By the year 1992, video games had virtually taken over the industrialized world. People started to realize that if they wanted to reach the youth of the nation with subliminal mind-control, video games was the medium to use. Thus Wisdom Tree was born. It has been said that if you had an idea during the golden age of Nintendo, and someone to pitch it to, then you were in like sin. Apparently this idiom didn't apply to Wisdom Tree, because none of their contributions to the NES console were ever licensed. That didn't dampen their spirits however. In total, they released four games for the NES: Bible Adventures, Joshua, Exodus, and Spiritual Warfare. Normally when a company released and marketed games for the NES without getting the coveted Nintendo Seal of Quality, Nintendo would sue the bastards. Not Wisdom Tree though. Not even Nintendo execs were fucking dumb enough to sue a group of Christians. That would be like suing God. Maybe if they had had Chuck Norris on their payroll, but they didn't, so they left well enough alone. I was unable to find a copy of the manual for Spiritual Warfare, so I got this game description from Wisdom Tree's website (and judging by the wealth of knowledge in the 4-page Bible Adventure's manual, I'm probably not missing much).
You’re a soldier in the army of the Lord. Explore the regions of a modern city as you attempt to collect the full armor of God. Along the way, you’ll encounter villainous characters and numerous obstacles designed to test your faith. Correctly answering Bible questions will help restore your health and strengthen your spirit.
Sound promising? Too bad. Here we go!
After the start screen you get the priviledge of entering your name. I'm not entirely sure why, because the only place it ever appears is on the status screen. After that formality, you get dumped in a city park with the clothes on your back. During the course of the article, you'll probbly notice some similarities between this game and The Legend of Zelda. The start of the game is the first instance of this. Instead of a cave however, you have a door which you enter to get your first weapon: the mighty pear. While a pear may seem pretty lame in comparison to a sword, don't be hasty. When you hit most 'villianous characters' with a pear, they are instantly converted to Christianity. Benny Hinn hits people with his jacket to heal them, and just like the maladies Mr. Hinn cures, the bad guys in Spiritual Warfare respawn eventually. Another thing you may want to know about the pear is that if the bad guy is also possessed, converting them also performs a spontaneous exorcism. Unfortunately for you, this pisses the demon off, and it flies straight at you. Though fear not, demons also can be destroyed with fruit. Sometimes they're too fast to defeat, so when I beat this game, I'm pretty sure I was harbouring some forty or so demons. Emily Rose only had like seven. The other thing on the first screen is an urn with the number three on it. These are Vials of the Wrath of God. That's right, the power of a flood, plague and a tsunami, all condensed into a jar of holy ass-whooping. With your newly acquired pear and wrath of God grenades, you are now ready to explore the park.
So what sorts of villianous characters await you in the park? Well, as you can see above, you've got some knife-wielding Latino drug runners, buyers, some retarded kids with green paddles, and Jumpman. Apparently the nine years since Jumpman first appeared haven't been good to him. Not only has his hair gone completely white, but he's also lost the ability to jump. So now he spends his days climbing ladders and hating God for what happened to him. If you head one screen right of the first screen, you'll find the entrance to the first boss lair. Convenient isn't it?
The first boss is the most bad-ass boss in the entire game, (with the exception of the final boss, but that comes later). I say this because he runs around hiding behind and carrying a boulder, and because he THROWS FUCKING DEMONS AT YOU. When he pokes his head out, you see that he is one of the special kids from the park. That explains how he's able to able to move the rock. But for some reason he's also been given conjuring powers. You cannot fully comprehend how amazing this actually is, until you encounter enemies later on that throw balloons at you. Yes you heard right, balloons. Anyway, after you bean this guy's rock with a couple pears, he has a seizure and dies. You can then claim the Belt of Truth which allows you to move things, like rocks, and ultimately escape the park.
Exiting the park thrusts you directly into the downtown business district of the city. What villians await us here? Well, aside from maniacal public workers that plant ludricrous amounts of explosizes, you'll encounter men in business suits, wearing colour-coordinated skullcaps. Now, I'm not saying that these skullcaps are yarmulka, and I'm not saying that these businessmen had filed my income tax before I exited the first screen, but by the time I had made it to the second boss lair, every toss of a fruit resulted in an involuntary Sieg Heil. One thing of note in the downtown sector is the bar. There's a kid outside that warns you not to go in, but really, what the hell do kids know? If you do into the bar, an angel takes the belt of Truth and sells it to a pawn shop in the Slums. Normally when I go into a bar and an angelic looking creature takes off my belt, it's the beginning of a good night. Unfortunately it doesn't work that way in this game, so don't go into the bar.
