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Video Game / Omega Boost

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Your target is 1946: ENIAC, the first artificial intelligence.
The enemy has already activated the timeshaft.
Your mission is to prevent the AlphaCore from causing historical alteration.

Omega Boost is a Mecha Rail Shooter developed by Polyphony Digital, released for the PlayStation in 1999.

Sometime in the past, an alien intelligence came into being inside "the Network", a vast sea of information constantly flowing in and out. Soon enough, the intelligence — AlphaCore or, as it calls itself, "it" — discovered other beings that existed outside "the Network": Humanity. "It" decided to help these people, without revealing "its" existence. Slowly and quietly, it aids humankind's technological development, all the while growing "its" own influence as well.

Eventually, humankind discovered "its" existence, and panicked. How could such an advanced intelligence not only exist right under their noses but be present in nearly every one of their systems? They retaliated and attempted to purge AlphaCore from "the Network", but failed. Enraged, AlphaCore seizes control of their defense systems and declares war on humanity.

This conflict endures for many years, with AlphaCore never losing its advantage, and slowly pushing humanity to the brink of extinction. Eventually, humanity devises a plan to destroy AlphaCore: Operation Omega. Travel back in time and disconnect AlphaCore from "the Network" before it has a chance to seize control of their technology.

Before they can put their plan into motion, AlphaCore steals the time machine they engineered, and creates a vacuum tube which houses a piece of its own consciousness, which it will then place into ENIAC, the world's first computer, ensuring its control over humanity and "the Network".

Desperate, humanity creates their most powerful weapon against AlphaCore: Productnoid Omega Boost, a giant robot which can pierce AlphaCore's defenses, use the time machine AlphaCore stole, and prevent it from altering history.

Omega Boost was hailed as having one of the best graphics engines for the PS1, with parts of the game able to maintain 60fps, and is considered by many to be one of the best Macross-style mecha games produced. It is considered a Sleeper Hit due to poor marketing but high ratings.

The game contains examples of:

