Die Hard (NES)

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Die Hard
Platform: NES
Year: 1991
Developer: Pack-In-Video Co., Ltd.
Buy: Amazon

Die Hard is a top-down action game designed by Activision in the USA and developed by Pack-In-Video in Japan. The game is a very rare case for movie tie-in video games in that it not only follows the story of the movie exactly, but it is also a very good and fun game to play, which is a step up from Predator (NES) which was by the same team.

Just like the movie, Hans Gruber and his 39 terrorists have occupied the Nakatomi Building and have taken hostages in the building, one of which is John McClane's wife, Holly Generro. The player takes on the role of John McClane (portrayed by Bruce Willis). The player must find and eliminate all 39 terrorists before the final showdown with Hans Gruber. Along the way, the player can alter the story of the movie. For example, they can collect the detonators from Heinrich to avoid the top of the roof being blown up (as shown on the game's cover), or they player can avoid calling the Los Angeles Police Department and they will avoid Al Powell interrupting them during a firefight locating enemies for the player to kill.

The game is also known for its high rarity, and is sought after by collectors. According to one of the game designers Tony Van, this game is rare because it was only sold through a Toys R Us offer during December of 1991.


Die Hard - NES - Title Screen.png

The title screen.

Die Hard - Difficulty Select.png

Choosing your difficulty.

Die Hard - Fighting - 1.png

Frozen from a stun grenade that the enemy threw.

Die Hard - Calling Police.png

Calling the police to get the best ending.

Die Hard - Vents - 1.png

"Come out to the coast, we'll get together, have a few laughs."

Die Hard - Game Over - 1.png

Game Over.


The game's music is not particularly memorable, but what is there is good. For 1991, there is a minimal amount of music. Throughout most of the game, the player will only hear the main BGM, as well as the music that plays when John fights a terrorist. They may also occasionally hear the elevator music, depending on how much they decide to use the elevators. While the game does not feature the movie's original soundtrack, it does feature the public domain song, Ode to Joy, during the game's finale.

The game lacks credits and the US and EU manuals only credit the staff at Activision, and the Famicom version's manual does not have credits at all. One of the programmers, Tohru Miyazawa recollected that many of the main staff had departed Pack-In-Video at the time of this game's release, and though he couldn't be sure, surmised that Junichi Saito could have been the composer. This can be supported by the game using Junichi's audio driver, with Tohru confirming that Junichi programmed his own audio drivers, and wrote the music in Music Macro Language. The game also shares the same style of music that Junichi writes. Some of these include using the second square channel for both echoing the first square channel, and harmonizing with it in the same track. It's possibly Hitoshi Saito and Masaaki Iwamoto were also involved with the game's soundtrack. However, upon contacting them, neither composer could remember whether or not they contributed music to this title due to the game being developed long ago.


# Title ComposerArranger Length Listen Download
01 Title Junichi SaitoJunichi Saito 1:37
02 In Game Junichi SaitoJunichi Saito 2:14
03 Elevator Junichi SaitoJunichi Saito 0:42
04 Enemy Fight Junichi SaitoJunichi Saito 1:08
05 Terrorists Escaping Ludwig van BeethovenJunichi Saito 0:28
06 Game Over Junichi SaitoJunichi Saito 0:19
07 Ending Junichi SaitoJunichi Saito 1:23


(Source: Verification from programmer; Game lacks credits)

Game Rip





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Ripping NES music is a very arduous process that is beyond the scope of this site.

The music was recorded with Not So, Fatso!.


  Japan.svg   Japan
Title: ダイハード (Die Hard)
Platform: Famicom
Released: 1991-07-19
Publisher: Pack-In-Video Co., Ltd.
  USA.svg   USA
Title: Die Hard
Platform: NES
Released: 1992-01-??
Publisher: Activision
  UK.svg   UK
Die Hard - NES - UK.jpg
Title: Die Hard
Platform: NES
Released: 1992-??-??
Publisher: Activision