Description of The Punisher
The Punisher is a 1993 beat 'em up arcade game.
The game follows the same side-scrolling beat'em up formula Capcom established in Final Fight. Much in the same way that Capcom's Cadillacs and Dinosaurs did when released that same month (April 1993), the game distinguishes itself by the frequent use of several firearms (the Ingram submachine gun, the M16 rifle and an improvised flamethrower), along with the traditional melee and thrown weapons (including baseball bats, hammers, knives, Japanese swords and shuriken), as well as improvised weapons such as lead pipes or car tires.
Unlike in Final Fight, the Punisher and Nick Fury's size, abilities, and tactics are essentially interchangeable; they both use the same punch, kick, throw, and special piledriver and "megacrush" attacks. There are also several sections of the game in which the characters draw their handguns enabling the player to shoot the enemies. The game is presented in a comic book style, including featuring on-screen onomatopoeias such as "BLAM!" for gunshots.
Plot and characters
The game begins in an illegal casino and the streets of the New York City, with the Punisher (optionally partnered with Nick Fury) in a pursuit of the Mafia enforcer Bruno Costa; the chase ends with a fight against Chester Scully (a minor villain from the comics). Still on track of Bruno, the Punisher infiltrates the mob's Pantaberde resort via a water duct and breaks into a hotel where he finally corners Bruno, who is then killed during a boss battle with Doctor Doom-provided robot Guardroid.
The Punisher then conducts a raid on a major drug smuggling ring at a harbor, which ends in a fight against Bonebreaker in a waterfront warehouse. After that, the Punisher attacks the Kingpin's poppy field in an underground cave in Arizona, where he boards and destroys the freight train that is commanded by Bushwhacker.
At that point, the Kingpin decides that he has lost enough of his henchmen and "businesses" to the Punisher's actions. He issues a big price for the Punisher's head, who then needs to escape from his hideout through a forest, pursued by assassins. After defeating another Guardroid, the Punisher in turn assaults the King Building skyscraper and fights his way to the final showdown against the Kingpin himself. After the Kingpin is defeated, the entire tower collapses, but his body is not found among the many dead criminals in the rubble.
Besides the protagonists and the bosses, the game features a collection of other characters. Common villains the players confront during the course of the game range from street punk thugs, to the Tommygun-wielding mobsters and machinegun-toting mercenaries, to the kunoichi ninja women with special powers (and color-coded costumes like in Mortal Kombat II). Marvel Comics characters Pretty Boy and Jigsaw are included among regular enemies (as a cyborg and a gunman). The Punisher's aide in the game is Microchip, while Nick Fury is aided by Alexander Pierce and Kate Neville. The Ryu-like karateka enemy Yan Lee's name is a tribute to the Marvel comic artist Stan Lee.