Chip 'N Dale: Rescue Rangers is a 2D platformer developed and originally published by Capcom for NES in 1990. As one of several Capcom-developed titles based on a licensed Disney property, the game is based on the animated television series of the same name and follows chipmunk amateur sleuths Chip and Dale as they investigate their latest case. During their adventure, the pair are supported by fellow "Rescue Rangers" Gadget, Monterey Jack and Zipper the housefly as they work to stop the evil plans of notorious crime boss Fat Cat and his henchmen.
Like the cartoon, the story of the game centers around Chip, Dale, and their companions in the Rescue Rangers. Gadget notifies the rest of the team that their human neighbor Mandy has lost her kitten, and the Rescue Rangers all agree to help track down the missing pet. Gadget, Monty and Zipper scout ahead while Chip and Dale begin investigating the lab of Professor Norton Nimnul, a known criminal and the creator of several robotic dogs that have recently been spotted around the city.
After completing the first level, however, Fat Cat appears and reveals that there was, in fact no missing cat, and that he instead used the story as a ruse to kidnap Gadget. The rest of the game focuses on the duo's attempt to save her.
- Chip: The no-nonsense fedora-wearing chipmunk leader of the Rescue Rangers. Chip is often frustrated by Dale's foolish antics, but ultimately knows that he must rely on each of his friends to take on the dangers of the criminal underworld.
- Dale: Chip's buck-toothed best friend. In the animated series, he has a penchant for red Hawaiian shirts. Although less intelligent than his straight-laced counterpart, Dale has demonstrated remarkable initiative and even outright heroism when his friends are in trouble.
- Gadget Hackwrench: A female mouse with a passion for mechanical engineering, Gadget is responsible for creating and maintaining the wide range of specialized devices and vehicles used by the Rescue Rangers in their operations. She is also the target of Chip and Dale's romantic affections on several occasions, a fact to which she seems largely oblivious.
- Monterey "Monty" Jack: A bulky Australian mouse full of blustery tales of his own exploits. Unfortunately, Monty is stricken with both an insatiable lust for cheese and a crippling fear of cats; two flaws that often lead the Rescue Rangers into dire situations.
- Zipper: A fearless housefly with surprising strength. When found in the game, Zipper grants temporary invincibility.
- Fat Cat: A large gray tabby cat who wears an expensive business suit and smokes cigars. He is the criminal mastermind of many nefarious schemes involving animals, including the disappearance of Mandy's kitten and Gadget's kidnapping.
Chip 'N Dale: Rescue Rangers is a standard eight-bit platformer similar to other Capcom action-platforming NES titles such as Mega Man or DuckTales. The game utilizes the diminutive size of its chipmunk protagonists to create its environments; at this small scale, everyday objects such as books, flowerpots and ceiling fans make up the various platforms and obstacles that players must negotiate to reach the end of a level. Rescue Rangers features both single-player and two-player cooperative modes.
The game also draws on the mechanics of Super Mario Bros. 2, specifically the mechanic of picking up and throwing items to damage enemies. The same mechanic is in Rescue Rangers where Chip or Dale can pick up objects like apples (or the small boxes that are always scattered around the levels) and throw them at the enemy to stun or knock them out. They can also throw their co-op partner. Similar to New Super Mario Bros Wii, this mechanic is more often humorously used for competition than cooperation, throwing the partners into enemies or off cliffs. The game includes many big bosses. One unique aspect of the boss battles is that virtually every boss arena features the same ball like object which must be shot at them to win. The ball adds a certain element of challenge to the fights, as it bounces around and will temporarly stun the character if it hits them leaving them vulnerable for a hit, thus the player must multitask and keep track of both the enemies attack pattern as well as the movement of the ball.
Zipper acts as the invincibility star. On the rare occasion when the player finds him, they can mow down everything in their path. Players can also collect Flower icons that will often require some searching under boxes to find them all; collecting fifty flowers grants an extra life.
The game takes either Chip or Dale through several locations on their quest to stop the evil suit-wearing feline Fat Cat. After completing the game's initial stage, players are presented with an overworld map similar to that of Capcom's own Bionic Commando. The player can select between different "Zones" at certain points in order to provide some additional replay value on subsequent playthroughs of the game.
- Starting Zone - Lab: The Rescue Rangers' investigation begins outside the laboratory of Professor Norton Nimnul, a criminal scientist and known pet-napper. The stage's boss is another one of Nimnul's odd inventions: a static electricity generator equipped with robotic arms.
- Zone A - Treetops
- Zone B - Diner
- Zone C - Library
- Zone D - Toy Store
- Zone E - Garden
- Zone F - Machine
- Zone G - Casino
- Zone H - Sewer
- Zone I - Office
- Zone J - Fat Cat's Factory:The final boss fight pits the players against Fat Cat himself, where Chip and Dale must dodge the ashes being flicked from a cigar while throwing a red ball at Fat Cat's head.