Golgo 13: Top Secret Episode

aka: Golgo 13 - Dai 1 Shou - Kamigami no Tasogare
(prices updated 9/30 3:10 AM )

Description official description

Golgo 13 is a traditional side-scrolling game that uses a third-person view in cutscenes. You play as Golgo 13, the greatest assassin for hire in the world. A vial of the deadliest biological weapon known to man, codenamed "Cassandra G.", has been stolen and you need to recover it before someone uses it on the unsuspecting world.


  • ゴルゴ13・第一章・神々の黄昏 - Japanese spelling

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Credits (NES version)

19 People (10 developers, 9 thanks)

Produced by
Game Story by
Game Design by
Program Director
Maze Master
Zoom-Surround Beautiful Programmer
Mechnical Supervisor
Character Design & Special Animation by
Background by
Music & Sound Program by
Special Thanks to
Dedicated to
  • All of the children
  • and lost generation
Directed by



Average score: 61% (based on 6 ratings)


Average score: 2.9 out of 5 (based on 13 ratings with 1 reviews)

Japanese anime meets James Bond

The Good
Golgo 13: Top Secret Episode is based on a popular Japanese anime and also borrows heavily from UK/US spy genre. So, if you liked anime (and not many American kids knew what it was until the late 1990s) and enjoyed a spy thriller yarn, with many different game play mechanics, then this game was a dream.

The Bad
Golgo 13: Top Secret had a odd name (for an American video game), had a steep learning curve and and was, well, a bit naughty.

The seasoned gamer would likely still struggle to make the precise sniper shots and (despite what James Bond may say) karate kicks are not always an effective weapon against heavily armed guards.

The "naughty" elements in the game are especially surprising given the fact that any game made for a Nintendo system had to pass a strict Nintendo censorship board prior to release. If a game was going to be sold outside of Asia, it was going to have to be without controversy or anything that fell out of a Disney-family friendly mileu.

Yet, Golgo 13: Top Secret Episode allows the hero to smoke tobacco (to restore his hit points). It also features an intermission sequence where it is implied that our hero is...welll...er...um...a "practicing heterosexual". How these elements got past the censors remains a mystery.

Heck, it is not so much the "naughty" content itself that bothers me. Although many a young boy (or girl) no doubt got a bit of a surprise to see a game on a Nintendo system go from movie "G" rating to a "PG/PG13" rating and then back to "G".

The hypocrisy behind the censorship, especially when it was not being uniformly enforced, is what I dislike.

Much like the Hollywood Hays Code or the Comic Book Code Of Authority, these censorship rules failed to achieve much but constant and (most of the time) well deserved ridicule.

People complain about the Entertainment Software Ratings Board, but Golgo highlighted why such a board was needed to allow for greater artistic freedom in games and also to offer a heads-up to someone buying a game that is not quite 'G'-rated.

The Bottom Line
Golgo 13: Top Secret Episode is an amazing blend of Japanese anime and a James Bond spy thriller. It is also amazingly tough game to beat (without Easter Eggs or How-to guides) and it is also amazingly naughty in some places, considering how strict Nintendo was in ensuring that only "family friendly" games would run on its systems.

NES · by ETJB (428) · 2013



Nintendo of America did not allow any of its "Seal of Approval" titles to include tobacco or drug use, sex, blood, or death. Somehow escaping the toughest censors in the industry, Golgo 13 features a professional sniper, and victims that spew 8-bit blood. Duke Togo smokes a cigarette to regain his health, and spends a night of implied bliss with the lovely Cherry Grace. The game is credited by many to have the first implied sex scene in a Nintendo game.


Golgo 13 is based off the anime of the same name.

Regional differences

The US version removes the nudity and karaoke minigame found in the Japanese version. The US version also slightly tones down Duke's occupation to being a sniper instead of a hitman. The US version also renames the Nazi Empire to the Drek Empire and by extension renames Hitler as Smirk.

Information also contributed by Eurythmic and WildKard

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by J. Michael Bottorff.

Additional contributors: fooziex, Alaka, Игги Друге, Patrick Bregger.

Game added September 5th, 2003. Last modified October 3rd, 2023.