LGR – Lode Runner Online: Mad Monks’ Revenge – PC Game Review
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LGR – Lode Runner Online: Mad Monks’ Revenge – PC Game Review

October 17, 2019

[Eastern music] [typing] In 1983, Doug Smith’s Lode Runner was released by Brøderbund Software for the Apple II. In Lode Runner, you played a stick figure running
away from other stick figures, navigating the platforms, shooting holes into the ground and trying to collect gold without getting caught. It also is one of the first games to include a level editor, ensuring there was always plenty to do. In short, Lode Runner was fantastic
because it was awesome and rad. As a result, tons of ports and
follow up games were produced throughout the following years from games like Championship Lode Runner on the NES to Lode Runner: The Lost Labyrinth
for the NEC PC Engine. But it wasn’t until Presage Software
bought the rights to Lode Runner in 1993 that a proper evolution of the game came about. The result of this new developer’s hard work was 1994’s Lode Runner: The Legend Returns, published by Sierra Online for
Windows 3.1 and the Macintosh. It took the original Apple II game
and updated it for the ’90s with 256-color graphics, an awesome soundtrack, new traps and tools to use, a two-player co-op mode, and an improved level editor and evil monks hungry for your flesh! The Legend Returns sold a bunch, won a bunch of awards, and got a bunch of ports to other systems. But there is a reason I’m not
focusing this review on that game. And that reason is Lode Runner Online:
The Mad Monks’ Revenge from 1995, released exclusively on Mac and PC. It’s got all the goodness of The Legend Returns, with at least 37% more pure,
unfiltered awesome included. More levels, more traps,
and new online multiplayer modes, as implied by the name. Though it’s unfortunate that some
people seemd to take this to mean that it was ONLY playable online, but that’s what you get when
you judge a game by its cover. Honestly, the biggest reason to get this version,
if you’re a fan of The Legend Returns on PC, is the fact that it’s been totally
reprogrammed in 32-bit code. Which means it’s not only faster, but it actually
works properly on Windows 95 and higher, whereas I’ve never been able to get
The Legend Returns working on anything past 3.1. It also only comes on CD-ROM, as far as I know, which means you get the excellent
Redbook Audio CD soundtrack instead of the hit-or-miss MIDI tunes
from the earlier floppy versions. Start it up and you’re greeted with a menu very similar to The Legend Returns,
but more streamlined. You’ve got options to start a single-player game, play a multiplayer game on the current PC, play multiplayer over a local area network, play multiplayer over a modem connection, create your own levels in the level editor, and change the options. Options. Yes. They’re simple enough. Just choose your controls and volume levels and that’s it. The level editor is also pretty simple to use. Pretty much just choose a tile and place it. And the user interface makes it really easy to make levels every bit as complex
as the levels the game comes with. Not only can you make your own, but this means you can also download
level packs online made by other people, so that gaming, theoretically, never has to stop. But of course, it’s the levels the game comes with that you’ll probably want to hit up first. And you can do this by either starting
a new game from the very beginning, or jumping ahead to any level you want. You won’t get as high of a score
when doing this, but it’s useful, if you just want to skip ahead
when you run across a level so aggravating it makes you want
to stab someone with a hamster. And yes, just like previous versions of Lode Runner, you will run across levels of increasing difficulty as the game progresses, many of which are well beyond my patience level. But at the beginning, it’s smooth sailin’. You control either Jake Peril as Player 1, or Wes Reckless as Player 2, and navigate the level’s platforms in order to collect all the gold and/or keys on-screen. All you do at first is climb ladders, traverse bars and shoot holes in vulnerable platforms, just like the original Lode Runner, then pass through the exit portal
once you’ve collected everything. But it’s not long before you’ll run into Mad Monks, which will not only kill you but devour your body on contact. [crunching] And I love that sound effect for some reason. Makes me, uh… makes me happy. These demonic dudes follow a pretty basic set of logical rules where they will always follow you
on a horizontal and vertical plane, but stop when they run into an obstacle or can’t move from their current position because you’re on one of those
planes and they can’t reach you. In other words, they don’t have any intelligence but they will follow you if a logical path allows it. So learning their quirks is essential
to not becoming their next meal. They’ll also randomly steal and
relocate gold pieces they walk past, which can really screw up your
strategy if you’re not careful. And then all of this is thrown for a loop when you take into account trapping, because once you trap them
in a hole and it fills back up, or you blow them up with a bomb, they will respawn somewhere in the level. Along with your ability to shoot holes in the ground, you also have the new items from The Legend Returns. These are introduced through
these little animated cutscenes in between the new worlds, which gives a short introduction to bombs, buckets of sticky goo, snares, a jackhammer, befuddlement gas, a pickaxe, a glowing pendant for seeing in the dark, and teleporters, which often teleports you to exactly the wrong place. In addition to these, you have
two more things to worry about in Mad Monks’ Revenge: phase blocks and liquid blocks. Phase blocks phase in and
out of existence – go figure – trapping a character if caught in it. And liquid blocks will cause instant death on contact, though they can be filled in with a pickaxe. Combine all of this with the
regular blocks and obstacles, and you’ve got a game that’s definitely a step or three beyond the original Apple II game. Although, you can actually play the Apple II levels through an Easter egg in Level 1 if you really want to. It even has the same blue-on-black tile set. Which is just awesomely nostaglic for those of us that remember playing this one. And of course, being called “Online”
you have the online modes. In addition to the 180 single-player levels, you have 150 two-player levels to get through. That’s an absolute crap-ton of co-op gaming, which is a surefire way to
get a nice heated rivalry going, especially when you start competing for gold. You can play these levels either locally on a single PC, over a LAN, or online over a modem connection. It’s a huge addition to the game and adds a ton of value, but I still think it was probably a mistake
for them to use the name “Online” in the title, if only because it was a bit confusing to some. I mean, yeah. It was, you know, important, but seriously, people can be really dumb. Slightly confusing title or not, The Mad Monks’ Revenge is
a fantastic Lode Runner game, and probably my favorite of the entire series. It has all the charm of the original, combined with all of the
additions of The Legend Returns, and a bunch of new gameplay
and content on top of that. It keeps the original formula without being
overbearing with a bunch of new additions. And I really can’t complain about this game because it’s exactly what I want in a linear puzzle game. Lots of variety, solid gameplay, enjoyable puzzle solving, multiplayer options and
customization once you’re done. Lode Runner Online: The Mad Monks’ Revenge was completely awesome back in the day. And as far as I’m concerned, it remains just as awesome today. [crunching]

