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Video Game / Alpha Waves

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Alpha Waves (released as Continuum in North America) is perhaps the first 3D Platform Game (if one doesn't count I, Robot), predating Super Mario 64 by 6 years. Designed by Christophe de Dinechin and published by Infogrames in 1990. The game was released for the Atari ST, Amiga, and DOS. The player controls a small object called a "Mover" that bounces on trampolines and travels through cube shaped rooms connected by little doors. There are two game modes: Emotion, a single-player only mode with no time limit, and Action, a timed game for up to two players.

This Game contains examples of:

  • Bottomless Pits: Not in the true "end the game instantly" type, but if you happen to lose your footing in a room that has no tile to bounce you back up to the platforms and no door on the floor, you're stuck and will be forced to either reload a state via Memory Recall or wait out the timer, forcing a Game Over.
  • Casual Video Game: Emotion is somewhat this. The only difference between it and "Action" node is that you cannot go through doors that would otherwise take you into a different area, and there is no way of accessing the map.
  • Fake Difficulty: While the game seems easy on paper, the controls make the game challenging thanks to how quickly and precise your craft's movements are. When you hold Space to accelerate, your craft instantly moves forward at max speed without any momentum buildup. Likewise, when you release the Space bar your craft instantly comes to a halt.
  • Floating Platforms: They're everywhere in the game.
  • Goomba Springboard: You can exploit this in certain rooms with enemies to bounce yourself much higher should one of them go underneath you.
  • Market-Based Title: It was called Continuum in North America.
  • Save Scumming: In-game, the pause menu has two options: Memorize, and Memory Recall. Memorize creates a save that remembers both the room and position in that room that you're in, and Memory Recall loads it.
  • Temporary Platform: Some of the platforms will lower themselves in height for each time your craft bounces on them, and others can actually disappear after you bounce on them a number of times.
  • Theme Naming:
    • The center-top and center-bottom rooms are named "North Pole" and "South Pole" respectively.
    • All of the "Awaken" rooms are named "Red Alarm" since they contain a mostly red palette and take place in the area marked with the color red.
    • All the "Stimulate" rooms are labeled "Jungle #" and feature tropical-themed palettes.
    • All the "Meditate" rooms are known as "The Temple" and have a very dark palette with many indigos and purples.
  • Timed Mission: In Action Mode, you have a time limit that ticks down rather fast. Collecting one of the special gems in the game as well as visiting a new room will extend the timer.