A fine action movie (1985) that stars a well-muscled Arnold Schwarzenegger. He has to free his kidnapped daughter (played by the then-not-yet-lascivious-looking Alyssa Milano). He uses a lot (and I do mean a lot) of weapons, to kill all sorts of evil men.
Movie tagline: Somewhere... somehow... someone's going to pay!
To put Commando in a historical context, it is the first Arnold Schwarzenegger movie in which he spouts one liners as he kills the bad guys. Here's the very first one of his career:

Arnold:(Holding bad guy over a cliff) Remember when I said I would kill you last?
Bad Guy:Yeah...
Arnold: I lied. (Drops bad guy)

Alyssa: What did you do to {the bad guy's name, whom I forget}?
Arnold: I let him go.

Commando is also an extensive surgery done as part of Otorhinolaryngology. Formed by the words COMbined MANDibular Otorhinolaryngology, it performed when cancer is diagnosed in the oral cavity, and involves dissecting part of the face to remove the cancer, and reconstructing it.

compiled overview of the 25ton Commando 'Mech, from various BattleTech novels and game sourcebooks:

The Commando COM-2D was designed as a reconnaissance 'Mech, offering a strong alternative to the Wasp and Stinger. While not jump-capable, the Commando has more powerful weapons than either of the better-known scout 'Mechs.

Conceived by the engineers at Coventry Defense, the first prototype Commando was tested in 2483 and carried a large laser on the right arm. Because the abrupt heat generated by the laser consistently broke down the lubricants in the 'Mech's wrist and hand, the weapon was later replaced with an SRM-4 rack.

After the test runs proved its battle-worthiness, the Commando was commissioned by the Lyran Commonwealth in 2486. Though the Star League made many attempts to draft the Commando model into its own forces, the Lyran Commonwealth managed, through clever stalling and subtle lying, to keep the design to itself. That has proved to be a prudent move on the part of the Commonwealth.

Despite the lightness of its armor, the Commando's ten SRMs allow the 'Mech to fulfill a secondary role as a barrage vehicle in a pinch. Though it is unusual to combine two missile systems in one 'Mech, the design prevents a lucky enemy hit from knocking out all the missile tubes and rendering the Commando ineffective in one shot. This concept also allows the Commando to lay down a heavy pattern of missile fire directed at one target or split his fire and shoot at two separate targets.

This design feature also has its drawbacks. The two different missile systems require two different command systems. The medium laser in its left arm requires a third command system, and coordinating all these systems requires a much larger computer than originally planned. This is one of the reasons that the Commando's weight went up from the original 20 to 25 tons. Despite the difficulties, the various Lyran 'Mech plants, especially the one at Coventry Defense, were producing many Commandos annually.

The Commando provides a healthy supply of ammo for its missile systems, carrying 25 rounds for its right-arm launchers in its right torso, and carrying 15 rounds in its left torso for the chest's six launchers.

The fact that the Commando packs firepower comparable to some heavier 'Mechs does not mean it can go toe-to-toe with them. Indeed, because of the Commando's thin armor, pilots must take special care to avoid exposure to enemy fire. Instead the MechWarrior will often use the Commando's firepower to let loose with a barrage at a heavier 'Mech and then run, counting on the enemy being too occupied with the damage to his 'Mech to follow the Commando closely.

The Lyran Commonwealth awards special commendations to scouts who perform beyond the call of duty. In the lengthy dedications of these commendations are many stories of Commandos on the battlefield.

One impressive account tells of Lewan and Cynth Tulmani, a brother-and-sister scout team in the Winfield's Brigade. In 3011, the unit was two regiments strong and stationed on Severen. Poor intelligence reports suckered them into believing that the thrust of Kurita's attack would bypass their position. Many 'Mechs, including Lewan and Cynth's, were trapped in a mountain pass when they were attacked and mowed down by an aerial bombardment.

The Tulmanis were left, hurt and alone, with their damaged 'Mechs. Lewan's 'Mech had lost its left arm, and Cynth was riding a headless machine. Looking east they could see that the capital city, their original destination, was burning. They decided to travel west toward a more distant and perhaps still intact city to link up with reinforcements or any other stragglers.

Traveling by night to avoid the numerous Kurita patrols, at last they arrived at a city still held by the Lyran Commonwealth. They arrived just in time to see DropShips of the Second Donegal Guards landing and mustering for a counterattack. As very few of the arriving officers were familiar with the surrounding countryside, Cynth and Lewan immediately volunteered their services. With very little repair to either themselves or their 'Mechs, the two scouted the advance of the Second Donegal Guards.

Since that time, the scouts of Winfield's Brigade wear on their lapels the green tartan stripe of the Donegal Guards, in honor of the Tulmani's courage.

Note: Information used here was the domain of FASA before they split the rights between Wizkids LLC and Microsoft (table-top gaming and video games respectively). Copyright of the fluff text is in limbo, but names of persons, places, & things are without any doubt the property of Wizkids LLC. Use of any terms here related to the BattleTech trademark are not meant as a challenge to Wizkids LLC's rights.

