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Another World is a Cinematic Platform Game developed by Eric Chahi for Delphine Software. The title of the game was changed to Out of This World when it was released in America by Interplay Productions, to avoid confusion with the popular NBC Soap Opera, Another World. note  In Japan, the game is known as Outer World.

To say the game was innovative was an understatement. Chahi himself wrote a polygon routine that would allow the graphics to be composed of vector outlines — which would take up less space than normal sprite graphics. Chahi also used video recordings of his own brother to create rotoscoped animations for the project. The result was an epic, cinematic masterpiece which told a story without the use of dialogue, voice work or screen text, and with cutscenes that led from one part of the story to the next. Controlling the player character was done via two buttons, with the player character performing a wide variety of different tasks depending on his location, speed, and movement.

The story itself concerns a hapless, adventurous, and athletic young physicist named Lester Knight Chaykin, whose particle accelerator experiment gets zapped by lightning one evening, sending him to a hostile alien world. There, Lester gets captured by an advanced race of huge warlike humanoids, who send him to an underground prison colony. With the help of a fellow prisoner, who becomes his "Buddy," Lester breaks out. He then spends the rest of the game trying to evade recapture and death at the hands of... everything on the planet.

This game is notable, not only for its dramatic storytelling and early Survival Horror roots, but also for being one of the most Nintendo Hard games to come down the pike since Battletoads. The slightest misstep meant death in any number of horribly unspeakable ways. The console versions of the game — such as the SNES port — were made more difficult than the MS-DOS / Apple Macintosh versions (which themselves were more difficult than the original Amiga version), reportedly to give players "more value for their money." (Although it may give some players a strong desire to throw their keyboard/joypad at their TV.)

A sequel, Heart of the Alien, which switched the roles of Lester and his alien "Buddy", was released in 1994 exclusively for the Sega CD. This sequel was developed by Interplay without Chahi's involvement, though the original game's composer Jean-Fran├žois Freitas contributed a CD-quality soundtrack.

Chahi eventually created a hi-def port of Another World for Microsoft Windows XP with higher resolutions and better graphics. This version is known as the Collector's Edition and is well worth owning according to some, a blatant money grab according to others (because the first two levels, which are free, are markedly more "updated" than the later levels players must pay for). Mobile ports of this exist (see below).

By the way, here's an official freeware GBA port (also playable on emulators, of course). There is another one based on the 3DO version, requiring the 3DO game itself in order to play.

The official PC version of the game can be bought from Good Old Gamesnote , and from Steam, complete with achievements! It is also available as digital download for PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Play Station Vita, Xbox One, Nintendo 3DS and Wii U.

A version of the game optimized for both iPhone and iPad is available here, along with a version for the Android OS obtainable here.

These versions, and the 20th anniversary edition of the PC version, features added difficulty levels (both easier and harder), both the original and remastered graphics (that you can change at any time in-game), an achievement system, and for the mobile versions: A new touch control option on top of the option to use the standard Pad-style controls. The GOG version, while lacking an achievement system, makes up for it with the inclusion of the full manual, making of Another World, development diary, HD wallpapers, technical handbook, the install file for the 15th anniversary edition, and the soundtrack from the Sega CD version of the game.

This game contains examples of:

