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Bionic Commando (NES)

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Title Screen

Bionic Commando

Also known as: Hitler no Fukkatsu: Top Secret (JP)
Developer: Capcom
Publisher: Capcom
Platform: NES
Released in JP: July 20, 1988
Released in US: December 1988
Released in EU: October 26, 1990
Released in AU: 1988

AreasIcon.png This game has unused areas.
EnemyIcon.png This game has unused enemies.
ObjectIcon.png This game has unused objects.
GraphicsIcon.png This game has unused graphics.
ItemsIcon.png This game has unused items.
TextIcon.png This game has unused text.
RegionIcon.png This game has regional differences.

ProtoIcon.png This game has a prototype article
PrereleaseIcon.png This game has a prerelease article
NotesIcon.png This game has a notes page
DCIcon.png This game has a Data Crystal page

Bionic Commando tells the story of FF Battalion Captain Ladd Spencer, a man with stiff knees and a bionic arm who finds himself the star of a platform game despite being unable to jump. His mission: rescue Super Joe from the Empire, successor to the Nazis Badds, and put an end to Hitler Master-D's insane plans for world domination.


Read about prototype versions of this game that have been released or dumped.
Prototype Info
Read about prerelease information and/or media for this game.
Prerelease Info
Miscellaneous tidbits that are interesting enough to point out here.
Regional Differences
There's a lot to cover.

Unused Objects

Most of these objects were used only in Top Secret, the Japanese version of the game. To interact with these, set byte 0554 in memory (US version) or 7736 (Japanese) to the given value, preferably before entering a door. Note that unless this is done in a room where the object's sprites and palette are loaded, it will appear glitched, but its behavior can still be seen.

Red Rolling Ball


Object Number: 24

In Top Secret, the heavy object throwing soldiers in Area 6 alternate between throwing spiked balls and this non-damaging spikeless variant. Though functionally identical to the blue rolling balls seen in Area 5, it is a completely different object. Considering the enemy soldier's sprite when lifting the ball over his head is clearly spikeless, it is probable that they were originally intended to throw only unspiked balls, which would have made Area 6 much less annoying.

Floating Platform

Object Number: 26

An extra-long-range floating platform that covers a wider horizontal distance than others of its type. This object is unused in all versions of the game.

Land Mine


Object Number: 39

Explodes when stepped upon. Five of these are placed on the ground beneath the very last sequence of swings in Top Secret's Area 7, and nowhere else. The graphics are still loaded and will display properly in Bionic Commando.

Suicide Bomber spawned from door

Object Number: 5C

This enemy is unused in both versions. Other than its method of entering the room, it is identical to the enemy found in Areas 2, 8, and 19.

Captain Mack


Object Number: 66

An Imperial commander found in the second room of Top Secret's Area 14. Part of his dialogue was translated, but he was replaced by ten bullet canisters. The yes/no prompt can only be properly seen by interacting with this object, though answering yes will display text from the credits.


Object Number: 7D

A friendly soldier whose role in Top Secret was to comment if the player shot and killed the captured soldier, who is invincible in Bionic Commando. Presumably this is M-2, who informs you of the capture and requests you visit Area 7 (a typo). His single line of dialogue was translated, indicating he was considered for inclusion at some point.

Rock Barrier

Object Number: 85

Presumably, this is the same vertically-stacked rock barrier seen in Top Secret's Area 4 that also occupied index 85. However, loading without the rocks will freeze any version of the game. The rock object 3F in Top Secret was changed to a falling tank robot in Bionic Commando, making it impossible to properly load this object.

Unused Overhead Stage Objects


Object Number: 03

The object that used this index number in Top Secret was removed from Bionic Commando. Forcing one to spawn produces no visible effect.

Jumping Soldier


Object Number: 0B

A regular soldier exhibiting a jumping behavior not used in English versions. After completing the jump, it will change into object 00 (roaming soldier) unless frozen, in which case it will hop around indefinitely.

Unused Areas

To visit these locations, change byte $4D in Bionic Commando or $51 in Top Secret before selecting "descend" on the map screen.

Boss Rooms

Room Numbers: 23 through 26 (with boss), 55 and 56 (empty)

Unused duplicates of the common boss room. Room 23 features the fake boss from Area 12, and the locked exit (object 2E) that brings you to the room with the electrified floors. However, the boss is stuck on the other side of the generator, which cannot be damaged, making it impossible to exit except with A + B + Start. Room 24 is identical, except the boss's sprite is glitched. Rooms 25 and 26 are identical to 23. Rooms 55 and 56 are both completely void of objects and use the Area 5/6/10 BGM. These are probably just unused placeholders.