Minor addition: a commando is also used to refer to a small group of special forces soldiers, typically on a mission. For example, you might send a five-man commando out to reconnoiter a landing area.

Afrikaans word originally used for the irregular units which made up the Boer army in the Boer Wars.

First used in the British and Commonwealth forces with its present meaning, small specialist infantry units trained for combined arms operations, particularly small scale actions in enemy-dominated areas, during the Second World War. The first Commando units were part of either the British Army or the Royal Marines, and first fought in high-profile raids on the occupied French coast, mainly sabotaging important installations and serving as a morale-booster during the lowest moments of the war, and subsequently working as pathfinders and specialist support for major operations such as D-Day. Other small raiding units with different specialisations set up at the time included the SAS (operating in North Africa) and the Chindits (in Burma).

Since the end of World War II the remaining Commando units in the British forces have all been part of the Royal Marines. In organizational terms, "a commando" is a battalion-sized unit - at the time of writing the Marines' 3 Commando Brigade (which is for effective purposes the whole of the RM's fighting force) comprises 40 Commando, 42 Commando and 45 Commando.

"As the crack shot Commando, your mission is to move forward into enemy territory. You must destroy the enemy and their base by passing through the Iron Walls."
The entire introduction.

Title: Commando
Publisher: Japan Capsule Computing (Capcom)
Distributor: Data East
Year: 1985
Platform(s): Arcade, Commodore 64, Amstrad CPC, Spectrum, Intellivision, Atari, Amiga, Nintendo Entertainment System, PC.

The Commodore 64 version was developed at Elite in a very tight schedule (2 months), by:
Developer: Chris Butler
Graphics: Rory Green and Chris Harvey
Sound: Rob Hubbard

The Amiga version was developed at Elite by:
Developer: Neil Latarche and Martin Ward
Graphics: Steve Beverley
Sound: Mark Cooksey

The Amstrad CPC version was developed at Elite by:
Developers: Simon Freeman, Keith Burkhill and Nigel Alderton
Graphics: "Jon"
Sound: Unknown

The Spectrum version was developed at Elite by:
Developers: Keith Burkhill, Nigel Alderton
Graphics: Rory Green and "Karen"
Sound: Unknown

The Intellivision version was developed at Realtime Associates by:
Developer: John Tomlinson
Graphics: Connie Goldman
Sound: David Warhol

Unfortunately, I have been unable to find information about the people working on the Arcade, Atari, Nintendo, and PC versions - if you know it, don't hesitate in messaging me.

Description: Commando is widely acclaimed for being the first true Shoot 'em Up as well as being very influential in the creation of several later games in the genre (Ikari Warriors, Rambo: First Blood Part II, and Green Beret to name a few). All of the versions of the game are very similar, with the same graphics (taking into account the various limitations of the platforms). You (Super Joe) start off by being dropped off by a Helicopter in a jungle, and you now have to fight your way out, killing the massive assault of enemy (actually, their uniforms looks destinctly German WWII era) soldiers singlehandedly.

At the end of each level, the screen stops, and you must fight several soldiers streaming from a gate or fortress. They are ordered out by a cowardly "Officer", who just runs off, and actually gives bonus points if you shoot him in the back. Along the way, you can attempt freeing hostages, who are transported across the screen by the enemy.

Levels (this is the arcade version - your mileage may vary):

Various Trivia:

  • The Intellivision┬áprogrammer, John Tomlinson, was slacking off too much, and the deadline was slipping, so David Warhol actually "kidnapped" him, by picking him up at his home, keeping him at his own place 'till the game was finished.
  • The Commodore 64 version's theme, a "funky" version of the arcade, was created in less than 12 hours by Rob Hubbard, "[I] started working on it late at night, and worked on it through the night. I took one listen to the original arcade version and started working on the C64 version. [...] By the time everyone arrived at 8.00 in the morning, I had loaded the main tune on every C64 in the building! I got my cheque and was on a train home by 10.00"
  • The German version was released as Space Aliens, due to the laws about violence in computergames at the time.
  • The Commodore version was so easy that a cracking group (Lurid+Tricycle) added an un-trainer, to make the game harder.
  • The theme has been covered several times (though maybe most the Rob Hubbard version), latest by Danish commodore revival band Press Play on Tape.
  • Despite what one might think, the game is not licensed from the Arnold Schwarzenegger movie of the same name, but is probably named after it, to cash in on it.
  • There is no proper Commando II, but Russians Microtech Systems released Komando II for Spectrum in 1992. Elite also made Duet (which was called Commando '87 in some markets) for the Commodore.

Sources: The C64 version, Zzap! 64, Commodore Zone, www.GameFAQs.com, GameSpy, Project 64, Retrogames.com, IntellivisionLives.com

Com*man"do (?), n. [D. See Command, v. t.]

In South Africa, a military body or command; also, sometimes, an expedition or raid; as, a commando of a hundred Boers.

The war bands, called commandos, have played a great part in the . . . military history of the country. James Bryce.


© Webster 1913.

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