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Danger Mouse in the Black Forest Chateau

by Brian Belson, Edgar Belka, and Kevin Buckner


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About the Story

".....We have traced the source of the puzzling Pi-beam to a place deep in the Black Forest.....and that is where we want you to go....."

You may think that this DANGER MOUSE adventure is going to be a piece of cake, but you could find yourself in a terrible jam!

So, as Danger Mouse you will need to work your way carefully through the many sticky situations that you meet.

Your faithful assistant Penfold may help you, but you must also protect him from the mechanical vampires and other unfriendly creatures!

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Member Reviews

Number of Reviews: 1
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
"Jolly Good Show, DM." / "Actually, Colonel, it's a jolly good computer game.", September 9, 2023
by Andrew Schultz (Chicago)

Danger Mouse was, and still is, a wonderfully spontaneous cartoon that can be appreciated by kids and adults alike. I always hoped one day to see all the episodes when I saw him on Nickelodeon, and it took a while. In the meantime I discovered this game and also a DVD of all the Bananaman episodes--Bananaman came on after Dangermouse, see. Dangermouse is not perfect and goes off on tangents, thus making it perfect for crazy text adventures written on 140K drives. Because if the authors get low on space, a deus ex machina will actually work! It wouldn't be true to the series if there wasn't one.

And even with many of the main elements of the show are left out(no escape of your oft-winged car from under the pillar box where DM lives and no Stiletto, Baron Greenbacks's right hand crow) it's a great example of what people managed to do back when they had to make do with very little memory. It even retains the sarcastic narrative voice in its room descriptions. One can almost picture Danger Mouse tapping his foot, waiting for the next part to load on the Commodore or whatever. (Still, thank goodness for emulator warp speeds!)

At the game's start, Colonel K calls in, and after bumbling over a few words, directs DM to find some terribly destructive weapon called a pi-beam hidden deep in the Black Forest Chateau. The beam is actually hidden in something else (hint: the show was always pun-heavy.) The game focuses on brief narrations to tell you what's going on, and it's choice- instead of parser-based. This saves memory for some neat little doodles floating about the screen giving a rough picture of what's going on. Good choice--Danger Mouse with a parser would be the wrong sort of sophistication.

You will get an extra option if you bring the right item to the right place such as a key to a room with a locked door, which drops the difficulty, which back in the days of slow loading times was a good thing. Solutions stick out like the sort of levers Penfold trips over to spring a trap. Making the wrong choice may provide useless entertainment but never kills you. It just knocks you back to a location that is not so far along in your quest. You'll also find some locations containing several items, of which you can only have one at a time. Here's the only weakness of the choice-based format: there's no inventory option. Usually you'll need two or three such items in a certain order and although you can sweep through all locations with every item pretty easily, the items' uses are relatively sensible even if the situations where you must use them are random as you'd expect.

Danger Mouse, alas, has no saved games. Not a huge problem in this day of emulator save states, but a hassle back them. Halfway through you're given a code number to access the second part. Fortunately these load times are the only really slow parts of the game, and the rest of the time you'll be occupied between finding the one-way access routes between important locations and working your way through some minor-nuisance mazes. The drawings along the way will keep you entertained. There's not a ton of color, but Penfold's iconic too-tight suit jacket shows(too bad the tie isn't in full splendor too,) and Danger Mouse finds many ways to look nonplussed. There are even cameos from Count Duckula and Baron Greenbacks. But a good deal of the scenery is recycled, which is not all a bad thing, because the show occasionally made fun of itself for the repeated backgrounds, and besides the Commodore had limited memory and disk space. The game gets a few of them and doesn't abuse them. Too much. There's also a motif of moving in even wider circles as the game goes on, which works well enough for such an absurdist cartoon. DM himself would frequently run into an obstacle or enemy several times before finding the right way through.

Danger Mouse, the show, worked well because it had many silly pictures to go with puns children might not understand. The game works much in the same way with quips as "the lone shark takes a great deal of interest" or the red herring you find, which by now feels overdone, but it deserves credit back in the 80s. DM and Penfold also stumble through the requisite trap doors and secret passageways with the help of goofy gadgets or common items used for extraordinary purposes, and so for a game with such simple controls (maximum five choices on any screen,) the clever narration and pluck make it a credit to the cartoon show that inspired it. Yes, a full-fledged Infocom-style adventure would have been ideal, and Danger Mouse in general seems to cry out for multiple point-and-click remakes, replete with a Bananaman sub-game for people who'd saved the world with Danger Mouse would have been a big hit. But I really can't complain. It was fun before I managed to get those Danger Mouse DVDs cheap on eBay and after.

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This is version 2 of this page, edited by Eq on 26 May 2013 at 2:50pm. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item - Delete This Page