The second boss is a pain in the ass, and not even remotely as cool as the first boss. All he does is run around the room in a counter-clockwise pattern, trying to smash your skull with his monkey wrench. Yes, the first boss could summon demons, and this guy has a fucking wrench. The inherent lameness of this boss is further aggrevated by the fact that the blocks in the room appear and disappear at random, so you can't really anticipate when he's going to run into you. To put Mr. Plumber down for the count, you have to nail him with three vials of God's wrath. Fortunately the vials detonate when you hit then with fruit, so you don't have to time anything. It's still annoying, but once you get the job done, you get the Breastplate of Righteousness, which cuts the damage you receive in half. This is a good thing, because soon enough you're going to eat more than a few bullets.
The next stop on our Jihad Journey is the slums. In the slums you'll find run-down buildings, broken windows, trash and garbage cans. The enemies in the slums are drunken winos, BMX riders, armed gang members and rabid mutts. You'll quickly notice that dogs aren't affected if you hit them with fruit. This is because dogs can't be converted as they have no souls. Yes Sally, all dogs don't go to Heaven. They die and become worm food. For some reason dogs are also immune to God's wrath. I don't really understand why this is. If there's anything that Hurricane Katrina taught us, it's that animals most definately are not immune to the wrath of God. After wandering around the slums for while, you'll find an angel willing to sell you a vintage torch. You don't need it to beat the game, but it makes things easier, as it illuminates various secrets. The slums are also where the pawn shop is. It is here that you can buy back your belt if you lost it. You can forget about your wallet though. That bitch already took all your money and maxed out your credit cards.
Next up is the residential district. The most important thing in the residential area is the church. Not only does it refill your life meter, it also gives you hints about where to go next in the game. You may wonder why I don't have a screen shot of the church. The reason is that I never went there. Yes, I was a supreme soldier of God without ever having gone to church. It is in the residential section that you will find the most villianous of characters. No, not the graffiti kids, the Jehovah's Witness. Once they realize that the masters of the house aren't going to let them in, the get pissed and try to kill you. I remember this one time a Jehovah's Witness came to my house. I told him I very interested in what he had to tell me and invited him into the den. I offered him a glass of water, but when I went to kitchen, instead of a glass of water I got a coconut and went Rowdy Roddy Piper on his ass. He immediately fell prostrate before his new Lord and was instantly ascended to Heaven. Hallelujah!
Wandering back through the business district brings us to the airport. There's not really a whole to do at the airport aside from pick up a heart container and a key. The only enemies you'll encounter are airport security, some generic people running around on the tarmac, and bhuddists. If you thought having Jews in the business district and having Jehovah's Witnesses in the residential sector were bad stereotypes, this is even worse. Not only are the bhuddists hanging out at the airport, but they're holding pamphlets, wearing togas, and they're bald. If you manage to avoid their heretical teachings of inner peace and harmony with nature, the warehouses await you.
There's really not much going on in the warehouse district. That guy that looks like he has a giant white beard is actually holding a jackhammer. He goes around destroying the sidewalk (which miraculously heals itself if you leave the screen and come back). The guy in red throws novelty-size wrenches at you. The hispanic guy just has a dagger and tries to cut you. Other than that, you may run into some forklifts which push boxes around, and generally try to run you over. Once your past these few obstacles, we can finally take on the third boss.
Meet boss number three. While he may seem like just another plumber, this guy is eons ahead of his simpleton cousin. Instead of trying to bash you with his wrench, he drops mortars on you. These aren't just any mortars though. No, these are heat-seeking mortars. The only thing that keeps your sorry ass alive is the fact that these bombs are slow as shit, and they explode once they reach the bottom of the screen. To beat this boss, you have to lure the mortars into the pink bricks that appear when he's about to fire one off. When the bomb hits the pink brick, it explodes, revealing ladders. Once you've blown open a path to the boss, just climb the ladder and hit him with some trusty God wrath. All that's left is to claim the boots and move on to the hotels.
Onward Christian soldier