(Capcom, July 1988)

Many people out there in the world wide web consider me to be a fun loving goof ball since I like video games so much and that may be true but that doesn't mean I don't follow what's in the news. One of the biggest news stories currently going around is the whole 'Gay Marriage' controversy where many same couples are strictly prohibited by many in political office to become officially married. Not everyone is listening to what the law says however, and many are finding loop holes in the system and getting married anyway. Is it modern day discrimination or should marriage only be between a man and women? What does this story have to do with video games here? You would be surprised how many older titles that feature gay people in games. I want to ruffle a few feathers this month so I was able to find a NES shooting game called Legendary Wings from Capcom here that is very different from the others.

The Legendary Wings story is suppose to take place 20,000 years in the future when the world is living a very carefree life thanks to the guidance of an advance super computer called DARK. Things appeared to be going well until DARK starts to go haywire and creates a horde of monsters and robots to wreck havoc on the innocent people of earth (Gee, where have I hear that one before). Two young male soldiers are not taking this war against mankind lying down because they were able to construct special wings to give them the power of flight. With the power of your weapons and your Legendary Wings can you destroy a super computer and its massive army?

If you go by story alone the game doesn't sound very gay but here’s where the Legendary Wings starts to get a little weird. As soon as you start the game you hero is wearing the stupidest pink underwear with long pink boots I ever seen and the second player looks exactly the same but his colour is light blue. The game plays is kind of like Konami's Life Force because you're flying and shooting in different scrolling stages but when you are forced to look at their ugly butts during the vertical scrolling screens and see the fruity leg pose during the side scrolling levels, you really question why you are playing this title. You want to know the weirdest thing about the NES version of Legendary Wings? There is an arcade version of Legendary Wings that stars a women and man as the main heroes but for whatever reason some of the people working at Capcom decided to take out the female character called Michelle and put in another male hero instead. If you weren't sure that this game is gay then that little fun fact just sealed the deal.

Moving back to the game itself, the graphics are very colourful and well defined for a NES title plus the five stages each have a theme to it so it does feel you are getting something new as you progress. I don't like the fact that you have to fight the same dragon and giant multiple penis-like bosses all over again but only with a higher difficulty. It makes the game play repetitive after awhile. You can also tell that Capcom made this game because many of the enemies look like they were lifted from some their early Mega Man games especially those driller units on level 4. The music fits these futurist/Greek-like stages well although the tracks are a little too over the top at times. The sound effects are also fairly above average since each weapon as there own sound.

Here is the weird looking boss that is used at the end of every level here. The higher you get, the longer and much harder it becomes. If you get good enough then you can beat it.

Legendary Wings would have rated a lot higher if only Capcom added a way to shoot behind you. Many enemy guns in the later levels are placed where they can shoot you but you can't shoot them. How cheap is that! The difficulty also seems quite unbalanced because your default gun is way too weak to be effective late in the game and unless you are fully powered up, the game becomes very demanding. The game is still good and intense enough to be a VG101 Game of the Month and a solid shoot em up, that is if you forget about the entire two looking gay heroes thing. If you go back to the whole gay thing though, this Legendary Wings NES game deserves a lot of credit for paving the way for other gay friendly titles like Dark Stalkers 3 (the two female succubus’s are kind of close), Fear Effect 2 (the two female leads don't even hide the fact they are lovers), Enter the Matrix (the game may stink but it also has the first official lesbian kiss in a video game), and there is a Japanese game called Gakuen Heaven (a game with a all male cast who look very metrosexual). The Legendary Wings is a fun arcade shooter that comes out in a big way!

overall rating: 67/100

Find this game on eBay here!
For 1 or 2 players
graphics: 7/10
sound: 6/10
gameplay: 6/10
replay: 5/10

(Ryan Genno) 2004

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