Death Rally is a top-down perspective racing video game developed by Remedy, published by Apogee and distributed by GT Interactive. It was released on September 6, 1996. In the game, widely praised as one of the best games of the year, the player starts with $495 in their pocket and a lowly car named Vagabond (based on the VW Beetle), and must compete in deadly races where all cars are armed, and win money by finishing top, collecting money bonus or fulfilling missions. The final goal is defeating the Adversary, the undisputed king of Death Rally.
Each car can fit a number of upgrades that increase defense capacities (armor), handling (tires) and top speed (engine). While the chain gun can’t be upgraded, as each one is part of each car, it’s possible to acquire temporary upgrades at a costlier price. These include bumper spikes, land mines, rocket fuel (which increases speed greatly, but its use damages not only the player car but also any car too close behind). Before each race the player can also ask for a loan and bribe a mechanic to tamper with the most powerful car in the race.
Vagabond (based on the VW Beetle)
Dervish (a pick-up truck)
Sentinel (a four-door car)
Shrieker (based on a Chevrolet Camaro)
Wraith (based on a Porsche 911)
Deliverator (a rocket car, partly based on the Mach 5 from Speed Racer)
Tracks and divisions
Each race day has three races divisions open to any driver (to a maximum of 4) regardless of their score, although the game suggests not entering medium races without a Sentinel and hard races without a Wraith. While it might seem tempting to run in more advanced levels (since they award more money and points to the winners), no bonuses or points are awarded if the player is destroyed or finishes the race, but laps behind the winner.
The player can also gain money through achieving extra objectives, such as winning three races in a row, destroying all opponents or finishing with 2% or less damage to the car. Prior to a race, the player can also be asked to perform a specific job, either collecting Steroids along the track (and win the race), or eliminating a certain opponent. A successful mission gives the player a significant amount of money, while a failure results in the opposite. Knowing the opposition, the player can either accept or decline the job, if it seems too difficult.
Each character stars with different points, from 100 (the top drivers, Duke Nukem or Sam Speed) to 0 (the player), and with different cars. The player selects an avatar, and the driver whom he selects will not appear as an opponent. This is an effective way of removing Duke Nukem, as he carries an extra protection that makes him very difficult to eliminate.
Vagabond drivers: Bogus Bill and Farmer Ted
Dervish drivers: Liz Arden, Diesel Joe and Mic Dair
Sentinel drivers: Mori Sato, Suzy Stock, Iron John and Cher Stone
Shrieker drivers: Lee Vice, Dark Ryder and Greg Peck
Wraith drivers: Mad Mac, Motor Mary, Matt Miller and Clint West
Deliverator drivers: Nasty Nick, Jane Honda, Sam Speed and Duke Nukem
Although most of them will stick to their closest divisions, they occasionally race in other divisions, which gives room for some tactics. If the player driving an upgraded Sentinel sees one Deliverator driver in medium, and two Wraith drivers and a Shrieker, it might be worth it to take a shot in the Hard race.
When the player finally makes it to the top spot, he is challenged to face the Adversary, who has the fastest car (a souped-up Deliverator that’s not available for normal play) in a slightly oval-shaped circuit. If the player does not want to race the Adversary yet, he has to sit until he drops out of the first spot. Computer drivers can compete in regular races even if they are on the top spot.
Release date: September 6, 1996
Mode: Single player, multiplayer
Rating: USK: Not free for minors
System requirements: 8 MB RAM, 2X CD-ROM drive
Official Website: http://www.remedygames.com/games/death_rally.html