Journey to Silius [NES 1990] – 90s Video Games, Episode 10

Journey to Silius

Journey to Silius – In the future, the earth is so overpopulated that everyone is migrating to space colonies. Protagonist Jay McCray’s father, a scientist working to build a colony in the Silius star system, is killed in an explosion. 

The incident is ruled an accident, but Jay discovers a message from his father which reveals he was actually murdered by terrorists intent on sabotaging the colony project for some reason. Wikipedia

Fun Facts: Journey to Silius

Journey to Silius was intended to be a licensed game based on the 1984 film The Terminator. It was even previewed in Nintendo Power magazine under the Terminator title. However, Sunsoft somehow lost the license to Mindscape. 

Sunsoft also planned a Superman game but magically they lost the rights to this one as well. Therefore, it was released as Sunman.

Music was composed by Naoki Kodaka, who most notably composed soundtracks for Batman, Fester’s Quest, Blaster Master and Gremlins II.

Japanese version was released as Rough World (Raf World), and differed most notably by main character design. In Japanese (and also in the European PAL) version, the main character has helmet.



The controls follow the standard conventions of other side-scrolling action games for the NES. The character can lie down, but he can only aim his gun left or right. 

In addition to the default handgun weapon, the player can switch to one of five additional weapons that can be procured throughout the course of the game – which are a shotgun, a machine gun, a homing gun, a laser rifle, and a grenade launcher. 

Each of these special weapons consumes the player’s Gun Energy gauge and once it runs out, the player would automatically revert to the default handgun. 

The player can replenish Jay’s health and ammo by retrieving energy capsules dropped by defeated enemies. After the fifth and final stage is completed, the credits are shown, and the player would restart the game on the first stage. Wikipedia


One of the hardest and coolest NES Games ever, but a bit too short.

One of the greatest game soundtracks of all time!


Really good game. And the developers were kind enough to include a sound test menu, which you can reach by pressing B 33 times on the title screen, and then START.

There is an urban legend about another cheat code: DOOM GUN. You need to press Up, Down, A, B, Start. However, this is a myth and unfortunately it does not work!

So it should have been Terminator

It’s not hard to imagine Jay as Kyle Reese fighting his war against the machines in the future, though perhaps his sprite could do with a bit more stubble to better resemble Michael Biehn. The first level is ripped right out of the scenes which depict the future with Terminators and Hunter-Killers having laid waste to all around them, and the second level is familiar to the underground bunkers where T-600s hunt down humans in hiding. While the third and fourth stages don’t really bear much parity to any known scene, the final level takes place in a factory akin to the setpiece for the showdown against the T-800. The biggest evidence is the final boss, a tall mechanical humanoid that bears a significant semblance to the T-800’s metal exoskeleton. 

Furthermore, an early set of screenshots in a Nintendo Power exclusive show what the game was going to be like, naturally with Arnold Schwarzenegger as the eponymous Terminator at the title screen. The other screens show the first level with the background clad in a hushed dark blue shade, which makes it appear even more grave than its final incarnation. Source

Composer(s)Naoki Kodaka
  • EU: 1990
  • AU: 1990
  • JP: August 10, 1990
  • NA: September 1990
Genre(s)Run and gun
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It is a tough game to beat!

Journey to Silius can be pretty tough going. While the game is short and can be completed in about half an hour, you’re only given twelve lives with which to do so. 

You have three lives to start and three continues and there is no way to find or earn more, which seems to be a trend in Sunsoft NES games. These guys just hate the concept of the 1-Up. In addition, levels two, three, and four are very long indeed, easily twice the length of an average stage in most other games. 

The final level breaks with the established standard by blindsiding you with an auto-scrolling gauntlet of traps and pits which demands you be both precise and rapid in your progress as opposed to the more cautious and deliberate pace that worked best for the previous four stages. 

Don’t think you can count on health drops from enemies, either, as these are exceedingly rare and restore only a small amount when they do show themselves. 

They’re so scarce, in fact, that you can go several levels at a stretch without seeing a single one and they can’t be farmed from respawning enemies, as there are none to be found in this game. You’ll need to become very adept at memorizing the positions of the enemies and traps in each level and conserving your health and ammunition if you want to stand a chance.
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