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Based on the 1990 Schwarzenegger film of the same name, Total Recall for the NES generally adheres to the movie's plot across its nine levels. Unlike the various PC iterations, this title was created by Interplay and published by Acclaim.

Players control Doug Quaid as he platform hops across Earth and Mars in search of his stolen memories and the responsible parties. A collection of police, soldiers, and creatures will try to stop him. Quaid's default attack is a strong punch, though guns can be knocked away from some guards and picked up for use. Cutscenes between certain levels tell the movie's plot, and feature likenesses of the actors from the film (including Arnold).

Sequences in the film are also replicated more tightly than in the PC versions. Quaid will be chased by henchman Richter in the first level, and must battle his wife inside their apartment. The security x-ray scanner takes up a level, as does the subway battle after. The player will also commandeer a Martian taxi for a driving level inside the colony, and windows can be shot out on Mars, sucking out any unfortunate baddies nearby.


Total Recall NES Lost a life
Total Recall NES The subway
Total Recall NES Someone is shooting at Quaid from inside a moving car
Total Recall NES Climbing a ladder

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User Reviews

Why did they bother? Oh right, the money Multimedia Mike (19855) 0.4 Stars0.4 Stars0.4 Stars0.4 Stars0.4 Stars
Totally Should Have Been Recalled ETJB (450) 3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars

Critic Reviews

VideoGame Mar, 1991 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars 80
Power Unlimited Sep, 1993 5 out of 10 50
Power Play Jan, 1991 39 out of 100 39 Nov 09, 2018 3 out of 10 30
Electronic Gaming Monthly (EGM) Sep, 1990 11 out of 40 28 Nov, 2013 D 25
SwankWorld 2008 2 out of 10 20
Retroguiden Jan 22, 2010 2 out of 10 20
neXGam 2002 1.8 out of 10 18
Defunct Games Aug 06, 2012 F 0


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The NES version of the game actually has the likenesses of Arnold Schwarzenegger, Michael Ironside and Ronny Cox, who play Douglas Quaid, Richter and Vilos Cohaagen, respectively. All of them appear in cut-scenes. This may seem strange to some; in those days, there weren't many limitations on the use of actors' likenesses in video games.


  • Electronic Gaming Monthly
    • October 1990 (Issue 15) - Worst Movie to Game

BurningStickMan (18027) added Total Recall (NES) on Mar 11, 2010