Codex Gamicus

Lode Runner Online: Mad Monks' Revenge is an enhanced version of the 1994 computer game Lode Runner: The Legend Returns. As the title suggests, the game features online functionality so that players can battle or work together from remote locations in network games.


In 1993, Presage Software acquired the rights to the classic Lode Runner game by Doug Smith and set out to create a new, updated version for modern machines.

The result of this effort was Lode Runner: The Legend Returns. This game did phenomenally well, winning many awards and leading to a sequel: Lode Runner Online. For this sequel, multi-player gameplay was added, allowing two persons to play Lode Runner together over a network, modem, or on the same machine. At the same time many new levels and game elements were introduced, and the original 16-bit code was updated to 32-bit for Windows 95 and Mac OS 8.


While maintaining all of the original features of The Legend Returns, Lode Runner Online adds several new features as well, such as bombs which constantly self-ignite and reappear on a set timer. New available "worlds," which determine background and terrain appearance on a map, are a chief addition. New hazards, such as phase blocks, which disappear and reappear on a set timer (and consequently can tear apart players or monks standing in the location of a vanished block in the process of reappearing), and items are among other additional features; notably, editors can specify certain items to be able to be picked up by only the player of corresponding color (e.g. bombs with blue outlines can only be picked up by the second player, Wes Reckless, not Jake Peril).

The level editor is also more complex than in the original game. Including all of these innovations, an editor may place multiple exits throughout a level, and the exits can be programmed to lead to differing levels in a pack.

Lode Runner Online also fixed many glitches found in its predecessor, mainly that of monks getting stuck while chasing the player.

The game is an excellent example of the trap-em-up genre, which also includes games like Heiankyo Alien and Space Panic.


Lode Runner won many awards, including one from Games Magazine. In 1994, the same year that Myst won Games Magazine's "Game of the Year" and X-COM: UFO Defense won "Best Strategy Game", Lode Runner Online: Mad Monks' Revenge came in as "Best New Arcade Game".

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