The Destruction of Spondylus
A little-spoken-of NES game, Dynowarz combines
with mechanical dinosaur warfare and ends up with a moderately fun,
none too innovate, title.
Having sold this game some time ago (and just
recently buying it again), I don't recall
exact plot, but I believe it has something to do with your character (a
scientist) fighting off an alien infestation with the help of his
which of course bears a strong resemblance to a dinosaur, thus the
While this game doesn't tread much new ground, it does a decent job of
entertainment value nonetheless.
Pictured above is a typical room from the game, where the scientist
some enemies with his three-directional pistol while braving hazards
as spiked floors and moving platforms. The strange-looking enemies (I
figured them to be some kind of floating hand, a la the Floormasters of
fame) generally serve as little more than cannon fodder, though they do
to be difficult to hit due to their erratic movement patterns and
awkward placement. Fortunately, your character's excellent leaping
made fleeing to the next room an easy task in case the enemies got too
Occasionally, defeating the enemies would yield power-ups, in the form
small capsules with letters on them. The "E" capsules restore your
Energy to full, while the "P" capsules would increase your weapon's
allowing it to have more bullets onscreen at a time, up to nine at
Finally, there were the rare "B" capsules, which would restore the
bar to full, effectively doubling the amount of damage one could
With his trademark 20-foot leap, the scientist prepares to board the
Very anime-ish, hmm?
After a few screens, you'd reach the dino-bot and hop
, thus beginning the second portion of the game. It was essentially the
except that you now commanded the dino-bot, which was a bit less mobile
its pilot but made up for it with some interesting abilities (and
The 'satellite' at the top of the screen could be activated to
all onscreen enemies by pressing Select. Its usefulness was limited,
by the fact that it only worked in the first section of each dyno
way to get rid of those pesky pterodactyls, though.
Aren't loopholes fun?
As the stage opens, your dyno is stuck fighting off
with a short-ranged Punch. By defeating larger enemy dinos, such as the
critter in the above screenshot, items would drop. Collecting these
would result in collecting more advanced weaponry, including fireballs,
and even a weapon that launches your dino's fist across the screen,
it to boomerang and fly back a moment later. Each weapon had three
of power, which would not only increase the damage it inflicts but also
caused it to have different effects. The fist would fly quicker, for
and the laser would fire several beams at a time, as opposed to just
Each dyno stage would end with a battle against a
enemy dino, who was a lot more durable than his buddies and had the
trait of quickly dashing around every time he took a hit. Generally,
these guys were pretty easy, and it was just a matter of time and
before they dropped the key to the next level.
A 23rd century key. Note the ingenius anti-theft feature; the key
roughly 2300 lbs
The next level would drop you right back to the role
the Scientist, though from that point on each stage consisted of
the end and taking out a Mother Brain-ish foe who pelted the room with
spores. The manual's description read "computer virus," if I recall
and it seems to be pretty accurate- it looks just like a novelty-sized
These duels were normally long and tedious, but since
first played this game as a nine-year-old kid with too much free time,
an exploit; if one leapt inside the tank itself and crouched down, they
blast the virus repeatedly while remaining safe from harm.
After that was said and done, you made your way back
way you came to the dino-bot, at which point the next 'dino' stage
This continued for about 7 more levels, each stage getting
longer and longer, though not really any more difficult. Dynowarz's
does get tiring after you've played for about an hour or so;
included a password feature, so that you could quit and resume at a
point if you really wanted to see the end.
All in all, a pretty decent game, most notably on the visual and audio
Since this game is pretty common at used game shops, I'd deem it worthy
a $5 purchase.
One-line synopsis: Not too bad of a game, though you may lose interest
reaching the end due to the heavily recycled room layouts and enemies.