RICK DANGEROUS
REMAKES AND NEW LEVELS


XRICK

XRick is a remake of Rick 1, written in SDL and intended for Linux, though it is possible to compile a Windoze version if you know what you're doing. I have a Windoze-compiled version, but as far as I can see from the programmers' website, only the non-compiled version, made up of about 60 files ending in .C or .H, is available there.

If you can compile it yourself (or find a compiled version out there somewhere), you'll find the gameplay is graphically and sonically identical to the Atari ST version of Rick 1, except the music has been removed from the opening screen and all the cut-scenes for each level; also, the cartoons in the cut-scenes run at about half the frame rate of the ST version. It has similarity to the Amiga version as well, in that two sound samples can be played at the same time, e.g. when you shoot a baddie you hear "waaaaaaaa!" at the same time as the noise of Rick's gun still resounds round the level. The only sonic difference with either the ST or Amiga is the rather primitive walking/crawling noise.

The game runs fine on my 1 GHz Athlon, but I have no idea what the minimum requirements would be.

Control-wise, I have no idea if it can be used with a joystick as I don't have one, but given the length of time I spent with a Spectrum, I always found the keyboard easier anyway. The keyboard controls are:

O = up, K = down, Z = left, X = right, SPACE = fire, P = pause, E = quit.

The number keys (not the number pad) can be used to alter the game:

1 = Toggle full screen / windowed mode
2 = Zoom out (in windowed mode)
3 = Zoom in (in windowed mode)
4 = Sound on / off
7 = Toggle trainer mode on / off: this allows infinite lives, bullets and dynamite but Rick is not invulnerable. When selected, T appears in the top left corner.
8 = Non-contact mode on / off: Rick is made invulnerable to baddies, spears, spikes, blasts from his own dynamite etc. and will pass through them. When selected, N appears in the top left corner.
9 = Visualisation mode on / off: All sprites are surrounded by a grey box - i.e. Rick, baddies, Rick's bullets, and... hidden traps. This is a very useful feature only available so far on XRick, and I've yet to see a cheat code to do this on any other version of the game. When selected, V appears in the top left corner.

Here's a couple of screenshots:

XRick screenshot 1 The opening screen of XRick
XRick screenshot 2 A shot of South America, showing the use of visualisation mode (the pale rectangles) and non-contact mode (Rick really should have been killed by the falling grate).

Overall, this is a great update, and certainly beats playing the original PC version - unless you like PC speaker beeps and four-colour CGA graphics, that is!

XRick's website is www.bigorno.net/xrick/


RICK DANGEROUS FOR FLASH

The open-source nature of XRick has led it to be ported to a number of different versions, the most impressive one of which is the Flash version. It was born out of frustration by Greg Trunde who wanted to play Rick the proper way (i.e. on the 16-bit machines) but could not get STeem to work properly, and decided to alleviate this potential problem for everyone by converting XRick to a Flash file.

Everything from the ST version is intact, and it includes a few additions, such as three extra screens at the beginning, graphically detailing the controls which have caused so much confusion to so many people.

The sounds are slightly flat - as in they sound more like an AM radio broadcast, but more than one sound can be played at once - so every sound effect is intact, and shooting any of the enemies will always result in both a loud bullet noise and the accompanying "waaaa" of death.

By default, the graphics are set to antialiased, and noticeably change in sharpness (i.e. back to the original) as the screen scrolls; this can be fixed by right-clicking on the window and selecting "Quality low" from the menu, which forces the graphics into their original (unantialiased) look - the way they were always supposed to be. Even with the antialiased graphics, the scrolling and gameplay are smooth enough, and this is probably the closest there is going to be to an online-playable version of the original game.

The controls are with the cursor keys and either CTRL key, plus TAB or P to pause, ESC to reset to the title screen and HOME to activate the infinite lives and ammo cheat. This is probably the first game I've ever seen which actually tells you how to cheat!

WARNING: the game may stop responding if you leave the window, e.g. to take a screenshot! This is why I could only take screenshots of the extra screens at the beginning, which are shown below. Everything else is pretty much as it was in the original game.

Rick Dangerous for Flash, title screen 1 Rick Dangerous for Flash, title screen 2 Rick Dangerous for Flash, title screen 3

I could not get an action screenshot of this, but something very bizarre happens in Egypt. At the top of screen three, where Rick must shoot the mummy case to release the mummy and kill the three guards, an extra vertical spear will shoot out the floor - similar to the one Rick can activate on the staircase in screen one. The spear fires from approximately where the blue cross is marked. Fortunately, Rick doesn't have to stop to avoid this. A look on Xrick with visualisation mode on (see the main XRick section above) confirms this was NOT in the original version - though, apparently, it's something to so with "submap 13". Ask a reverse engineer for details...

I have tested this game on Firefox 1.5 (which I urge everybody to use), Opera 8.5, and Internet Exploder 6 (which I urge everybody NOT to use). On Firefox and Opera, however, you will need to click on the pop-up window which opens before it will recognise any keyboard inputs.

And, most importantly, the link is:

rickdangerous.webhop.org


RICK DANGEROUS FOR CONSOLES AND OTHER PLATFORMS

Note that all I can do is supply the links here - I do not own any of these machines and so I cannot test these versions. However, if anyone has any experience of these that they would like to share, you know where to contact me.

XRick for Pocket PC, ported by Ismail Khatib:
pocketinsanity.sourceforge.net/content/view/26/39/

XRick for XBox, ported by Lantus:
xbox-homebrew.dcemu.co.uk/xrick.shtml

XRick for Nintendo Gamecube, ported by Anders Granlund:
web.telia.com/~u24315537/menu_gc/xrick.htm

XRick for GP32, ported by Anders Granlund:
http://web.telia.com/~u24315537/menu_gp32/xrick.htm

XRick for Playstation 2, ported by Gil Megidish:
www.megidish.net/xrick/


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