Video Works by Jeremy Parish

I may have gone a little overboard with this episode, but it seemed worth doing. For one thing, the creator of the Golgo 13 series, Takao Saito, recently passed away. And for another, upon revisiting this game in the context of its original release chronology on NES, I came away deeply impressed by how much the developers attempted to do here. Did they nail it? Oh, lord, no. But where this game is easily written off as a kludgey mess when viewed in light of the entire nine-year NES release library, back in autumn 1988, it tried to do a LOT with the limited resources and collective game design wisdom of the time. Containing a good half-dozen presentation and gameplay styles, a globe-spanning storyline, and a genuine good-faith effort to recreate the essence of the manga property it's based on, Golgo 13: Top Secret Episode is damn impressive for what it is. (Albeit a heck of a mess.) Kids: Beware of tiny 8-bit boobies and blood spray.

Video Works is funded via Patreon ( — support the show and get access to every episode up to two weeks in advance of its YouTube debut! Plus, exclusive podcasts, eBooks, and more! Production notes:

  • NES and Famicom footage in this episode was captured from  @Analogue Nt Mini Noir via RGB out.
  • Standard definition video upscaled to 720 with xRGB Mini Framemeister and  @Retro Tink  5X. There is a small amount of visual distortion in the upper portion of some footage that the latest Retro Tink firmware update appears to address.