Today I want to give some love to a couple of classic titles made by France-based Delphine Software. The first is 1991’s Out of This World (originally called Another World), in which a physicist is teleported to an alien world during a lightning storm. He finds himself on the run in a very hostile world as he befriends one alien and ends up shooting many, many more.
It’s hard to exactly classify Delphine’s games, but they were a mixture of very deliberate and slow-paced platforming and adventure games. Just like in Sierra titles, everything was out to kill the player, and only through a whole lot of trial-and-error was the exact sequence of events uncovered to get through one area and on to the next. It also reminds me a bit of Space Ace and Dragon’s Lair in that way as well.
This game was really notable for its animation and visuals. On one hand, the characters were as flat and non-descript as could be, even in close-ups. But on the other hand, that style ended up making the game look more timeless. Plus, rotoscoping was involved to create very fluid, natural-looking movements that did a lot to draw the player into the game.
I was really horrible at Out of This World and never got too far, but I liked the concept at least.
Far better, in my opinion, was 1992’s Flashback. The graphics were better all around, as was the story. In a cyberpunk future, the main character discovers that aliens are infiltrating the world and then has to struggle with amnesia as he goes on the run. It was… pretty much Total Recall. Which wasn’t a bad thing.
Flashback definitely had a stronger adventure game feel, and I put in way more hours progressing through it and looking all suave as I’d do a running roll and then pop up with my gun — only to get zapped. I think I played this one on the PC and Out of This World on the SNES, but in both cases, the controls were a little stiff and exacting. It took some patience and being willing to die over and over again until you learned the right combination to get through areas.
My main complaint was that the first level — a jungle zone — went on and on forever and made the player wait to get to the cyberpunk areas after that. I always thought it was weird that there were doors in the jungle (?), but you just kind of roll with it.