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Title image from Commando
Game No. 283
Voting 7.65 points, 62 votes
Developer Chris Butler, Rory Green, Chris Harvey
Publisher Elite Systems, Rushware, Thorn EMI
Musician Rob Hubbard
Release 1985
Platform Arcade, Acorn Electron, Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Atari 2600/7800, BBC Micro, C64, Intellivision, NES, PC-DOS, Playstation 2, Plus/4, ZX Spectrum
Genre Shoot'em Up, V-Scrolling
Gamemode Single player
Operation {{{Width}}} C64-icon.png
Media Icon disk525.pngTape-icon.png
Language Language:english


Commando was put on the index in Germany due to glorification of violence. Therefore a new version with the title "Space Invasion" was released in which the hostile soldiers are replaced by white robots that remind of the Stormtroopers from Star Wars.

You are Super Joe, the two-fisted elite soldier of the 80s, in the fight against the advancing forces. Equipped only with an M60 machine gun and six hand grenades, you expand into the hostile area. Mines, grenades and dynamite explode all around you. (translation of orig. cover text of the version sold by "Encore")


... a short animation from the game ...
... passage under the bridge to part 2 of level 1 ...

You see the soldier that you steer from the birds view. The soldier runs from bottom to top whereby again and again a huge amount of enemies attack from the front and side. Many of them are also barricaded behind walls and stones and can only be driven from their hideout with grenades. However, they also leave the hideout as soon as you pass them. If you are hit by a hostile soldier, a grenade or a shot you will lose a life and start again shortly before the position where you have been hit.



With joystick + keyboard:

  • In all directions = steers Super Joe into the corresponding direction
  • In all directions and press fire button = Super Joe fires his M60-machine gun
  • Space  = Super Joe throws a grenade

The enemies[edit]

The forces are equipped very well. Next to the many men, they also have huge amounts of heavy weapons and vehicles at hand. In all three areas the security measures get constantly higher so that you proceed only with difficulty, therefore you should collect all the flashing boxes for more hand grenades.


  • If you manage to make more than 1.000.000 points there will be a digit overflow and the game starts to recount from "000.000". This is also valid for the entry into the highscore list!!
  • The same phenomenon happens with grenades if you collect more than 99.
  • Due to a multiplexing problem there is a notorious flicker and slowdown starting from a certain number of enemy sprites.


As you get an extra life every 10.000 points and there are some locations in the first level where you (if you are standing right) can get points and with this extra lives almost without limit, it is no problem to play through the rest of the levels. The game then restarts after the third level with difficulty grade changing in turns (shooting frequency of the enemies normal, shooting frequency of the enemies a bit faster) and can with some practice become an endless game...

The number of lives that can be reached is limited to 256 (more than enough). The counting is done in hexadecimals, but the display is decimal, that is why the lives display is sometimes weird (graphic characters).


Numerous versions offer all thinkable trainer options.


Voting of the C64-Wiki users (10=the best vote):
7.65 points at 62 votes (rank 187).
You need to be logged in to cast a vote.
C64Games 10 19th August 2005 - "Highlight" 13206 downs
Lemon64 7,9 4th May 2012 - 232 votes
Gamebase64 10 "Classic!" 8,42 19th July 2009 - 20 votes
ASM 8/10 Issue 6/86
Happy Computer 79% Games Special 11
ZZap64 77% Issue 2/86


Dante: "Commando is a really good game with many diversified enemies. The game is rather short (partially some enemies do only appear once in the 3 areas), but you need some time due to the high difficulty grade. Music and graphics, however, are top and thus this is in any case one of my favourite games."

mombasajoe: "Positive: one of the best music pieces that has ever come out of the C64, well playability, fast, nice graphics (a few sprite flickers are excusable). Negative: throwing grenade works with space key and this hinders the flow of the game, the game is too easy and much too short. 3 levels are just too few. Furthermore the levels are rather short. The only difficulty in the game: the end of each level (esp. level 2), in which hordes of enemies storm onto the player as a last array. The game is played to the end much too fast. Therefore only 6/10 points. For all levels of the machine I would have given 9 or 10. Too bad."

Shakermaker303: "Definitely one of the games to which you connect the C64 (although it originally was an arcade version). The good Rob has once more applied his musical fingers very well. One of my personal music highlights from the times of the C64. But not only concerning the music, but also the gameplay it is the ultimate grand. The graphics are also quite good-looking, I like it better than the one of e.g. "Who Dares Wins". And who claims it is too easy? Not everyone is a born GI-Joe, gents. Everything is acquired laboriously during fights until I managed to get through for the first time. 10 out of 10 points is the minimum in my opinion. ;-)"

Blubarju: "I personally like the C64 version of Commando best; alone because of the great music by Rob Hubbard, which has more pep than e.g. the one in the arcade or Amiga version. The difficulty grade is very fair. Although I constantly dispair regulary with action games, I made it to play Commando to the end several times. Some minor critic from my side at the most for the short length of the game. But rather a funny and short game, than a long but boring one, don't you agree? ;-) 8 out of 10 points.

