If you're reading this, then allow me to welcome you to the return of Guess that Game, a monthly feature loosely based off of the game of 20 Questions. The first thing you might want to do is make sure you are viewing this with the website lights turned on (the switch is located at the top of the website near the search box). If you don't...the clues and answer might be inadvertently revealed as you read this.

I started the series last year and posted three or four episodes before I had to leave the website for awhile. But its a new year and I always kind of fancied this feature, so I thought I'd bring it back. Last episode seemed to go very well - there were some who thought it was easy, some who thought it was hard, and some who thought it was just right. Even if they are too easy, I hope they still provide an opportunity to learn something maybe you didn't know before. I know I learn all sorts of odd facts, like the fact the name Sega originated from a business that was named Service Games. That was a clue in the last episode.

(ta da - the light switch)

Twenty Questions is a spoken parlor game which encourages deductive reasoning and creativity. It originated in the United States and escalated in popularity during the late 1940s when it became the format for a successful weekly radio quiz program. In the traditional game, one player is chosen to be the answerer. That person chooses a subject but does not reveal this to the others. All other players are questioners. They each take turns asking a question which can be answered with a simple "Yes" or "No." In variants of the game multiple state answers may be included such as the answer "Maybe." The answerer answers each question in turn. If a questioner guesses the correct answer, that questioner wins and becomes the answerer for the next round. If 20 questions are asked without a correct guess, then the answerer has stumped the questioners and gets to be the answerer for another round.

However, instead of each of you asking me 20 questions, I have come up with 20 clues about a game whose identity you are trying to guess. The clues start out rather generic and progressively get more revealing, so if you have to read all of the clues, the answer should be fairly obvious by the end (or if you read only the 20th clue, you have a fairly good chance of guessing it, but that kind of defeats the purpose). Your goal is to guess the game after reading as few of the clues as possible starting in numerical order with Clue #01.

NOTICE: Of course I have no way of verifying the integrity of your answer, so should you choose to leave a comment with your score, it is based off of the honor system. I'll take you at your word.

Long time readers may remember last year I did a similar feature called Guess that Gamer that posted 20 questions and answers from a member of the community, and those who chose to participate tried to guess who the mystery member was based on their answers to the questions. It was generally received with positive results, but one of the biggest issues with the way the series operated was when and how guesses were made, and the influence it had on other members' guesses. The other problem was you were either right or wrong - and if you piggybacked off of someone else's answer, you were just as right (or wrong) as the person making the initial answer.

Using this new and improved process, not only will you find out the answer at the end of the questions, your performance will also be determined by how many clues you needed to  guess the correct answer. Now, you might notice that except for Clue #1, the rest of them are blank. How are you supposed to read the rest of them? Ah, using the magic of technology...the clues are there, however the font is white so the text appears invisible. In order to view them, all you have to do is highlight the text by clicking and holding the cursor on the text and dragging the cursor over each clue. This is an extremely easy process that most of you are undoubtedly familiar with. Oh, as a reminder - if you're viewing the GI website with the lights off, obviously this isn't going to work since the font color is reversed. I recommend turning the lights on when viewing this blog.

The same concept applies to the answer which is found at the very end of the blog.

Well, I think that's it. I've stated the goal and provided the instructions, all that's left is for you to read the following clues, in order, and guess the mystery game in as few clues as possible.

Good luck, you'll need it!

GOAL: Guess the game by reading as few of the clues as possible, starting at #1.


1. Several sequels were released, but they never did as good as the original did.

2. The original game was released in 1987.

3. It was originally an arcade game but was ported over to other platforms, most notably the NES.

4. There was a plan to release a sequel to this game on the Nintendo 64, but it was later cancelled.

5. This game is considered to be in the "run and gun, shoot 'em up" genre.

6. In 2007, IGN voted it #1 Toughest Game To Beat.

7. If you read the game's manual you might discover in 1957 a large object from outer space crashed into Earth's Amazon basin, near the ruins of a lost Mayan civilization.

8. You have a handful of different weapons at your disposal.

9.Game Informer included it in their list of best games ever at Number 13.

10. Some version of the game feature a two-player cooperative mode.

11. Nintendo Power ranked the game the seventh best NES video game.

12. You will fight bad guys ranging from scuba soldiers to an armored giant.

13. In Latin, the title of this game might mean "against".

14. You may recognize the game by it's European name - Probotector.

15. This game makes a cameo appearance in Silent Hill: Shattered Memories where you can see the arcade cabinet in a theater lobby.

16. It has eight stages including a hangar, an energy zone and a snow field level.

17. On the Famicom version of the game, there is a secret ending after the credits where the final boss vows his revenge.

18. The heroes of the game are two armed military commandos named Bill "Mad Dog" Rizer and Lance "Scorpion" Bean.

19. The antagonist of the game is the Red Falcon Organization or Red Falcon, depending on which region / version of the game you play.

20. This game is well known for its use of a code inspired by Kagemasa Kozuki, Yoshinobu Nakama, and Tatsuo Miyasako, which is also the name of the company.




So, how did you do?

Lucky Dog (1-5 clues)

Veteran (6 - 10 clues)

Commoner (11 - 15 clues)

Rookie (16 - 20 clues)

You might've noticed the first five clues were very generic and could fit any number of games, so if you managed to get it in five or fewer guesses, then you just got lucky. The next five clues include some obscure facts and more specific information about the game, so if you got it in 6 - 10 clues, you really know your video games.  All of the clues after number 10 are fairly specific to the game, so if it took you 11 - 15 clues you're a commoner. The final five clues are very specific to the game with some hints that people naturally associate with this particular game. If it takes you 16 - 20 clues, better luck next time...NOOB! (I'm only kidding.)

I hope you've enjoyed this installment in my Guess That Game series. I tried striking a perfect balance with game choice and difficulty and think it's a fair contest. Perhaps a bit on the easy side, but I'll let you all be the judge of that. Good luck and enjoy.