Lode Runner - The Legend Returns © 1994 Sierra.
A few traces of a storyline are present in the game. Your character is named Jake Peril (who wears a gray suit), although a second player can play as his identical partner, Wes Reckless (who wears a blue suit), who can be played during two-player cooperative levels and head-to-head hotseat play. In this reincarnation of Lode Runner, the robots of the original game are skeletal "mad monks" who wear red robes. The game's manual explains that Jake, and optionally Wes, travel to unknown underground worlds in the hopes of scavenging the untold golden treasures that litter the game's levels. At the end of the game, Jake is seen in the Technological world calling an elevator to the surface, eagerly waiting while the credits roll. The story concludes when the said elevator arrives but malfunctions, leaving Jake no other choice but to reach the surface using the presumably tall staircase.
The game takes place in a single frame with many different elements such as ground, ladders, treasure, items, and villains. The goal is to collect all the treasure, avoid touching any of the monks (who are the villains in the game), and making your way to the exit.
New elements introduced to this version include devices that can be picked up and used only one at a time. These devices include: snare traps, incapacitating sprays, jackhammers, two types of bombs, pickaxes (which make a pile of rock from the ceiling blocking your enemies), and buckets filled with goo that is used to cover surfaces and slow characters down.
The game also resurrects the original Lode Runner's several varieties of turf as well as introducing one more. In addition to the standard turf, which is susceptible to being dug through with the player's blaster, there are also the nostalgic bedrock (which can only be penetrated with a jackhammer or a larger bomb that, unlike small bombs, permanently destroyed turf or any other item in the level except the exit) and trapdoor turf, which resembles regular turf but which actually is empty space. Another form of turf is introduced: gooey turf, which slows the passage of both the player and his enemies.
The game contains 150 single-player levels broken up into ten different worlds: Moss Caverns (jungle), Fungus Delvings, the Lost City of Ur (ancient world), the Crystal Hoard, Winter's Dungeon (ice world), Skeleton's Keep (fossil world), Inferno's Playground (lava world), Shimmering Caverns (phosphorus world), the Shadowlands (dark world), and Meltdown Metropolis (industrial world). While most levels are set in the day, the levels of Shadowlands take place at night, when the entire screen is pitch black, save a moving circular patch of light within which the player is visible. There are also 30 duo-player levels. The two Shadowlands levels in this mode are not pitch black.
The game is an excellent example of the trap-em-up genre, which also includes games like "Heiankyo Alien" and "Space Panic".
A powerful level editor is included with the game, allowing several levels to constitute a single group of levels, as well as the ability to switch between different tile sets. The editor can choose to set the level in night or day, as well as change the background music regardless of the tile set.
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