  • Adaptation Expansion: The MS-DOS port (along with all the subsequent ports) added an entire stage between the scene where Buddy rescues Lester from a long dead-end corridor, but before they enter the gladiator arena. The 3DO version also adds an extended ending which serves as a teaser to Heart of the Alien (which strangely was never released for the 3DO).
  • American Kirby Is Hardcore: Both the SNES and Sega Genesis versions place extra emphasis on the Beast.
  • Badass Bookworm: The main hero, Lester Knight Chaykin, is a scientist by profession, but handles himself surprisingly well in a hostile and completely unknown environment.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Lester is cornered in a room with no exits to his right and the enemies are coming in force from the left. Buddy appears from an above Air-Vent Passageway, grabs Lester's arm and saves him not a moment too soon.
  • Bittersweet Ending: In Heart of the Alien, Lester is fragged by an electric field and dies. Buddy avenges his death, sets his tribe free, and gives Lester a proper burial (or as proper as they interpret it).
  • Bloodier and Gorier: Heart of the Alien, even including death scenes involving impalement, exploding, corrosive liquids and gases, and even an electrifying scene that can char a hapless victim.
  • Body Wipe: When Lester gets off the elevator in the beginning of the game.
  • Bowdlerise: Alien blood and nudity were edited out of the North American SNES version (Chahi cynically defined "nudity" as the censors complaining about "three pixels of too much butt-crack" on a female alien, which were simply required to be shortened rather than removing the actual "nude").
  • Cardboard Prison: Lester and Buddy's ceiling suspended cage.
  • Charged Attack: Your gun has the ability to charge up into a powerful blast that can destroy a thick metal door in one shot.
  • Controllable Helplessness:
    • Subverted in the prison scene. Just apply momentum to the ceiling cell.
    • Subverted again at the end. Despite taking some beating and not being able to walk, you can crawl to the other end of the room to activate a beam to kill the red-eyed alien, and open a teleportation passage in the ceiling to make your escape, just before the third wave of shots misses you.
  • Cool Car: Lester's black Ferrari in the opening cinematic. It's identified as such when the lab's security system scans the key in his pocket; he might still have the key for the rest of the game.
  • Crapsack World: The eponymous world where Lester ended up looks like a post-nuclear wasteland, inhabited by all sorts of actively hostile and deadly creatures. The only sentient locals resemble vaguely human mutants who do possess some advanced technology like laser weaponry or teleportation devices, but seem to have regressed to primitive, tribal-like society and most of them will shoot you on sight.
  • Crashing Through the Harem: One of the levels in the game is an alien harem.
  • Cutscene: There's a few, which was particularly unusual for an SNES game since it involved changing camera angles, subtle muscle movements, and detailed close-ups, most of which were unthinkable on software at the time of the game's release.
  • Cutscene Power to the Max: In these games, any mistake is usually immediately fatal. Yet in the cutscenes in the Heart of the Alien prologue, Buddy takes some insane falls and just gets right back up and dusts himself off.
  • Death by Looking Up: Lester swinging the cage he's suspended in, causing it to crash on his guard's head. Another clever puzzle involves a balcony above a patrolling guard. His reflection is seen on some hanging globes; shooting at the globe sends it plummeting onto his skull.
  • Deflector Shields: Temporary and stationary force shields that are created by charging the pistol for a second and releasing a newly formed Energy Ball to create a shield. They only protect Lester from standard shots, charged shots destroy them, and anything else can pass by them. The enemies have access to a permanent kind, and are able to make the balls travel a short distance, usually from off-screen, before creating a shield.
  • Disintegrator Ray: The pistol reduces anyone to a scorched skeleton, which then explodes by itself, leaving nothing behind. Such ray guns can be found everywhere among the prison cells, and Lester is required to carry one to advance the story.
  • Easter Egg: In the 15th and 20th anniversary editions, if you pick up the gun in Level 2 and go to the far left and wait, a droid will come in and kill Lester with a laser-beam like that of the gun.
  • Embedded Precursor: Heart of the Alien, subtitled Out of This World Parts I and II, includes the first game with a remixed soundtrack.
  • Enemy Rising Behind: The tentacled monster at the beginning of the game, which will grab you if you don't leave the vicinity of the pool after escaping from it.
  • Energy Ball: Charging the pistol can make two kinds of these: Smaller ones for creating Force shields and the bigger ones for discharging a very powerful blast.
  • Energy Weapon: Everyone's guns are Disintegrator Rays that use energy cells instead of bullets.
