April 14, 2006 5:07 PM   Subscribe

Famed for its unusually cinematic look (for the time), Another World is a classic vector-based game from the early 90s created by Eric Chahi. A new version with updated (but not too updated) graphics was released for Windows XP today; you can download a demo here. (direct link to 22MB installer .exe)
posted by Armitage Shanks (44 comments total)
22.8 Mb download.
posted by at 5:11 PM on April 14, 2006

Uh, who updated the graphics? Why? What's all this French stuff mean?
posted by designbot at 5:17 PM on April 14, 2006

OK, there is a small English section of the website here. Apparently this download is a shareware demo; unlocking the full version costs €7.
posted by designbot at 5:20 PM on April 14, 2006

22.8 Mb download.

Mea culpa. The proper authorities have been contacted requesting a warning on the link.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 5:21 PM on April 14, 2006

Mod note: added fair warning on filesize
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 5:22 PM on April 14, 2006

Bet it wasn't 22.8 Mb back in the early 90s.
posted by Jimbob at 5:28 PM on April 14, 2006

[i]Bet it wasn't 22.8 Mb back in the early 90s.[/i]

no, i am pretty sure I snuck this one on a single floppy into my "computer science" class.
posted by neustile at 5:32 PM on April 14, 2006

sorry for that cross-forum pseudo html.

I think I knew it as "out of this world" -- is that familiar?
posted by neustile at 5:32 PM on April 14, 2006

Another World (published in the USA as Out of this World). Ah. I should read the links better.
posted by neustile at 5:34 PM on April 14, 2006

This was a great game. Unforgiving as hell, but great.
posted by bardic at 5:43 PM on April 14, 2006

I've raved about Out of This World on AskMe before (little point in linking -- you'll just have to trust me). Incredible game for the time, and still incredible today that it was done by one guy!
posted by Aknaton at 5:47 PM on April 14, 2006

my tuva! or whatever it is that weird creature says in that first screen I never got past but always wish I did and probably now could if I wasn't so busy (lazy).
posted by SmileyChewtrain at 6:01 PM on April 14, 2006

Oh. That game. That awesome, awesome game. I'm forbidden from playing it unless I want to be booed on Dr. Phil. See. It came out right when I was first married and occupied way too many late nights.
posted by tkchrist at 6:21 PM on April 14, 2006

I vaguely remember this. I was a big fan of Flashback, though.
posted by brundlefly at 6:26 PM on April 14, 2006

Incredible...I remember the first time I played this on the Amiga, it felt groundbreaking. This game, Flashback, and Darkseed are my some of my most enduring memories of computer games back then.
posted by fire&wings at 6:50 PM on April 14, 2006

Thank you mefi!

This always stood out for me as one of the most brilliant games ever, an almost unmatched setting and atmosphere during play. A simple game, but a true work of art.
posted by TravellingDen at 7:05 PM on April 14, 2006

still incredible today that it was done by one guy!

Oops -- according to the links a friend did the (awesome) music.
posted by Aknaton at 7:17 PM on April 14, 2006

Incidentally, the indirect link to the demo says
Pour jouer [play] à Another World en version complète, il suffit de vous enregistrer pour seulement 7 euros. Vous obtiendrez une clé [key] qui vous permettra de débloquer votre version shareware.
= $8.47 American today; not bad.
posted by Aknaton at 7:21 PM on April 14, 2006

I loved this game! 2-D platformer with less quick-trigger zapping reflexes, and more thinking. Kind of like the old Prince of Persia games.
posted by CrunchyFrog at 7:34 PM on April 14, 2006

Ahhh, one of my very favorite games, along with Flashback! Thanks for the link to the demo...
posted by newfers at 8:04 PM on April 14, 2006

I remember the first time playing the demo for this game, being shocked and amazed by the full-screen cutscenes (I think the demo came with the Star Trek: 25th Anniversary game). I also remember it as Out of This World, and it being terribly, terribly difficult. At least for me.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 8:13 PM on April 14, 2006

And the whole playing regular audio through the pc speaker (it didn't require a soundcard) was fucking awesome.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 8:15 PM on April 14, 2006

From wikipedia link, 'Unusually, the game was developed by a single person, Eric Chahi. Chahi designed, programmed, and did the artwork for the entire game.'

Holy crap. That is quite a feat, especially considering how ahead of it's time it was in animation and scope. I am still blown away by it's naturalness and flow. Come back Eric Chahi!

More nostaliga, screenshots.
posted by MetaMonkey at 8:17 PM on April 14, 2006

I love this game so much, though it gets painfully hard in parts toward the end.
posted by waxpancake at 8:27 PM on April 14, 2006

posted by MetaMonkey at 8:30 PM on April 14, 2006

Wow - I was just trying to remember the name of this game the other day. One of my favorite games from my childhood. I still remember that awesome car coming into frame.
posted by aurigus at 8:49 PM on April 14, 2006

Joy! I was chatting with a friend about this game the other day, after MeFi educated me about an awesome classic game site. Too bad they didn't release a Mac version of this update, but I guess I can always enlist Boot Camp.

Now I just need an update to Dark Castle. Can't wait to spend money on that.
posted by pkingdesign at 8:56 PM on April 14, 2006

Now I just need an update to Dark Castle.

