GBAtemp Recommends Revival # 056 (Another World: 15th Anniversary Edition)

Another World

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Welcome to the 56th issue of the GBAtemp Recommends Revival Project! This project is a weekly feature where we share our favorite games and applications with you. The things we recommend may be "old school" titles, a Homebrew, a ROM hack, sleeper hits, an application, etc, but one thing's for certain, we think they are fantastic and deserve your attention!

GBAtemp Recommends!
Another World: 15th Anniversary Edition​

With this 56th issue of the GBAtemp Recommends Revival project, we have reached our first major milestone. This issue commemorates not only more than a years worth of great game recommendations, but also the success of a project which has lasted twice as long as its predecessor. With this issue my GBAtemp retirement comes full circle, as I will be passing on the reigns of this project to the very capable Hadrian. I would like to say thank you to everyone who supported this project, those who made it possible, and those who contributed to its longevity. Without further ado, let us get on with our next issue of what I hope will be the start of another great year of recommendations.

Another World (Out of this World – US) is a cinematic adventure platformer originally developed for the Amiga home computer. The game was realized after designer Eric Chahi experienced the Amiga port of Dragon’s Lair. Intrigued by the amount of cartoon-like visuals developer Readysoft was able to pack onto 6 floppy disks, Chahi set out to create a similar experience from a completely new developmental perspective. His idea was to incorporate vector based 2D graphics that would use “less memory space without any restraints on the animation size.” The use of vector based polygons was a revolutionary idea that would allow Chahi to pack his code-based visuals onto a single floppy disk. To accomplish this idea, a specialized set of developmental tools were created, a custom scripting language was utilized, and more than 2 years worth of coding was implemented.

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To create the life-like movements captured during various cinematic cut-scenes, Chahi used an animation technique known as Rotoscoping. During Rotoscoping, an actors moments are recorded and then traced by hand onto various formats. Accomplishing this technique with a computer in the late 80's was nearly impossible and required much trial-and-error. Chahi eventually incorporated a GenLock, a device that allows computers to interpret realtime video, and a VHS ITT video player that had a digital frame memory. The VHS player would not stay paused long, as a precaution against component damage, which forced Chahi to duplicate each frame of video under extreme time constraints. While movements such as character animations were made possible from the Rotoscoping technique, it was the opening introduction sequence that most benefited from these efforts.

15th Anniversary Rotoscoping and Interview Video Footage

The plot of Another World begins with a young physicist named Lester Knight Chaykin, who is attempting to recreate the moment in which the universe was created. While conducting an experiment during a thunderstorm, his particle accelerator experiences an electronic anomaly which tares through the fabric of space and time. Without warning, Chaykin is transported through this gateway into an ominous, bleak, and barren alien planet. After a few minutes of deadly exploration, the ruling class of a humanoid alien race imprisons Chaykin. He must escape, and be navigated through various perils as he ultimately attempts to separate himself from his captors while striving for his freedom.

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Eric Chahi is well known for a variety of games released between 1983 and 2011. Arguably he is best remembered for Another World, a work which has received a relatively large cult following. For the 15th anniversary of Another World, Chahi focused heavily on Windows XP as the rerelease platform. In 2006, the game was released with a higher resolution of 1280×800 pixels, improved background graphics and animations, DirectX controller support, and an option to play with the original resolution and background art. This release incorporated an extra level which was originally introduced for the PC DOS release, as well as extra enemies and hazards which were originally introduced for the console release (Genesis, Super Nintendo). In 2007, the 15th anniversary version was issued on CD-ROM and included a separate CD soundtrack, a development diary, and an exclusive autographed postcard.

