The Dink Network

Rise of the Rebels

Yay, recess! From the COTPATD project.
January 31st, 2024
Score : 2.5 horrible
Peasant They/Them Australia
Christopher Nolan is renowned for upending various established plot devices and narrative structures to create compelling filmography. Similarly, in the case of "Rise of the Rebels", the author Cybermonkey goes one step further by completely ignoring these elements to give to us something truly memorable, but not for the reasons you might think.

Starting off, I could not get the title screen to appear due to it not having a palette applied to it properly and being placed in a fastfile which requires paletting. After extracting the included fastfile, the title screen looks like a screenshot from Shenmue or a similar 3D game from the era. Unfortunately once you've seen this, you've already taken in the best of what Rebels has to offer and suggest anyone interested just stop at that point. There are no new graphics included, and the existing ones have been used poorly. Each screen is very obviously the default tile zero grass screen with just enough tiling applied to provide a border, along with the absolute bare minimum of decorative sprites placed with the intention to disguise the fact.

Dink starts off in his house and then has to go to a nearby school very conveniently placed on the next screen. These two buildings are the only ones on the starting island despite there being a class full of students, one of which has the appearance of Dink's mother. Despite all of the students being given names, absolutely no character development occurs, and for whatever reason Dink just blindly decides to depart with them to another island to overthrow the government to achieve "independency" despite there being no evidence of any government presence on the starting island at all.

The large island upon which the government apparently resides is as poorly mapped as the initial one, and after traversing several screens with a few lethargic knights, one finds themselves in a castle where you're supposed to kill the governor or whoever, represented by the default king sprite, who comically moves around the screen without animation and no attack except for touch damage, not unlike the bonus room in The Quest for Cheese full of inanimate objects. Once Dink has eagerly defeated the governor, despite having reservations about the whole thing just a few screens ago, you're mysteriously thrown into a pit with one of the other classmates. It appears you're supposed to kill her for some unexplained reason, but as you're never unfrozen, unless you cheat you'll never get to see the intended ending. Even then, the dialogue is in die() which means that only the first line triggers, and you never get to find out that Dink's eventual demise was because he "couldn't get out of a pit".

Overall, Rise of the Rebels is an unplayable mess that shouldn't be touched by anyone. As for the underlying reason for creating this, the only assumption I could come to as per the author's name is that it's intended to be an allegory for Hong Kong or Taiwan, or maybe Northern Ireland. Rise of the Rebels lacks the charm and most of the comedy of other bad d-mods and instead falls completely flat to the point where it isn't worth giving any extra thought to.