April 7, 2019

Balloon Fight for NES (review and walkthrough)

Genre: Arcade
Number of players: 2
Developer: Nintendo R&D1
Publisher: Nintendo in 1984

Balloon Fight is one of the first games on the NES console, simple but exciting. The game is designed for one or two players who are given control of the nameless characters suspended on balloons. Repeated presses of buttons A or B cause the character to wave his hands and gain height, with no strokes the character slowly descends to the ground under the action of gravity. The player loses his life in the event that the enemy has burst both his balls, if he falls into the water (a big fish eats him or he drowns) and as a result of a lightning strike.

Balloon Fight for NES from Nintendo, 1984
Balloon Fight for NES from Nintendo, 1984
The selection of game modes on the title screen is made by pressing the Select key. There are 2 different modes available in the game: standard, the goal of which is to destroy all opponents on the screen, and Balloon Trip (in the version for arcade machines was absent), in which you must avoid obstacles. This game does not have a final and after a certain number of levels passed, they just begin to repeat.

Balloon Fight (Cover Art)

Fight Mode


The mode is available for playing alone or together. The entire level fits on the screen, you have to fight with other Balloon Fighters, differing in color from the game characters. You need to touch your feet to the ball of the enemy, thereby dropping it to the ground, and then get rid of it, pushing it into the water. Otherwise, the opponent thrown on the ground over time will inflate the ball again and take off, returning to itself the combat capability. You also need to avoid counterattacking actions of the enemy, which, in turn, is trying to burst the player's balls - game characters cannot inflate their balls. You should also be wary of lightning periodically flying out of a cloud and moving along the level, and avoid flying over the water - there lives a big fish that can eat a player. The design of the levels is not distinguished by a special variety and is often repeated. Every time after passing through three stages, you get to the bonus level. Here you will recover lost balls and provide an opportunity to earn extra points. To do this you will need to burst all the balls flying out of the four pipes at the bottom of the screen. There are 20 balls in total. Knocking everything down, get 30,000 points and another 700 for each ball. If during the whole game the number of your points reaches a maximum, the counter will be reset and the points will be charged anew.

Your character can pierce the balls, only falling on them from above, while opponents can pierce the balls also with their beak. In addition to the main enemies, the hero is also threatened by external factors. For example, if the battle drags on, the previously innocuous clouds in the background will release ball lightning, a collision with which is fatal. Lightning flies strictly along the trajectory of a billiard ball, starting from the ground and the edges of the screen, while your character can fly from one end of the screen to the other. Also, do not fly up close to the water - you can drown or become prey for a big fish (this also applies to enemies). I would also like to add that water bubbles periodically fly out of the water, knocking down which you can earn points. A little later, pink "dumbbells" will appear, which from time to time rotate and repel everyone approaching them.

It is interesting to play alone, but it’s still more fun to play Balloon Fight together, as in this mode you will need not only to hunt enemies, but also to deftly maneuver, so as not to accidentally burst the ball of your friend!

Balloon Trip Mode (Adventure)


The mode is available only for one player. The enemies are moving and stationary lightning, and the whole game consists of one level, moving from right to left. You need to fly forward, avoiding a collision with discharges. Only one life is given for the whole game, there is no land at the level. If you burst 20 green balls in a row, they will change color to orange and then to red. If you catch a bubble, you can delay the movement of the zone for a while and complete a difficult maneuver.



Now a few words about graphics and music. The graphics of the game is not very rich. Unpretentious character models, beautiful clouds, moving stars in the background, frozen water, repeated levels - all this does not cause delight (except clouds), but does not strain either. There is music, but we can assume that it is not. The game has only a few monotonous melodies, and even then often repeated. The sounds of the game is also not saturated. Sound design of the game contributes to the atmosphere of such unusual fights, but no more. I do not think that, having played this game, you will whistle the melodies from it, and therefore turn on your favorite player and set the game to your own mood.


The game had some success with the owners of the NES, and it is logical that it was later reissued to the Game Boy Advance in 2002.



RAW cheat codes for all versions of Balloon Fight:
  • Infinite lives - Player 1: 0041:02
  • Infinite lives - Player 2: 0042:02
RAW cheat codes for versions of Balloon Fight (U) and (E) [!]:
  • Eternal balls: EFA7:60:84
  • Infinite lives: F2FD:B5:D6


Video passing game Balloon Fight


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