Die Hard Arcade

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Die Hard Arcade
Die Hard Arcade.jpg
North American Saturn cover art
Developer(s) AM1
Sega Technical Institute
Publisher(s) Sega
Director(s) Makoto Uchida
Producer(s) Roger Hector
Rikiya Nakagawa
Makoto Uchida
Designer(s) Makoto Uchida
Artist(s) Kunitake Aoki
Tatsuto Kumada
Composer(s) Howard Drossin
Platform(s) Arcade, Sega Saturn, PlayStation 2, PlayStation Network
Release Arcade
  • WW: 1996
Sega Saturn
  • JP: January 24, 1997
  • NA: February 28, 1997
  • EU: February 27, 1997
PlayStation 2
  • JP: April 27, 2006
PlayStation Network
  • JP: August 22, 2012
Genre(s) Beat 'em up
Mode(s) Single-player, multiplayer
Arcade system ST-V[1]

Die Hard Arcade, known in Japan as Dynamite Deka (ダイナマイト刑事, Dainamaito Deka, lit. Dynamite Detective) is a beat 'em up video game released by Sega. It was the first beat 'em up to use texture-mapped polygonal graphics.[1] An original property in Japan, the game was published outside Japan by Fox Interactive as a licensed product based on the Die Hard movie franchise. Released in 1996 for arcades, the game was ported to the Sega Saturn in 1997 and the PlayStation 2 (Japan only) in the Sega Ages line in 2006. A sequel, Dynamite Cop, was released for arcades and Dreamcast in 1998 without the Die Hard license.


Die Hard Arcade is a beat 'em up for two players, who play as either John McClane or Kris Thompsen (Bruno Delinger and Cindy Holiday in the original Japanese version). Players fight their way through waves of enemies, using their fists, feet, and a variety of weapons that can be collected from enemies or the environment, from household items such as brooms and pepper shakers to high-damage missile launchers and anti-tank cannons. Most weapons are automatically lost at the end of each action scene, but hand guns can be retained so long as they have ammunition remaining. The typical level structure is a number of minions the player must defeat in many rooms, followed by a boss. Quick Time Events are interspersed between many of the scenes. In some cases failing a Quick Time Event will result in loss of health, as is usual for QTEs, but failing most will put the player characters into an additional action scene which they otherwise would not have to complete. Cut scenes are interspersed into the action.

The Saturn version also includes a port of Sega's 1979 arcade game Deep Scan, which can be used to gain extra credits. Unlike most arcade ports, no additional credits are provided for Deep Scan; losing a single life results in a game over.


In the English version, John McClane and Kris Thompsen (Bruno Delinger and Cindy Holiday) try to save the President's daughter, Caroline Powell from terrorists. There are a number of bosses on the game, including a biker called Hog, a Mexican wrestler named Jocko, the twin team of Mr. Oishi (a sumo wrestler) and Mr. Tubbs (an army general) and pairs of laser-shooting Spiderbots. The final boss, of which all the others are henchmen, is known as Wolf "White Fang" Hongo. At the end of the game, if both players are still alive, the two players will fight each other on the rooftop of the skyscraper to gain the sole appreciation of the President's daughter (similar to the ending of Double Dragon).


The game was created by AM1 and the US-based Sega Technical Institute (STI). AM1 provided the engineering, design, and art, while STI provided art, design and animation. Die Hard Arcade was the final game developed by STI before the studio was dissolved. Previews reveal that up until shortly before the game's arcade release, the gameplay was strictly two dimensional, with characters only able to move along a single plane.[2] The game was developed simultaneously for the ST-V Titan arcade system and Sega Saturn, but the home version was released later.

The Japanese version of Die Hard Arcade, Dynamite Deka, was followed by a sequel titled Dynamite Deka 2 for the arcade and Dreamcast. The sequel was released internationally as Dynamite Cop. In 2007, a remake of the first game (without the Die Hard license) was released in arcades (on NAOMI) under the name Dynamite Deka EX in Japan and Asian Dynamite in Europe and the USA. Bruno, from the original Japanese version, later appeared as a solo unit in the 2012 crossover role-playing game, Project X Zone, recolored to match his Dynamite Cop appearance in the Western releases. Because the character is based on John McClane, Bruno's likeness is modeled after Bruce Willis.


The Sega Saturn version holds an averaged GameRankings review score of 83/100.[3] WatchMojo ranked it as the 9th best Sega Saturn game, praising the variety in the combat.[4] GamesRadar also ranked it as one of the best Sega Saturn games, claiming that the "wide array of firearms and melee weapons helped amp up the arcade-style action."[5] Sega Saturn Magazine gave the game an 80%, stating that the game was "a fun fighting game that's especially suited for novice players, but it's too short lived for more experienced beat 'em up fans."[6]

It was also Sega's most successful US-produced Arcade game.[7]


  1. ^ a b Webb, Marcus (August 1996). "Up and Coming Coin-Ops". Next Generation. No. 20. Imagine Media. p. 18. 
  2. ^ "Diehard". Next Generation. No. 21. Imagine Media. September 1996. p. 92. 
  3. ^ http://www.gamerankings.com/htmlpages2/197121.asp
  4. ^ http://www.watchmojo.com/video/id/12825
  5. ^ http://www.gamesradar.com/best-saturn-games-all-time/
  6. ^ "Die Hard Arcade." Sega Saturn Magazine. Issue 17. March, 1997. Page 63.
  7. ^ http://www.sega-16.com/2007/06/developers-den-sega-technical-institute/

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