For some reason I loved playing this game as a kid. I remember playing it over and over in the arcade at Clackamas Town Center. The things I remember most vividly were throwing grenades, rescuing hostages, the musical score, and the fact that when I cleared a level my character would stop for a smoke break (see, there were negative influences prior to Grand Theft Auto). I also remember playing it quite a bit on my Commodore 64. That version was great, in my opinion it was one of the best arcade conversions done for the C64. The funny thing is, most people don't seem to share the same opinion. For many, it seemed to mark the end of the creative aspects of arcade game design and the entry into the world of JAMMA based games (even though it wasn't JAMMA).
But, to be honest, I don't collect games because I think they will be worth money, or for the fact that the community as a whole believes it is a "good" game. I collect games, because they provide some sort of nostalgic value for me, and because I enjoy playing them. Commando definitely satisfies that criteria.
I obtained my Commando through an ad in the paper. A guy was selling a set of arcade games that he had obtained in a bulk buy. He normally deals in jukeboxes, so he was eager to unload the games he was "forced" to take along with a set of jukeboxes. I picked up Commando and Pole Position from him. He had some other games, but those were the only "classics" he had.
Cosmetically, the game is in "decent" condition. It is missing the side art, the front bottom corners of the cabinet are scraped, the control panel overlay has a small piece missing, and the screen has some burn. However, the game was (and still is) working flawlessly. It is definitely a blast to play it again, it brings back tons of memories of playing it in the dark corner of the Town Center arcade.
I plan to perform the following repairs some day:
- Replace the side art
- Install a new control panel overlay
- Replace tube with a burn free one
- Repair the front bottom corners