Cyberpunk Review » Snatcher

November 16, 2006


Game Review By: Synapsis

Year: 1994

Author: Hideo Kojima

Platform: Other

Publisher: Konami

Degree of Cyberpunk Visuals: Very High

Correlation to Cyberpunk Themes: Very High

Rating: 9 out of 10



Introduction: When I heard the name Hideo Kojima the first thing that came to my mind was Metal Gear. But this has changed as; Kojima has other games for being remembered, like Snatcher. Besides the fact that Snatcher has been released on several systems it has also gained a small group of fans due to its storyline, adult themes and voice acting. Influenced by sci-fi and film-noir, most notably “Blade Runner” and “The Terminator”, Snatcher submerges one into a Cyberpunk World while giving you that nostalgia of older games.




The Story: Due to the release of a chemical weapon known as Lucipher-Alpha, developed in Chernoton, Russia, half of the people on Earth died. The contaminated area becomes uninhabitable for a decade, when Lucipher-Alpha mutates into a non-lethal form. This tragic event occurred on June 6, 1991 and became known as the “Catastrophe.” Fifty years later, a artificial life-forms known as “snatchers”, began appearing in the artificial island of Neo Kobe City, killing their victims and taking their place in society. They have skin, can sweat, even bleed and, at first sight, it is impossible to notice any difference between the Snatcher and the person they replace. Nobody knows exactly what they are or where they come from.

In the game, you play as Gillian Seed, an agent working for an Anti-Snatcher force called JUNKER. Seed has amnesia, which serves as the reason for him joining the Anti-Snatcher force. The word “Snatcher” always appears in his head whenever he tries to remember his past. In playing Gilliam Seed, your goal is to track down the source of the snatchers and discover Gillian’s mysterious connections with them.




The Game: As this game is ALL about the storyline, I won’t spoil it. You can really see how Kojima likes directing and making his games movie-like. It is clear that as a consequence the shortcomings in technology options, Kojima knew he had to make the story the driver in order to make up for the game play and technology of the time.

In playing it, the game is harder that it first appears. You have to notice and remember many details from witnesses or things you read. It also it has some questions and puzzles that will drive you mad for a while. It’s the first game I’ve had to play with a notebook for capturing important details. For your luck, Gillian has a navigator that helps him with all the complicated substance analysis and investigative matters. Kojima use of the Gillian character shows how he mixes things, as it is pretty similar to the minirobot Otacon uses to follow and help snake in MGS4 (Watch the trailers on youtube). For breaking the game investigative monotony, there are a series of shooter scenes where you have to use the Blaster - a special type of laser gun made to fry snatchers. These scenes aren’t numerous, but you will remember them as they require significant reflexes, especially as you near the end of the game.




Why You Want to Play Snatcher: The characters and storyline are what makes the game special. Even if Gillian physically resembles Deckard from Blade Runner, it’s still comes across as unique and believable. There are other “homage” characters included in Snatch - I’ll just name Dune and Sting as a clue for when you meet certain individual during the game. The Snatchers are pretty smart for being just biodroids, and they are pretty cunning and dangerous too!


Available Platforms:

  • NEC PC-8801 and MSX2 (1988)
  • PC-Engine (Remake 1992)
  • Sega CD (1994)
  • PSX and Sega Saturn (1996)


Visually the Sega CD version is pretty good and creates a great cyberpunk world with shadows and dark colors. The Sega version is obviously better than the 1988 versions which still make the task pretty well. The Sega voices are part of the remake versions that came from 1992 forward. The later version also have a better soundtrack.



The Availability: In terms of availability, get it from Internet or buy it used. The better and easier version to get is the Sega CD version as is the only original English translation available and you can find it on P2P programs. There are older roms translated, but the Sega CD version is better.




