Top Gun (NES)

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Top Gun
Top Gun - NES - USA.jpg
Platform: NES
Year: 1987
Developer: Konami Corporation
Buy: Amazon
For other games in the series, see Top Gun.

The video game of Top Gun was cool by proxy thanks to the success of the movie, although the game was only average. You pilot your F-14 Tomcat in a pseudo 3-D flight simulator and destroy enemy air and ground targets with machineguns and missiles. The enemy comes on strong with fighter jets, battle ships, tanks, and various other vehicles. You'll have to dodge a lot of enemy fire and a crazy amount of missiles in order to beat each mission.

The real annoying task, and what makes the game infamous, is the do-or-die landing and refueling sequences. The instructions given on screen are best ignored, just try and match your speed and altitude with the given amount. Another thing the game was criticized for was its refueling sequence, how it is difficult to align your plane with the fuel pump. Since you don't actually have to kill anything except the bosses to beat each stage you can pretty much just avoid most of the enemies by simply flying up into a corner to breeze through each stage. The Japanese version of Top Gun has a lot more detail than the USA and UK releases. Interestingly, if the player fails the landing sequence but still has lives remaining, they are allowed to continue to the next mission, in which there are only four.

Top Gun was also released on the Nintendo Vs. System, which has identical music to the NES game.


Top Gun - NES - Title.png

The title screen.

Top Gun - NES - Intro.png

The opening scene.

Top Gun - NES - Briefing.png

Mission briefing.

Top Gun - NES - Missile Selection.png

Choosing my armaments.

Top Gun - NES - Dogfight.png

Dogfighting some bogies.

Top Gun - NES - Landing.png

The infamous landing sequence.


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Top Gun - NES - Album Art.jpg

There isn't much music to speak of, but there is a nicely ported version of Harold Faltermeyer and Steve Stevens' instrumental from the movie and the refueling music is kind of nice. In the Japanese version, the refueling music is used as the main in-game theme whilst the refueling parts are silent. There is also an unused track in the game. It sounds like it would be a pause jingle, but you can't pause the game so it's unknown. Only the Japanese version of the game has ending credits, and the composers all use aliases. In order to give proper credit we've compared the name given with the known composers working for Konami at the time and matched them up to the most obvious match. It is not known which songs were composed or arranged by each artist. Various Konami staff who worked on the NES have verified that in order to use Konami's sound driver, they had to painstakingly write the music in 6502 assembly machine code to create music and sound effects for the console. However, the programmer of the sound driver is unknown.

Hidenori Maezawa, Yuichi Sakakura and Harumi Ueko would go on to compose the music to the sequel to this game, Top Gun 2: The Second Mission (NES).


# Title Composer Length Listen Download
01 Top Gun Anthem Harold Faltermeyer 1:55
02 Mission Briefing Kyouhei Sada, Kazuki Muraoka, Kouji Murata 0:29
03 Mission Start Kyouhei Sada, Kazuki Muraoka, Kouji Murata 0:01
04 Refueling Kyouhei Sada, Kazuki Muraoka, Kouji Murata 1:14
05 Game Over Kyouhei Sada, Kazuki Muraoka, Kouji Murata 0:04
06 Unknown Kyouhei Sada, Kazuki Muraoka, Kouji Murata 0:01


(Sources: 1, 2, 3)

The US version of the game does not have credits. However, the original Japanese version does. The credits are in English, too, so it is unknown why they were omitted from the US release.

Game Rip






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


  USA.svg   USA
Top Gun - NES - USA.jpg
Title: Top Gun
Platform: NES
Released: 1987-11-??
Publisher: Konami Corporation
  Japan.svg   Japan
Top Gun - NES - Japan.jpg
Title: トップガン (Top Gun)
Platform: Famicom
Released: 1987-12-11
Publisher: Konami Corporation
  USA.svg   USA
Vs. System.jpg
Title: Vs. Top Gun
Platform: Vs. System
Released: 1987-??-??
Publisher: Konami Corporation
  Germany.svg   Germany
Top Gun - NES - Germany.jpg
Title: Top Gun
Platform: NES
Released: 1988-11-30
Publisher: Konami Corporation
  Italy.svg   Italy
Top Gun - NES - Italy.jpg
Title: Top Gun
Platform: NES
Released: 1988-11-30
Publisher: Konami Corporation