They've been working on it for over five years now. I think it's going to come out right after Duke Nukem Forever.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 9:04 PM on April 14, 2006

ooo, and that laser gun/shield generator(!), the longer you held the trigger down, the bigger the charge... priceless! (pre-BFG/plasma pistol :)

it was like the next step after karateka and king's/space quest..

hey according to wikipedia, "The 1992 game Flashback, or the 1995 game Fade to Black (both also from Delphine), were often mistaken for sequels because of similar gameplay and graphics. However these games have nothing to do with Another World, except said similarity in graphics or gameplay, and had completely different stories." huh :P
posted by kliuless at 9:20 PM on April 14, 2006

Distinctly remember playing this with friends. Very clever, fairly hard. Not matched in gameplay for years and years, but even the cutting edge graphics eventually suffered obsolescence.
posted by BrotherCaine at 11:10 PM on April 14, 2006

Better than Flashback.
posted by nthdegx at 2:06 AM on April 15, 2006

*flashback to being 12 years old and crowded in front of my Atari ST with half the kids on my street, gawping in wonder*

This game blew my mind when it was released. I'd never seen anything like it. It was hard but oh so short - I really wanted more when I completed it. I particularly remember the gladiatorial sequence when you nicked the escape pod and pissed about with the buttons until you escaped - and the dragon that your alien mate came to rescue you with at the end. "Another World" was absolutely right as a title - it really did transport you somewhere else, somewhere very alien. 14 years on and I can't think of many gaming experiences that have matched it for that quality - perhaps only Half Life.
posted by greycap at 3:01 AM on April 15, 2006

It's fun for a bit, but it gets insanely hard... you have to repeat the same thing over and over and over, only to fail on some later thing, and then back you go through something repetitive yet again.

It'd a great game if it had more frequent checkpoints... as is, you'd have to be monumentally patient to stick with it.
posted by Malor at 3:53 AM on April 15, 2006

I'm not entirely sure about this, but it appears the updated version has more checkpoints. For example, if you get eaten by the alien lion thing, you only have to go through one screen of the alien leech things instead of starting over from the beginning of the game (like I'm pretty sure happened in the original game).
posted by neckro23 at 5:53 AM on April 15, 2006

I also figured out that part of the reason I was stuck was because I wasn't finishing an area. I kept having to repeat a spot because I missed something important.

After figuring that out, the checkpoints don't seem that bad anymore.
posted by Malor at 5:58 AM on April 15, 2006

Playing the SNES version on an emulator makes the checkpoints thing much less of an issue, because you can save at any time.

And I always heard it as, (tap, tap) "My suh-loo-now"
posted by picea at 6:39 AM on April 15, 2006

From the Wiki:

"The protagonist of the game is Lester Knight Chaykin; a young, brilliant, athletic, red haired physicist. Chaykin is transported to a barren alien planet after lightning strikes his particle accelerator during a unique experiment in his high-tech underground laboratory. [Two decades later, Chaykin, frustrated in his escape attempt by a lack of save points and ultimately forgotten at the bottom of a box of old computer parts, meets Gordon Freeman, a young, brilliant, athletic-when-he's-wearing-his special-suit, physicist who is transported to the strange alien planet when lightning strikes his particle accelerator during a unique physics experiment conducted in his employer's high-tech underground lab.]"
posted by notyou at 8:10 AM on April 15, 2006

I was a little late to this party...I played it first on Super Nintendo. but even so I was completely blown away by the animation and the just straight-up weirdness of the whole game. but I don't think I ever managed to beat it before it had to go back to blockbuster.

did anyone ever play "the sequel?"
posted by mcsweetie at 9:41 AM on April 15, 2006

Man... I remember playing this game over (and over and over and over) on my 386 years ago. I'm still not sure if any other single game has had such a WOW! impact in terms of what it achieves graphically on a limited platform.

And the amazing thing is that it still holds up today. The graphics are so well-integrated and realized that it ceases looking like a bow to 16mhz machines and more like a very conscious design choice. I'll still play parts of it occasionally, and the art just blows me away. (remember the "teeth in the dark" death? Could that be ANY cooler on any superior platform ever?)
posted by InnocentBystander at 10:13 AM on April 15, 2006

Whoa... I just installed the new version. A hundred and fifty megs?!? Why in the world does it have to be that large? The original fit on a 1.44 floppy.

That said, I'm really impressed at how they managed to update the backgrounds while still making them fit with the game, and the polygonal characters. (although I still think the original has a more cohesive look)
posted by InnocentBystander at 10:23 AM on April 15, 2006

Damn, the improvements are so subtle that I didn't even notice them until the exit screen of the demo.
posted by furtive at 11:31 AM on April 15, 2006

I vaguely remember reading about this when it first came out, but never got to play it. I just finished the demo and it scared the hell out of me!
posted by kensanway at 11:14 AM on April 16, 2006

Anyone know where to find a high-res image of the box art image? Love to print that out and frame it.
posted by frogan at 1:06 PM on April 16, 2006

Another World was the first game that made me fall in love with virtual worlds.

The Amiga version was the king of the hill. I played the SNES version 'Out of this World' some years later.

What did they do? They added a narration before the classic introduction AND worst of all A HAPPY ENDING!!!

I hope this high res remake is the original
posted by 0bvious at 12:06 AM on April 17, 2006

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