The reviews on this site are the text versions of the videos on my YouTube channel. The text based reviews use (if at all) very little pictures. Please follow the link to the corresponding video in order to see in game graphics.
N.Y. Captor is an arcade game made by Taito in 1985. It is the first light gun game Taito ever made. Before that Taito did two games which used fixed guns: The 1976 released “Attack” and the 1977 released “Crossfire”.
In the thin story gangsters referred to as “the mob” came over New York, took hostages and terrorized innocent people. The player was chosen to take care of them. There are four different kinds of levels: A gangster boss mansion, the alley in front of the mansion, an apartment dwelling and a shooting gallery. When starting the game a training session can also be played.
On the screen gangsters appear. Eventually they will flash red to indicate that they are about to hit the player. Once they start shooting the player they cause mayor damage so it’s wise to kill them immediately and give priority to the flashing enemies. Damage is displayed as red bars. The player may replenish health by shooting birds, balloons, rescuing hostages and shooting certain objects 32 times. Shooting civilians will cause a life penalty. The gun has a magazine which behaves similar to the energy bar in “Space Gun” also made by Taito. That means that the gun will decrease its cadence after a fast series of shots, but will increase back to normal after some time. Seldom enemies throw dynamite at the player which causes substantial damage if it isn’t shot while still in the air. The player receives lives at certain scores. After some time the gangster boss shows up. He will damage the player without prior flashing. Each common level ends shortly after the boss is killed.
The player starts with a certain amount of lives displayed next to the gun on the screen. If lives are available it’s possible to continue at about the same position the player died at. If the player dies without remaining lives a nice animation of a dead scene is shown. Depending on the dip switch settings the game lets you continue with a fresh stock of lives at the beginning of the same level, but will take your score away. The game has 24 levels. If the player succeeds level 23 a bonus of 500’000 points is achieved. At level 25 the game starts over with level 1.
The difficulty of the game can be nicely adjusted with dip switches. The player may set some options like removing of the continue feature, or changing the guns cadence to remain constantly high. The impact of this game is undeniable. It brought Taito on to its track to become one of the most excellent light gun game developers. A year later Taito released a similar game called Cycle Shooting which based on the same hardware as N.Y. Captor. Furthermore the Spanish computer game Mike Gunner made by Dinamic Software in 1988 has to be mentioned as it uses a really similar setting and art style. It was released for the ZX Spectrum, MSX, Commodore 64 and the Amstrad CPC.
I think N.Y. Captor is great fun. The dip switch settings allow you adapt the difficulty to your own skill and taste. The loop mechanic after beating the game is well made and feels rewarding. I think the visuals are really nice for their time and the music sounds great and matches the setting. Personally I find the amount of interactivity in the scrolling stage amazing and very creative for a game of this age.
Sadly this game is an example for non-perfect emulation in MAME. In level 22 some of the enemies are not displayed, causing the player to get shot until death. This is the reason why all videos on YouTube are concluded in Level 22 and don’t proceeded to further levels.