The Verdict: This review came about due to a reply I made to a Deus Ex post, saying someone should review Snatcher. Then I remembered I was half in the game. I picked it up again, started to play, and finished it that same afternoon. I liked it so much that I wanted to contribute with a review. While engrossed in the gameplay, when I realized the game was close completion, I just hoped another event would make the storyline longer. Despite being from all the way back in 1988, it’s #9 on the Best Cyberpunk Game List, so it deserves a try. I just gave it 9 stars because is older and the gameplay may not be for players who prefer more action. Anyways for me personally is 10/10 stars and modern remake would kick ass! Bottom line, this game is amazing, and has great storyline, and actually makes you feel you are in the cyberpunked city of Neo Kobe.



November 17, 2006

Mr. Roboto said:

They have Snatcher at the Home of the Underdogs (, but you also need an emulator to play it on your PC. It’s rather large (118MB) so you need Bittorrent or a good broadband connection.

Hopefully, someone will make an updated version for PCs.

November 18, 2006

decipher said:

a truly great game. i have to admit that i haven’t finished it yet, but thanks to your review i will definitely take the time for it :)

i have the sega CD version and i use the “fusion” emulator to play it on my windows pc. works like charm. with saving and everything.
if anyone needs help getting it to run or anything. feel free to ask. i am kind of an emulation freak.. so ;)

ps: words cannot describe how much i like … this is my first post, but i am reading silently for about 2 months now. i am a bit shy when it comes to actually post myself even though i have so much on my mind on this or that topic…

deci :)

December 9, 2006

Zeonic Freak said:

i started playing it this past summer, but never got around to beat it… ill have to finish it during christmas or so..

December 17, 2006

David B. Taylor said:

Doe’s anyone know of the site to download a sega cd emulator and the rom to that game. is my email address long live and all of it’s glory.

December 22, 2006

Hugo said:

I tried where I found the actual English version of the game (in the form of a 113MB download :P) and a few good emulators.

It was good fun while it lasted; the music doesn’t work and after the first little part, the game gets stuck in a loop and eats up all your CPU time until you close it. Fun :D.

April 10, 2007

Cornilius said:

I beat this game in one night (yesterday, to be exact) and want more. Does anybody know where I can find a ROM file with the PC-Engine version? Any help appreciated.

April 20, 2007

Neville Johnson said:

How did u get it?i downloaded a rom that had a bug when Gillian is in the car.

April 26, 2007

Cornilius said:

Well, it wasn’t that hard… here’s the link:

May 28, 2007

kinetika said:

I have both mega cd version and sega saturn version. I haven’t played neither yet and I noticed you mentioned the mega cd version was better?

Should I start with the mega cd version or saturn?

June 18, 2007

Cornilius said:

The Sega Saturn is basicly the same as the Playstation version - it has slightly enhanced graphics (and 2 rendered cut scenes that totally suck) and not-so-censored gore scenes (at least that’s how it is described on Wiki, I only played the Sega/Mega CD version). The Sega/Mega CD version is the only one officially translated to english, so I advise you to start with that one.

June 29, 2007

Al said:

I always wanted to play this game but when i run it on an Emulator (i tried Fusion and Gens Plus) it hangs in the same spot (early on when Gillian is heading to the factory ruins) any help on the best Emulator to use. Thanks.

P.S i read that KONAMI is working on an update for the game :D

August 29, 2007

ominy said:

I got the same problem when Gillian is in the car heading to the factory….. =(
I play Gens emulator…and I can’t solve this problem wherever configuration I use.

September 8, 2007

Henry Spencer said:

Al and ominy:
Try the Kega Emulator, then. Should work.

September 17, 2007

Lava Saxophone. said:

Quoting Wikipedia:

Project ‘S’ is a proposed adventure game. It is confirmed to be a collaboration between Hideo Kojima and Suda 51[1].

The game was rumored to be revealed by Grasshopper Manufacture during the 2006 Tokyo Game Show, but the new game turned out to be No More Heroes. Goichi Suda did, however appear on “Hidechan Radio” (Kojima Production’s own internet radio show) during the show, hinting that it will be the first game he works on after No More Heroes. [2] Somewhat contradictorily, however, Suda stated later stated to that he is planning to work on a project on the Xbox 360 once No More Heroes is released. When asked about Project ‘S’, he made no comment.[3] These comments throw the validity of the rumor into question, although this may be because of how busy Hideo Kojima is with Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, and as such lacks the ability to work on other projects.