  • Escape Pod: The tank in the gladiator arena has one that Lester and Buddy use to make their escape.
  • Everything Trying to Kill You: Probably one of the more extreme examples of this. Even the slugs in this game are deadly.
  • Falling Chandelier of Doom: See Death by Looking Up above.
  • Fission Mailed: Near the beginning, some aliens shoot Lester. The screen darkens. Then Lester wakes in a cage. It turns out the aliens were using stun guns.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: Lester and the other Alien captive are total strangers. Then Lester frees himself and the captive and earns his trust. The alien Buddy stays loyal to Lester even if he has to (nearly) sacrifice himself to save him. More emphasized in the sequel where Buddy gets beaten down by a hostile alien. Lester responds by attempting to fight him himself, despite not being nearly as strong. Unfortunately, this works against him. Though Buddy makes sure his sacrifice is not in vain.
  • Foreshadowing: When Lester discovers the city by looking through a window, you can see a silhouette on one of the buildings. Turns out it's the dragon he uses to escape the city.
  • Freak Lab Accident: At the beginning, lightning strikes the particle accelerator Lester is working with, kicking off the plot.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: For Heart of the Alien, the flashbacks in the intro show Buddy's whip can be used to vaporize enemies with a smack or even just a touch. In the game, even when you get the whip charged, whipping does nothing to the enemies and is only useful for platforming. It suddenly works on a particular enemy in the last stage though.
  • Gentle Giant: Buddy, Lester's alien ally who helps him escape but leaves the fighting up to Lester until the very end.
  • Gladiator Games: The tank sequence.
  • Grey Skinned Space Babes: Near the conclusion of the game, Lester and Buddy crash-land into a swimming pool populated by distinctly female aliens. (See Bowdlerise, above.)
  • Good Old Fisticuffs: At the start of the game, Lester's feet are his only defense against the slugs. He has to kill them with kicks and stomps.
  • Groin Attack: How Lester escapes the grasp of a jailer. Some things really are universal.
  • Guide Dang It!: Several examples, including the tank button puzzle. Fortunately, the tank button puzzle can be solved by just hammering every single button that lights up until the scene ends.
  • Have a Nice Death:
    • Heart of the Alien includes cutscenes, most of which depict the many ways Buddy gets killed.
    • The 20th anniversary editions of Another World has an achievement system (save for the GOG version). One achievement is called "Free Fall", which is granted immediately after Lester falls from a great height at a certain level. The timing is pretty funny.
  • The Hero Dies: In Heart of the Alien, Lester attempts to fight off a hostile alien after he pummels his friend to the ground. This does not go well for him...
  • Heroic Mime: Although everyone keeps very quiet (and the alien language is impossible to understand anyway). In the one scene where he's still on Earth, there's no one for Lester to talk to, so he's still silent in the opening cutscenes.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: In Heart of the Alien, Lester rescues his buddy from an ambush and attempts to fight off the hostile alien. He gets electrocuted by an electric field in the process.
  • Homage: When fully charged, Lester's gun bears more than a slight resemblance to a Kamehameha... Incidentally, at the time of development, Chahi was busy reading DBZ manga during coding breaks.
  • Impairment Shot: In the scene where Lester is captured by the aliens, he opens his eyes, sees blurry at first, then goes back to normal after some time.
  • Injured Self-Drag: In the final level, Lester is seized by one of the alien men who are looking for him right after falling off a building's roof, and is badly beaten by him. Buddy reaches him just in time and fights against the enemy to give Lester time to escape, but Lester himself is too weak to walk or run. He has to drag himself with a great amount of effort to reach a spot where he can activate a powerful laser from the ceiling to kill the alien man. This requires serious input from the player, not only because Lester is having a difficult time dragging himself but also because, if he doesn't make it to the spot in time, the alien will come at him and finish the job right after incapacitating Buddy. Even after succeeding, the still-weakened Lester has to keep dragging himself until warping back to the building's roof and escaping with Buddy.
  • Injured Player Character Stage: Near the end of the game, Lester ends up on the wrong side of a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown, and can only crawl slowly for the remainder of the scene. It's left ambiguous if he ever gets better.
  • Lightning Can Do Anything: When combined with a Magical Particle Accelerator. Like transporting someone to another world.