Another World is a masterful combination of story, mechanics, atmosphere, and challenge, that has been celebrated as an underrated influential landmark video game. Chahi "wanted the player to be immersed in an alien, completely quirky but credible world" and settled on a science-fiction theme that would mix gameplay elements between the video games Karateka and Impossible Mission. From the very early aspects of the introduction, the game was an improvisational creation that allowed Chahi to blend his unique vision and visual arts background into a uniquely challenging cinematic platforming experience. Extremely detailed animations and a relatively short playtime provide great reasons to experience this adventure more than once. While it would be incredibly easy to recommend multiple versions of this game (Amiga, DOS, 3DO, GBA, Android), the improved graphics and higher resolution make the 15th anniversary edition one not to be missed. If you have never experienced Another World, now is the time, after all, I finally recommended it!

Genre: Cinematic platformer, action adventure game
Number of Players: Single
Release Year: 2006-2007
Developed by: Eric Chahi
Music by: Jean-François Freitas
Published by: Digital Lounge
Released for: PC (Targeted towards Windows XP)
Control Type: DirectX compatible controller, Keyboard

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Homepage
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Fan-made Intro Remake
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Own it - GOG $9.99
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Own it - Android $2.49 (Enhanced 20th Anniversary Update)
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Download the GBA Release
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Download the NDS Release (Requires Additional Files)
 

Annieone23

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Great game! Very challenging though! Definitely requires you to think critically and try everything, while dying A LOT in the process. They just don't make games like they used to, that's for certain! I liked it when you could actually lose games.
 

Clarky

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Was playing this earlier in the year, was little game even if it can get frustrating. Even enjoyed the sequel
 

DS1

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I... had no idea this existed. If I had 10 dollars laying around I'd get FTL first, but this is tempting...

edit- my friend and I played this together a long long time ago. Absolute classic.

edit2- we also played a little Fade To Black, not having any clue that it was related to Out of this World
 

Hebon

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I notice that the release date was set from 2006-1007. I didn't know Windows XP supported backwards chronobility.

Who edited my post?! What the heck!
 
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ouch123

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A very fitting last issue. Out of this world, I might even say. I'll have to look into trying this game sometime, when I have time.
 

Fear Zoa

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Imagine that, Another World recommending Another World...
Can't say I've ever played it (Or really heard of it for that matter) but it does seem interesting. I'll have to check it out someday.
 

Hadrian

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we also played a little Fade To Black, not having any clue that it was related to Out of this World
Aside from developer, it's not, it's a sequel to Flashback and Eric Chahi had no part in either games.
 

Another World

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flashback used a similar animation style for the introduction and cutscenes, and both were released by interplay. most gamers commonly mistake it as being an eric chahi game because of this. if you like flashback then you might also enjoy bermuda syndrome.

another world did have a direct sequel that was released exclusively for sega cd. it was titled heart of the alien. eric wanted the game to be from the perspective of the alien who helps lester during the 1st game. this way the game didn't require a plot extension, only a differences of perspective. when it was developed/coded eric chahi had nothign to do with it. he has been quoted as saying something along the lines of how they really dropped the ball with it, and that the game was a failure. nds homebrew developer alekmaul was working on a port of the engine to the ds, it runs the sega cd files, but never released it. last i heard he had most of it working and needed to iron out the sound. he has since moved on to his snes lib, so it may never get released.

-another world
 

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I played this on my Android phone, got frustrated at some point because it apparently suddenly stopped saving the checkpoints. After a while I found out this was actually because I tried to go to certain areas before I had visited another prerequisite area. (*cough*walkthrough*cough*)

So other than that, it was a fun game. :P And yeah, save states really helps!
 

Another World

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the android release has bugs. i've been meaning to collect a list and contact the developers. it wasn't your fault, it has nothing to do with the order you play the game, its because they built their check-point system based on their assumption of how players would play the game. in some areas if you die it resets the puzzle piece before that area, then you beat the area you are in and find out that the important bit of the puzzle was reset, forcing you to go back. after going back you don't have to replay the area you were just in. it makes no sense and needs to be addressed. its just a matter of time to sit down and type out all the bugs i found, and i found quite a few.

-another world
 
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