Drug Exterminators (1990)

System: NES

Developer: Jaleco

User Rating:

1990's Drug Exterminators was an awkward port of 1988's popular arcade game of the same title. The side-scrolling action focused on a futuristic Tucson's super SWAT team "Drug Exterminator" squad. The two-player simultaneous gameplay included the heavily armed players blasting their way through five urban environments to exterminate drug dealers and junkies.

Level 1: Suburban Warfare

Marijuana junkies have taken over the suburbs. Their kingpin has set up a greenhouse. Collect used reefer bags to get enough evidence for a no-knock warrant. Use the tank to blast through the front door of the house. Be sure to shoot the dogs in the yard to get iron shield, auto shot and the fire grenade. Destroy the low level drug users with the shotgun, they aren't much of a threat. Save your grenades for the greenhouse. Try not to shoot the kids that pop out of the cribs in the nursery. It will lower your mission end score and thus your extra lives. Just use your double jump to get over them.

Level 2: Slums

Mexicans have brought in a truck load full of meth. Everyone in the slums is out of control. This level is super annoying because all of the junkies are fast. Try to use cars and upper levels to stay away from them. The good news is there is a lot of ammo on this level and grenade launchers, so blast away at the meth junkies. Don't worry about saving grenades for the boss. There is a rocket launcher inside the big yellow dog on the screen before the bridge fight. You'll notice the cartel boss seems easy and you can probably take him with normal shots. Be ready. As soon as he dies the American drug dealer RV shows up and you have to use rockets and dodge their shots.

Level 3: Graveyard

Zombie-like heroin junkies come at you throughout this level. They can be annoying because there is so many, just try to get on the motorcycle as early as you can and try not to lose it. You can just mow them all down if you are on the motorcycle. If you can't keep it then try jumping on tombs and clearing out the junkies. There is not a lot of ammo on this level so you will have to mostly use your pistol or the police machete. If you need health you can shoot the illegals digging the graves, they do not count as civilians. Scag Merchant is the boss here. Focus your attacks upwards at the cockpit when he laughs and don't bother shooting his minigun or his legs on his power suit. He will send out dogs to attack you and it's a good way to get more ammo.

Level 4: Cocaine Factory

A cocaine factory is pumping out huge bricks of cocaine to sell on the mean streets of Tucson. Put an end to it and blow up the factory. The cocaine is tainted and is turning everyone into giant dogs or rats. The dogs are tougher than the ones you have fought before and the rats come in large numbers. Save your grenades for the rats and try to take out the dogs by avoiding their charge and then shooting and jumping away. Dr. Drugs, the chemist behind the tainted cocaine, will try to hit you with his cloud that paralyzes you for several seconds. If you get hit with this more than once in a fight you are screwed. Always move while you're fighting him, even if he's standing still. He takes a lot of punishment.

Level 5: City Hall

The other members of SWAT have been turned against you by ecstasy. Blast your fellow cops and make your way through city hall to the mayor's office. It's a hard fight and there are a lot of civilians, but since this is the last level and there's no more point to extra lives, go hog wild. You'll want to use the grappling arm to get into the vent after you defeat the DA. You'll have to fight more rats and dogs in the vent and then you can drop down into the mayor's secret drub lab. You can't directly hurt the mayor, but you can use the environment to take him out. When he is laughing you should destroy any nearby barrels or crates to cause him damage.

General Tips

  • You have three slots for "drop pistols" that you can drop on a flashing civilian corpse to prevent it from counting against your score.
  • Flashbangs aren't useful, but if you throw them into the baby nursery you can get a huge score bonus.
  • Use the pistol and cop machete as much as possible.
  • You can use the electricity gun on civilians until they die without losing points.


– Zack "Geist Editor" Parsons (@sexyfacts4u)

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