(I usually don't node really, really, really, really bad C64 games. This one was actually non-painful and even funny, but not as much fun as, say, Airborne Ranger. =)

Express Raider was apparently U.S. Gold's Commodore 64 conversion of an arcade game. (Relased 1987.) I say "apparently," because if the conversion was even remotely plausible, the game might have been so bad that no one would really spend money on it....

The game had a Western theme in mind. A train with a valuable gold delivery leaves from a town, and you are a bank robber who tries to get to the money. The game was a side-scrolling beat-em-up / shooter.

Level 1: Fight the banker (who looks like all of the other thugs), jump over the raging dogs who try to damage you somehow when the train is leaving, and when the last car of the train is at your position, you leap to the train roof (Matrix style, because the train stops as you leap on top of it...)

Then, you kill those thugs that guard the train. (They even hired the bartender from the saloon to throw some bottles at you. You hit him on the knee until he dies.) Every car is guarded by a goon, some armed, the rest skilled in Kung Fu (it's the every cowboy's duty to learn how to be good at Kung Fu!) Every time you have a time limit - a bomb threatens your existence...

When you finally get to the locomotive you get the money.

Level 2: You ride by the train, and shoot at the folks in the train cars - and these people, of course, shoot back with their rifles. You may not shoot the civilians (who look like thugs but won't shoot back). Birds fly on the sky carrying money bags for extra cash. Don't get shot, don't run out of time. This time, nothing awaits you in the locomotive. But it was cool to destroy personnel, right?

The graphics of the game are hideous but still recognizable. (apart of your guy when you get shot in level 2 or run out of time. What the heck was that sprite supposed to look like? A blue stetson with boots?) The music and sound effects are pretty bad, too...

Yet, the game was pretty funny, if you ignore the fact that it has nothing whatsoever to do with westerns (apart of the graphics, of course).

(I found this game from USGold's "Coin-Op Connexion", which is probably a pre-l33tspeak expression for "arcade collection", not "pay phone".)

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