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Die Hard (NES)

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Title Screen

Die Hard

Developer: Pack-In-Video
Publishers: Pack-In-Video (JP), Activision (US/EU)
Platform: NES
Released in JP: July 19, 1991
Released in US: January 1992
Released in EU: 1992

DebugIcon.png This game has debugging material.
RegionIcon.png This game has regional differences.

Given who developed and published this, and given that it's based on a blockbuster action flick, you might assume that the NES Die Hard is a frustrating and mediocre game.

You'd be correct.

Debug Features

Speed Up Time

During the game, press Start to open the status screen, where the time is stopped. Press A + B + Select to run and speed up the time. This will lead to increasing the locks counters, then setting the final time to leave the building. If you skip all this time, the game ends.

Hidden Continue

Die Hard (NES)-continue.png

Immediately after you die, but before the screen fades out, hold Down + A + B + Start. After the game over screen, a continue screen will appear.

Picture Test

Die Hard (NES)-screentest.png

Hold Up + Left + Select at the difficulty selection screen, before starting a new game. Press A, and before the game starts you'll see all the in-game splash screens with the same block of text.

The Japanese version shows all the in-game messages before the game screens.

Regional Differences

To do:
Translate Japanese version's cutscenes, as most of the dialogue is different from the US/European versions.

Copyright Screens

Japan US Europe
Die Hard CopyrightScreen (Japan) 000.png Die Hard CopyrightScreen (USA) 000.png
Die Hard ActivisionPresents Screen (USA) 001.png
Die Hard Copyright Screen (Europe) 000.png
Die Hard ActivisionPresents Screen (USA) 001.png
  • The US and European versions add a splash screen for Activision before the title screen appears.
  • The second "Trademark" in the Japanese version was pluralized in the US and European versions.
  • "All Rights Reserved." in the Japanese version added an "Are" in the US and European versions.
  • The Japanese version has a different year, as well as a credit to Activision. The US and European versions give separate copyright credits to Activision and Pack-In-Video.
  • The US version adds a Nintendo of America credit. The European version simply credits Nintendo.


The Japanese version has a couple of cutscenes that appear after selecting your difficulty. The text roughly translates to:

Screenshot Translation
Die Hard - FC Cutscene 1.png 40 terrorists occupy the Nakatomi Building and have caught Holly!
Die Hard - FC Cutscene 2.png John checks the ammo in his clip.

There are 15 remaining. "I need to find a way to contact the Los Angeles Police.."

Terrorist Counter

Die Hard - NES - Terrorist Counter.png

The Japanese version has an in-game terrorist counter, which appears when you start the game and when you kill an enemy. The US and European versions relegated this to only appearing in the pause menu.

Main Screen

Japan International
Die Hard Famicom Item Use.png Die Hard NES Item Use.png

The item icons were switched around on the lower-right corner of the screen; the B button is on the left and A button on the right in the Japanese version, and switched around for the international releases.


In the international versions on the Beginner difficulty, enemies die in one hit. In the Japanese version, they take two hits.

Both versions' Advanced difficulty is pretty much identical: enemies take two hits, you take two hits, and soda cans give you two health points. However, the international versions start you out anywhere from floors 31-34. The Japanese version always starts you off on floor 32 like the Beginner difficulty.

Game Over

The Japanese version appears to have more "flair" in the game over messages than the international versions.

Both John and Hans Die

Japanese Translation International
ジョンとハンスは あいうちになり、ふたりともたおれた。ロサンジェルスのひげきはひとびとのこころにえいえんにのこることだろう・・・。 John and Hans both fell. The tragedy of Los Angeles will remain in people's hearts forever... "JOHN!!!" You got Hans, but he got you too. YOU LOSE. GAME OVER.

Hans Escapes with Holly

Japanese Translation International
こんらんにまぎれて、ハンスは だれにもきづかれることなく ホリーをつれ、きゅうきゅうしゃで だっしゅつした。ホリーはとらわれた! ものがたりはひげきにおわった。GAME OVER In the turmoil, Hans took Holly and escaped in an ambulance without anyone noticing. Holly was captured! The story ended in a tragedy. In the confusion, Hans slips out unnoticed with Holly in an ambulance. YOU LOSE. GAME OVER.


To do:
Document all the endings.

The Japanese version appears to have more "flair" in the endings than the international versions.

Best Ending

Japanese Translation International
キミなら かならずやってくれると しんじていた!ニューヨークからきた

ゆうかんなけいかんのことを ひとびとは わすれないだろう。YOU WIN.

I believed you would surely do it! The people will never forget

the brave policeman from New York. YOU WIN.

I knew you could do it, Pardner! YOU WIN! GAME OVER.