Video Game: Dangerous Dave

Dangerous Dave is a 1988 computer game by John Romero. It was developed for the Apple II and DOS as an example game to accompany his article about his GraBASIC, an Applesoft BASIC add-on, for the UpTime disk magazine.

The object of the game was to collect gold cups to move on to the next level. Since the original 1988 publishing of Dangerous Dave on UpTime, there have been three ports of the original to other platforms. There is also a sequel, kind of, as that game is completely unrelated to the first in both story and gameplay: Dangerous Dave In The Haunted Mansion. The sequel itself has two other sequels.

The idea of Dangerous Dave came to John Romero under the influence of Super Mario. There are definitely similarities that are easily noticeable, such as the secret levels, the level design, the monsters, and the jumping. The mission is to guide Dave through ten levels, collecting trophies in the hideout of his enemy, Clyde. It is one of the earliest commercial PC games to support VGA mode.

  • Dangerous Dave, 1988, Apple II, 6-color, Up Time (the original)
  • Double Dangerous Dave, 1990, Apple II, 16-color, Softdisk (16 color port of the 1988 original)
  • Dangerous Dave in Copyright Infringement, 1990, DOS, EGA, non-published (the demo that launched Commander Keen and id Software)
  • Dangerous Dave, 1990, DOS (CGA, EGA, VGA), Softdisk (DOS version of the 1988 original)
  • Dangerous Dave GS, 1990, Apple //GS, never completed (//GS version of the 1988 original)

This Video Game contains examples of:

  • Alliterative Name: Dangerous Dave.
  • A Winner Is You: the ending isn't all that different from the short end-of-level screen.
  • Big Bad: Clyde. Also qualifies as The Unfought and All There in the Manual; if you hadn't read the instructions, you wouldn't know there was a big bad.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: its surreal graphics and lack-of-a-plot are utterly different from the "sequels", which are about a shotgun-wielding redneck fighting zombies and assorted other monsters.
  • Expy: Dangerous Dave is based off of Mario. There is little similarity between them, though, other than that they're humans who wear a red cap and can jump high.
  • Excuse Plot: "somebody stole your trophies, go get them".
  • Fake Difficulty: the later levels are full of fake platforms.
  • Goddamned Bats: basically every single enemy; they move much faster than you do and are hard to hit with your gun.
  • Jet Pack: one of the two powerups in the game. It offers limited fuel.
  • Warp Zone: averted. There are secret areas called warp zones, but they don't actually warp you anywhere, instead offering bonus points before returning you to (the start of) the level you were at.