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Clash at Demonhead Retro Review (NES)

And you thought it was bad when you colours clash…

Clash at Demonhead, also known as Dengeki Big Bang in Japan, is an action platformer released for the NES/Famicom in 1989 by Vic Tokai. Rather than stick to the tried and true formula of contemporaries such as Super Mario Brothers and Castlevania, Clash at Demonhead incorporates an extremely non-linear adventure that utilizes a route system that expands to over 40 stages which can be traversed at will.

The main character in your adventure is S.A.B.R.E. special agent Billy “Big Bang” Blitz. While vacationing on the beach, the Blitzenator recieves an urgent message-Professor Plum, the creator of the Doomsday Bomb, has been kidnapped by (no, not ninjas) Tom Guycot, the chief of the Governors of Demonhead (Metal band material? I vote yes), who also happens to be a skeleton wearing nothing but a cape.The only way for Bang to save the world from imminent  destruction is for Big Billy Badass to hunt down the six governors, slaughter them proper, and recover their medallions to defuse the ticking bomb.


Thankfully, Bang isn’t alone on his fantastic voyage. While Coolio is nowhere to be found, Bang has the ability to call forth Ron Jeremy, shop clerk of the stars, to aid him in his bloody journey towards plums and vengeance. Using your Call Shop item, you’re teleported to the store where you can buy new armored duds, a jetpack, more powerful weapons, and other special goodies. Most of these items are helpful, but some are actually required to access important areas of the game.

Ron Jeremy and Sally the Midget run shop

One of the things I very much enjoy about this game is just how wide open it is. The world is full of areas to explore, items to uncover, and secret areas to tumble into. If you fall in a hole, chances are you’re not dying, you’re instead trapped in an entirely new underworld to explore. Sharp, colorful visuals accompany the large world nicely. Everything has a 80’s anime look, and it really suits the game well.


Clash at Demonhead is a fun, and very silly adventure that really should be checked out by any fans of the genre. The game is a bit difficult, with some very challenging boss encounters, but definitely a satisfying experience. Another game I’d have to recommend which plays very similarly is Conquest of the Crystal Palace, if you’ve played this game, you will have a pretty good idea what to expect from Clash at Demonhead, at least in terms of gameplay and style-minus he cool route system.

Anyone looking for a quality retro-romp with a sense of humor, be sure to check this forgotten gem out.


Final Verdict: 4/5

Available on: NES (Reviewed) ; Developer: Vic Tokai ; Publisher: Vic Tokai ; Released: January 27, 1989

Frank has been the caffeine-fueled evil overlord of HeyPoorPlayer since 2008. He speaks loudly and carries a big stick to keep the staff of the HPP madhouse in check. A collector of all things that blip and beep, he has an extensive collection of retro consoles and arcade machines crammed into his house. Before founding the site, Frank was a staff writer for the blogs Gaming Judgement and NuclearGeek.
  • jgusw

    I never played this game, but I saw the ad enough times in Nintendo Power and Game Pro mags back in the day.

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