Monday, May 7, 2012

Death Rally

John Marine | 5/07/2012 04:56:00 PM | |
In 1996, a racing game called Death Rally was created. This is no average racing game, though. It's kill-or-be-killed racing. Cars equipped with guns and other weapons all battled for glory as four racers share the track at once. Twenty hardened souls put their lives on the line to battle for glory. Only the most hardened racer will have the ability to challenge the greatest of all racers- The Adversary- in an intense one-on-one high-speed duel for racing glory. The action is intense; and if you intend to survive, you'll need to upgrade and race hard! This blog post is a look at Death Rally. This blog post ONLY concerns the original Death Rally released for DOS in 1996.

--- Death Rally ---

This is where I'm supposed to introduce you to some game. Here is a look at Death Rally:

Death Rally
^ from: (best I could find) - The original Death Rally.

Death Rally is not some average racing game. It is a top-down racing game delivering intense racing action. The most fun you'll have with this game is in going all out with the weapon upgrades. You can choose to be one of twenty different racers. Or if you want, you can race as Duke Nukem himself. Regardless of what you do, your goal is easier said than done- work your way from 20th among all racers and go straight to the top. If you are atop the leaderboard, you will be invited to race at the Purgatory for a one-on-one race with the most formidable of all racers- the Adversary. Beat the Adversary, and you will have conquered Death Rally.

The game features a module-based soundtrack. The music consists of tracker module music. It is a nice soundtrack of electronic dance music. In addition to a nice soundtrack, it also features some 3D objects in tracks. The game runs smoothly with the 3D graphics. The cars, however, are all 2D.

Basics of Death Rally.

Death Rally allows you the opportunity to race and upgrade your car. Races involve four cars (including yours). Races can last anywhere from four laps to six laps depending on the difficulty level of each event. Harder races pay more points and offer more money. If you are just starting out, it is best you stay in the Easy races and work your way towards faster and more powerful cars. Before every race, you are allowed the opportunity to spend your winnings on your car. This regular shop will also allow you to buy cars. You may upgrade your car or make repairs. You may also visit another shop offering some powerful weapons along with the ability to take out loans. When you're done shopping, you must then choose an event to take part in. Quickly choose a race to enter in. If you choose not to race an event, you can skip and try to enter another event.

When starting a new game, you can choose between one of 20 different characters. You can name the character using a maximum of ten characters (including spaces). If you want to race as Duke Nukem, select Duke Nukem's picture and enter "Duke Nukem" as your name. You can choose the difficulty level as well as enabling/disabling weapons. If you disable weapons, you will not be able to visit the Underground shop.


Each race features items to pick up along the way. The most important things you want to pick up are the money bonuses and the wrenches. Money bonuses will give you some extra money. Wrenches will repair your car on the spot as you drive over them. Be sure to also pick up the ammo upgrades so you can still have a good amount of ammo to help you take out your opposition. Try to avoid driving over mushrooms because they will distort your viewing as you're trying to race. In some races, you will see certain big items, namely either a big money sign or a big wrench. They will appear only once in a race, so get them.

Important things to remember as you race:
• You will only be able to keep your winnings as long as you finish 3rd or better.

• If you cut corners, your lap will not count, and you will be lapped.

• If all the other racers are eliminated, the race is over. The race is obviously over if YOU are eliminated.

• You can earn cash bonuses based on how the race ended up. For example, you can earn some extra money in these ways: finish the race with as little damage as possible, winning consecutive races, or eliminating every other racer on the track.

Remember these things as you race.


Death Rally provides you six cars to acquire and use in the game. When you buy one car, the one you used previously is sold for you to take advantage of the new car. Each car has a certain limit of what can be upgraded.

• Vagabond - a slow car, but a reliable one. Looks like a Volkswagen Beetle.
• Dervish - a powerful pickup truck with powerful guns.
• Sentinel - a sedan with a good set of guns. Fastest car in the Shareware version.
• Shrieker - a powerful car with lots of upgrading opportunities. It is similar in looks to an IROC Camaro Z28.
• Wraith - This Porsche-like car is very quick with powerful machine guns.
• Deliverator - the fastest and most powerful car in the game where all elements are upgradable, including its powerful chainguns.


