Tuesday, March 17, 2009

"The story so far..."

Time to put those fists to work by clocking some Nazi jaws! Rocket Ranger came out in 1988 by the awesome Cinemaware studio, previously they had released Defenders of the Crown which for the time was pretty impressive with its speech and 'movie-like' effects. A couple of years back they released a follow up game where you took on the role of Robin Hood, it was just as fantastic as the original Defenders game.
Rocket Ranger as you can obviously see from the first photo up above was inspired by those great Commando Cody serials from 1952. In the game for the Amiga and similar computer systems, you played the role of a US Army scientist who found late one night objects that materialized upon your desk with a note, it would seem these items are from the future in which the Nazis won WWII and have taken over the world. The rocket pack, helmet, and ray gun were sent by scientists from the future in the hopes you would be able to reverse this terrible outcome. It would seem these Nazis got their hands on a material known as Lunarium, which greatly reduces the IQ of human males and thereby preventing military resistance from their enemies. Zeppelins flying at higher altitudes than anti-aircraft guns could reach bombed the nations of the world with this Lunarium and then swooped down to invade and conquer...you are the worlds only hope.
Fortunately as you play the game find yourself in steamy jungles, stealing shipments of the lunarium for your own use, luckily that helmet they sent protects you from the side effects of the mysterious ore. But where does it come from? Hmmm, Lunarium.
In the game you find yourself eventually reaching the source of the problem upon the surface of the moon, but not before you have to blast off and rescue the kidnapping of an American scientist and his beautiful daughter, I might add that she was only beautiful on the computer versions...the NES one...Yikes, engage in fire fights in steamy jungle temples, get captured occasionally and use fisticuffs on Nazi guards, dogfight with the Luftwaffe, and finally obtain five parts for a rocket ship and enough Lunarium to fuel it.
On the moon you discover that the Nazis are not the only problem, it would seem that Adolph has made a deal with an "Intergalactic Union of Facists" and you will have to deal with one of the extraterrestrial Nazi allies.
This was the highlight of gaming for me for the Commodore 64, great music, voice digitization, the storyline, everything was aimed at me. I was happy to see that later on it was released on the NES though it is no where near as good as the computer version, not even the box art which you can see in the second picture.

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