If you are old enough to remember the theme song to the DuckTales TV show, you probably remember that they had a movie involving flying around the world in a biplane. What you may not know is that, way back in December of 1990, the Walt Disney Computer Software company published a video game to play off the show. This was DuckTales: The Quest For Gold, and it came ready to be played on the Amiga, Apple II, Commodore 64 and DOS.
The idea of the game was that you, as Scrooge McDuck, have 30 days to collect more money than Flintheart Glomgold. You could dive into your money vault to try to find a rare coin, play the stock market, or you could travel the world to collect treasure.
In order to find the treasures, good old Launchpad McQuack and the infamous grandnephews flew you to various destinations, many of which are puns on real places. The Beagle Boys tried to stop the plane by dropping various things on it, and many things tried to knock you out of the sky. There were power lines, balloons, spouting whales and lightning. If the plane crashed, you lost days and money while Gyro Gearloose fixed your plane.
You could also find Bombastium, which Gyro could use to make a transporter, but the transporter could transport you to the wrong place.
Once at a destination, you played through a scenario that is typical for the environment to find the treasure. These were platform levels, some of which were mountains where the Beagle Boys again tried to thwart you, and some of which were caves with mazes. The caves brought in the high-dollar treasures since they were harder. You could also opt to go to jungles or to go on a photography safari.
The photography mini-games are the easiest. There wasn’t anything hampering your progress; you were just finding the animals whose pictures would get you the highest dollar amounts. In all the other levels, you were faced with various obstacles to get to the treasure. The jungles had you jumping from unpredictable hippopotami backs, swinging from vines, and being blocked from pumas, snakes and macaws and monkeys. You actually play Huey, Dewey, and Louie for this round. In the caverns, a Yeti chases you. In the mountains, the grandnephews and Scrooge jumped from ledge to ledge to get to the base of the mountain while rocks fell on them and Magica de Spell got in the way. Whichever level you completed, you took your valuables to your office for storage. You could check on whether you were beating Flintheart by going to an island for the stats.
If you remember another game, where Scrooge McDuck used his cane to jump to different locations to find treasure, that is because there was a similar game named DuckTales that was made for the NES. That was released in 1989. That one had 5 platforms that you played through. The gaming got ranked pretty highly, but there wasn’t much reference to the TV show.
This particular game was far more about the show. More characters from the show were involved. Locations mentioned in the show were locations that you went to for your treasure. Fenton Crackshell even makes a cameo. The wallpaper screen is protected by passcodes, and when you enter an invalid code, the alert said: “Beagle Boy Intrusion Detected.” Now, if you were playing DOS you would have to master hitting the arrow keys fast without holding them down in order to play, and the levels of play were in a range of sweet spots as far as difficulty went. Mostly, though, the game wins for pure nostalgia. If you loved the show, you will get a kick out of the old school game.