The legendarily odd Trio the Punch: Never Forget Me joins the Arcade Archives

trfio the punch arcade archives

Data East’s ’90s crossover oddity returns

And now for something completely different. The retro enthusiasts over at Hamster have taken time out from the Namco party to offer up one of the most infamous oddities of the classic arcade era. Straight out of Data East and into your hearts, it’s Trio the Punch: Never Forget Me, now available on PS4 and Nintendo Switch.

Released in arcades in the spring of 1990, Trio the Punch: Never Forget Me is a delectably daft crossover beat-’em-up that stars characters from Data East’s catalog, as well as some familiar, non-sequitur stages and even some iconic works of art. Players guide one of three heroes through incredibly strange side-scrolling action — fighting cities full of ninjas, monsters in the rainforest, giant robo-guardians, stacks of animals, and even the fire-breathing Data East veteran, Karnov. This is not to make mention of the moped-riding zombies, disembodied unicorn heads, or the player’s enviable final form of… a sheep.

Check out the wacky antics in the video below, courtesy of YouTuber World of Longplays.

While Trio the Punch is hardly the most playable or enjoyable of classic side-scrolling actioners, the title has long cemented its place in video gaming history simply due to its nigh-on incomprehensible nature. The game does not offer any insight whatsoever in regards to plot or reason, and most on-screen text is just poorly translated (or simply garbled) gibberish. It’s just a whole lot of nonsense, charmingly released as the arcade market truly started to find its feet with polished, well-produced, sensical video games. Among its contemporaries, Trio the Punch was batshit anarchy, and for that, it will remain curio in the video game hall of fame.

Trio the Punch: Never Forget Me is available to download now on PS4 and Switch, priced at $8.

Chris Moyse
Senior Editor - Chris has been playing video games since the 1980s and writing about them since the 1880s. Graduated from Galaxy High with honors. Twitter: @ChrisxMoyse