Retro Vault: The 16-bit war, GoldenEye and Donkey Kong Country

Plus: a look back at an Alien game that WASN'T a disappointment

Retro Vault is our regular weekly feature in which we dive into gaming's past and share five classic nuggets of retro nostalgia. If you missed last week's Retro Vault you can read it here.


1992: Alien 3 arrives on Mega Drive and Game Gear

This week may have seen a disappointing blow dealt to Aliens fans with the release of the average-at-best Aliens: Colonial Marines, but it wasn't always doom and gloom for Xenomorph-lovers. In 1992 there were three games released to coincide with the theatrical release of Alien 3, both of which were much-loved by gamers.

The most well-known video game version of Alien 3 was the one released on the Mega Drive, Master System and Game Gear (there were also ports for the NES, Amiga and C64). Published by Acclaim under its Arena Entertainment brand, Alien 3 was an action platformer that saw Ripley trying to rescue numerous prisoners before time runs out and they "give birth" to chestbursters. It was a difficult game - partly because the Aliens often appeared right in front of you and didn't give you enough time to kill them - but it's remembered fondly.

There was also a separate top-down Alien 3 game released on Game Boy, but the version considered by many to be the best is the SNES version, which took place entirely on the Florina "Fury" 161 prison planet from the movie and featured Metroid-style exploration of its various corridors and areas. The stunning graphics and lack of ammunition made the SNES version of Alien 3 that rarest of things - a brilliant movie tie-in.

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