game Cover
game HuCard
オペレーション ウルフ
1990 NEC Avenue Ltd.
Licensed by Taito Corp.
Release : 1990-08-31 (¥7200)
HuCard (4 Mbits) NAPH-1010
Shooter / FirstPerson

Back in 1987, Taito's Operation Wolf hit the arcades like a storm. In the game, players take control of a single armed soldier who's mission is to infiltrate heavily defended enemy territories and rescue as many Prisoners Of War, or POWs, as possible. Unlike many shooters back then, Operation Wolf offers a first-person view of the scene - this feature does not sound like much nowadays, but back in 1987, first person shooters (known today as FPS) were far from being the norm. The scenery is shown through the eyes of our valiant soldier and the screen automatically side-scrolls while hundred of enemy soldiers throw anything they have at him. In order to protect his life, he is equipped with an Uzi gun and a grenade launcher with a limited stock of ammo. And watch out! Not everything on screen must be shot and characters like nurses or children will dramatically lower our soldier's precious life when hit. Power-ups and special items are of course available, sometimes just laying on the ground and sometimes hidden inside small running animals or coconuts. The most common items are ammunitions but our soldier will also find extra grenades, drinks and special items like the ammo-unlimited free gun or the dynamite which will vaporize every single enemy on the screen. Operation Wolf consists of six stages and also features a two simultaneous player mode.
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Operation Wolf - Arcade game Operation Wolf was release in the arcades in 1987 (picture on the right). One notable feature of the game was the use of a mounted light gun that players used to shoot at the screen. Operation Wolf was a commercial success and became immensely popular. As expected, it was converted for virtually every home systems at the time: Sega Master System (1988), Amiga (1988), Atari ST (1988), MSX (1988), ZX Spectrum (1988), Nintendo Famicom (1989), C64 (1989), PC MSDOS (1989), PC Engine (1990) and FM Towns (1990). Operation Wolf was also later included in the Taito Legends compilation released in the west for the Playstation 2 and Xbox in 2005. In Japan, it was curiously released later and included in Taito Memories II Gekan in 2007. Operation Thunderbolt, the official sequel to the original arcade game was released by Taito in 1988. It featured two mounted guns for two players simultaneous co-op play and some levels even display dynamic sprite-scaling effects. As its predecessor, Operation Thunderbolt was also ported to countless home systems at the time. It is a little known fact but at least two more "sequels" followed. Operation Wolf 3 was developed by East Technology and released by Taito in 1994 - however, the game is only a sequel by name and doesn't really deliver the goods. Graphics are entirely digitized and the game features a questionable industrial theme. Then Operation Tiger followed in 1998 and it is the first game in the series to feature 3D polygonal graphics.


Operation Wolf - manual
Click on picture to enlarge


Add your Pov here !

Once again, Nec Avenue did an excellent work and this conversion of Taito's classic is fairly good! This is probably one of the best conversions around, except for the incredible FM Town port. The graphics are perfect and most of the original intense action and environments are there. Interestingly, I really like how they moved the health and ammunition bar to the bottom of the screen (the original arcade game had it displayed on the right side) which gives the game a wider and better view of the battlefield. There is only one problem to this conversion though - you have to use a standard paddle controller to move the gun's reticle around and properly aiming can be tricky because of it... but, to be honest, only a handful of other home conversions allowed support for an actual light gun. The sound effects are correct, except for the irritating beeping noise when your life bar is half consumed. All in all, to be honest, it is difficult to rate this port of Operation Wolf. I personally think that New Avenue did an excellent job. But the game ends up being very short (although there is a fair amount of variety) and the lack of better controls makes it a hard to master. But don't read me wrong, this port is definitively one of the best one released at the time and will keep fans of the genre busy for a while!

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