  • The Many Deaths of You: Quite exaggerated in the sequel. See Have a Nice Death above.
  • Market-Based Title:
    • Retitled Out of This World in North America to avoid confusion with the unrelated soap opera Another World. Ironically, there was a sitcom called Out of This World (1987) that premiered around the same time as the game. The 20th Anniversary Edition went back to the original title.
    • In Japan, the game is simply called Outer World.
  • Master of Unlocking: Buddy is apparently quite good at lock picking, as he jimmies the doors open during the Level 2 prison break using... nothing, apparently? This might go a long way toward explaining why he's in prison in the first place.
  • Muzzle Flashlight: After Lester cuts some power to the lights, he can run across the previously lighted area with the lasers shooting from below barely missing him and lighting the now dark area. Though he can use a temporary shield to provide the light he needs to see a gap in the next area.
  • Nintendo Hard: To put it in perspective: The 20th Anniversary version has an achievement for dying 100 times. Even on the easiest difficulty level, most players can expect to see it long before beating the game. However, these versions have checkpoints show up much more commonly, plus (like the original) you have unlimited lives. You die a lot, but rarely lose much progress when you do. If you do get to a point of no return (which is rare), the game will make sure that you won't get a checkpoint then.
  • No Biochemical Barriers: Poisonous slugs can kill Lester instantly.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: In the finale, Lester loses his gun and is pummeled senseless by a red-eyed alien. Buddy comes to the rescue, and the two grapple while Lester painfully crawls across the screen and activates the laser, fragging the doppelganger.
  • One-Hit-Point Wonder: Lester is as vulnerable as a newborn on this hostile world. Anything from aliens shooting lasers, rocks falling, even leeches, will kill him instantly on contact. To be fair, most of the things that kill Lester in the game would most likely instantly kill a real human as well, including the poisonous leeches. The aliens also die just as easily to a single laser blast from your stolen gun.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Lester can't talk to any of the aliens and as such doesn't even know his alien buddy's name. He's commonly referred to simply as Buddy. More accurately, the game uses a "show, don't tell" visual medium, and so uses no actual dialogue, except for a couple of lines of alien gibberish, while Lester has no lines whatsoever. It wouldn't be difficult for Lester to simply "sign" to the alien and give his own name, and get Buddy's name in return. However when Lester meets the first aliens, he simply gives them the "how" sign... and is promptly hit by a knockout-ray and taken prisoner. Then after escaping, Buddy just tells Lester "Wa-tu ba!", meaning roughly "Let's go this way!"
  • Opening Scroll: The console versions add one before the opening sequence. Strangely, it's from a diary entry from Lester himself, during the game proper. It also provides hints for the gameplay mechanics.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: You ride an alien one in the ending cinematic.
  • Oxygen Meter: Not explicitly shown as the game has no HUD, but as Lester spends time in the water, he releases more and more air bubbles. When the bubbles start getting out more frequently, you'd better be close to the surface.
  • Password Save: Each level has a 4-letter password printed on the screen when you die. The 20th anniversary versions replace it with a chapter select menu.
  • Press Start to Game Over: The first of the many things that are trying to kill Lester is a pool full of tentacles at the bottom. If he doesn't swim up in time they'll grab him. If he swims up in time and doesn't leave the vicinity of the pool quickly enough they still grab him.
  • Prison Level: Early in the game Lester gets captured by aliens. While escaping from prison, he teams up with an alien prisoner who stays with him until the end of the game.
  • Ray Gun: The weapons in the game shoot laser beams and can also create Deflector Shields.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: The sign that Buddy who rescues Lester from a fatal fall near the end of the game isn't really Buddy at all. Also how the alien who kidnapped everyone in Buddy's village is identified.
  • Rotoscoping: Character animations are done this way.
  • Sequel Hook: The 3DO version has an extended ending where Buddy transports Lester and has a flash back about his tribe being invaded by a foreign tribe (apparently the same ones they were escaping from). Strangely, the sequel was made exclusive to the Sega CD instead of the 3DO.
  • Shoot the Shaggy Dog:
    • The game's ambiguous ending can be interpreted this way, although storyboards for a non-produced ending depict the character surviving and becoming a leader in the alien world.
    • The sequel has Lester survive, only to be Killed Off for Real in a Heroic Sacrifice halfway through the game. In case you deny any of that, he gets cremated in the ending.