Only registered users can comment.

  1. Maybe you should try and read the description of the video.

    @LGR: Awesome, I remember playing the original on my Sega system when I was a kid. True classic.

  2. Thank you for reviewing this. This game means a lot to me. I actually felt teary eyed while watching your review. My brother and I would play this game so much in the old days. We'd fight who would play more, who always get more gold, and we'd bomb or trap each other's players (but he would always win). Those were good memories. I'm very grateful for this review. Thanks again. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. I'm not joking, I've been searching for this game for 13 years, I couldn't remember the name of it, thank you so much! *Starts Nostalgia trip*

  4. Hi, do u know about a game that was simular to this called Fatman adventures, which replaced the enemys with monstors and you play as a yellow fat thing, its great, but I can't find a place to get it and I have only the demo.

  5. hey thank you for this great review. I never knew about Mad Monk's Revenge. All i had was Legend Returns and i couldn't find a way to get the darn thing to work on Win 7 64-bit. Glad i found this video.
    One last thing: is there a way the screen size in game? The level seems to take up just a quarter of my screen.

  6. Make sure to run the game at a lower desktop resolution. I just use 640×480 in compatibility mode and it looks as it did in this review.

  7. Ah man, looks like I'm a little late to the party. That Win 7 fix is gone. And I've been jonesing for this game recently. :<

  8. your one of the best if not the best reviewer because the way you review plus your aewsome voice. But most is because you review games from the best time of games where graphics where simple and still good plus the gameplay was just as good but nobody else review these games ๐Ÿ™

  9. Man, i can't make it work on windows 7, is there a chance you can upload the tweaked version? the link is dead now

  10. heard about this game, people talk about the original all the time, thanks for letting us know about it, will check it out ๐Ÿ™‚ awesome review as always.

  11. I love it when fanboys complain, he's just a guy reviewing video games from his house, youre not paying for this, he does not owe anything to any of us. He does what he does to entertain the viewers and he obviously knows what will entertain us the most.

  12. Is there a working link to get the version that works on Windows 8? That link's broken, and I can't find one anywhere.

  13. Anyone got an idea where I might buy this game? GOG doesn't have it, totally legal torrent sites don't seem to have this one. I'm not too bothered about owning the large boxed version.

