Rick Dangerous [C64]

rick_dangerous_coverDo you like platformers? And what about games that really like to punish you? If you can answer both questions with ‘Yes’, Rick Dangerous by Firebird might be right up your alley.


The year is 1945. You are Rick Dangerous, agent in the service of His Majesty and tasked to locate a lost tribe in the Amazon jungle. But, of course, something goes terribly wrong and your plane crashes right into a group of wild tribesmen. Now, the good thing is, you located the tribe you were looking for. The bad thing is, they don’t like it when strangers crash their planes right into them. Your first mission is simple: Escape the wrath of the tribe and stay alive.

Right off the start the game tries to get rid of you by unleashing a large boulder, chasing you deeper into the temple-like structure. From there on you have to find a way out, while not only avoiding those mad tribesmen, but also the numerous traps.

Screenshots (click to enlarge)


And traps there are… a lot! Take that boulder, for instance. If you don’t react quick enough, you already lose your first life merely a second into the game. And that basically sets the tone for the rest of the game, so prepare to die numerous times. To make things worse, some of those traps are hidden, requiring you to remember them, which often ends up in simple trial and error.

Rick Dangerous consists of four levels, with the story being told in between stages, which includes finding a jewel in Egypt, rescuing Allied soldiers (don’t forget, the game is set in ’45) and infiltrating a missile base. To protect yourself,  you are armed with a stick that stuns enemies for a couple of seconds, and a gun with limited ammunition. Additionally, you carry some dynamite, good for blowing up obstacles. You occasionally find crates that will stock up your ammo, so you get at least some help. But don’t fool yourself, this game is frustratingly tough.



Interestingly enough, it is also quite addictive. Well, at least for the first two levels, after that you just want to throw something against the wall. And from a visual standpoint, the game looks gorgeous, and that includes some beautiful backgrounds. But the most important thing regarding tough platformers are the controls, and thankfully, they are tight and responsive.

A year after the game’s release, Rick Dangerous 2 hit the market, this time even more merciless. And if you consider this game got released in 1989, you might as well ask yourself if Rick Dangerous was indeed the father of those ‘Punishment Platformers’ that got so popular some years ago.

But regardless the fun you can have while playing this game, never forget: The frustration is strong with this one!


21 thoughts on “Rick Dangerous [C64]

  1. Ah, I believe someone just invoked a Star Wars reference. Well done, sir.

    You’re right, this actually looks like the precursor to the Aban Hawkins & the 1000 / 1001 Spikes series, La-Mulana, etc. Sounds like the difficulty level is spot on.

    • Was thinking of Aban Hawkins, too. But the first game that came to my mind was Spelunky, to be honest. A game that, thanks to Rick Dangerous, I revisited in the past two days, and that kept me up until two in the morning… [Yaaaawn] <— see? Time for another cup of coffee and some Spelunky to wake up. 🙂

      • Oh yes, it is quite addictive, but be prepared to curse a lot! Checked my stats yesterday, to discover that my poor Spelunky dude died over 180 times already. Sometimes a game can last less than ten seconds. 😀

        • And it’s got randomised levels. But no, it’s not, although it does have some roguelike elements. 🙂 The developers themselves simply call it a “ cave exploration / treasure-hunting game inspired by classic platform games and roguelikes.”

          In case you’re interested, the original PC version is freeware and available on their website (that’s the one I’m playing at the moment, system requirements are fairly low). You can download it here.

    • No problem. I’m just waiting for the day I accidentally hit ‘Publish‘ instead of the ‘Save Draft‘ button. 😀 And Rick Dangerous is one of those games one shouldn’t play over a longer period of time, in fear of smashing something out of frustration.

  2. Ditto, this does bring back memories of dying over and over again via Spelunky/Aban Hawkins. Its much worse when you die in Spelunky though, I hate starting from the beginning every time. It seems impossible to make progress!

    • Never tried Aban Hawkins, but Spelunky is one of those games that just like to troll you big time. I’m just glad they included ‘Tunnel Man’ who can dig shortcuts to certain levels, so you don’t have to start from the very beginning every single time. But as soon as you reach those ice stages with them flying saucers and yetis it gets ridiculously difficult.

      And thanks for stopping by. 🙂

      • Hm.. I’m not familiar with this ‘Tunnel Man’ you speak of.. I must have been missing something. I remember playing for almost an hour one time and still having to start all over again once I died lol. It’s probably time I give Spelunky another shot though, it was a really good game nonetheless.

        • ‘Tunnel Man’ was in the classic Spelunky on PC, but I’m sure he’s included in the XBLA version as well. Iirc the first time he pops up is between levels 4 and 5. But he won’t dig for free, though, and demands around 100,000 gold for the first tunnel.

    • Still debating whether or not to try Spelunky. It was part of the PS Plus lineup, so I couldn’t really say ‘no’ to it, but I don’t know how frustrated / addicted to it I really want to get. Maybe it’s a side effect of getting older, but I really hate, hate, having my progress reset. Even worse, a game that loves to make me feel like an idiot. Fun times. 🙂

      • Weird, for me it’s more the other way around. In the past I couldn’t stand instadeath, now I don’t really care and just start over again. Ever heard of NetHack? That game will definitely make one feel like an idiot. In the beginning I absolutely hated it, until I changed my attitude towards that game. Now I just laugh at the silly ways your character can die. Thing is, it doesn’t always work and I still get frustrated at times (same for Spelunky). But hey, that’s part of the experience.

      • Bah, I like to keep ‘challenge’ and ‘frustration’ separate. I like to fight for my victories, I just don’t like to see those victories all be in vain. Personal preference, of course. 🙂

        Have not heard of NetHack, but a quick search turns up the fact that it was originally in ASCII (…groan).

        • Yes, ASCII. 🙂
          Just to tell a little story about what happened to one of my characters in NetHack: I started one game with a male knight, right. Found an unidentified amulet, so haven’t had a clue what it would do, but had a bad feeling about it. The moment I put it on (it’s like those ‘Don’t push the button’ signs where you just have to push it) my character transformed into a female knight. Never happened to me before, so it was a proper WTF?! moment and was quite bizarre, to say the least. Wanna know how that character died? She slipped and broke her neck while trying to mount her pony (yes, you’re a knight and start the game not with a horse, but a freaking pony!).

        • Yikes, now that’s a series of unfortunate events. The moral of the story here is… don’t equip unidentified amulets. Also, ponies. Lovely animals, sure, but they’re death traps. 🙂

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