The aptly named “War of drugs” has raged on since the 1980s. While at the moment, drugs are the least of everyone’s problems, there was a game that either glorified it or made it look really, really awesome to say no. That game was NARC by Williams in 1988.
NARC was an arcade, co-op, run and gun with the generic red and blue characters, Max Force and Hit Man. The objective of the game was simple, kill or arrest junkies and dealers to eventually get to the main drug boss, Mr. Big.
In 80s action movie fashion, the players are armed with a machine gun and rocket launcher. As expected, when the rocket launcher is used, the enemies’ bodies explode in a glorious display of fire and body parts. With each enemy killed or arrested, they drop either drugs or money, and the players confiscate them for points. The players get more points for arresting the enemy than killing them.
17 years later, Midway releases an updated version of NARC. This version was originally intended to be a total remake of the story from the arcade hit, but Midway decided to give an entirely new storyline.
In this new version, former partners Jack Forzenski and Marcus Hill investigate this new drug on the streets called Liquid Soul.
This version actually expands more on the “War on drugs” theme. As the player can still arrest or kill whatever dealer or junkie they come across and confiscate the drugs that they may be carrying, they can turn it in as evidence, sell it, or take it themselves.
There are consequences for the latter two choices however. If you are suspected of doing drugs or caught taking them, you’ll be demoted to wither beat cop or civilian. It doesn’t help that you get special abilities from taking the drugs (ie doing crack gives you automatic headshots). Takes away from the point of the game a little bit, however, still fun.
The original NARC was released on the classic systems (Nintendo, Amiga, Atari, etc.) as well as PS2 and Xbox through Midway Arcade Treasures 2. 2005 NARC was released for the PS2 and Xbox. These games could be found at Gamestop, Replay, Game Hits, or Mad Gear Games on eBay.