M.U.S.C.L.E. Nintendo Entertainment System Game

This is the M.U.S.C.L.E. Tag Team Match Nintendo game! You choose two wrestlers for a tag team, and fight another tag team controlled by either the computer or another player. Your basic moves are the same for each wrestler, and include jumping, punching, backwards body-slamming, jumping-off-the-rope punches, and throwing your opponent against the ropes and smacking him on his return. Every once in a while Meat shows up and throws an energy ball into the ring. The character that catches the energy ball gets increased strength and the opportunity to perform his signature move for a short period of time.

There are eight selectable characters: Muscleman/Kinnikuman, Terry Man, Ramen Man, Robin Mask, Terri-bull/Buffalo Man, Wars Man, Geronimo, and Ashura Man. Three different styles of rings exist in the game: normal, icy (where your characters slide everywhere), and electric (with electric ropes that will give your wrestler a shock if he touches them).

The game quite frankly sucks. The graphics are poor (even for an 8-bit Nintendo game), the control is lousy, and the music is very lacking. Also, your wrestlers all have the "Super Deformed" look, so they all look kind of like Niku. Additionally, the electric level has so many flashes that I feel like I'll have a seizure like after watching a Pokemon cartoon. Despite these setbacks, it's still pretty cool to see your M.U.S.C.L.E.s in action, and I like the signature moves.

Some information about the Famicom version of the game was passed along to me by Kim V:

I used to play the video game quite a bit in Japan. The equivalent to the Nintendo game was for Famicon. And on that version it had Brocken Jr. instead of Geronimo. I believe they did that because some people here may find Brocken Jr. (dude in a Nazi outfit) highly offensive. In the Japanese version, Brocken Jr. would get the glowing ball from Meat and then he can do his poison gas move.

That sounds like it could be quite offensive, actually.

Screen Shots

My high score... I spent way too much time playing this game.

Play the Game

You can play the game online at Virtual NES. (This site also has the Japanese version of the game under "Japanese Language Games".)

Here are the basic controls to get you started (taken from the description of the controls at The M.U.S.C.L.E. Shrine at NES FANZ):

A Button: Punch
B Button: Jump
A then B Button: Jump Kick
A Button (when opponent is facing away from you): Back Drop
A Button (when wrestlers are "touching"): Throw Opponent
B Button (jumping into ropes): Flying Body Attack

Tips and Tricks

If, for some reason, you take it upon yourself to play the game, here are a few tips so that you can exploit the game's flaws:
  • When you backward-slam an opponent (press punch when you're directly behind him), immediately move behind him and you can backward slam him again. You can repeat this until you reach the ropes on the other side of the ring. This is especially effective on the electricity stage, because you can backward slam your opponent into the electric ropes for added devastation.
  • If your opponent got one of Meat's glowing balls (uh, huh huh huh huh) your best bet is to stay facing the ropes and jump off the ropes and punch him whenever he comes close. This way, you can stave off the attacks until his special energy runs out. (Of course, this does not apply to the electricity stage.)
  • If your opponent is Geronimo, and he gets the glowing ball, you're screwed.
  • Terri-bull and Wars Man are the best characters. Their special moves are flying attacks that are very impressive and devastating. Geronimo has a great projectile special move, too. After you hit your opponent with their special attacks, follow up with another immediately after fight continues. Your opponent is unable to get away, and you can usually knock him out without him retaliating. Sure, it's cheesy... but hey, this game sucks.
  • The basic strategy is this: Try to stay on your feet until the glowing ball floats through the ring. If you get the glowing ball, you're in great shape. Hit your opponent with your special move and finish them off by repeating it. If your opponent gets the ball, head for the ropes and clobber them with a flying punch when they get near. Good luck!

Misc. Information

From left to right: The MUSCLE NES decal; The NES Player's Guide, featuring an article on MUSCLE. (Courtesy of Universal Ruler Supreme); The MUSCLE article in the NES Player's Guide. (Courtesy of Universal Ruler Supreme)

M.U.S.C.L.E. NES Links