aka: Risco Total
Moby ID: 29830
NES Specs
Note: We may earn an affiliate commission on purchases made via eBay or Amazon links (prices updated 5/25 8:51 PM )
See Also


Cliffhanger is based on the 1993 Sylvester Stallone movie. The lead character, Gabe Walker, is an expert in high mountain search and rescue and receives a distress signal from a plane that has crashed nearby. However, the plane is actually loaded with terrorists who hijacked a large shipment of cash. The game consists of side-scrolling action. The hero can walk, run, jump, punch, and kick while jumping. Further, he can perform special feats as the situation requires, such as crossing a rope suspended from two cliffs. One of the biggest threats in this game is nature as Gabe must defend against wolves and birds, snow falling off cliffs and structures, and falling rocks.

Groups +



Credits (NES version)

21 People (17 developers, 4 thanks)

Executive Producer
Assistant Producer
For Sony Electronic Publishing Company
Produced By
Project Manager
Programming By
Graphics By
Music By
Special Thanks To



Average score: 29% (based on 14 ratings)


Average score: 2.4 out of 5 (based on 20 ratings with 1 reviews)

Average platformer yet astoundingly faithful to the film.

The Good
What I liked was just how incredibly faithful the game tries to be to the movie. The soundtrack is comprised of 8-bit renditions of sections of Trevor Jones' robust score for the film, including the famous Cliffhanger theme. Situations and gameplay elements are taken straight from the film, among them burning money to regain health and warmth (represented by one bar, and both of which go down if you stand still too long), snowboarding using a henchman's corpse, the final showdown on the Bitker Ladder with Qualen and a level taken from a deleted scene where Gabe climbs an ice wall. Also, the controls are easy to pick up (with the exception of a few of them, as I'll report later). You also get a nice variety of weapons: your fists, knives, guns, stones, and dynamite, to name a few.

The Bad
The graphics REALLY needed a lot of spit and polish. It looks almost like a Commodore 64 game ported to the NES. The snow is nothing but white splotches with gray fragments thrown in, the Rocky Mountains look more like the peaks in South Park, the henchmen look incredibly generic and Gabe looks more like Patrick Swayze than Sly Stallone. I know it's an NES game, but they were doing better graphics with great gameplay by 1993.

The controls are a bit sluggish, but the major problem is unless you have the manual (or the time to experiment) you don't know a few vital ones. Sure, you have Start to pause, B to punch/kick/use current weapon, A to jump, and down to duck, but those are easy to find. The harder ones are not self explanatory: Up+left or right starts you running after a few seconds so you can do a flying leap to another platform (wondering what those boots you pick up in the first level do?). Without knowing that, you can't reach the plane in the third level and get the plot moving. Up+B when your fists are selected allows you to kick, which you can normally do when jumping. Down+A goes through your weapons. Like I said, not really self-explanatory and could have been implemented better.

The Bottom Line
Not a pretty looking game, but a decent platformer that's not a bad way to kill a few hours and rewards you if you're a fan of the film. Once you find those obscure controls, Bob's your uncle.

NES · by Kyle Palkowski (226) · 2011


MobyPro Early Access

Upgrade to MobyPro to view research rankings!

Related Games

Cliffhanger: Challenger of Tomorrow
Released 2021 on Android, Windows, Linux
The Cliffhanger: Edward Randy
Released 1990 on Arcade, Browser, 2023 on Antstream
David O'Leary's Total Soccer 2000
Released 2000 on Game Boy Color
Hide & Secret 2: Cliffhanger Castle
Released 2008 on Windows
Big League Soccer
Released 1985 on Amstrad CPC
Total Annihilation: Commander Pack
Released 1998 on Windows, 2013 on Macintosh
Total Mayhem
Released 1996 on Windows, Windows 3.x
Friday Night 3D Darts
Released 2003 on Windows
Football Glory
Released 1994 on Amiga, DOS

Identifiers +

  • MobyGames ID: 29830
  • [ Please login / register to view all identifiers ]


Are you familiar with this game? Help document and preserve this entry in video game history! If your contribution is approved, you will earn points and be credited as a contributor.

Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Multimedia Mike.

Game Boy added by dymo. Amiga, Game Gear added by GTramp.

Additional contributors: chirinea.

Game added August 26, 2007. Last modified August 31, 2023.