Operation Wolf

aka: Operation Wolf: Take No Prisoners
Moby ID: 3475
Arcade Specs
Note: We may earn an affiliate commission on purchases made via eBay or Amazon links (prices updated 6/15 11:55 PM )

Description official descriptions

You have been recruited for Operation Wolf, a desperate attempt to rescue prisoners from the enemy. Through a series of missions, you'll engage a variety of enemies, from soldiers to ninjas, patrol boats to helicopters, and more. Can you carry the day?

Operation Wolf is an arcade game by Taito. It is essentially a bitmapped "rail-shooter", where you basically hold the gun and shoot just about everything that moves, while conserving your ammo and grenades. Shoot ammo/grenades and healing items on the screen to "pick them up". Your primary machine gun can kill everything if you hit it enough times, but you can also use the grenade launcher for really deadly targets like helicopters or armored cars. You can collect a machine gun which will allow you to shoot faster for a few seconds.

You'll be pummelled by a LOT of enemies. Some will be shooting, others will be tossing grenades, knifes, and more. Some are armored and require more than a few hits, and others can dodge. You can shoot grenades and knives out of the air if you aim well enough. There are also civilians running around which can be shot, but it's not beneficial.

Bosses appear at the end of some levels, and each has a specific weakness you need to exploit.


  • オペレーション・ウルフ - Japanese spelling

Groups +



Credits (Amiga version)

8 People (7 developers, 1 thanks)

Master Programmer
  • Digital Research
Graphics Conversion
Music Conversion
Special thanks to



Average score: 71% (based on 46 ratings)


Average score: 3.5 out of 5 (based on 113 ratings with 3 reviews)

A salute to Chuck Norris and his legacy of blowing up jungles.

The Good
Probably the earliest hit of the genre, Operation Wolf is THE original rail shooter. A cult hit that garnered a modest success when released on the arcades with those plastic little uzis as controllers.

The premise behind the game is as simple as you'd guess, bad guys are doing bad stuff!! Go! Kill!! ARRRR!!! Yes, that's what we like anyway so why bother with anything else? Perfect to kill time and relieve some stress by mindlessly cleaning the world of central-american drug dealers, islamic terrorists and all sorts of paramilitary evils. In all, a perfect shooting gallery game, with all the features that would become classics of the genre like the missile/knife deflection via gunfire, the idiotic hostages/civilians that have no better idea than to run right in the middle of your line of fire, and "missions" that boil down to shooting the hell out of everything that dares to enter the screen as it scrolls around the different locations that make up the game. The enemies appear as nice looking bitmaps that usually go down with a shot or two of your two available weapons: the usual main shooter, an UZI and a high-powered grenade. The interesting addition to the gameplay comes in the form of finite ammo for both of your weapons, which forces you to be on the lookout for ammo bonuses as well as the usual health power-ups.

Additionally the port to DOS was quite good, keeping all of the action-loaded gameplay and it's graphics, which look about the same as in the arcades except for the gigantic status bar that eats up almost a quarter of the screen.

The Bad
The sound got horribly botched, I remember digitized samples as well as much more thumping sfx instead of the wimpy bleeps present in the DOS port, though those later may have been my arcade memories acting up.

Aside from that there's nothing else that you can object against Operation Wolf except the fact that it's really a dumb and simple 80's rail shooter, it gets old really fast and you could easily find something better to do with your time than playing it. After all it's the videogame equivalent of (and was inspired by) those cheesy "exotic" action movies of the 80's like Rambo 2 or the Delta Force series, were a one-man-army (usually Chuck Norris, Micheal Dudikoff, Lorenzo Lamas, etc.) shoots and kills dozens of colombian/vietnamese bad guys in mock jungles that look more like someone's backyard with a couple of shacks thrown in...well, you get the picture. They are a funny diversion if there's absolutely nothing else in the entire world for you to do.

The Bottom Line
A good port of a classic of the rail-shooting genre. I leave it up to you to figure out if that's a good thing or not. For what it counts Operation Wolf delivers the same non stop action that made it such a hit in the arcades and while that isn't enough to get a nomination for "Best game ever" it still makes for a funny arcade diversion, you know, in a "Chuck-Norris-vs-5000-Colombians" kinda way.

DOS · by Zovni (10504) · 2003

Typical Coin-Op port that probably did better in the arcade

The Good
Killing people and blowing stuff up. I guess thats the premise of this game. There are innocents to kill and lots of vehicles to destory. Get those silly medics! What are they doing in the crossfire anyway!?

The Bad
Two weapons, machine gun and grenades. All there really is to do is watch your ammo levels and after a while all you have to do is memorize when a helicopter or tank is going to come through and your ready. The game is static and linear. Don't expect too many suprises. Only 6 levels? Come on.

The Bottom Line
An exactly replica of the arcade version. The only difference is you are using a controller instead of a mounted uzi. For this reason alone, I say go with the arcade game. At least there I feel like Rambo!

