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One windy day, there was an explosion at a nuclear power station, causing heavy doses of radiation to be poured over many people. One of these people was a coal miner named Chelnov. When he survived the deadly accident, he was possessed with abnormal powers. Having realized this, he decided to act in the cause of justice. He is determined to escape the Eastern Bloc country he called home and run and jump across the world to finish in the US.

What distinguishes Chelnov: Atomic Runner from other platform games is its use of forced scrolling. This occurs when the screen moves continuously from left to right, forcing players to negotiate the game's many obstacles and enemies without controlling Chelnov's speed of progress. Enemies attack from left, right, above, and below, and Chelnov can switch the direction he's facing to attack enemies that are behind him. Some enemies in the game carry different types of weapons and power-ups, and when they are shot at, the power-ups drop to the ground and can be picked up.

While the level design and enemy placement is identical in the later released Genesis (and subsequently Wii) version, the graphics have been significantly changed: now each level is based on a ancient human civilization and the enemies (including bosses) are replaced. Also all references to atomic explosions have been removed from the background story. Now Chernov is the son of a scientist. The evil Deathtarians, who claim to be the original population of the Earth and want to control this planet, murdered his father and abducted his sister. Chelnov takes a special suit made by his father, which give him super-human powers and make him an "Atomic Runner". The Deathtarians caught and imprisoned him, but he broke out of the prison and is now on the run...


Chelnov: Atomic Runner Sharp X68000 Stage 3 and fighting some kinda dragon thingy
Chelnov: Atomic Runner Sharp X68000 This version runs at a slightly higher res than the arcade original (256x256 vs the arcade's 256x240). The J power-up increases jumping height
Chelnov: Atomic Runner Genesis An arm grabs hold of Chelnov and doesn't let go
Chelnov: Atomic Runner Sharp X68000 The final battle takes place atop the Statue of Liberty

Promo Images

Chelnov: Atomic Runner Magazine Advertisement

Alternate Titles

  • "Video Game: Anthology - Vol. 2: Atomic Runner - Chelnov" -- Sharp X68000 title
  • "Chelnov" -- Japanese title
  • "Atomic Runner" -- Genesis title
  • "チェルノブ" -- Japanese spelling

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

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Critic Reviews

Joypad Genesis Oct, 1992 92 out of 100 92
Mean Machines Genesis Oct, 1992 91 out of 100 91
Joystick (French) Genesis Nov, 1992 90 out of 100 90 Genesis Feb 11, 2010 8 out of 10 80
Commodore User Arcade Apr, 1988 8 out of 10 80
Electronic Games Genesis Oct, 1992 75 out of 100 75
Play Time Genesis Oct, 1992 75 out of 100 75
Retrogaming History Genesis Jun 23, 2008 7 out of 10 70
Video Games Genesis Sep, 1992 64 out of 100 64
ASM (Aktueller Software Markt) Genesis Oct, 1992 7 out of 12 58


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Contributed to by FatherJack (62726), Sciere (738555), Terok Nor (30924) and Katakis | カタキス (42093)