Road Runner Death Valley Ralley

In the 90s you could hardly turn on a television without seeing a commercial about Sonic the Hedgehog, the standard bearer for the Genesis. His main claim to fame? He moved real fast. The competition, the Super NES just couldn’t keep up, so they said.

So one day someone at Sunsoft decided to make a video game starring a cartoon character who is also known for excessive speed, the Road Runner (of Warner Bros. fame), and put it on the system that, if the advertising was to be believed, just couldn’t make him as fast as he should go.

If that’s the case, then some system engineer must have worked some kind of voodoo, because the Road Runner can go quite fast.

The story to the game is a relatively tepid affair, and doesn’t stray from its cartoon roots: Wile E. Coyote wants to catch and eat the Road Runner. It’s your job to ensure that experiences comic failure by evading capture and sabotage.

The Road Runner uses the fantastic power of Birdseed to power his fantastic extreme speed. He can run forward, back, up, down, and jump all over the roads (and the road-like structures) to get to the end of the, with the coyote always in some kind of pursuit. Each set of levels will culminate in a large machine needing to be dismantled/sabotaged in some way by you, which will fail, the coyote will get hurt, and the Fat Lady will come out and attempt to sing (har, har). The coyote stops her, and you go on to the next themed area.

You will notice, pretty much right away, that this game is HARD. This is partly due to the limited amount of lives you get, but also is a side effect of the collision detection between the Road Runner and the platforms. It’s tough to explain, but the gist of it is that when he jumps, he spreads out his legs so that he looks quite like a hyphen, but he will go right through a platform unless the center of his body touches it. So, even though his feet touch the platform, you go right through it. Fun!

Hit detection issues aside, the game is kind of fun, but brutally hard. I did manage to finish it a few times, but that was after months of playing from the minute I got home from school until dinner time (I did homework at school, don’t worry).

One Response to “Road Runner Death Valley Ralley”

  1. [...] that, if the advertising was to be believed, the Nintendo console just couldn’t do. Of course that’s false, but Sonic is real fast, so that’s something, I [...]

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