Terminator 2: Judgment Day

aka: T2
Moby ID: 22313
NES Specs
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Terminator 2: Judgment Day is based on the movie of the same name. The player takes the role of the T-800 Terminator and has to protect John Connor from being terminated by the T-1000 Terminator.

The game is set over five levels with the following goals:

  • Level 1: Acquire a weapon.
  • Level 2: An isometric racing course on a motorcycle in which the player needs to out-run a tanker truck that is chasing them. This stage was omitted from both the Game Gear and Master System versions.
  • Level 3: Locate and rescue Sarah Connor from the Pescadero asylum.
  • Level 4: Plant explosive charges to destroy the Cyberdyne building.
  • Level 5: Defeat the T-1000 within the steel mill.


  • T-2 ジャッジメント・デイ - Game Gear Japanese spelling

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Credits (NES version)




Average score: 62% (based on 20 ratings)


Average score: 2.5 out of 5 (based on 36 ratings with 2 reviews)

No wonder Arnold said he didn't want to do anymore movies!

The Good
The characters are very goofy, and the story does stick to the movie pretty well.

I like the cinemas with the Terminator font and the badly digitized picture of Arnold on the bike wth a shotgun. I do recall other cinemas and stuff, but nothing distictive.

The Bad
The controls are loose, and, in typical Acclaim fashion, the jump and action buttons are reversed from the Nintendo/Konami/Capcom standards that served most NES games so well. I've also encountered this control scheme (yes, it's Acclaim's scheme to make controllers for morons) in Alien 3 and Total Recall.

The sound is laughable, with a wanna-be soundtrack that's real generic, not really thumping and tense like the movie. I do get why the movie's soundtrack wasn't used, because that would've helped (see the Genesis and SNES versions, though they don't really use the music there, either, it just works better).

Back to the characters, but these characters are really small. I mean really small. And why do all know to attack Arnold? In the movie, he walked in nude to a biker bar and demanded the clothes and bike from a thug. Yeah, he'd get beaten up. But, just to use the first level as an example, thugs already start attacking him right off the bat, and he's already got his clothes . . . okay, I can see why (make a big deal about blood in Mortal Kombat, but let a nude Arnold run around . . .) but still, the spirit is really lost.

What gets me is Acclaim hires the same developers who do those awesome Midway/Williams/Bally conversions to inferior hardware, yet can't find one studio that can develop an original game from scratch? Strange.

After playing this game for about 2 hours (after not playing since the original week I played the hell out of it as a teen), this game is forgettable.

The Bottom Line
If you're a "collector" (jump in a tar pit), then you'll need to get an original copy of this game with "Acclaim" imprinted on the back instead of Nintendo's logo.

If you want a good version of this game, avoid this, get the SNES or Genesis versions.

This game, to me, is better on the Genesis. In fact, it's so good, I'm leaving right now to play that version while the DVD plays on my HDTV.

Who knows what Acclaim was thinking . . .

P.S.: This same format of game works pretty well on Game Boy and Game Gear, however, so it's not totally bad.

NES · by Fake Spam (85) · 2007

An 8-bit movie license that didn't go to waste? Believe it.

The Good
Most people will base their perceptions of this game on the first two levels, especially if they find themselves unable or unwilling to go any further. While the first level is not entirely true to the movie (or logic, for that matter) and the second level can be frustrating at first, it does get better.

The plot, excluding the first level, follows the plot very well with gameplay that is actually appropriate. Most of the game takes place in the standard side-scroller view. The only exception is the second level, which involves the drainage ditch chase, in which you try to survive while evading the T-1000. It can be frustrating until you get the hang of it, but aside from the graphics, it was actually pulled off very well. Graphics throughout the game aren't exceptional, but they more than get the job done. You can tell who's who, though the T-800 is the size of the other characters, dwarfed by the massive first boss. Though the still renditions of characters shown in the cinemas are simplistic by today's standards, they were rather impressive at the time and did much to help tell the story between levels. Other little touches that I thought helped bring the personality of the films to the game were the red overlay with data readout you get when pausing and the white noise screen that you receive at Game Over.

Control here is basic - attack and jump. In the first level, you'll have only your fists. Following the chase level, you'll continue to have a gun. What type of gun you have each level depends upon your performance in the previous, which is based on civilian casualties. The more people you shoot in the knees, the better your performance. Kill them, and your rating goes down. It may sound like a nuisance, but it doesn't take fast fingers to accomplish, nor does it take long to get used to. It was actually nice that they maintained this bit from the film, as it would have been a much simpler run-and-gun than it already is.

Rather than being a standard-issue game where you run through the level to fight a larger boss, there are mission-based levels. Some might argue that it was an excuse to lengthen the amount of time it took to beat the game, making it feel larger than it was, but it was really more of a precursor to games like Alien 3. While definitely easy, the mission-based gameplay provided a nice change of pace from the norm. In the third level, you'll simply search all of the floors of Pescadero Hospital to find Sarah Connor, while Cyberdine has you tracking down and placing explosives in the proper places before setting them off.

The Bad
The first two levels are where the real problems lie. Rather than hunting down the guy and getting clothes at the biker bar, the T-800 shows up fully clothed, apparently needing to beat up everyone in sight in order to get a motorcycle. It wouldn't be such an issue if it weren't for the fact that his strength was reduced to half that of his opponents. It takes roughly 3-4 punches to knock down one of the baddies, who get up for a second dose. One thing I did figure out is that you can use the T-800's weight to take out groups of enemies by jumping up onto a truck or trailer and then jumping down onto all of them a few times.

The second level's main issue really is just the graphics. Everything is grey and black, not to mention simplistically drawn. However, it will be moving at such a quick pace that you might not notice. It does make it a little difficult, especially with the isometric view, which can be a little disorienting at first. You may find yourself replaying the boring first level more than once until you've memorized the layout of the drainage ditch.

The music isn't memorable at all, and I don't recall any of the soundtrack actually making it in. The sound effects aren't spectacular either, but they're not terrible, only bland.

Unfortunately, unless you're a fan of the series, there is very little replay value here. Once you've figured out the levels, the whole thing's a breeze.

The Bottom Line
The main things that keep Terminator 2 on the overlooked list are the first two levels (mostly the first) and the fact that it's a movie-licensed title. To those who can bother to delve further into it, there is a solid, though easy, game to be found that adheres to the film's story very well.

NES · by DarkBubble (342) · 2007


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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Skitchy.

SEGA Master System added by Katakis | カタキス.

Additional contributors: chirinea, formercontrib.

Game added May 15, 2006. Last modified September 12, 2023.