  14. thanks for the review!ย 
    the link for the newer windows versions is not working though, is it possible to upload another one?ย 
    have the terrible need to play it ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. ย To anyone looking for the CD, I've created a torrent for it.

    Funny review, but I must say, TLR works fine on 95, 98 and XP. I've played it for years on all three versions. In my case, 95 being the OS that it came installed on. I also actually enjoy the old MIDI files more and frankly have never liked the MMR's more lacking GUI interface. Adding clicks is not an improvement to me. The newer treasure sound is also pretty lame by comparison to TLR. Although, I have now "fixed" that, lol. Also, if you do use a physical CD in order to have the music (a requirement on old systems), then the constant game pausing between audio tracks is insanely annoying. The victory sound which plays between levels, also doesn't seem to work correctly in MMR. I only hear it randomly, every once in a great while. It feels very empty when I don't hear that very familiar sound. When all is said and done, I much prefer TLR over MMR. If I could add the new levels/features and Online play to TLR, I would.

  16. My version of Load Runner: The Legend Returns came with redbook audio on the CD. ย I was confused when I tried to download the game online once when I lost my CD and it had lame sounding midi. ย So it's not just Load Runner Online that has the music.

  17. the levels got really complicated. I remember at least one level constructed of nothing but a clutter of ladders.

  18. My thoughts was constantly: I remember this game… Why do I remember this game?? I remember it was pretty scary but why??… Then you mention the devoured death animation and I was like: "Ah… Yeah… I remember now…"

  19. I Would love to know your opinion on Lode Runner 2 (the isometric one). It was hard as balls, but man was it pretty and enjoyable.

  20. Had a demo for The Legend Returns YEARS ago and loved it. Never had the full game, though. Thanks for reminding me of this, I'm going to go track down a copy now.

  21. All the memories are coming back! I've been trying to find what this was since 1995. I must have been at CompUSA with my dad and I played with this while he looked for whatever. I think the keyboard might not have been connected because no key inputs worked. In my frustration I clicked around the UI and found out that there was a literal suicide button. So I killed Mr. Lode Runner until the game over screen popped up because I just wanted to collect gold!

    Except for whatever reason, as a 4 or 5 year old girl I suddenly realized I was complicit in the suicide. The game over screen scared the crap out of me.

  22. 1:17 Evil monks who hungry for your flesh, back to the day when i first play this game, i always wonder what they are doing to our body? Is he eating? Thank you for your conformation on this…….

    5:49 "Mad MonK: Thanks for the meal sucker. " May be i should read that scene that way now……

  23. I played the shit out of this game with my brother on our fathers Toshiba T19?? Laptop with ballpoint mouse ๐Ÿ˜€ If you have one of those, do a video too please, so i can drown in nostalgia.

  24. I really wish they would do another Lode Runner game. Perhaps bring the series back somehow, or put it on steam with online (2-4) co-op. Gotta be someone out there crazy enough to try it!

  25. I'm so glad to know this is freeware. People would charge quite a bit of money for a game this dense and with such smooth graphics and mechanics (even if faulty). I also liked the NES Lode Runner but not as much as this.

  26. im trying to download this game based on the links provided a file was downloaded but I don't know how to run the game, help instructions anyone know STEP BY STEP what to do? thank you i run windows xp

  27. I remember watching with my brother my older sister play this. Been searching the name for years. Was awesome watching her play and getting nervous.

  28. I used to call mad monks devils… Or "debbils" as a child. And apparently I was right the whole time of "debbils" eating me in Lode Runner! Surprise!

  29. Someone recreated the game and it can now run on modern systems with no hassle, as well as being controller compatible!

  30. My first video game ever, played on my dad's work computer. I had TLR but only once the internet came along did I find a copy of MMR. My fav vintage PC game of my childhood due to the countless hours making maps and programming complicated rube goldberg transporter and bomb race configurations ๐Ÿ˜› My only gripe with MMR vs TLR is I prefer the latter's goldpickup and level exit appearance sound effects.

    Like I said for Sim Copter, thanks for covering this!

  31. One of if not the best games ever made. I used to play it all the time back in the day on the vintage apple macintoshes. In my own time still do even. Such beautiful nostalgia of ago.

  32. This makes me beyond happy! I remember this game, but never remembered the title, I'm so getting this again and it's all thanks to you

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