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.
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 us connection again 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…
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) 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 now!” type of business model.
Learning that promoted a lack of product quality, in the 1990s the studio took the exact opposite approach.
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.