H.T.W: "At that time the companies knew already how to help themselves when their game was indexed on the German market. The game "Commando" became "Space Invasion", only the sprites and the name were changed! Of course by this the Federal Republic was saved from an, errm, invasion of potential homicidal maniacs - and Elite Systems from a greater commercial success... But Invasion or Commando, there is one thing that perplexes me: What is a "Crack Soldat"? (see Space Invasion - Advertisement) How could they have made commercials for this stuff, it didn't even exists at that time... ;)"

TheRyk: "Though I still play it every now and then and have some silly nostalgic feelings for this game, mostly because of the music, you cannot really ignore the flickering and freezing sprites. It is not totally unplayble but at best an average shooter, which I rate so-so 4 points, because it is beaten the pants off by the far better Who Dares Wins."


Versionen (selection)[edit]

You should be aware of the following versions:

Crack Commando +5DH 100% / Remember[edit]

pro resettable highscore list that is saved on disk
pro Up to 5 trainer options can be selected separately.
pro contains manual
neutral Bugs and weaknesses as flickering sprites were not fixed.

Crack Commando & Space Invasion +7D / Hokuto Force[edit]

pro You can choose whether you want to play the original Commando or the Space Invaders release (not on the index).
pro Up to 7 trainer options can be selected separately.
pro contains manual
neutral Bugs and weaknesses as flickering sprites were not fixed.

Mod Commando Arcade / Nostalgia[edit]

pro As in the Arcade version, there are altogether 8 levels, so 3 more.
pro multiplexing was fixed, hardly any flickering sprites
pro extra title screen and start animation (helicopter puts Super Joe down at the start of the game and collects him again at the end of the mission) and further numerous graphical extras.
pro throw grenades by keeping fire button pressed as in Who Dares Wins
pro 2 additional decimals for the score (no jumping to 0 after 999.999)
pro highscore saver
pro additional music and FX
pro There is also an EasyFlash version.
pro Up to 5 trainer options can be selected separately.
pro numerous further bug fixes and modifications
neutral These modifications are so numerous that this version is indeed closer to the arcade original, but it is a totally different game than the C64 Commando. E.g. the points system is also totally different. You cannot really call it a Crack, but rather an independent game.

pro In March 2015 Nostalgia released a "Special Edition" ("Commando Arcade SE"), providing totally new graphics by STE'86 in addition to the features above.

Expired prohibition[edit]

The game was taken from the German index in August 2005 by the BPjM due to time lapse (source Language German).


... Commando-Cover (Elite) ...
... Space Invasion - Advert (Elite) ...


  • The game was awarded with the British Golden Joystick Award in the category Arcade-Style Game of the Year in 1985.


Commando is the realisation of a Capcom arcade machine. In contrast to the 8 levels of the original, the C64 version has only 3. Elite used the license for Commando to publish a Gauntlet-clone named "Commando 86" a year later, with which Capcom has nothing to do. The official follower is the game "Mercs", which was released on the arcade machine at the end of the 80s.

The C64 version was programmed by Chris Butler who at that time programmed several games by order of Elite. The fact that only 3 out of 8 levels were left in the final version could be connected to the alleged insisting of Elite that as with Ghosts'n Goblins the game should be completely in the memory.

The music is by Rob Hubbard, who wrote a remix of the music on the arcade machine. In 2007, Rob Hubbard himself in person has created a cover version of the title tune with Propellerhead's software sequencer "Reason 4" after their request. The cover is second to none (see Commando#Links).

The character "Super Joe" is also the protagonist in the Capcom game Bionic Commando, which, however, is not counted into the Commando series.


Topscore of mombasajoe
  1. mombasajoe - 999.900 (18.12.2012)
  2. H.T.W - 974.800 (25.09.2010)
  3. Örg - 668.200 (15.06.2006)
  4. controlport2 - 532.200 (06.12.2004)
  5. Blubarju - 192.400 (20.01.2010)
  6. Lordnikon - 105.400 (06.12.2004)
  7. Keule - 47.300 (27.12.2012)
  8. Sledgie - 25.200 (06.12.2004)

#2 H.T.W #3 Örg
#2 H.T.W #3 Örg


WP-W11.png (Computer Game) Wikipedia: Commando


  • Video at YouTube (C64 Longplay - Commando played by Reinhard Klinksiek)
  • Video at YouTube (Space Invasion without Savestates with live comment by Reinhard Klinksiek) Language German
  • Video at YouTube (Rob Hubbard - Commando (his original remake on Reason 4))