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Replaying Rick Harmful on the Commodore 64

Rick Harmful, developed by Core Design and launched in 1989, is a platform sport set throughout 4 ranges – a South American Cave, an Egyptian Pyramid, a German Citadel and a Missle Base. 

Article by aka Richard Tappenden

Every stage has many screens consisting of devious traps, pixel excellent jumps and a wide range of completely different enemy varieties that you just both should keep away from or destroy. 

Rickdangerous Loading Screen

As well as, stage 3 (Schwarzendumpf Citadel) is a type of labyrinth, the place sure display exits lead you again spherical to beforehand visited components of the map. Rick is armed with a pistol that holds 6 bullets, 6 sticks of dynamite and a (surprisingly helpful) stick.  The intention of every stage is actually simply to make your strategy to the exit, however there are additionally collectible artifacts to choose up for factors.  As you progress by the extent, yow will discover refills on your ammunition.  The restriction concerning the ammunition and the location of provides means there’s a useful resource administration component to the sport too – it is advisable be sure to have enough provides to get by the screens forward. The graphics for the sport are nice – a lot of the sprites are very well drawn and the backgrounds are assorted and attention-grabbing.

Rick himself is a nicely drawn cartoon character, and the sport is stuffed with humour all through.  There’s additionally a very nice use of foreground surroundings – Rick (and enemies) generally stroll behind columns and the posts, which is an impact I’ve not seen to typically in C64 video games.  The sound is okay – there’s a brief thematic intro ditty to every stage, then it goes to sound results – all of that are first rate sufficient. Nevertheless, it’s a troublesome sport that may rapidly get irritating.  Most of the traps are usually not signal posted, and you must take plenty of leaps of religion, which can typically find yourself with you impaled on spikes or on the toes of an sad native.  There are occasions the jumps should be near pixel excellent – both as a result of distance, or because of obstacles round you.

The builders clearly recognised this by supplying you with 6 lives to begin with when most video games on the time gave you 3. Some individuals name Rick Harmful an “unfair” sport.  I don’t agree – it’s devious for positive, however it’s constant – the traps are at all times in the identical place – which makes a major distinction to me.  You may be taught the sport.  The primary time you lose a life to a lure, that’s annoying.  Perhaps even the second time.  However there comes a degree within the sport the place you must know that lure is there and should you nonetheless get caught by it, that’s on you – not the sport. When the sport was launched in 1989, I might have been 10 and there’s no approach I might have purchased it then – so I both picked up the finances model or a second hand copy some years later. 

I keep in mind loving the concept of Rick Harmful.  Right here was an excellently drawn cartoon model of Indiana Jones, trotting round an thrilling cave, armed with a pistol and dynamite.  You might be thrown straight in with a boulder run harking back to Raiders of the Misplaced Ark. 

Rick Dangerous C64 Artwork

However it was so extremely laborious, and as a child aged someplace between 10 and 12 (at a guess), I wouldn’t have caught with it for very lengthy.  I had a reasonably large assortment of video games, so I might have turned it off the minute it acquired laborious, and loaded one thing else up or gone exterior to play soccer. So again within the day – though I believed it seemed fantastic, I didn’t actually prefer it.

Replaying Rick once more….

Just a few months in the past, I met up with a pal of mine, and we began enjoying Rick Harmful on the Amiga.  We took turns, and it rapidly acquired a bit aggressive, with every of us making an attempt to get a bit additional than the opposite. 

Rick Dangerous C64 Cassette Case

By the top of the session, we nonetheless hadn’t made it by Stage 1, however I felt I had acquired to grips with the sport and wished to play some extra.  I don’t have the Amiga model, so we each turned our consideration to the C64 model and stored up the aggressive edge – sharing our scores and progress with one another to egg us on.

As I began to be taught the place the completely different traps are, which leaps to make, when to make use of dynamite and when to shoot, the sport grew to become increasingly pleasing.  As an alternative of getting pissed off with the sport after I noticed the sport over display (which I noticed lots), I acquired pissed off with myself for losing lives on issues I ought to have prevented. 

It didn’t take too lengthy to get by Stage 1. Stage 2 broke me for fairly some time.  There’s a display the place you must completely time two jumps throughout platforms while avoiding quickly firing arrows. After many, many makes an attempt – I took to youtube to look at another person play it.  This helped immensely as I may see how they tackled it, and replicated it myself. 

Not lengthy after, I accomplished stage 2 and felt fairly elated.  By the way there’s an enemy kind on Stage 2 that chases after you – and I couldn’t fairly work out what it was speculated to be.  To my eyes, it seemed a bit like Dr Zoidberg from Futurama!  Nevertheless having seemed on the Amiga model it’s a man in a Fez! Stage 3 kicked my arse right away.  It was dangerous sufficient that you must keep away from a hurtling canine as quickly because it begins, however then you must negotiate a set off completely happy rifleman. 

As soon as you determine the timing to get previous him, it does get a bit simpler – however the entire stage is a labyrinth.  Many screens have a number of exits, and should you take the improper one, you might be routed again to an earlier display – with all of the enemies again in place.  Ultimately, I discovered the correct approach by this stage, and I made it to stage 4. Stage 4 is one other one which begins actually quick – with an enemy rapidly closing on you, one other rifleman firing away and the one platform to leap to has a guard on it.  The traps are actually devious and caught me many instances. As a result of I wanted to get higher at this stage, and I didn’t need to should repeatedly do the earlier 3 to have the ability to practise, I turned to a coach with infinite lives.  T

his was an enormous assist, as I may maintain practising the degrees to be taught the traps and the jumps, till I acquired to some extent the place I felt I knew sufficient concerning the stage to offer it one other ‘legit’ playthrough. Ultimately, after many makes an attempt and fairly just a few ‘shut however no cigar’ moments, I made it. 

I accomplished the sport – enjoying proper by with none cheats or save states. 

I used to be completely happy to bits with myself – but it surely needs to be mentioned after such a very long time enjoying the sport, the ending is fairly disappointing. You might be introduced with a textual content display, a brief tune, after which the sport over display – what a let down!

My opinion of the sport has undoubtedly modified – having the endurance to continue learning the sport was a key issue.  Each time I acquired a bit additional I felt a way of feat. 

In the end, it’s a sport that requires persistence, however is price placing the time into.

Article by aka Richard Tappenden 



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