Digger T. Rock: Our Long Lost Childhood Memory NES Game

Digger T Rock on the NES
We dig it.

For decades this NES game eluded us. We remember, as wee kids, being in awe of Digger T. Rock. But we were utterly dreadful at it, too (to be fair, the NES era difficulty levels were harsh). Finally… FINALLY, we hunted it down – now we’re inviting you to reminisce about a piece of our childhood.

Digger T. Rock: Legend of the Lost City

To our total surprise – as we genuinely had no idea – this is a game from legendary British developer Rare. Industry legend David Wise even composed the soundtrack!

Digger T. Rock even features on Rare Replay for the Xbox One in 2015 (more on that further below), so perhaps this title isn’t as much of a surprise for other gamers as it was for us. But, heck, we don’t own an Xbox!

Anyway, this title has an extra special place in our remorseless hearts. As we were so young during the NES heyday, our memories of the console are slightly clouded.

Sure, Super Mario Bros 3. and California Games still stand out. As did this one. All we could remember was the little digging character, his helmet, sand, rocks, and those mosquito enemies. But no name.

After a trip through Google we finally located it and enjoyed the flood of happy memories that brought back. There’s a certain sense of satisfaction we got from bringing about closure here.

We’ve not played Digger T. Rock since about 1993. We can’t even remember if the game was any good.

It’s much more about the nostalgia factor – us sitting there less than 10 trying to get good at the game. And failing badly. But in some weird way it’s a reconnection with our extreme youth.

Regardless, you can see some of the foundations for Rare’s upcoming brilliance here (Donkey Kong Country followed in 1994 – only three years after this obscure thing).

The graphics are surprisingly good for a NES title. And that soundtrack is very catchy, suggesting the talent of Wise as a composer – despite the technological limitations.

And despite the title being something of an irrelevance in Rare’s catalogue, the studio did at least deem it worthy enough for…

Rare Replay

Okay, so as we mentioned above Digger T. Rock made its way back into the gaming conscience for Rare Replay.

Rare’s former head honchos – the Stamper Brothers – actually ran a company called Ultimate Play The Game between 1982 and 1988. They made titles across the Sinclair ZX Spectrum, Amstrad, and Commodore 64.

But that company closed and became Rare after wooing Nintendo with their impressive technical skills.

The studio ended up making over 40 games for the NES. The policy was more of a “get it out, get it out” type of business model – learning that this promoted a lack of product quality, in the 1990s the studio took the exact opposite approach.

But Digger T. Rock represents one of their better efforts, judging from some of the reviews we read (and its inclusion on Rare Replay – check out the updated music above).

It’s not getting a sequel anytime soon, but it is an interesting little effort from Rare’s history.

And it’s a glorious memory for us here at Professional Moron. Thanking you muchly, Rare.

9 comments

  1. I can’t say I’ve ever heard of this game, though I immediately knew it was a Rare game because they reused sound effects from Wizards & Warriors. It certainly looks a lot better than most of their efforts from around this time. I say this because Rare’s third console generation days were weird; you got all of these licensed titles such as Who Framed Roger Rabbit and The Amazing Spider-Man. They always seemed to have a creative spark to them, but the execution wasn’t always great. From what I’ve played of their output, I don’t think they really hit their stride until Donkey Kong Country 2, and even then, their stride ended up being remarkably short in hindsight.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, the graphical quality really surprised me. Because a lot of their NES games were pretty terrible. But the weird thing for me is this turns out to be the first Rare game I played (which I always thought was DKC).

      And DKC 2 was such a massive step up over the first one. They really went into the stratosphere after that. Well, until around 2000.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for reminding me of Digger T. Rock: Legend of the Lost City!

    It’s nice to hear about this classic once more.

    I have so much respect for RARE for making this platformer.

    In the past, developers were doing so much visual and conceptual experiments to come up with charming games.

    And one to grace the NES era was Digger T Rock.

    Anyway, I remember how its music kinda reminded me of that of RARE’s multi-directional shooter “Solar Jetman”.

    Liked by 1 person

    • They really were throwing a lot of unique games out at the time, although not all of their NES efforts were that great.

      But Digger T. Rock… well, it was such a surprise to find out it was Rare. But I put a lot of time in on this one as a kid, so lots of happy memories. Heading into the game it was always like an adventure!

      Like

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