Skip to main content
© Genius

RICK DANGEROUS by Richard Karsmakers

The jungle was dense and even slightly foggy. The cries of
exotic birds littered the brainwaves of Sir Richard 'Rick' Jones.
He wiped some sweat off his brow, preventing it from obscuring
his sight by dripping in his eyes.
A rather exotic (though rather precarious) gnat had the somewhat
irritating tendency of flying around his head. With a carefully
aimed prod of his stick, he ricocheted the little invertebrate
into the lurking womb of some kind of carnivore plant.
"Oh no. Shit." the gnat thought to itself.
The plant didn't take long to react. It quickly closed its womb
into a little prison out of which no living beings smaller than a
mouse would ever be able to escape.
The unfortunate gnat made a sound like that of an air particle
colliding with another air particle, and ceased to exist.

Sir Jones looked around him with a rather pleased look in his
eyes.
Something caught the attention of that rather pleased look. It
was a small plant, truggling to get up through the dense, damp
jungle soil.
"Interesting," Sir Jones muttered to himself, and bent down to
examine it more closely.
As he did so, he saw something shining underneath that
particular little plant that was still, almost visibly, truggling
to get up and behold the warm rays of the afternoon sun.
An eager look replaced the pleased one.
"Oh no. Shit." the little plant thought to itself.
Guessing that there might be some kind of archaeological
treasure hidden under the little greenie, Sir Jones tore away the
little sapling and uncovered a small thing with some shining
parts on it - as well as a piece of skin-coloured plastic that
seemed to have been shaped like the inner part of an ear.
A hearing aid.
The sprout made a sound like a drop of water falling on an
immeasurably large piece of desert sand, and ceased to exist.

Now what was Sir Jones to do with a hearing aid?
Nothing.
So he tossed it away with an air of nonchalance, thereby killing
a tiny little bug that was eating off the remains of what used to
be a fresh and young sapling truggling to get through the dense
and damp jungle soil to have a look at what the warm sun rays
would be like.
Just before the tiny little bug saw the hearing aid on collision
course, it felt a strange kind of nausea.
"Oh no. Shit." the tiny little bug said to itself.
The hearing aid, no bigger than a man's inner ear, was of
formidable dimensions when compared with the tiny little bug.
It had no chance and died quite instantaneously.
It didn't even make a sound.

"HA! There it is!" Sir Jones cried triumphantly.
He saw the jungle growing less dense before him, and a large
cave could be seen beyond the branches that hung there and partly
obscured it.
Finally, he had reached the goal of this journey: The uncharted
caves where Incas had one day dwelled. A place, so he had heard,
of immense wealth and immeasurable treasures. "Stacks and stacks
of 'em," his museum director had quoted before he sent Rick off
on this archaeological treasure hunt.
He carefully pushed aside the branches, and brushed the spider
webs from his forehead (also making sure that the sweat kept on
not dripping in his eyes).
A gasp of breath came from him when he now saw the cave entrance
in all its full glory before him. It was several times a high as
him, and perhaps just a tiny fraction less so in width. Around
this arch, there were texts written in all kinds of strange
dialects of equally strange and possibly very obscure tongues.
"Hakkitakkiwegballezakki!" he decyphered aloud, as well as "Wie
dit leest is gek", "Scott me up Beamie, A.L." and "Durex is the
best...you know what to do with the rest!"
There was a faint ring in his mind that told him the latter one
wasn't really authentic.
Then he saw something that was even more important.
There was a door in the arch. It was made of thick stone and
didn't look like it would open easily.
"Oh no. Shit." Sir Jones muttered to himself.
"Hey chap! That's my line!" a little, happily flying butterfly
said before its momentary distraction caused it to fly equally
happily into that very same, thick, stone door and it ceased to
exist.

Sir Jones scraped the dead butterfly remains off the door and
carefully scanned as much of the door as he could, by touching
every inch of it, and at times knocking and listening to the lack
of echo.
The sun was already setting, and Sir Jones realised that he
quickly had to set up some kind of camp if he didn't get in
before soon.
It was at times like this, when the melancholy of a setting sun
struck his being, that he started wondering about certain things
of nature. For example, why the sun was there during the day and
not during the night - in which its light would certainly have
come in handy.
And that just among many other things.
He discarded these thoughts rapidly as he noticed that the door
seemed to open when he touched some kind of oval that was vaguely
visible in the door.
He stepped aside.
The scent of centuries of death, damp stone and urine struck him
like a ton of bricks.
He staggered for some seconds, then regained his composure and
walked in.
He did this, carefully prodding in all direction with his short
stick. He kept his revolver handy as well - just in case.
It was at the moment that he totally unexpectedly bumped into
something utterly huge when he remembered that he had forgotten
to make some kind of fire. So everything was now pitch dark
around him - which was only logical, for even Inca torches don't
burn for many centuries and they had thus all gone out by now.
He tore a piece off his trousers, wound it around his stick and
lit it.
The bright light sufficed to show him that he had bumped into a
leg.
A leg of formidable dimensions.
Attached to the top of that leg was what seemed to be like a
giant. A giant of gigantic giantish proportions, even (quite big
even, as a matter of fact).
The giant looked down at the pathetic little human with a
pleased look in his eyes, and gave forth a wicked laugh.
"REVENGE." he said.
Something inside Sir Richard 'Rick' Jones made him assume that
he was in some shit of the deepest conceivable kind.
"FINALLY, THE TIME HAS ARRIVED." the giant of gigantic giantish
proportions further proclaimed.
Yes. Something now even told Sir Jones that he was absolutely
right in his aforementioned assumption.
"AFTER DEATH UPON DEATH, I AM NOW DECIDEDLY IN THE
DISPOSITION THAT ALLOWS SOME INDUSTRIOUS RETALIATION." the giant
related.
Sir Jones was beginning to wonder about what life after death
would be like - and if there indeed was any. He also wondered
what 'retaliation' was.
The giant was now obviously all set and prepared to execute the
retaliatory actions he had announced in one of his earlier
statements. He lifted his enormous foot (the one at the lower end
of the enormous leg into which Sir Jones had bumped) and
carefully aimed at putting it back at precisely the piece of
floor that was currently being occupied by the zealous
archaeologist.
All Sir Jones could do was grabbing his revolver and aiming it
at that foot.
He shot.
And he shot again.
There was no deafening cry (or not even anything remotely
similar) to be heard, but the foot halted in mid air.
A chuckle could be heard. Well....it was more like the onset of
thunder, but relative to gigantically giantish proportions it was
probably indeed a chuckle.
Sir Jones shot again.
The chuckle (or onset of thunder, whatever relation you prefer)
transferred in some laughing quite unheard by any mortal before.
It actually sounded like a whole host of Thunder Gods where
clashing their clouds and throwing hammers around.
"NO. NO. PLEASE DON'T DO THAT. PLEASE DON'T."
The giant had difficulty pronouncing the words in between his
violent fits of hard core laughter. Obviously, the bullets were
doing something to his foot that caused him to laugh his head
right off.
If he would continue like that, he would ....