There are 19 tracks to race on. Realistically, however; there are nine different locations. Each of the tracks just have mirrored layouts. So one track may have the same layout as another, but just raced in a different direction and going under a different name. Not every track is featured in multiple difficulty levels. Here is a description of each course:

• Suburbia and West End - a race around a suburban part of town.
• Holocaust and Toxic Dump - a race around a toxic factory.
• Oasis and Palm Side - a racing venue in a tropical setting.
• Rock Side and Hell Mountain - a race around on a mountain.
• Snake Alley and Desert Run - a snaking race track set in a desert.
• Utopia and Complex - a long city street course with many twists and turns.
• Bogota and Borneo - a track in a jungle setting
• Downtown and Newark - races here are high-speed romps through the heart of the city.
• Velodrome and Eidolon - a high-speed course with turbo sections.
• The Arena - if you make it to the top of the standings, The Adversary will challenge you to a nine-lap race on this oval-like race track.


The main shop you enter will allow you to upgrade your car, repair your car, or buy a car. Each car has a certain limit of how much the car can be upgraded. The most capable cars can have up to four upgrades per section.

• Engine - Engine upgrades will improve the top speed of your car.
• Tires - Tire upgrades will enhance the handling of your car.
• Armor - Armor upgrades will make your car stronger and help you last longer in races.
• Repair - You can repair your car in 10% increments.

These are the upgrades when you enter the Underground Shop:

• Loan - You can take out a loan if you're short on money. However, remember to pay it back!
• Mines - Lay out mines on the track. Racers who run into them will take damage.
• Sabotage - The strongest car will have his/her car badly damaged prior to the race being run.
• Rocket Fuel - This will give you better turbo boost... at the expense of extra damage per use.
• Spiked Bumper - When you ram into cars, this will damage the car ahead of you.

Each of these upgrades last for only one race. So make sure to use them in the next race! Remember that the Underground shop will not be available if you disable weapons.


Prior to some races, you may be offered extra money if you complete some tasks. Make sure to complete them, or you won't make any money. The two tasks I remember (and I think there are only two) either involves you taking out a specific racer or picking up some pills located on the track while having to finish the race. Taking out a certain racer is self-explanatory. Picking up the pills located on the race track is another goal, but you have to win the race.

--- Final Thoughts/Review of Death Rally ---

Death Rally is an amazing game. It was one of many games I was pleased to able to play on my very weak first computer (all 8 MB of RAM and 75 MHz processor of it). Loved the music and the action. It was a very fun game and remains a very fun game. I'd recommend it to anyone wanting some fun top-down racing action. In addition, the game has a great soundtrack.

Now that you know about Death Rally, here is a video featuring Death Rally. Click on this video to view on YouTube:

"Death Rally" - CuteFloor (YouTube)

Best news I learned about this game was that the 1996 game was re-made for Windows and was released as freeware in 2009. So you could enjoy this game on any Windows operating system XP or later without needing DOSBox.

In March 2011, this game was completely re-designed and made for the 21st Century (remember this game was made in 1996) with 3D and a brand-new look and feel. The classic game is available for Windows and DOS, but the newer version is available exclusively for mobile devices. These devices include the iPod Touch or iPhone and the iPad. It can also be played on Android-equipped devices from the Android Market.

• Learn more about Death Rally (or to download the Windows version) by visiting the Death Rally page from Remedy Entertainment's home page.

• If you want to get the new-age Death Rally from the iTunes Apple Store, visit Death Rally on iTunes.

• Get this game for your Android-enabled device at Death Rally FREE - Android Apps on Google Play.

Thank you for reading!

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Adri M. said...

Sounds great, I have a feeling that my nephews would love this.
You are so good at this, keep up the good work! 
Thanks for the birthday wish & the sweet comments that you leave on my blog! 

lexi said...

that racing game actually sounds fun! i don't know if i'd be good at it though haha

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