Famicom - Lode Runner (NTSC-J)
Famicom - Lode Runner (NTSC-J)
Used game for the Nintendo Famicom game console.
Japanese import. Will not play on non-Japanese systems without a converter.
This game was not released for the European NES.
In-game language is English. Instruction booklet and box text are Japanese.
Tested, works. In good to very good condition. Please refer to pictures for more details of condition and contents.
Genre: 2D arcade-action
Number of players: 1-2
Product code HFC-LR
Lode Runner is a 2D, fixed-screen platform game video game first published by Broderbund in 1983. Levels in Lode Runner are puzzle-oriented. The player controls one character who must collect all the gold pieces in a level and then get to the end while being chased by a number of enemies. It is one of the first games to include a level editor.
After the original game, a number of remakes, spin-offs and sequels were published in the Lode Runner series for different computers and consoles, and by different developers and publishers. Tozai Games currently holds the copyright and trademark rights.
The player controls a stick figure who must collect all the gold in a level while avoiding guards who try to catch the player. After collecting all the gold, the player must reach the top of the screen to reach the next level. There are 150 levels in the game which progressively challenge players' problem-solving abilities or reaction times.
Levels feature a multi-story, brick platform motif, with ladders and suspended hand-to-hand bars that offer multiple ways to travel throughout. The player can dig holes into floors to temporarily trap guards and may safely walk atop trapped guards. Should a guard be carrying a bar of gold when he falls into a hole it will be left behind, and can be retrieved by the player. Over time, floors dug into will regenerate, filling in these holes. A trapped guard who cannot escape a hole before it fills is consumed, immediately respawning in a random location at the top of the level. Unlike guards, the player's character may not climb up out of a hole, and will be killed if it fills before he can escape by other means. Floors may also contain trapdoors, through which the player and guards will fall, and bedrock, through which the player cannot dig.
Notably, the player can dig a hole only to the sides, and not directly underneath himself. This introduces an important strategy for when digging a hole x blocks deep, the player must first dig a gap at least x wide to be able to dig through it, as the number of spaces will shrink with each layer, and the player needs at least one free adjacent space to be able to dig. However, exceptions to this rule arise when the player digs from the position of standing on a ladder, or hanging from a hand-to-hand bar, which allows the player to repeatedly dig and descend one row. This kind of digging is involved in solving many of the levels.
The player starts with five lives; each level completion awards an extra life. Should a guard catch the player, one life is subtracted, and the current level restarts. The player's character can fall from arbitrary heights without any injury but cannot jump, and players can trap themselves in pits from which the only escape is to abort the level, costing a life, and begin again.
While the player's character's position changes, enemies tend to move alternatively, moving away from Lode Runner.
The guards do not simply take the shortest path to the player, but also move in counterintuitive ways. Sometimes, when the player and a guard are on the same ladder, for instance, the guard will move away from the player. In general, depending on their exact positioning relative to Lode Runner, the guards sometimes appear to be repelled. Mastering the game involves developing the intuition to predict the movement of the guards.
The player may come into contact with a guard directly from above, with the stick figure's feet touching the guard's head. This is what enables the player to walk over guards who are temporarily stuck in a hole that has been dug. It is also possible to make this contact while both the guard and the player are in free fall, since the player not only runs faster than the guards, but also falls faster; moreover, it is possible to survive the feet-to-head contact while a guard is standing on a platform and begins to move. Both forms of contact are necessary to solve some levels. Sometimes it is necessary to liberate a trapped guard by digging while standing on his head, but then moving rapidly in the opposite direction when the guard begins marching to freedom. In a few levels, it is necessary to use a falling guard as a bridge to reach an otherwise unreachable area. One subtlety is that if a down movement is initiated while standing on a guard's head, or briefly touching the guard's head during free fall, the consequences are fatal.
Trapping and using guards
In some levels, guards can be deliberately trapped in various ways. For instance, they can be lured into entering a part of the level from which there is no escape. In some situations, the player can liberate trapped guards by digging them out. In some levels, to collect some gold pieces, the player must exploit the guards into collecting gold pieces, because they are positioned such that whichever figure collects them will become trapped. When the guard collects the piece and becomes trapped, the player can release the guard and then later steal the gold when the guard drops it or falls into a hole.
In some levels, there are gold pieces which can be collected only by killing guards by trapping them in dug holes which close up. Deceased guards come back to life from locations near the top of the screen, which may allow them to reach parts of the level that cannot be reached by the player.
Some levels require careful ordering of traversal, because they are divided into zones connected by passages which are impossible to traverse in the reverse direction. If a gold piece remains in an unreachable zone, the player may have to abort the level to start again, losing a life, unless there is a way to coax a guard into bringing the gold.
Some of the game's puzzles in the advanced levels are time-sensitive. The player must dig in order to penetrate the interior of some cavern to collect gold, and quickly return the same way before the digging repairs itself, enclosing Lode Runner in that cavern with no means of escape.
Some puzzles require deliberate timing among the digging actions because Lode Runner must run over previously dug-out tiles that have just repaired themselves, while having enough time to pass through ones which have not yet repaired.