Communication Rooms

Room Numbers: 2F (Area 7), 46, 47, 57, 58 (non-functional)

Room 2F is accessible in Top Secret as Area 7's hidden communication room. The entrance to this room was deleted in Bionic Commando.

Rooms 46 and 47 do not have functioning communicators. They do however each contain object 79, which is used for important items found in the neutral area interiors. The items themselves are defined as nothing. Taking the exit places you on foot at Area 1's landing point.

Rooms 57 and 58 have no functioning objects (including the exit) and play the Area 5/6/10 BGM.

Area 12 Generator Rooms

Room Numbers: 5B through 5E

Duplicates of Area 12's unique generator rooms, each lacking destroyable generators. There is an invisible exit to the left of the door that spawns you on Area 1's landing zone.

Unused Text

To do:
Add the Japanese equivalents of these messages and check for any notable differences.

To view these in-game, change the two bytes starting at address 007A to the provided dialogue pointer before speaking to any NPC.

Area 15 Soldier

ROM address: 2C787
Dialogue pointer: 7587

Stored adjacent to another line ("WE'VE LOCATED JOE! HE'S AT P.O.W. CAMP IN AREA 7. PLEASE HURRY.") that is used twice: once by the NPC in the second room of Area 17, and once by the friendly soldier outside the second room of Area 15 where the delta communicator is found. This makes Area 15 the only location with a communicator where the NPC outside the door doesn't have anything to say about it. Given these facts, it is fairly likely that this line was intended for Area 15 and left out by mistake.

Captain Mack

FOR YOU.        
ROM address: 2D0AF
Dialogue pointer: 9D90
IS THAT SO,     

ROM address: 2D17C
Dialogue pointer: 6A91

These lines belonged to a friendly Imperial commander who occupied the second room of Area 14, but was replaced with ten bullet canisters in the English versions. Note the incorrect punctuation. While the NPC still exists in English ROMs, his response for players answering "Yes" to his question is missing.

Captured Soldier


ROM address: 2D5D5
Dialogue pointer: C395

ROM address: 2D64A
Dialogue pointer: 3896

Remnants of a different version of the encounter in the first room of Area 17, where a captured enemy soldier informs you about the secret underground paths. In the Japanese version, he is interrogated by whacking him with the bionic arm repeatedly. He can also be shot and killed, which elicits a remark from the nearby friendly soldier (who is also unused in English versions).



ROM address: 2D7AD
Dialogue pointer: 9B97

This one appears among the dialogue of the "Destroyers", who offer you a (possibly fake) machine gun in Area 18.

Area 19 NPC

ROM address: 2D880
Dialogue pointer: 6E98

Stored with some dialogue for neutral area NPCs (roughly organized by area number), right after the speech by the "100th opponent" guy from Area 19, where the NPC who might have said this was probably intended to appear. While it serves as good advice for pretty much the entire game, it was probably a specific hint for Area 11, which features a series of floating platforms as a red herring - the only way to clear the stage (save a well-timed grapple during the damage knockback from landing in a fire pit) is to ignore them and swing along the ceiling.



ROM address: 2E232
Dialogue pointer: 20A2
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 
9 0

ROM address: 2E238
Dialogue pointer: 26A2

ROM address: 2E24D
Dialogue pointer: 3BA2

Vague text of unknown use, stored adjacently. The sequence of numbers may have been for inputting a numeric code.


ROM address: 2E73F

Truncated duplicate text from the introduction, stored after the end of the ROM's text.

Unused Variables


Unrelated: set 4CA to 6 to equip flares as a weapon, resulting in severe yet harmless graphical glitches every time you press B.

Addresses 04d0, 04d5, 04d6, 04d7, 04de, 04e4, and 04e5 (US/EU versions) and 1d26, 1d2b, 1d2c, 1d2d, 1d34, 1d3a, and 1d3b (JP) are unused flags for inventory items that don't exist: a gun, three armors, a miscellaneous item, and two communicators, respectively. In addition to wasting memory, this shows that the inventory system is set up to allow up to six items per page, even though it is impossible to get more than five. All of the unused items pull their icons from other items, except for the gun, and the communicators, which use garbage data. The unused gun is a blue palette swap of the 3-way; firing it crashes the game.

Continues Cheat

Address 04F9 (JP 054F) will give 9 continues whenever the player has no remaining continues at the title screen. There does not appear to be any instructions in the program to set the variable to anything other than 0 or decrease it by 1.

Unused Graphics


These "DO NOT USE" tiles mark the end of several ROM banks in which graphics are stored. Due to the unpredictable power-on state of the MMC1 mapper, games that use it need to have CPU vectors and a small amount of mapper reset code at the end of every PRG ROM bank; these were likely written over the graphics data after the ROM was assembled, causing the corruption seen in the image (and conveniently demonstrating why those tiles should not be used).