Sunday, March 4, 2007
Road Runner's Death Valley Rally
In the days before video games were as realistic and 3-dimensional as they are now, classic cartoon characters were a very viable source of material for what are now referred to as "old school platform adventures". Some were good, some were terrible. One such game, in this case a good one, came out in 1992 for the Super Nintendo. It was called "Road Runner's Death Valley Rally".
You played as the Road Runner. Your goal? Stay alive while navigating increasingly difficult levels filled with Acme booby traps. Find the finish line of each level, and avoid Wile E. Coyote. After the end of a level, which usually had 3 "stages", you would battle Wile E. in a "boss level". Sounds typical. But this game had a lot going for it that made it fun. It reused animation from a lot of the classic cartoons, and had backgrounds that are STILL impressive looking even today.
The chase went through a typical desert scene with beautiful purple cliffs in the background. Then a construction site, a circus train, a cavern, and finally Mars...after an abduction by Marvin Martian. Wile E. takes to space technology quite well, and makes it a heck of a challenge, coupled with Instant Martians and Marvin himself. The Mars level also featured the teleporters from "Duck Dodgers".
The final "boss" is a giant Wile E. Coyote robot very similar to the "solid Tin Coyote", and once you destroy it, Wile E. emerges from inside it and falls back down to earth. The fall causes him to get buried up to his neck in the pavement, where he is run over by an Acme truck, which then hits a bump and dumps out a bunch of the explosive devices he has been using on you. They blow up on him, and a fat opera singer (a running gag throughout the game) falls on him and sings...(it's over when the fat lady sings).
Clever game, too bad 2-d games are no longer with us.