Road Runner's Death Valley Rally is a video game released for the SNES in 1992. It is based on the Looney Tunes characters Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner. A sequel, Wile E. Coyote's Revenge, was in development for the SNES, though it was later cancelled.
Many attribute the gameplay in this game to the Sonic the Hedgehog games, due to its intense speed and gravity defying properties (such as running up walls).
The player controls Road Runner, who is to be guided across a series of levels to cross the finish mark, while avoiding Wile E. Coyote and his contraptions. Wile E. has a unique method of ambush for every level, ranging from the Acme Bat-Man outfit to explosives, and for every level there is a cut-scene of the contraption failing once the player crosses the finish mark. After completing the three main levels in an episode, the Road Runner encounters Wile E., who is armed with a more advanced contraption, in a boss fight.
Road Runner has a series of control movements useful to beating the game. As per usual in platform games, Road Runner can jump and run (with the B button and control pad, respectively). The first essential move is boosting (with the Y button), where Road Runner can run much faster as so he can easily scale walls or hills without needing to build up momentum. The boost also acts as an invincibility, being able to destroy enemies and resist damage from Coyote. However, this boost quickly depletes the Energy meter (if empty, the player could no longer use boosts). The next essential move is the A button, which causes Road Runner to continuously peck, whereas he can eat Bird Seed to refill his energy, or simply attack. Although they serve no gameplay use, the L button makes Road Runner say "beep-beep!", and the R button makes him stick out his tongue. Holding Up and the L button simultaneously makes him jump and say "beep-beep!".
The game includes several items to aid the player in the game.
- 1-Up - Appearing as a bouncing Road Runner head, awards the player an extra life.
- 500-Point icon - Awards the player 500 points upon collection.
- Bird Seed - Used to replenish the Energy meter.
- Clock - Stops time and freezes all enemies in their tracks.
- Flag - Touching a flag awards points and adds to the Flag Bonus at the end of a level; collecting enough flags throughout the game will earn the player a continue. Flags are also used as checkpoints: if the player were to lose a life at any point, the level could be resumed at the last flag that was touched. The flags come in four colors: yellow, green, red, and purple.
- Heart - Restores the Road Runner's health.
- Shield - Makes Road Runner invulnerable to damage for a short period of time.
Destroying enemies and touching 500-Point icons is the easiest way to earn points, but the most efficient is touching flags that are located in various areas throughout the level. Some flags are in plain sight, while others are out of reach and require skill to run and jump to them. At the end of a level, the player earns three bonuses: Flag Bonus (counts every flag touched), Time Bonus (time left on the Timer), and Energy Bonus (how much energy remains in the Energy meter). In addition, the player is awarded an extra life for every 50,000 points collected and a Continue for every 100,000 points.
All of the boss levels begin with Wile E. Coyote holding up a blueprint of his new mechanism to the screen, displaying how it functions and hints to its weak points (labeled with big exclamation marks). It is then the job of the player to destroy the contraption. After the machine is destroyed, Wile E. is pummeled by its destruction, then an opera singer walks in, clears her throat and begins to sing. However, Wile E. holds up a sign reading "Not Yet". He is then finished off by more destruction. Road Runner then moves onto the next episode.
The game offers five "episodes" (or worlds), each containing three levels and a boss level, where Wile E. is in control of a large mechanism (described here). Also, as in the Chuck Jones' Road Runner cartoons, both Wile E. and the Road Runner have different Latin names in each level.
Latin Names Per Episode:
|Episode Title||Wile E. Coyote||Road-Runner|
|"Zippity Splat"||Hungarius Uncontrolibus||Speedomitrus Maximus|
|"Rock 'N Rivet"||Gadgetius Fanaticum||Greasius Lightninus|
|"Train Runnery"||Ravenous Uncontrollibii||Accelleratii Incredibus|
|"Hopalong Casualty"||Ravenous Carnivorous||Rocketum Instantanius|
|"Quantum Beep"||Famishus Vulgarium||Birdibus Zippidus|
Wile E.'s Tricks and Plans:
- Episode 1: "Zippity Splat" - Takes place in the desert as seen in the cartoons.
- Act 1: First, as in traditional Road Runner cartoons, Wile E. attempts to chase down the Road Runner while throwing forks and knives at him. Along the way, the Road Runner will run across an unfinished bridge that soon collapses if he stands too long on it. If Wile E.crosses it, he'll be subjective to gravity. That was only the first half of the stage. In the other half, Wile E. returns and is controlling a steam roller to try and flatten the Road Runner.
- Act 2: Now riding in a Hot-Air Balloon, Wile E. tries to blow up the Road Runner by launching planes that have grenades in them. The grenade plane was redesigned and reused from the cartoon "Zip 'n' Snort". However, a similar plan like this was used in the cartoon "Lickety-Splat".
- Act 3: As seen in "Gee Whiz-z-z-z-z-z-z-z", Wile E. uses his ACME Bat-Man's Outfit to fly around the stage.
- BOSS: Wile E. consults his blueprint, which is a mechanical catapult set to launch anything at the Road Runner, specifically boulders. The weak point is at the main holder of the catapult.
- Episode 2: "Rock 'N Rivet" - Set on the construction site of Acme Industries.
- Act 1: First, Wile E. uses his old ACME Rocket-Powered Roller Skates to chase the Road Runner, but he can only chase him if the Road Runner is the bottom part of the level. The Rocket-Skates were reused from "Beep, Beep".
