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Lode Runner is a puzzle platformer video game series, with its first game originally released on the Apple II. The series has connections to the Bomberman series.

General gameplay[]

The player must progress through different levels and collect gold while avoiding guards. If the player succeeds, a new level is unlocked. Each level is made up of multiple stories that can be reached with ladders. Coming in contact with guards or falling into pits causes the player to lose one of his five lives and restart the level.

Lode Runner is best known for pioneering the concept of level editors.

Bomberman connections[]

In the storyline of the first game, the Galactic Commando known as Lode Runner (who was later given the name "Jake Peril" as other Lode Runners were introduced) has the goal of reclaiming the people's stolen gold from the guards of the Bungeling Empire (itself a recurring group of villains from early Brøderbund titles). The original Lode Runner character is not present in every iteration, but also appears in such games as Lode Runner's Rescue (in which he must be rescued by his daughter Alexandra) and Lode Runner 2 (in which he is accompanied by a female Lode Runner named Jane).

In the NES Bomberman, the player character's sprite is borrowed and recolored from the guards seen in the NES conversion of Lode Runner by Hudson Soft (and by extension Championship Lode Runner, a pack of fan-created levels). This became the standard Bomberman design. The storyline of the game is a prequel to the events of Lode Runner, which is stated in the Japanese manual. Bomberman is a bomb-producing robot of an underground compound that attempts to escape upon hearing a rumor that robots reaching the surface become human. During the ending, Bomberman is indeed shown to become human — specifically Lode Runner, making the main character of both series one and the same. This storyline is also in Bomber Boy. Another game where this occurs is Bomberman Reprint.

While the TurboGrafx-16 Bomberman has a different story, the PC Engine Battle Lode Runner reincorporates elements of the Bomberman series. This upgraded edition of Lode Runner features five Runners that match the five playable colors of the console's Bomberman games, as well as a versus mode. In the storyline, Black Bomberman steals a large amount of gold from the Time Machine Research Center, and uses a time machine to escape and hide the gold throughout time. In the final stages, Black Bombermen appear as enemies.

Afterwards, both series largely went separate ways and have only been linked loosely. Bombs were introduced as a gameplay element in the remake, Lode Runner: The Legend Returns, and make recurring appearances in subsequent games. Cubic Lode Runner by Hudson features character designs based on the NES incarnation, including Bomberman-like guards. There is also a background featuring the Bomberman Jetters snow exhibit in the later levels of the game. Bomberman Act:Zero is inspired by the plotline of the NES Bomberman.

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