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For just under two years, we at Retro Game Network have been keeping everyone up to date on a highly anticipated NES homebrew title called “Armed For Battle”, which has been developed and programmed by Frank Westphal. We’ve seen a variety of trailers and demos become available as the months have passed, and have reported on it’s progress. We were also fortunate enough to conduct an interview with it’s creator! This morning we received official word from Frank that the game is now officially available for purchase, and we have all of the details for you.

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Originally planned to be released late last year, the original concept for the game actually started about three years ago. Frank has been very hard at work making sure that this original game, his very first homebrew, was perfect before distribution. In “Armed For Battle”, you take in the story about an evil ruler named Corlan, who has swiftly taken over a vast, thriving empire. Many people have been slaughtered, including the peaceful Kings that governed the local areas. A group of survivors plan to recruit anyone willing to join in the fight against Corlan, so their empire can be reclaimed. According to Westphal, it is a unique, real time strategy game that allows you to build up your own kingdom, seek out enemies in the surrounding land, and send out battle parties to invade, all while fending off incoming attacks.

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We had previously reported that the game was scheduled to be released in both a standard and limited edition, in which “Armed For Battle” was recently shown off at Midwest Gaming Classic this past April. As of right now, you actually have three different ownership possibilities: As a loose cartridge, a standard release with box and manual, and the limited edition. Those that want to pick up a loose copy of the game, will get the standard cartridge itself, along with a generic NES cartridge stockcard dust sleeve, and a digital copy of the games manual. The complete standard edition includes the traditional cartridge and dust sleeve, but will also get you a 24 page printed manual, a traditional style NES game box, as well as the Styrofoam block that was standard with original NES titles.

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In regards to the limited edition version of the game, there were 40 copies of this special edition created, which houses the ROM in a blue cartridge shell, and individually numbered as shown on the games title screen. These copies had previously gone up for auction, and have for the most part have been accounted for. There are a handful of these limited edition versions that are still available, but they are going to be auctioned off at a later date. The limited edition includes 2 extra bonus levels, as well as special cheat options not found on the traditional version. Other added bonuses, including photos, magnets and a CD with the early source code were also included in this version.

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Regardless of the version that you may decide to pick up for yourself, they were all created with brand new parts, using INL-ROM boards and cases, meaning that no classic cartridges were harmed in it’s creation. All copies of the game have been equipped with a multi-region CIC provided by JCIC. This means that the game can be played in any region by pressing the reset button on your NES, and it will automatically save the last known playable region.

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Even though Westphal has worked very hard in making sure that the game was perfect, there is however a very small list of minor bugs that do not affect game play. It is recommended that you try out the demonstration to see how minor these issues are. In a nutshell, there is an infrequent occurrence, in which an extra piece of graphics is drawn to the screen in the castle view. There is also an infrequent situation of a temporary musical error while switching screens. Again, these are purely audiovisual, and do not effect game play.

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Both the cartridge only and complete in box versions of the game are being sold via Infinite NES Lives. Those interested in getting the cartridge itself can purchase the game for $40, while the version that includes the box and manual will cost you $52. (Which when you think about it, is about what we all paid for an original game back in the days that we were saving our allowances to get the hot new titles!) Links to the order forms and free demo are available at the links below.

Order Link: Armed For Battle
Download Link: Original Demo
Download Link: Updated Demo