Release: Jul 05, 2014 - Author: -Der-Tribun - Translator: -Der-Tribun
Karnov is an arcade game from Data East in 1987. In it, Russian muscleman Karnov has to face huge hordes of enemies. Besides its very high difficulty, the game offers a clever bonus weapon system and alternate paths in some levels.
The game was ported to the NES in the same year. The limited technological powers of the NES meant that some effects had to be to toned down, but the game still is fun, especially since the difficulty got lowered a bit to more reasonable levels. The only big minus is, that the game has no real ending. Looking at the Famicom version (technically identical to the NES, but only available in Japan) reveals very severe cuts.
Compared are here the uncut Famicom-Version with the cut NES-Version.
Comparing the NES-Version with the Famicom-Version, it's apparent very fast that even though the games share the same game content, the Japanese version offers an intro and no less than three outros. Why all this story got removed becomes clear very fast when seeing that God (yes, THAT God) appears in the intro and the outros. Considering how censorship-happy Nintendo of America was in the 80's, the game probably would have not been releasd in the West at all otherwise.
The intro is missing, as said, completely. In it, the home village of Karnov is attacked by the horrible dragon Alakatai and robbed of its treasures. The villagers are helpless against the dragon, but God has heard them and sends Karnov as an avenger to kill Alakatai and return the treasures to the village.
In the also missing outro, Karnov returns to God, who explicitely praises him for his big accomplishments and, as promised, releases Karnov from servitude in return.
Now it gets interesting, as according to how well Karnov has done during the game, he gets a different fate:
The view of the village at the end is then the same again.
Here for comparison what happend, when winning the game on the NES:
Bonus: The Arcade-Version
The arcade-version of Karnov offers a totally different story:
Russian strongman Karnov has heard of an enormous treasure. Too bad it was well hidden by a powerful wizard. The wizard has ripped a map into nine parts and given eight of them to lackeys, while keeping the ninth part on himself. Karnov wants that treasure, so he journeys out to get the map pieces with violence. Due to circumstances, Karnov does have the ability to throw fireballs, which prove fatal to foes.
After destroying the wizard, you see the complete map, then Karnov appears on it and marches over it, until he finds the right place and digs a hole, in which he jumps. Downstairs he finds the treasure and bathes in his new riches.