Retrogaming – Chip ‘n Dale Rescue Rangers (NES)

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Another of my childhood favourites.  I remember playing this – again with my cousin.  This was one of the few games we could play cooperatively, both trying to finish the game.  My memories were vague, about fat cat, and boxes and throwing apples.

In this game you take control of either Chip or Dale (or both in 2P mode).  The game is a standard platformer, with boxes, blocks and apples spread throughout the level.  Boxes can hide stars or flowers.  Collecting 50 flowers make a 1up star appear.  Collecting 10 stars gives you an extra life.

Controls are pretty simple, jump, grab things, throw things and don’t run in to bad guys.  When carrying a box, or steel block, you can duck inside the box to hide.  Anything running in to you will die instead of the other way around.

The majority of the levels involves picking up and throwing boxes, clear out as many Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers (USA)-0as possible to earn those 1UPs.  I took to always carrying a box, when I found more boxes, clear them all out, save the last one and keep going.  There really isn’t much more strategy to it.

Steel boxes can be stacked to allow you to jump and reach higher elevations.  Various parts of levels are much easier if you remember that.  Steel boxes are also reusable, ducking inside one and killing an enemy won’t ruin your box – it’ll appear beside you ready to be picked up again.

Once you finish the first level you’ll see the world, or overall map.  The first area goes up to level “G” with some optional routes.  I’m not sure if you get a benefit from completing all the routes, but it’s unnecessary to continue forward.  I suppose you could run through extra levels to try and earn more lives.

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Each level has a specific theme, but they all kind of blur together.  One level has these taps you need to jump on to shut off.  Another has these ball shooters that you need to turn off the switches.  One you have to climb up trees quite high – stuff like that.

There are two points in the game that you need Monterrey to clear the way for you.  A big box with some cheese is waiting for you, when the cheese is release he smashes through the grate so you can continue.  Nothing super fancy, but there you have it.

Another thing that might be inside a crate is Zipper, a flying fee.  This bee is good though, it will kill everything on the screen and grants you invincibility.  Don’t waste it and run as far as you can forward until it runs out.  Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers (USA)-3

Most levels have a boss at the end.  Each boss has a red ball that you use to defeat it.  The ball bounces from the sides of the screen, whether you throw it up or sideways it will bounce once, then come to rest when it hits the next side of the screen.  If you get hit with it while it’s bouncing you’ll be stunned – so be careful.  Most bosses only need to be hit 4 or 5 times to finish.  They don’t take much to narrow down their pattern, so be patient, watch, learn, then start throwing balls.

After completing the first map, you’ll rescue gadget and be sent to the second map, which is linear and has 3 levels.  The last level is Fat Cat’s casino, where you will face him in person.  He’s larger than life, and much bigger than your average squirrel – but you can take him down with a ball just like all the others.

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The casino level is the longest, and introduces some new enemies that are hard or impossible to take down with the boxes that you have on hand.  You’ll get really good at avoiding enemies by the end of it – or you won’t make it.  Once you defeat the fat cat it’s all over.  One more old fashioned cut scene and … the end.

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What did you think?