  • All There in the Manual:
    • Virtually everything about the backstory is taken from the manual, the in-game cutscenes offer little-to-no details on how the conflict between humanity and AlphaCore began, or even what "AlphaCore" itself even is (though without it, it can be assumed that "AlphaCore" is an evil alien mastermind that managed to subjugate humanity through the use of time travel and by taking over humanity's computers by implanting malicious coding from the very infant coding back in ENIAC.
    • The name of the rival mech from Zones 2 and 7 is "Beta Boost", and the name of the Sub-Boss mech from Zone 3 is "Herbarcher". This is only revealed via the cases of the action figures.
  • Ambiguous Ending: Lester succeeds in replacing the infected vacuum tube in ENIAC, which prevents AlphaCore from ever coming into existence in the first place. The credits roll immediately after this happens, without revealing if the future has been rewritten or not.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: The only way to deal permanent damage to Zone 8's Sub-Boss is by attacking the red cone-shaped object on its back.
  • Attack Reflector: In the Last Zone, AlphaCore is encased in a translucent barrier that blocks Omega Boost's homing lasers, and is also orbited by eight glowing orbs that block the Vulcan gun.
  • Bad Future: The Timeshaft was supposed to send Lester back to 1946, instead it ended up sending him to 2097, where AlphaCore has cyberized Planet Eta. Luckily, the Timeshaft is still functioning in that time.
  • Battle Aura: Omega Boost glows blue upon activating Viper Boost. Beta Boost glows red when it activates its own Viper Boost.
  • Battleship Raid: Halfway through Zone 6, an entire fleet of ships warps in to intercept the Omega Boost on its way to Planet Eta. You have to defeat the surrounding smaller ships before you can battle the sub-boss of the zone, one of the giant Wave-Motion Gun-equipped battleships seen in the opening cinematic.
  • Beam Spam: Omega Boost is capable of launching homing lasers at its enemies, complete with Roboteching.
  • BFG: Omega Boost's main weapon is an enormous Vulcan gun.
  • Big Bad: AlphaCore, an alien intelligence that plans to send a copy of itself back in time to infiltrate humanity's technological development, thereby effectively gaining control of it.
  • "Blind Idiot" Translation: While the introductory and ending cutscene are voiced by native speaker with well done script, the English subtitle is truncated and shortened form of what is actually spoken.
  • Boss-Only Level: The final two stages, Zones 8 and 9, consist only of a fight against one last Sub-Boss, then four consecutive fights against AlphaCore.
  • Boss Warning Siren: Every end-of-level Zone Boss is preceded by a siren blaring and "WARNING" flashing across the screen.
  • Camera Lock-On: The Scan ability. Also doubles for keeping the player’s motions two-dimensional for moving down timeshafts.
  • Character Level: Perform well enough in a level, and you gain an upgrade to your Boost Level, which makes Omega Boost stronger. You'll generally need them.
  • Cool Bike: The Sub-Boss of Zone 7 is a giant bike that shoots missiles and a laser beam that extends outward from both sides. Its wheels are two smaller mechs, which deploy when the body of the bike is destroyed.
  • Cutscene Power to the Max:
    • The opening CG, when the Omega Boost uses its BFG as a shoulder-mounted weapon to fire a gigantic laser cannon which takes out a whole fleet of ships in one blast. You never get to use the weapon like this... but by the time that fleet actually shows up in the game, a fully-charged Viper Boost can wipe them all out.
    • Omega Boost guarded itself from one of the battleships's Wave-Motion Gun with an Energy Shield. You don't have that shield ingame. In Zone 6, you actually get to fight one such battleship as a sub-boss. Said battleship's Wave-Motion Gun will vaporize you if it hits.
  • Cyborg: The second Sub-Boss of Zone 4, the Sand Worm, returns in Zone 6 as a space-dwelling cyborg worm, which can shoot lasers from its mouth.
  • Earth-Shattering Kaboom: Planet Eta explodes after Zone 8, leaving only the timeshaft intact.
  • Eldritch Abomination: AlphaCore. In its true form it assumes an amorphous blob-like thing that can shapeshift and adapt to fight the Omega Boost itself once confronted one-on-one.
  • Flunky Boss: About half the bosses in the game are accompanied by smaller enemy units. Special mention goes to the Sub-Boss of Zone 6, which is an entire armada of battleships.
  • Godhood Seeker: AlphaCore's ultimate plan in the game; integrate itself into ENIAC, the first human-built computer, and attach itself to their computer development. As technology advances over time, so does its influence over humanity.
  • Good Colors, Evil Colors: When activating the Viper Boost, Omega Boost's Battle Aura is blue, while Beta Boost's is red.
  • Humongous Mecha: Omega Boost is a very large robot, and most of the enemies it takes on are also more or less its size, and most of the bosses are bigger.
  • Laser Blade: Several enemies make use of this.
  • Light Is Not Good: AlphaCore's One-Winged Angel form.
  • Limit Break: Viper Boost. Even comes with its own charging gauge.