During the “Snake vs Zombie vol. 2″ session, Suda 51 revealed that Project S is a revival of the Snatcher franchise, specifically a series of works based on the franchise. The first production in the project will be a radio drama, with Suda being both the writer and one of the voice actors, and Kojima himself shall be making a cameo appearance as well.[4]


1. ^ [1]Goichi Suda’s guest appearance on “The Kojima Productions Report”.
2. ^ [2]Hidechan Radio with Goichi Suda.
3. ^ [3]IGN interview Goichi Suda about “No More Heroes”
4. ^

October 1, 2007

Tired Penguin said:

Man this sure brings me back memories, a buddy of mine introduced me this game and the mega cd emulator back when I was in high school:

– What’s this crap about?
– It’s a-okay. Heck how can you not love a game, which begins with the message “This Story is dedicated to all those Cyberpunks out there who fight agains injustice and corruption every day of their lives.”??
– Hmm… that’s intriguing.
– Everything is real classy. That jazzy saxophone solo, walking around with the old Blade runner overcoat and shooting androids that look suspiciously like terminators… this is what gaming adventure is about!
– All right, I’ll give it a shot.

And really it’s a adventure at its finest state, even the cheesy american ending where the protagonist keeps all the girls…. it’s a pity Hideo Kojima has to make those those damn “Kill the Giant Nuclear Robot with a Card box” series until hell freezes over. Awh well, at least it makes more money than Snatcher.

Tired Penguin said:

If any of you people who liked this game is lucky enough to know japanese and has a Sega Saturn, try to get Policenauts on ebay.

This same buddy just bought Policenauts while he was Japan, he said it’s basically the sequel Hideo Kojima made for Snatchers, and they don’t make it like this anymore….

I played Metal Gear 1 a few weeks ago and I saw that Otacon had a Policenauts poster in his lab, and it even appears during his cutscene. I wished instead of that damn easter egg, the franchise would come back from limbo.

November 19, 2007

Henry Spencer said:

I may know why your buddy got Policenauts. That’s because there is currently a fan translation for the Playstation version of the game, for English speaking audiences (as well as proposed translations for Russian, French and Spanish) going underway as we speak, thanks to the fansite of Hideo Kojima Junker HQ, set for release sometime before the end of the year!

Go here to see more, and look in the forums for the latest news. We need some new members, so you and your friend are always welcome!

I’ll update this place with the news once it is released, since Policenauts is another cyberpunk masterpiece by the visionary, Hideo Kojima. And this place could definitely do with a review of it. :-P

November 20, 2007

john said:

please help all i want to do is play snatcher my email is someone please help me

john said:

please help all i want to do is play snatcher someone please help me my email is

November 27, 2007

Harry Tuttle said:

to the people having problem running the rom, you have to run the iso from your hard disk directly while leaving the mp3s in the same folder
you can’t just burn the image alone

July 22, 2008

Steven L. said:

Snatcher is one helluvah game! If you haven’t played it yet, you missed half of your gaming life! One of Hideo Kojima’s masterpiece and one of my favorite cyberpunk games aside from ‘Shadowrun’.

July 24, 2008

Wow~ said:

More than 10 years ago, I bought a PS game at a game shop. And It was this!!
The Snatcher!! I tried to play it but, it was a Japanese version. So I couldn’t understand it at all. Today I read an article about CW PARK, the “old boy”’s director, and he mentioned HIDEO KOJIMA…. It rang me a bell. Now, I’m gonna try to play this game in English……

November 1, 2010

tink said:

Blade Runner game and Beneath a Steel Sky was missing from the list and if you put in it the Uplink, you should put in Darwinia too…:)

January 9, 2011

jmm1233 said:

I love this game it compasses a lot of cyberpunk themes and ideas , i managed to make a cover remix recently in honor of this great cyberpunk game of the main title theme

May 16, 2011

Marv said:

Thank God! Seoonme with brains speaks!

May 28, 2011

Ash712 said:

Check out the forum post “Snatcher - 3D remake” ;)

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