The Game: You’re Cliff, a lovable rogue who’s just pulled off a major heist. But as you’re high-tailing it for your hideout via your getaway car, you encounter another crime even more heinous – a carload of armed thugs pursuing a young woman. You have to rescue her as soon as possible – and since she already has mobsters and other villains after her, the danger just piles on from there. (Stern, 1983)
Memories: Another exponent of the laserdisc genre that begat Dragon’s Lair and Space Ace, Cliff Hanger was Stern’s entry into the then-crowded field. But rather than create new animation from the ground up – a costly endeavour for those aforementioned games created by Don Bluth – Stern simply licensed footage from a couple of classic animÃ¨ movies from the Lupin III series, drawing primarily from The Castle Of Cagliostro (whose DVD these screen captures are from).
While the control scheme of Cliff Hanger was a little less rat-in-the-maze like than that of Dragon’s Lair, and even though things happened much more quickly and provided players with more interaction, it still suffered from that same over-structured feel. On the up side, I recall Cliff being a lot more fun than Dragon’s Lair, and let’s face it, at the time of the game’s release, the movies from which the footage was borrowed was some of the best animÃ¨ out there. (The Lupin III movies were directed by Hayao Miyazaki, who later graced the world of animation with the stunning Princess Mononoke and Howl’s Moving Castle.)