|Developer(s)||Remedy (Microsoft Windows, iOS, Android)
Mountain Sheep, Cornfox & Brothers (iOS)
|Publisher(s)||Apogee Software Ltd. (Microsoft Windows), Remedy (iOS, Android)|
September 6, 1996
October 20, 2009
March 31, 2011
August 3, 2012
September 4, 2012
|Genre(s)||Vehicular combat, racing|
|Mode(s)||Single player, multiplayer|
|Distribution||Optical disc, download|
Death Rally is a top-down perspective racing video game developed by Remedy, published by Apogee and distributed by GT Interactive Software. Formerly known as HiSpeed as a working development title, it was released on September 6, 1996. In the game, the player starts with $495 and a weak car named Vagabond (based on the VW Beetle), and must compete in deadly races where all cars are armed (a game without guns is an option), winning money by finishing in front positions, collecting money bonuses or fulfilling missions. The final goal is defeating the Adversary, the undisputed king of Death Rally.
The game was updated for Microsoft Windows and re-released as freeware by Remedy in 2009. On January 11, 2011, Remedy announced that a remake of Death Rally would be released on the iOS in March 2011. The remake was released on 31 March 2011 on the App Store as a universal app for 3rd generation devices and higher. The game has also been released for Android devices. The 2011 remake of game was also released for the PC platform on August 3, 2012.
Each car can be equipped with a number of upgrades that increase defense capacities (armor), handling (tires) and top speed (engine). While the default chain gun cannot be upgraded, it is possible to acquire temporary car upgrades at a costlier price. These include bumper spikes, land mines and rocket fuel. Before each race, the player can also ask for a loan and/or bribe a mechanic to tamper with the car of the player's highest-ranked opponent in the race (with the exception of the Adversary's car); this causes a random amount of damage from 25 to 49%.
- Vagabond (based on the Volkswagen Beetle): This is the car players start with; can handle one engine upgrade, two tire upgrades, and one armor upgrade; armed with a single small gun.
- Dervish (a pickup truck): Can handle up to two of every upgrade; until you get this car, the loan shark is unavailable; armed with a slightly better gun.
- Sentinel (a sedan, possibly based on the Toyota AE86): The best car available in the shareware version; can handle up to two engine upgrades, three tire upgrades, and two armor upgrades; armed with a large gun.
- Shrieker (based on the Camaro): Can handle up to three of every upgrade; armed with two machine guns.
- Wraith (based on the Porsche 911): Can handle up to three engine upgrades, four tire upgrades, and three armor upgrades; armed with two large machine guns.
- Deliverator (based on Mach Five from Speed Racer): As put by the game, "Prince of the Race;" can be fully upgraded; armed with two deadly chainguns.
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 in last place or minimum a full lap behind the leader.
Though a total of 19 tracks exist, half the tracks are duplicates of other tracks, rotated 180 degrees and recolored. Certain tracks are only available in certain levels of competition:
- Suburbia/West End (Easy)
- Holocaust/Toxic Dump (Easy)
- Oasis/Palm Side (Easy-Medium)
- Rock Zone/Hell Mountain (Easy-Medium)
- Snake Alley/Desert Run (Easy-Medium)
- Utopia/Complex (Medium-Hard)
- Bogotá/Borneo (Medium-Hard)
- Downtown/Newark (Medium-Hard)
- Velodrome/Eidolon (Hard)
- The Arena (Final Race Only).
All tracks except The Arena are available to all racers in multiplayer.
The player can also gain money through achieving extra objectives, such as destroying all opponents, finishing with 2% or less damage to their car or winning three races in a row. Prior to a race, the player can also be asked to perform a specific job, either collecting steroids along the track (and winning the race), or eliminating a certain opponent. A successful mission gives the player a significant amount of money, while a failure causes the player to lose money; if the player does not have enough to cover the loss (around half of the offered value), they may lose one of their upgrades. Knowing the opposition, the player can either accept or decline the job.
Each character starts with different points, from 100 (the top drivers: Duke Nukem, Jane Honda or Sam Speed) to 0 (the player), and with different cars. The player selects an avatar, with the driver whom he selects not appearing as an opponent.
- 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 Miler and Clint West
- Deliverator drivers: Jane Honda, Sam Speed, Duke Nukem and Nasty Nick
Depending on which avatar is selected, Liz Arden may be driving a Vagabond, Cher Stone a Dervish, Greg Peck a Sentinel, Clint West a Shrieker, or Nasty Nick a Wraith, to keep the number of drivers of each type of car consistent. Although most of them will stick to their closest divisions, they occasionally race in other divisions, which gives room for some tactics.
When the player finally makes it to the top spot, he is challenged to face the Adversary. The Adversary drives a souped-up Deliverator, that's not available for normal play, with prominent chainguns and a rocket engine. Because "no one touches the Adversary's vehicle and lives" according to the Underground Market staff, sabotage is not available against the Adversary. The final race takes place at The Arena, a slightly oval-shaped circuit. If the player does not want to race the Adversary yet, he has to wait until he drops out of the first spot. Computer controlled drivers can compete in regular races even if they are in the top spot.
In May 2009, programmer Jari Komppa got in contact with Remedy, volunteering to prepare an open-source release of Death Rally. Since releasing the game as open-source could not be agreed upon, Komppa instead started working on porting the game to Microsoft Windows systems. As a result of his work, Remedy released Death Rally as proprietary freeware on 20 October 2009. The re-released version does not support multiplayer network games because the original code used for IPX networks would have been too expensive to adapt to the Windows architecture.
A remake for iOS was released on 31 March 2011. It features the song Can You Hear Me by Poets of the Fall. The remake includes in-game cameo appearances from different game characters, including Barry Wheeler from Alan Wake, John Gore from Minigore and Mighty Eagle from Angry Birds. Duke Nukem also appears as an opponent, as he did in the original game. The remake has been downloaded 1.8 million times and it recouped its eight month development costs in only three days.
- "Car combat game Death Rally coming to iPhone and iPad".
- "'Death Rally' Remake Coming March 2011".
- "Death Rally for Windows released".
- "Porting from DOS to Windows".
- "GDC 2011: Remedy brings Death Rally to iOS".
- "Remedy's iOS Death Rally downloaded 1.8 million times".
- Death Rally at 3D Realms
- Death Rally at Remedy
- Death Rally at MobyGames
- Death Rally at the Open Directory Project