Just before a loud 'pop' preceeded the falling of a giant
rounded object on the floor (causing the giant to cease
existing), he sighed sadly:
"OH NO. SHIT."
The way was now free for Sir Richard "Rick" Jones to proceed
deep into the innards of the temple - his torch litting the
dangerous halls he was about to enter.
A little exotic (and, indeed, precarious) gnat flew with him
into the dark, unknown halls.
It had the nasty (and, indeed, irritating) tendency of
constantly flying around the archaeologist's head.

*****

Really, it's a game like this that should have been called
"Indiana Jones" instead of that stupid thing launched way back by
U.S. Gold (or maybe even the two new games launched by this mega-
bucks company) - though (for the English amongst you) maybe it
could also have been called "Bulldog Drummond". "Rick Dangerous"
is someone who is looking for treasures and artefacts in a
cavernous temple in South America - filled with blood thirsty
Indians and all kinds of hidden traps. Also, he has to recover
the priceless Jewel of Ankhel in ancient Egypt and he has to
enter a castle level where Germans and their ferocious bulldogs
seek to destroy him; in the last level he will have to enter a
secret missile base of the Germans...
It sounds nice, but it IS even nicer. Graphics are very neat,
scrolling is smooth, action is superb, and the puzzles are
excellent. The game is hellishly difficult and deviously
frustrating, but at least as addictive as "Bubble Bobble"! I
would even like to go as far as to say that it takes
addictability beyond the limits of "Bubble Bobble", or even
"Arkanoid" and "Plutos" (maybe even "Gridrunner"....)! I have
been playing it for weeks ever since I got it, and me and Miranda
really get a kick of playing it at least a couple of times each
day. One simply wants to go on ...and play...and play. Each time
you play, you discover a couple of more rooms with more traps and
enemies. It's just an excellent piece of programming, and its
playability is huge. I like the way the men die..."WWWAAARRRGGGH"
they yell and drop into the abyss of death.

The game has only got ONE disadvantage, however; a disadvantage
that made sure that I stopped playing the game for a week or so
out of pure frustration: If you have completed each long and
tiresome level, you don't get a password to the next level. So
you have to play ALL over the previous levels again in order to
get where you died last time you played it. And I find this
difficult to do each time - and it takes too long, too. There are
over 125 screens in the game, and it's great. Pity of the severe
disadvantage. I have a nice trick to help you at least so that
you can start on any of the levels you've already been on -
supposing you don't turn off your computer! Just enter "POOKY" in
the hiscore table. This is quite necessary, as a weird kind of
teleporting maze makes levels three kinda lengthy, whereas level
four is virtually unplayable (and I do mean: UNPLAYABLE!). I even
got a hacked copy myself (don't worry: I already had the original
and I didn't spread the hacked version further) so that I could
'pause & save' it using my "Multiface". That's how I finished it
- which I would never have been able to do otherwise.

The game is available at the Firebird label, costing £24.99. For
that money you get a disk, poster and a comic book with the
approximate story of the bit you could read in this article's
introductory novelette.

Game rating:

Name: Rick Dangerous
Company: Firebird
Graphics: 8-
Sound: 6
Addictability: 10
Playability: 10-
Value for money: 9.5
Price: £24.95
Hardware: Color monitor and joystick
Remark: Should have passwords to the levels

Thanks to Julia Coombs of Microprose Software, for kindly giving
us a preprod copy of this game. Cheers to you (also on behalf of
Miranda)!
Some late news: The Core programming team (who also did "Rick
Dangerous"), have done another program already: "Switchblade".
Opinions are mixed about this one - some people say this is
better than "Rick", others say it isn't. I haven't seen it
myself, yet - so I can't say.

Disclaimer
The text of the articles is identical to the originals like they appeared in old ST NEWS issues. Please take into consideration that the author(s) was (were) a lot younger and less responsible back then. So bad jokes, bad English, youthful arrogance, insults, bravura, over-crediting and tastelessness should be taken with at least a grain of salt. Any contact and/or payment information, as well as deadlines/release dates of any kind should be regarded as outdated. Due to the fact that these pages are not actually contained in an Atari executable here, references to scroll texts, featured demo screens and hidden articles may also be irrelevant.