RahaRuhtinas, the first commercially published Finnish game for the Commodore 64 deserves its place in the Finnish gaming history. Book publishing company Amersoft published the game in 1984. Programmed by Simo Ojaniemi, the game is about venturing around a maze, trying to collect the highest score possible.
Each player is given 200 coins to start with, a fistful of glass trinkets, and a tourist card, after which the player is shoved into the maze to wonder what to do. The player has to figure out a way from the maze with only 300 moves. First, the player encounters a man who resembles a cave man because he carries a large club and has green body hair. He berates the player, calling him a good-for-nothing tourist. Well, this doesn’t help much!
The player encounters all kinds of people and things deeper in the maze. Some of these can be used for the player’s advantage, and some hinder the progress. For example, upon opening the Treasure Chest, you won’t know if there is a large treasure, or a trap that takes the player’s money and powers. The Robber takes all the glass trinkets, the Beggar tries to bum a few coins, and the Knight charges a fee to pass him and for taxes. To advance in the maze is not all about fun and games, even though the Joker tries his best to make you laugh.
The people that the player encounters along the way can be done business with by selling or buying goods. The goods on offer include swords, stethoscopes and even potatoes. Furthermore, The Man in a Blue Hat gives advice on which way to go. To mitigate the loss of money from money traps, the player can also deposit his money in the bank where he can withdraw it as needed. For this, there are many Bankers in the maze.
The rooms are drawn view by view and they have a 3D-type appearance. The technical implementation is very impressive for that time, although playing the game doesn’t cause massive whoops of joy. The biggest problem for me was getting lost in the maze, as all the rooms look the same. For this reason, it was useful to keep a log of your progress, or otherwise you’d realize you’ve been going around in circles. Regardless of the limitations of the game, it definitely won’t be forgotten.
- RahaRuhtinas takes place in a nation called Hirmuvalta (Reign Of Terror), which is governed by a dictator named Dread.
- The game area is made up of 2240 rooms.
|F1||Starts the game|
|Comma (,)||Turn left|
|Period (.)||Turn right|
|Plus (+)||“Yes” answer|
|Minus (-)||“No” answer|
|Number keys||Dialogue options|
|CTRL+L||Quit the game|
|F5||Tennis racket up|
|F7||Tennis racket down|
- To stay on the map you need a pen and squared paper.
- The crystal ball works with glowworms.
Playing with an emulator
The maze is drawn fairly slowly and when played with an emulator, it is useful to pass the empty maze screens by speeding up the emulation. For example, in WinVICE, the warp mode can be found in the options or by using the shortcut key Alt+W. Remember to delete this selection when you encounter characters, or the speech text might disappear.
|The Alchemist||The player can buy a stethoscope or a crystal ball from the alchemist, among other things: “Smooth the way! The crystal ball costs X coins. Will you buy it?”|
|The Native||A native who’s dressed in a reef skirt and speaks terrible Finnish wants a trinket: “Me take you one trinket.”|
|The Joker||Dressed in a green suit, the Joker can ask the player: “Are you afraid of me?” or “Feel like smiling?” You can either answer yes or no, but it seems like it doesn’t really matter one way or another. The Joker can also offer the player his autograph: “Ii’d liike to giive you my autogrraph, will you take it?” or ask you to guess: “Why was I jumping around? 1. I was annoying Dread, 2. I was showing off, 3. I was practicing jazz ballet. Guess!”|
|The Beggar||Dressed in yellow pants, the Beggar asks the player: “Could you please give me some alms?” The player can refuse or accept the request, in which case the amount is deducted from their money. If the player has given the Beggar money and bumps into him again, the Beggar might praise the player by saying “Be praised, thy noble stranger”|
|The Dragon||The green dragon displays the player’s score.|
|The Caveman||The first person that the player encounters in the game is probably a character with green body hair who looks like a caveman. In the beginning he might greet the player with “Hey, you good-for-nothing tourist”, but later on in the game he might also charge the player cash by saying: “I wanna take X coins from you.”|
|The Militiaman||As the Militiaman encounters the player, he asks: “Are you afraid of Dread?” If the player denies being afraid of him, the Militiaman gets nervous. If the player says he is afraid of Dread, the Militiaman continues asking: “Do you own any of the following products: 1. Yeast, 2. Sugar, 3. Fly spray, 0. None of them. Inform me!” Fly is the national animal of Hirmuvalta, so fly spray is prohibited. If the player denies owning any of the items, the Militiaman says: “Oh right” Otherwise he asks: “Are you: 1. A Show-Off, 2. Marketing Manager, 3. Stranger. Inform me!” If the player replies “A Show-Off”, or “Marketing Manager”, the Militiaman gets nervous and says “Uh oh.”|
|The Man in a Black Hat||The Man in a Black Hat buys and sells goods. For example, if the player has found a treasure, the Man might make an offer: “I will pay 10 coins per treasure item. I want to buy four of them and pay 40 coins in total. Will you sell them?” The player can accept or refuse the offer. Also, the Man might say: “A sword costs X coins”, “A zoom costs X coins”, or “A camcorder costs X coins. Will you buy it?”|
|The Banker||The maze is full of Bankers who offer their services to the player. The default balance on the player’s bank account is 0 coins, and the Bankers can help you deposit, withdraw, or exchange money. If the player wants to deposit money for a rainy day, for example 50 coins, he must first choose “Deposit” and then type in “0050” after which there are 50 coins on the bank account. The money can be withdrawn with the help of another Banker at another location in the maze. As you move through the maze, you should always have some change on you, and for that, you can ask the Banker to break a tenner into 10 coins, for example. If you have a lot of change in your pocket, you can also exchange it into larger denominations, for example ten tenners into a one-hundred bill.|
|The Bearded Man||The Bearded Man will at least say “Hello” to the player.|
|The Knight||The Knight might say “Hello” to the player, but often he tries to charge one or many fees: “The fee to pass is X coins. Taxes are X coins. A fine is X coins.”|
|The Man in a Blue Hat||The Man in a Blue Hat wears blue overalls and tries to sell the player a gallon of potatoes at varying prices: “A gallon of potatoes costs X coins. Will you buy it?” The player can either buy or not buy the potatoes. The Man also tells the player which way to go; “I’m looking around me. I’ll give you a hint: It’s best to go east, north.” If the player has a sword, the Man may say: “I’ll pay X coins for the sword. Will you sell it?” The Man could also just say, “Dread!”|
|The Treasure Chest||Opening the Treasure Chest is risky because it might either contain a large treasure or a trap. If the player finds a treasure, it’ll be displayed in the middle box on the right side of the screen. Later on, the treasure can be sold to the Man in a Black Hat. If the chest contains a trap, the player can lose his powers (“You Lose Powers”) or be moved to another place on the map (“Mover”), and the player will for sure lose his sense of direction.|
|The Slot Machine||The player can try his luck by playing the slot machine, provided that he has enough money for it.|
Using the items
Video game review on YouTube (also available in English subtitles).
- RahaRuhtinas at GB64.com
- RahaRuhtinas at Videogames.fi
- Interview with Simo Ojaniemi at V2.fi (in Finnish)
|Language:||English • Suomi|