Operation Wolf

Operation Wolf

Retro Coin Op Synopsis

Back in the days of Rambo, Missing in Action and Red Dawn, would-be macho men dreamed of getting their own shot at a troop of freedom-hating terror-mongers. Most never got their chance, but Taito’s Operation Wolf was a nice consolation prize.

Operation Wolf set the standard for first-person light gun shooters, arming players with a mounted Uzi as they tried to complete six different commando missions. The game had everything a one-man army could hope for: hostages to be rescued, soldiers to be dropped, vehicles to be blown up and loads and loads and loads of ammo.

On each of the six missions, a display on the right side of the screen showed how many hostages were left to rescue, and how many enemies were left to annihilate. The baddies attacked with foot soldiers, armored personnel carriers, helicopters, gunboats and whatever else they could get their hands on, but as vastly as they had you outnumbered, they couldn’t compensate for quick reflexes and a well-placed grenade.

The side display also showed how much ammo was left in your arsenal. Bullets were plentiful, but not unlimited. Each ammo clip held a certain number of shells, and extra clips could be gained by shooting them when they appeared on the screen. A button at the side of your Uzi fired the grenades, which were more limited but much more powerful.

As if one-man commando action and the thrill of fighting for the mother country wasn’t enough, Operation Wolf threw in a few technological goodies to make the game even more enticing. A new graphics engine allowed multiple on-screen enemies and detailed backgrounds, the sound system cranked up the juice on the explosions, and a small motor in the gun itself gave it a bit of a kick with every shot.

Military thrills and rapid-fire action made Operation Wolf a major hit in the arcades, and Taito decided it was time for a second mission. In 1988, the company released Operation Thunderbolt, which allowed two players to wreak havoc at once. Aside from that new capability, little else had changed. Operation Thunderbolt simply offered more of the good stuff—guns, terrorists and explosions—and gung-ho commando gamers couldn’t have been happier.

Arcade Machine Release History

1987 - Operation Wolf
1988 - Operation Thunderbolt
1994 - Operation Wolf 3
1999 - Operation Tiger

Arcade Game Sub Categories


Machine Manufacturer


Other Arcade Game Links