DOS · by MaiZure (59) · 2003

Taito's first attempt at developing a shooter, and one of the best

The Good
Taito is known to bring out classic arcade games, but in 1987, they decided to do something different. They decided to focus on shooting games rather than just creating platform games. Their first attempt was Operation Wolf, and what a fine game this is. The deal is you are a pre-WWII soldier, and you must get through six locations like the communication setup, jungle, powder magazine, concentration camp, and airport. Each one of the locations has a mission. For example, in the communication setup, you have to cut off all communication between the enemy; in the jungle, you have to extract information about the location of the concentration camp; and in the powder magazine, you have to stock up on ammunition.

But there are various enemies that get into the line of fire and prevent you from completing your mission by either shooting, or throwing sokmething at you, like knives and grenades. These enemies include other soldiers, helicopters, boats, and tanks. Some enemies, like the helicopters and tanks, take more than a couple of hits to go down, so make sure that you use your supply of ammunition and rocket bombs wisely. Speaking of supplies, you can stock up on ammunition and rocket bombs by shooting things in the background like barrels and crates. You can also stock up by shooting animals like dogs and cats. And by shooting a coconut tree that has a coconut on it, shooting a falling coconut will increase your score by 5000 points.

Also, you have an energy bar that depletes each time you're hit, and this bar will flash red if you are nearly out of energy. Once your energy is depleted, the game is over. If you're lucky, you can pick up some sort of energy boost that will add five points to the indicator. At the start of a new game you are seen parachuting down to an island and the game asks you to rescue hostages. These hostages include the two nurses, a young boy, and a woman getting around in her knickers. The hostages are not in any danger, since just about each enemy tries to kill you anyway, but it is in your best interest to avoid shooting hostages on purpose.

However, on the last two levels of the game, you have hostages in gray clothing suddenly appear on the screen and make their way to the other side. More often than not, behind them is a guy with a knife in his hand, attempting to get close enough to the hostage and stab him in the back. You must shoot this guy before he does this. Failing to save all hostages, especially in the last level, will result in the mayor telling you you've failed your mission at the end of the game. However, when you managed to save all of them, the mayor will thank you for your efforts.

The sound and music are excellent in the game, even though, unlike 1st-person shooters, you don't have music to listen to while you continue to kill enemies. The sound is through Adlib only. Graphics are not bad either. Shooters like this have the kind of gameplay that won't bore you, especially when you had a bad day. You can worry about nothing else and shoot your enemies as if they are real people.

The Bad
The coin-op version of Operation Wolf is much better than the versions for various formats out there, particularly the NES and Sega Master System versions. It has better sound. The hostages speak and the enemies grunt when they are hit. It has much better graphics than the rest.

The only thing the coin-op version is missing from its counterparts is the boss at the end of the jungle, who is holding a local hostage and shooting you at the same time. There is also three helicopters that try to shoot you down somewhere between the third and fourth levels, that's also missing in tbe coin-op version. If you would like to play this version, I suggest that you download a copy of MAME, as well as a ROM image of the game.

The Bottom Line
The bottom line is: if you like shooters, get this game. And if you've completed the game and really enjoyed it, then perhaps you'll have a go at Operation Thunderbolt, a game that has a real story behind it, not just killing soldiers and rescuing hostages. ****

Amiga · by Katakis | カタキス (43087) · 2003


1001 Video Games

The Arcade version of Operation Wolf appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.

BPjS/BPjM index

On April 29, 1989, Operation Wolf was put on the infamous German index by the BPjS. For more information about what this means and to see a list of games sharing the same fate, take a look here: BPjS/BPjM indexed games.


If the Tandy/PCjr or CMS/GameBlaster sound modes are being used, then in game sound effects are played through the internal speaker and music is played through the sound hardware. In Adlib mode both music and sound effects are played through the sound board.


  • Commodore Force
    • December 1993 (Issue 13) – #77 “Readers' Top 100”* Computer and Video Games
    • Issue 06/1989 - Winner Golden Joystick Award for Best 8-Bit Coin-op conversion (reader's vote)
    • Issue 06/1989 - Winner Golden Joystick Award for Best 16-Bit Coin-op conversion (reader's vote)

Information also contributed by Servo and Xoleras


MobyPro Early Access

Upgrade to MobyPro to view research rankings!

Related Games

Operation Darkness
Released 2007 on Xbox 360
Shock Wave: Operation JumpGate
Released 1994 on 3DO
Released 1994 on DOS
My Wolf
Released 2020 on Windows
F-117 Night Storm
Released 1993 on Genesis
Shakii the Wolf
Released 1995 on DOS
Operation S.T.E.E.L.
Released 2022 on Windows, Linux, Macintosh
The Wolf Among Us
Released 2013 on Windows, Macintosh, Xbox 360...
Operation WOW
Released 2011 on iPad, iPhone

Related Sites +

Identifiers +

  • MobyGames ID: 3475
  • [ 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 Servo.

Commodore 64 added by Quapil. Arcade added by Rola. FM Towns, Wii added by Sciere. TurboGrafx-16, Atari ST, MSX, ZX Spectrum added by Martin Smith. Antstream added by lights out party. SEGA Master System added by drewbar. Amstrad CPC, Amiga added by Katakis | カタキス.

Additional contributors: Kasey Chang, Isdaron, Alaka, Freeman, BdR, formercontrib, Jo ST, FatherJack.

Game added March 23, 2001. Last modified June 3, 2024.