TAKAE! CHŌ ROBOTTO SEIMEITAI
TRANSFORMERS - CONVOY NO NAZO
©Takara Co.Ltd 1986
Release: 1986-12-05 (¥4900)
Transformers Convoy no Nazo (aka "Mystery of Convoy") is a side
scrolling action game published by Takara and
based on the hit and ever popular Transformers animated series from
the 1980's. The protagonist of the game is Ultra Magnus, an Autobot
commander, who goes on a solo commando mission against the Decepticon empire
to find out what happened to his defunct leader, the legendary Optimus Prime.
Ultra Magnus comes equipped with a blaster gun that can be upgraded
(along with other special abilities) by collecting power-ups
left behind by Skywarp fighter jets - 'P' cells double the firing power of
the blaster gun, 'F' cells (which appear later in the game) give
Ultra Magnus the ability to fly, 'B' cells give him a 3-hits shield,
'1' cells award extra lives and the 'D' cells cancel out all collected
power-ups (and should be avoided for that matter). Throughout the game,
Fighter jets also drop special red letter-icons that spell out the name
"Rodimus" (see the 'secrets' section to find more information
about the Rodimus letters). In the Transformers tradition,
Ultra Magnus can also turn into an armored transport carrier
(by pressing down) - in this form he can fire powerful missiles but
also deal damage to ground enemies (which are hard to hit in robot mode) or
drive through narrow corridors and passageways. Transformers Convoy no Nazo
consists of ten stages with a boss battle at the end of each one.
The story about the mysterious game title is well worth being told. Convoy no Nazo
can be translated as "Mystery of Convoy" (the English translation on the game's
packaging is actually misspelled). Convoy is the Japanese name of
Optimus Prime, the leader of the Autobots. In the American movie of
Transformers (originally released in 1986) and which follows the continuity of the
animated series, Optimus Prime is fatally wounded after fighting his arch-enemy
Megatron (who also later dies).
On his deathbed, Optimus Prime passes the Matrix of leadership to Ultra Magnus
and dies. Interestingly, the movie was released between the second and third season of the
animated series and bridges the two, introducing a large cast of new characters (and killing most
of the popular ones, such as Optimus Prime, Megatron, wheeljack
and Ironhide, probably in a attempt to promote a brand-new line of toys). However,
the movie was released much later in Japan (in 1989) and Japanese Transformers fans were
clueless on what had happened to Optimus Prime - there is little doubt that Takara's game
"Mystery of Convoy" was marketed to fill that gap (and monetize it).
Interestingly, the game doesn't give a clear answer on the identity of Optimus Prime's killer,
the player do fight Megatron at one point, but the last boss is the monstrous Trypticon.
The only real clue is given in a secret room located in level 8 where the
picture of Megatron appears.
Click on picture to enlarge
Seven letter-icons are hidden throughout the game, in levels 1,2,4,5,6,8 and 9.
They are usually carried by Skywarp fighter jets, except for
level 8 where the letter-icon is hidden in a secret room. Once all the letters
are collected, they spell out the name "Rodimus" and if you
happen to beat the game, you'll be rewarded with a new playable
character - Rodimus. However, Rodimus looks fairly
similar to Ultra Magnus (except in his vehicle mode) and
plays exactly the same.
At the Game Over screen, press and hold A, B
and Start to continue.
Stage nine loops indefinitely if you don't follow a particular path. Several online
faqs are now available that will guide you through this infamous (and frustrating) stage.
There are two special warps hidden in the game. In stages two and seven, defeat
the orange Starscream jet-fighter to activate them.
Add your Pov here !
First off, everything you read about this game is true - Transformers
Convoy no Nazo is a complete disaster that was pushed out just to
capitalize on the Transformers franchise. The game is hard and
frustrating beyond all reason - Ultra Magnus is sluggish and stiff,
enemies appear from nowhere, bullets are impossible to dodge and the
transformation is unbearably slow (the truck mode is rather useless anyway).
Then, even if you give this game a chance, you will eventually reach the ninth
level that asks you to go along a particular path, and if you don't the stage
just loops forever. What ? and they don't even bother giving you any clue
whatsoever as what that path could be. How are you supposed to figure this out ?
buy the guidebook ? The lists of bad points about this game could be endless so
I'll just stop now. If you're a Transformers fan (as I am), then maybe you can
hunt down this game - but I must warn you, Transformers Convoy no Nazo is
utterly terrible and unplayable.