Looks like Monty’s be up to no good! Desperate for his freedom and making a daring escape from Scudmore Prison, Monty’s on the Run. Being the successor of Manic Miner and Jet Set Willy, Monty on the Run was written by Peter Harrap and released by Gremlin Graphic in 1985.
This is the game that hosts one of the best music scores ever written, the man behind the music is no other than the Commodore music Legend, Rob Hubbard. This track has become famous all around the world being covered from rock bands to full symphony orchestras. The main game theme was, according to Hubbard, inspired by “Devil’s Galop”, the theme tune to the radio serial Dick Barton special Agent from 1951. This score was rated #1 on Skytopia’s list of The All-Time Top C64 Game Tunes and was also rated #2 in Hardcore Gaming 101’s Top 100 Western Video Game Music of all time. I think this goes to show just how powerful the Commodore’s SID chip actually was back then these game scores have become.
After training to be super fit in Prison, has is being hounded by the Bastions of the law and order, our frightened hero as taken refuge with the criminal underworld who offer him his chance of freedom and to bask in the sunlight again. Moving from his safe house to his underground lair, Monty must select the correct five elements that will make up him freedom kit from the many items that is on offer so he needs to choose wisely. He must also not miss out on the hidden gold coins that will make him a mole of leisure. At last he’s free but can he make the cross-channel ferry on time?
The aim of the game now Monty’s escaped is to make his way through the many underground hideouts and secret locations, somersaulting his way to freedom. You must choose 5 select items from 21 that is on offer, choosing incorrectly will leave the player unable to pass certain screens and you cannot complete the game. This also acted as an anti-piracy measure, since the objects were only given numbers onscreen meaning the player had to refer to the accompanying manual. In addition there are gold coins to collect along the way plus other objects that will either help or hinder you along the way.
I beleive a couiple of remake’s of Monty on the Run was made by a company called Jaleco and was a disk based version for the Famicom System. The game is called ‘Monty’s Great Heart-pounding Escape’ and bears very little resemblance to the original version. For instance, Monty Mole has been replaced with a human character whom funnily enough has a striking resemblance to Peter Sutcliffe.
The only real association the game does have with the original is Gremlin’s copyright and the familiar “in-game” theme playing on the title screen.
Like many Famicom Disk System titles, is little known outside of Japan as the game was never ported to cartridge for a Western NES release.
This PC version is available for download. With crisper graphic’s and a heavy metal sounding updated soundtrack it reminds me of the undated version of Manic Miner on the Commodore Amiga. Its not thats its a bad version but I just don’t think you can beat the original.
I was lucky enough to find an original disk version of this game that has a prize place in my collection as I have never seen another.