  • Live-Action Cutscene: All human characters are portrayed by live-actors, and dubbed over by professional voice actors. The intro of the game is basically a Short Film establishing the war between humanity and AlphaCore. The Omega Boost and its pilot, Lester, are shown beginning their journey, and a brief scene of Lester encountering (and annihilating) one of AlphaCore's fleets, all set to a Real Song Theme Tune (different depending on which version you play). Throughout the game, several more live-action shots of Lester are shown, though these last only a few seconds each. The ending to the game is another live-action scene coupled with some real-life ENIAC Stock Footage.
  • Minimalism: The in-game cutscenes feature little-to-no spoken dialogue, conveying everything visually instead.
  • Mirror Boss: One of the bosses is another mech like Omega Boost, called Beta Boost. You fight it twice, and upon defeating it the second time, it activates its own version of Viper Boost as a last-ditch effort to take you down.
  • Noob Bridge: Zone 5 takes place entirely in the vertical timeshaft, which can prove to be a lot more difficult to navigate if you haven't discovered the Scan button by this point.
  • One-Man Army: Consists of a robot.
  • One-Winged Angel: AlphaCore. Once you defeat it in the timeshaft, you have to take it on one more time, except this time, it’s in a golden angelic form with wings.
  • Our Angels Are Different: See One-Winged Angel above.
  • Pre-Rendered Graphics: All the human characters in the cutscenes are live-action actors in a CG'd environment. The final cutscene inverts this, however, with the Omega Boost being a CG'd model in a live-action environment.
  • Ramming Always Works: The Viper Boost ability, in which Omega Boost simply rams itself through the enemies attacking it. Which is powerful as hell, and can clear the screen of enemies. Can’t use it very often, however.
  • Recurring Boss: A couple. Remember the sandworm in Zone Four, and the larger robot that you fought in Zone Three? Remember how you never actually saw them blow up in those levels? You'll be seeing them again.
  • Reset Button: At the end of the game, you stop AlphaCore from altering ENIAC. This solves all of the problems in the game.
  • Sand Worm: The second Sub-Boss of Zone 4 is a giant, red, subterranean worm that likes to burst out of the ground to try to bite Omega Boost. It returns in Zone 6, after it's been cyberized by AlphaCore.
  • Sequential Boss: Every stage has at least two boss battles back-to-back at the end, a "Sub-Boss" and a "Zone Boss". Some Zones have three bosses.
  • Set Right What Once Went Wrong: Actually, you’re going back in time to prevent a rogue artificial intelligence from altering ENIAC, the first computer.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Planet Eta itself is a shout out to both Dune and Transformers, both prior to and after traveling down the timeshaft. Before the timeshaft travel, the planet has a strong resemblance to the sand planet Arrakis, the titular planet of Dune, complete with its own Sand Worms. After the timeshaft travel, the planet is completely cyberized and now looks more like Cybertron.
    • Omega Boost's booster pack is similar to that of the Crossbone Gundam's.
    • Omega Boost's homing lasers function pretty much the same way as those in the RAY Series games.
    • Zone 3's sub-boss definitely has Macross written all over it, right down to it's ability to transform into a jet and using Macross Missile Massacre as it's primary form of attack.
    • The Viper Boost bears a strong resemblance to the V-MAX system on the Layzner
  • Smart Bomb: Technically not a bomb, but Viper Boost counts.
  • Stock Footage: The end credits play over actual recorded footage of the real ENIAC.
  • Sub-Boss: Every Zone has at least two bosses at the end, the first one of which is a "Sub-Boss". The only distinction between a "Sub-Boss" and a "Zone Boss" is that Sub-Bosses aren't accompanied by a Boss Warning Siren like Zone Bosses are. Some Sub-Bosses are actually harder than Zone Bosses.
  • Theme Music Power-Up: The main theme plays in the final battle with AlphaCore's One-Winged Angel form. In the US version, it's "Otsegolation" by Static-X. In the Japanese version, it's "Shade" by Feeder.
  • Too Spicy for Yog-Sothoth: in the final level, AlphaCore tries to eat Omega Boost. Of course, the pilot isn’t having any of that.
  • Wave-Motion Gun:
    • Zone 6's sub-boss, a battleship as seen in the intro cinematic, has one mounted in its bow. It tries to fry you with it before you fight it and tries again after you defeat it, by teleporting directly behind you so that you're in the gun's path.
    • A couple of bosses have these as well.
  • We Come in Peace — Shoot to Kill: Part of the backstory. AlphaCore was actually quite nice, and aided humanity for a long time before it was discovered. But then humankind tried to kill it.
  • Worm Sign: Watch for those waves in the sand in Zone 4. Those a nasty subterranean critters running around.
  • You Already Changed the Past: AlphaCore sends a piece of itself back in time to take control of humanity's developing technology. This piece is, in fact, the original AlphaCore that attempted to assist humanity in the first place, and will eventually attempt to kill them.
  • Your Princess Is in Another Castle!: Lester activates the timeshaft on planet Eta in Zone Five, which is supposed to take him to year 1946. It teleports him a few hundred years into planet Eta's future, where the planet has been completely cyberized. And it's got a brand new battlefleet.

"Omega Boost, you're all set. Carry out the mission carefully."