Target: Renegade

Moby ID: 7622
Commodore 64 Specs
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Description official descriptions

Mr. Big is back in town, and this time he's captured your brother! He's being held at Big's Pig Pen which is located on the upper side of town. The problem is, every gang in the city is out looking for you. It is now up to you to beat the odds and rescue your brother. You start the game armed only with your fists, and along the way there are some additional weapons to be found such as baseball bats or garbage cans. Gameplay is an arcade style side scrolling action game for one player.

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Critics

Average score: 67% (based on 21 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.0 out of 5 (based on 31 ratings with 1 reviews)

Best Beat-Em-Up Ever!

The Good
This game's prequel, Renegade, was arguably the grandfather of the scrolling (of flip screen) beat-em-up genre. A genre famous for big beautiful sprites and the illusion of depth in a time when games were usually lacking in content.

Target Renegade managed to improve and expand vastly on the controls and ideas put forward in the original game, developing the feeling of progress that comes with simply moving from left to right (and in some cases, top to bottom) of a level.

The 128K spectrum version stands out as one of the most carefully balanced games of its kind and of its time, putting it worlds ahead of its C64, Amstrad and NES counterparts. The game's inclusion of the ability to grab and pummel an enemy was only improved upon by the elaborate grab sequences in the much later "Streets Of Rage" while a powerful jumping kick made the absolute most of the extremely few frames required to animate it. Playability was chunky and fun while the character graphics were extremely well grounded and animated.

The Music was a fantastic blend of the inappropriate and macabre, its tinkling tones giving the game a sinister undertone for the most part, except for level 2 which alone, stays with the classic beat-em-up style of music. For the most part though, the music suitably spooked the 10 year old player that the game was intended for (that would be me) into a vague, compelling feeling of fight or flight.

The Bad
Colour clash has to be the game's biggest sin, though since innovations to minimise on this were yet to be developed (see Shadow Warriors and Golden Axe) it can be easily forgiven.

The lack of a level boss felt like something of a step backward too. This game would have highly benefited from somebody BIG to beat at the end of each level, though the game does have an overall boss and there's a pimp with a gun chasing you through the early screens of the second level. Still, more could have been made of bosses overall.

The Bottom Line
This really is a game to look at in context...

Now, sure, it's a dated old 2D fighting game with tinkly music and background colours running into the sprites. It all seems so formulaic and offers very little in reward and extra content.

But in 1988 the game was an inspired piece of work, triggering off ideas in its piers within the genre and really exciting its target audience. Target Renegade for the Spectrum was worth the discomfort of pushing your whole body weight down on a failing cassette player for two-and-a-half minutes while it loaded, and when looked at with the benefit of context, it's definitely worth the hype!!

ZX Spectrum · by Mike Hanson (311) · 2009

Trivia

German index

On July 30, 1988, Target: Renegade 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.

Music theme

A fragment of music theme that plays in the cutscenes between the stages was used in the song Zabivayu by Russian band Narkotiki. The song is generally about gaming.

Unlicensed hack - Double Dragon IV

A hack of Target: Renegade with title screen changed to Double Dragon IV was available on cartridges in Russia and other countries. In fact, until the internet became available in every household, many players from Russia sincerely believed that this was the true Double Dragon IV game.

ZX Spectrum versions

Similar to the precursor, the game was released separately for the 48K and 128K machines. The former suffers the indignity of loading each level in turn, whereas the latter version loads everything in a single go.

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Servo.

Commodore 64 added by Quapil. Antstream added by firefang9212. ZX Spectrum added by Martin Smith. Amstrad CPC added by cafeine.

Additional contributors: Alaka, Xoleras, mailmanppa, GTramp.

Game added November 3, 2002. Last modified September 8, 2023.