanche. In these sequences, he can defeat the gunner if he steps on the ledge they are and attack them. At the top of it, he rests on a bonfire, completing these sections.
This playthrough use the USA version of Cliffhanger. The games don’t feature any difficulty option, but the amount of life has been lowered at the lowest possible. The three demos are shown at the beginning before starting the game. Cutscenes are not skipped either.
The goal of Cliffhanger is to get to the end of it without being hit once. Many tricks are used to take advantage of the game engine.
Enemy, including bosses and Gabe Walker himself, cannot get damaged after being knockdown. They flash for two seconds before they can be hit again.
However, there is a quirk to this: if you punch, stop, punch and repeat, you will not perform the uppercut that cause the knockdown. This cause opponents to be in a stun lock, being constantly hit by Gabe’s punch until they get loses all their hit points. This also applies to the knife. If you slightly wait after each knife hit, you won’t perform a knockdown. These tricks work against everybody but Travers, the helicopter boss and Qualen.
In Travers case, he will still be in stun lock, but he will not take damage since he will block. In the helicopter’s case, you can only attack it with the Uzi. In Qualen case, he will immediately knife you if you don’t perform the uppercut knockdown.
It one of the main techniques used to pass through the game. However, other moves are used to add diversity to the gameplay. The Uzi is always used when available, causing massive damage and instant knockdown.
In the climbing section, it is better to climb faster than slowly. You will always avoid a shot fired by the terrorist if you climb faster, right after he shot near you. However, if you get hit in these states, you immediately fall (this is not the case when you are climbing slowly).
Every boss except the last three come back as a regular enemy later in the game.
You get an extra life for each 100 000 points you score. If you perform a perfect run, it is not possible to rollover the score, but it is possible to do that if you lose almost all your life and repeat the section during the helicopter boss segment.
No cheats are used in this run. TASing tools were used to offer a high quality playthrough.