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Friday The 13th (Nintendo NES, 1989)

  • $1500

Enter the world of slasher films by trying to defeat the mask-wearing monster Jason Voorhees in the Nintendo Entertainment System game Friday the 13th. Play as one of six camp counselors and travel around Camp Crystal Lake protecting the campers by fighting off Jason when he enters a cabin or the lake. Switch out counselors as health deteriorates or to take advantage of their speed or fighting abilities. The game utilizes a map that you can check frequently to determine Jason's location or the location of other counselors to make a character swap. The lack of enemies stays true to the movie by keeping Jason as the primary villain.

Players control one of six camp counselors (each with varying levels of speed, rowing and jumping ability) in a side-scrolling perspective. The counselors start with an arcing rock attack. The goal is to find and defeat Jason Voorhees three times. Along the paths, players will find cabins, a lake, caves and wooded areas with all but the cabins having enemies such as zombies, crows, and wolves attacking the player. Players may upgrade their weapon upon finding a new one. A timed alarm appears at certain intervals, requiring players to find Jason before he kills one or more children or another counselor. Using the map, players must navigate their way to Jason's location or switch to the counselor being attacked and defeat him. If they do not make it there in time, Jason will kill the counselors or some of the children.

Upon nearing Jason's location, Jason may appear on the path or in the lake and attack the player. When inside a cabin Jason will attack the player in a way reminiscent of the video game Punch-Out!!. Players may light the fireplaces inside of larger cabins. Upon lighting all fireplaces, a flashlight and torch weapon are available. Notes are found in some larger cabins leading the player to other notes in other locations, eventually leading to new items. The objective of the game is to survive for three days and three nights while attempting to find and kill Jason. Players may battle Jason's mother who is in a hidden locked room in the cave. She is represented as a Medusa-like floating head that swoops down to attack the player. Navigating in the woods or cave can be confusing as they are set up to purposely disorient the player. They hide several locked rooms/cabins. If all counselors or children die, the game is over.

Friday the 13th was developed by Atlus and published by LJN for the Nintendo Entertainment System video game console. It was released in February 1989. Its music and sound effects were designed by Hirohiko Takayama. It is an adaptation of the film franchise of the same name. It was developed as part of an "aggressive expansion" by LJN to focus on video games based on media licenses.

Game Informer lists the game among the most difficult horror games of all time. Author Andy Slaven called it a horrible translation of the films. Michigan Daily's Matt Grandstaff called it a "poor offering" by LJN. GamePro listed it as the 10th worst video game based on a film, criticizing its "repetitive music score and amazingly frustrating gameplay". GamesRadar's Mikel Reparaz criticized its box, commenting that only LJN "would ever think to surround Jason Voorhees with neon-pastel vomit, thereby making him even more of an ‘80s relic than he already is." Writer Christopher Grant commented that the game was more terrible than the deaths of the campers in the first Friday the 13th film, calling it "craptacular". IGN's Levi Buchanan used this game as an example of LJN's poor development abilities. The book Vintage Games: An Insider Look at the History of Grand Theft Auto, Super Mario, and the Most Influential Games of All Time criticizes it for not being frightening, citing technical reasons for this. The authors of Nintendo Power rated Friday the 13th the sixth worst game ever made in the magazine's September 1997 issue. The writer stated "After playing a few minutes of this aardvark, you wanted Jason to slaughter all the counselors and then you. Anything so it would just end." Joystiq's James Ransom-Wiley noted it as a game that the staff "loved to hate." The Daily News of Los Angeles, however, noted it as a hit.
Product Information
Publisher LJN Ltd.
Game Friday the 13th
UPC 023582051628
Platform Nintendo Entertainment System
Genre Action/Adventure
Control Elements Gamepad/Joystick
Number of Players 1
Release Year 1989
WARNING: Our original retro games & systems may have scratches, torn labels and other defects due to their age and condition as a used product. All original licenced games & hardward however has been painstakingly cleaned, repaired and tested so as to ensure it is in top working condition. The goal is to try for a 100% restoration, however please keep in mind that while we are usally pretty good at this, these items are old and as such this is not always completely achievable.

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