  • Silence Is Golden: This game shows a lot, and almost never tells.
  • Spiritual Successor:
    • Flashback, which has a graphic style similar to Another World, to the point it's been mistaken for a sequel (despite not being made by Eric Chahi).
    • Heart of Darkness, sharing the core gameplay and was Eric's last game before From Dust.
    • onEscapee is essentially a love letter to this game.
  • Steam Vent Obstacle: The game has deadly steam vents in the area where you're rolling your way through pipes.
  • Stripped to the Bone:
    • The alien laser guns instantly reduce anyone they hit to a charred skeleton.
    • A couple ways to die in Heart of the Alien can reduce Buddy into a skeleton, namely anything involving corrosive liquids or gases.
    • The cremation coffin as Lester's corpse demonstrates.
  • Take My Hand!: Subverted. In the game's final sequence, Buddy rescues Lester from a plunge off of a ledge. Then smashes Lester against the wall, crippling him! Turns out, that's not Buddy!
  • Trapped in Another World: The title. Depending on where you lived in the '90s, it could also be "Trapped in Out of This World", or "Trapped in an Outer World".
  • Trial-and-Error Gameplay: Many of the game's deathtraps are virtually impossible to anticipate without prior knowledge, and in many cases you'll keep dying until you figure out exactly what the game wants you to do, and where and when it wants you to do it, common sense be damned. Jump a bunch of times because that lets you go faster? No good when the game wants you to flee without jumping. You will get blasted even though you went faster and should outrange them. You really need to follow the script exactly when you're being chased by laser shooting bad guys.
  • Updated Re-release: First as a port to MS-DOS / Apple Macintosh from Amiga which added a new level, then the 3DO version has a different art style (besides the character models), and of course the 15th Anniversary edition which is based on the PC version and has more detailed backgrounds and runs in high-res. Followed by the 20th Anniversary version, which contains both the original and remastered visuals, two new difficulty levels, a level select instead of a password feature, and depending on your version, comes with achievements/trophies and a touch control option.
  • Unwinnable by Design:
    • Forget to shoot out the pit wall before flooding the caves? You're fucked. Fail to shoot the lamp chain blocking Buddy in the crawlspace? You're also fucked. If Buddy dies, you're also screwed, among other possible situations. Fortunately, you only obtain a new password if you completed all the requirements of a stage correctly. For example, if you miss blowing a hole at a certain place that is supposed to be filled up with river water so you can swim, and die later on, the password will not change until you complete all the requirements. All the 15th and 20th anniversary editions of the game also double the checkpoints and have a level select feature, so it's gotten easier to know if you messed up somewhere.
    • Subverted with the glass bubble guard kill. If you mess that up, it is possible to beat that guard fair and square, with very precise positioning and timing of your shields and charged shots. It's very difficult though, and was clearly not intended to be possible. If you beat him, and then die after, the password shows him killed by the glass bubble.
  • Video Game Setpiece: Many of them, including:
    • The specific places in the game where your ally does something to rescue you.
    • Special actions that you can perform at one specific place only, such as swinging the cage to make it fall, the Groin Attack you use on an enemy at one point, and pulling the lever at the end of the game.
    • Special environmental features that show up only once each, such as the floor that grenades can destroy, the bat that the tentacle monster will eat, the vine that you can swing from, the glass globe that you must drop on an enemy, and the aforementioned lamp chain.
  • "What Now?" Ending: Lester and Buddy escape, but Lester is badly hurt and it's not clear what awaits them beyond the city or if Lester will ever get home. Worse, some interpreted the ending to mean that Lester actually dies mere yards from freedom, although Word of God and the eventual sequel countermand this.
  • A Winner Is You: The game ends with Lester and Buddy flying off on a dragon. After the credits a message appears: "Go Back to Another Earth." In the American version it's "Get out of this world."
  • X-Ray Sparks: Recharge chambers show Buddy's skeleton when he enters one and has his whip reloaded.
  • You All Look Familiar: The aliens are identical except for occasional helmets or topknots. Buddy can be differentiated from the others only because he's unarmed.
  • You All Meet in a Cell: Lester and Buddy meet in a cell near the beginning. Then they escape and stay together during the rest of the game.

Alternative Title(s): Out Of This World, Heart Of The Alien


Another World

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