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Midnight Resistance
Midnight Resistance.png
Developer(s) Data East
Publisher(s) Data East (arcade), Sega of America (Mega Drive/Genesis), Ocean (conversions)
Designer Koji Akibayashi
status Status Missing
Release date 1990
Genre Run and gun
Mode(s) Single player
Age rating(s) Ratings Missing
Platform(s) Arcade, Sega Mega Drive/Genesis, ZX Spectrum, Amstrad CPC, Commodore 64, Commodore Amiga, Atari ST
Arcade system Arcade System Missing
Input 3D joystick (arcade), joystick (depending on version), control pad (Mega Drive/Genesis), keyboard (depending on version)
Credits | Soundtrack | Codes | Walkthrough

Midnight Resistance (ミッドナイトレジスタンス Middonaito Rejisutansu?) is a 1990 run and gun arcade game developed and published by Data East. It used a 3D joystick (a normal 8 way joystick that could also be twisted as a dial) to allow the player to aim independently of his direction of movement, which was notable at the time.


The player takes control of a commando who is out to rescue his kidnapped family, including his scientist grandfather who is being forced to create a weapon which will give the antagonist of the game, known only as "the Commissar", the power to take over the Earth. In the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis version, the commando, known as Johnny Ford is on a solo mission to destroy the reign of the entity known as "The Crimson King" who kidnapped his family because Johnny's Father, Malcolm Ford created a serum which could make people immune to the addicting effects of drugs.


Gameplay is consistent with this genre: multi-directional shooting, fast action oriented gameplay, different weapons upgrades, and big mid- and end-of-level bosses. One or two players take on the role of two commando brothers whose entire family has been kidnapped and must be rescued. The game's eight large, eight-way scrolling levels are made up of platforms, ledges and ladders; each populated both with enemy soldiers and with intricate, imaginatively designed enemy machinery. As the players make their way through a level, they will be able to pick up red 'keys' - which are left behind by defeated enemies; collecting these keys will allow the players to upgrade their weapons at the shop that awaits at the end of each level. Two sorts of weapons can be obtained; regular weapons which are the ones you fire in eight directions and special weapons which are fired by pressing the fire button while the joystick is pulled up. The joystick is also rotatable for making it easier for players to point their fire arms wherever they want to shoot.


During stages of Midnight Resistance, keys can be picked up from certain enemies when they die, at the end of each stage these keys can be used to purchase weapons and upgrades.

  • Full Auto- allows the fire button to be held down instead of pressed and gives a faster rate of fire.
  • Fire - gives the player a flamethrower. When using it, the fire button may be pressed rapidly, without being held down, to produce a small stream of fire without wasting any ammunition.
  • Barrier - three metal objects circle the player and kill anything coming into contact with them.
  • 3 way - causes the player to fire 3 shots as a bullet spray.
  • Shotgun - fires projectiles that cause decent damage to enemies and does splash damage which affects enemies adjacent to the target.
  • Shower - rains bullets down the screen.
  • Nitro - fires a bomb that explodes into 8 directional launching beams.
  • Homing Missile - fires five missiles that home in on the nearest enemy.
  • Life - extra life.
  • Invincibility - the player cannot be harmed for a short period of time.
  • Power Up - increases the number of ammunition to any equipped weapon by 500 (not special weapons).
  • Super Power Up - increases the range and damage capability of any equipped weapon (not special weapons).

Ports and related releases[]

Midnight Resistance was ported to many home consoles and computer systems of the era, including the Mega Drive/Genesis, Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum, Atari ST and Amiga. This was handled by Special FX and Ocean in most cases. The Commodore 64 and ZX Spectrum versions are of particular note and are regularly mentioned in lists of greatest games ever made for these systems. The Mega Drive/Genesis version was handled by Data East themselves and was most notable for the slightly altered soundtrack. This was one of the earlier examples of a home console trumping arcade hardware when it came to audio.

The Spectrum version had a completely redesigned, chunky, cartoony style to it. It had push screen scrolling and very few on-screen colours due to hardware limitations, but it is considered by many to be one of the stand out technical achievements for the hardware and was awarded a score of 90% in Sinclair User and 93% in CRASH magazine. It was also included in their 100 best Spectrum games ever made, reaching number 10. The Commodore version stayed relatively faithful to the original arcade version. It was critically acclaimed by most publications of the time and gained a score of 90% from Zzap!64 Magazine. It was also featured in their top 100 C64 games ever made. The ZX Spectrum version was ported to the Amstrad CPC in a stripped down version as was common for the era, due to the two computers sharing the same processor. It is missing the music and colour of the 128 Spectrum version and has less buyable weapons at the end of each stage. it achieved a review of 86% in Amstrad Action magazine.

In the 1990 movie, RoboCop 2, Officer Duffy gets thrown by RoboCop into a Midnight Resistance arcade cabinet.[1]


  1. ROBOCOP 2 - TRIVIA. RoboCop Archive. Retrieved on 2008-09-07

External links[]

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