This page from Hall Of Light, a database for Amiga games, implies that Rick Dangerous 2 was converted for the MSX.
Truth, it seems, is stranger than fiction. The MSX game was made in 1992 by Paragon Productions, otherwise known as Antal van Kalleveen and Leon van Steensel in the Netherlands. It's not a commercial release, it's somewhere between that and an all-new game. There are a marked number of differences between the original two games and this interesting release, listed here.
Rick: The first thing you'll see is Rick has no face! All he sports is a mouth, though he does develop eyes when he dies and falls off the screen. The death sequence is a lot faster, though, so you probably won't notice. Also, Rick's lost his stick (so FIRE plus left/right just causes Rick to move), can't crawl and can only jump diagonally. His movement is reasonably jerky as well - there's only two frames for his animation instead of the usual six in the 16-bit games.
Levels: The game consists of only three levels - South America and Egypt, lifted from Rick 1 and America (Los Angeles), which is essentially based on Hyde Park in Rick 2. The structure of each level is clearly based one of the originals, but is essentially a whole new set of screens for the same concept. There is no scrolling - each level is a set of distinct screens, and they are all roughly the same length - 14 screens for Egypt, 15 for the other two. There is usually far longer to go on each screen than in previous Rick games - the path can twist and turn like a coiled snake. Intriguingly, the levels have all been given years - South America is set in 1945, Egypt in 1972 and America in 1992. What this would mean is that even if Rick was 20 when he set out on his first expedition, he'd be a pensioner by the time the game ended...
Sounds: All the basic SFX are there, including two "waaaa"s and an impressive "clang" when a robot dies, but there's only two tunes - a theme tune and a level start/end tune, neither of which are from the original, and neither seems based on the original game.
Nasties: There's only one design per level, but interestingly, the bat makes more than its solitary appearance in Rick 1 - several bats occur in South America and also in Egypt.
Traps: Absolutely nothing is hidden - what you see is what you get, that is to say, the spikes on the floor. There are no spears, but there are some moving sparks on the floor on level three.
Pickups: None at all. There's no score, so that means no bonuses such as Pharaoh heads or glowing green cans. And, of course, this also means no ammo crates!
The most noticeable point, though, is the difficulty. Yes, there's no hidden traps to catch you out, but this is a fiendishly hard game. Spikes are absolutely everywhere, there's a whole ton of nasty jumps which require Jet Set Willy-esque pixel perfection, and are usually all bunched together so you'll need several perfect movements all strung together in a row. This game adheres strictly to the concept of "one false move and you're dead". But the very hardest aspect is Rick's ammunition! If you die, it does not get renewed - your six bullets and six sticks of dynamite must last the whole level - and I can tell you that there's seven Goolus on the first level, so you'll have to decide very carefully which one not to shoot, and not waste any of your other shots. And now for the final horrible detail. You only get three lives, with no chance of picking up any others!
It's certainly good to see this working - it's taken long enough to get round to it - an independent take on Rick is always a good thing in my book. And cheers to Kilian Hekhuis (yes, he's been busy again...) for telling me in the first place.
But I will warn you all - the difficulty is on a par with the original NES Mega Man game, which was rumoured to have caused a 400% increases in random patches of baldness amongst men of varying ages in Japan and the USA within a week of its release.
By the way - maps are available. This should at least show what's coming up ahead - though there's some properly fiendish passages in there which might take a while to work out!
Incidentally, I was contacted in July 2005 by Antal van Kalleveen, one of the writers of the MSX version. Here's what he had to say.
Yes, you are correct, we Antal and Leon are the guys who wrote Rick Dangerous (as a hobby project) for the MSX.
We are very pleased by the fact that you have dedicated a complete section on your site to 'our' game. It's is finally getting the attention we allways wanted (or dreamed) it to have...
Let me tell you a few background details:
Rick was written after we saw it running on the Atari ST back then and we wanted to do something similair for the MSX. As the only knowledge we had at that time was MSX Basic the game is completely written in MSX Basic, which explains the lack of animation and features compared to the original. Due to the slowness of Basic and small memory print.
I don't know anymore how much time was spent on it, but I think at least a year (including testing) and frustration. After it was finished we sold it on many MSX-fairs and it was reviewed one time in the biggest MSX magazine in Holland. (The review itself wasn't that optimistic coz at that time many self-made games where far better)
A funny fact about the sounds is that they are the voice of Leon van Steensel recorded with a so-called music module using the MSX, which was quite revolutionary at that time. He also was the guy who tested most of the levels and did the music at that time. I was mostly responsible for the coding.
We even did an 'extra-levels' expansion pack for Rick Dangerous including even more levels of frustration and with some animation in the levels. (My skills at coding increased by the minute). Maybe I can find this version and send it to you also?
About the particular level you are stuck in, I cannot remember it for the life
of me, nor does Leon. As I look at the picture I assume you'll have to blast
the wall right next to the floating stones, then jump on these to the other
side, climb the ladder, kill the Egyptian and then blast the wall before the
drop off. (I have to look into the code for this).
(This mystery has now been solved.)
The Paragon club is still alive after al these years and the both of us still have plans for additional MSX games. Our site is (should be) moved to:
Unfortunately there is nothing there except a welcome page. We hope to update it very soon inlcuding our old games and of course a link to www.rickdangerous.co.uk.
The "extra levels expansion pack" may go some way to explaining the mystery screenshot at the bottom of the page. See also the Mysteries Page.
The only one I've been recommended is BlueMSX. It seems there's also a thriving MSX community at msx.org, so any others available will probably be highlighted there somewhere.
There's a trick, though. To get the game to load, first insert the disk image into BlueMSX (under the File menu - use drive A), then hit the red reset button (top left). You'll need to hold CTRL as the MSX logo appears, and keep holding it until the screen changes to black with white text. Otherwise it tries to read a non-existent disk image in drive B and will crash.
It also helps if the emulator is set to MSX2 mode.
Another recommended emulator is OpenMSX, though I have not tested this.
|BlueMSX emulator:||Go to the site|
|OpenMSX emulator:||Go to the site|
|Rick MSX Disk image (LZH zip):||Go to the site||Direct download|
There's a cursors (plus SPACE to fire) or joystick option.
If you're looking at remakes then you should know how to control Rick's weapons by now, but if you still don't, look at the "How to play Rick Dangerous" page. Remember Rick has no stick in this version.
Are there any? This game is so utterly rock hard, it should be essential to provide some, but I haven't come across any. Still, you could always use BlueMSX's snapshot facility - that's F8 to quicksave and F7 to quickload. Save, and save often.
Two shots each, seeing as there's only three levels!
|TITLE SCREEN AND
|SOUTH AMERICA 1945||EGYPT 1972||AMERICA 1992|