- Act 2: Set on high parts of the construction zone, Wile E. rides on a Wrecking Ball to try and swing the Road-Runner off the platforms.
- Act 3: Hijacking a Jack-Hammer, Wile E. rigs it to be like a Pogo-Stick to try and jump on the Road Runner at certain points of the stage. The Jack-Hammer animations were from "Zoom and Bored".
- BOSS: Wile E. uses the wrecking ball again, but THIS TIME, he controls the crane himself to try and swing the ball at the Road Runner himself! He tried to use a Crane and Wrecking Ball back in "To Beep or Not to Beep".
- Episode 3: "Train Runnery" - The majority of this episode is set on a fast-moving circus train.
- Act 1: Modifying an old hot rod car, Wile E. installs an elevating attachment on his wheels so that when the Road Runner takes a higher route by cliffs, he'll be able to rise up after him! The hot rod car was from the Sam Sheepdog cartoon "Ready, Woolen and Able".
- Act 2: Based on the cartoons "Fast and Furry-ous" and "Beep, Beep", Wile E. uses an abstrusely designed rocket to chase the Road Runner. The end result is the same from "Beep, Beep"!
- Act 3: Wile E. uses a plane that once belonged to the Red Baron, but he modifies it be a bomber plane to drop air-bombs on the Road Runner!
- BOSS: Wile E. decides to fight fire with fire, or in this case: fight train with a train, as he now drives an old-fashioned steam engine train, but he rigs the smoke stack part to be a cannon that shoots black bombs onto the train to try and blow up the Road Runner, who's riding on the main train himself!
- Episode 4: "Hopalong Casualty" - Set in a mine loaded with explosives. Throughout the episode, Wile E. has made a female road runner to attract his enemy, but it really a trap as the female road runner is really a robot that self-destructs!
- Act 1: Wile E. is no where to be seen around this stage except after the goal. Throughout this stage, Wile E. has placed self-destructing TNT barrels that cause rocks to fall. At the end of the stage, Wile E. attempts to blow up the Road Runner himself using a detonator from "Hook, Line and Stinker", with the same results from that episode (the Detonator animations were reused from "Hook, Line and Stinker").
- Act 2: Making his move in this stage, Wile E. attempts to chase the Road Runner down the track in a mining-cart.
- Act 3: In this part of the mine, there are spiky drills and female road runners (possibly inspired from the cartoon "Operation: Rabbit"). At the end of the stage after crossing the checkered flag, Wile E. appears and attempts to use the same female road runner to get the Road Runner attracted, however when he drops down to catch him, Wile mistakes the female robot road runner he built for the real one.
- BOSS: The source of the drills have been found as Wile E. now controls a drill rig to try and skewer the Road Runner! The end result has similar animations to that of the cartoon "Zipping Along".
- Episode 5: "Quantum Beep" - The final episode, set at the desert again but at night. Wile E. pulls out all the stops to try and catch the Road Runner once and for all! Marvin the Martian makes an appearance, as do the Instant Martians.
- Act 1: Based on the cartoon "Gee Whiz-z-z-z-z-z-z", Wile E. uses his old Jet-Bike he constructed from two ACME Products: Iron Handle Bars and a Jet Motor!
- Act 2: Wile E. makes a device that shoots laser balls to zap the Road Runner.
- Act 3: Wile E. is getting serious now. He uses his jet bike again at first, but then after the Road Runner enters the machine, he appears to have switched to his Bat-Man's Outfit once again. After entering the machine the second time, Wile E. now has helicopter-propellers strapped on. Upon entering the machine a third time, Wile E. is no where to be found as drills from episode four reappear. By the time the Road Runner enters the machine a fourth time, Wile E. has been turned into a neanderthal coyote possibly inspired by the cartoon "Mad as a Mars Hare"). In this form, Wile E. can jump and pounce on the Road Runner at any height or distance!
- FINAL BOSS: Wile E. has had enough! With all of his plans and his previously blueprinted plans failed, Wile E. has one more blueprint for his ULTIMATE MASTER PLAN: Wile E. built a giant robotic head of himself that launches missiles and rockets at the Road Runner! Unlike the previous boss encounters, this one has multiple weaknesses that must be taken care of!
Upon destroying the giant robot, Wile E. Coyote evacuates himself from the exploding mechanism, and Road Runner sneaks up behind and goes "Beep-Beep!" This startles the Coyote and he falls off the edge. He falls towards the earth, and then holds up a sign reading "How about ending this game before I hit?" (an homage to the episode Gee Whiz-z-z). This time, however, his request is denied amd he falls to the ground, becoming embedded in the process. An Acme truck drives by and bumps over a rock, thus dropping all its explosives onto Coyote. Road Runner runs by, stares at Coyote for a moment, shouts "Beep-Beep!" and zooms across the Finish Line. Wile E. looks up, opens an umbrella, and the opera singer falls and crushes him, singing. Coyote extends an arm, holding a white flag, indicating that he finally surrenders. After the credits roll, the game ends with "That's all, folks!"
- Road Runner's Latin Name from "Train Runnery", Accelleratii Incredibus, came from the first three Road Runner cartoons: "Fast and Furry-ous", "Beep, Beep" and "Going! Going! Gosh!"
- Another Latin Name, "Birdibus Zippidus", "Zoom and Bored".
- Level 4's title, "Hopalong Casualty" came from the cartoon of the same name.
- Interestingly, Wile E.'s wild take sprites also came from the same cartoon.
- Wile E.'s chasing sprite used in the Level Introductions and the very first stage of the game was used from "To Beep or Not to Beep".