Roc n' Rope

Roc n' Rope
Company: Coleco
Model #:
Ed English
Year: 1984
Port of the 1983 Konami arcade game


Roc n' Rope was a 1983 arcade game by Tokuro Fujiwara in which you control an explorer who is out to catch the fabled Golden Roc.  The Golden Roc likes to nest on the top of tall mountains in prehistoric lands so it is up to you to scale tall peaks while avoiding dinosaurs and cavemen.  While your climbing skills my be a bit lacking, you are thankfully armed with a giant harpoon gun.  This gun can be used to make rope bridges that you can use to scale the mountain.  Tokuro would later refine this concept into a little game of some note called Bionic Commando.


The goal of Roc n' Rope is get to the top of the mountain and touch the Golden Roc.  You start at the bottom of the screen and must climb to various platforms along the way by use of your harpoon gun.  By pressing up and the fire button you will shoot a rope diagonally upwards which will connect to a platform above you if you're close enough.  Once the rope bridge is made you may then climb up it to reach the next set of platforms.  Positioning the rope can be a bit tricky at times and it may take a few attempts to get the rope to secure to the platform.  The rope bridge will remain until you fire your harpoon gun again.


Sounds easy right?  Wrong!  As you climb the mountain you'll undoubtedly notice several large green lizards (dinosaurs) and brown beasts (cavemen) going into and coming out of the various caves that dot each level.  Touching either of these enemies is instant death, so you'll have to avoid them.  To make matters worse these prehistoric pests like to shake the rope bridges you've made.  If a dinosaur or caveman shakes the rope while you're climbing it you will fall off and die unless you're still close to the ground.  Thankfully you can temporarily stun these nasties with your head lamp by pressing the fire button.  While stunned you can safely walk though the enemies, but they won't stay stunned for very long.  Thankfully you have unlimited uses of your head lamp, so go nuts!  Also scattered along various ledges are flashing squares.  These squares are actually Roc eggs which will grant you temporary invincibility.  While invincible you can touch or flash the dinosaurs and cavemen to kill them instantly.  The invincibility only lasts a few seconds, so make it count.


Roc n' Rope was a moderate success in the arcades (it even had a bootleg version called Ropeman) but it only received two home ports, both of which were by Coleco.  While the Colecovision version looked very close to the arcade game (as was usually the case), the Atari 2600 port is a bit watered down (as was usually the case).  The 2600 port removes the more dynamic stage elements such as the moving platforms from level 2, the waterfall from level 4, and the little pterodactyls that drop rocks on you.  The level order is also a bit different with the second stage being removed all together.  The stages themselves have a slightly different platform layout and color scheme, but without the extra elements from the arcade game they all feel pretty much the same.


Roc n' Rope on the 2600 is a serviceable port.  It gets the job done while keeping the general feel and gameplay of the arcade game intact but doesn't really shine.  One has to wonder if being limited to 8K instead of 16K forced Ed to cut out some of missing features from the arcade game.  As it was a fairly late release (coming out mid-1984), Roc n' Rope wasn't on the store shelves long before the market collapsed making it one of the rarer 2600 titles.  Although it may not be perfect, Roc n' Rope is still an enjoyable port and is worth a try if you can find it.

Version Cart Text Description
?/??/84 Roc Late Beta


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