Another World, a.k.a Out of this World, was developed by Eric Chahi on an Atari ST and Amiga with music by Jean Francois-Freitas of Delphine Software, a French software company. This game was released as Another World in Europe for the Commodore Amiga and Atari ST by U.S. Gold. It was released in North America by Interplay for all platforms except the Sega Genesis and CD, which were released by Virgin Interactive.
|North American Title|
I. Commodore Amiga and Atari ST
Atari ST and Amiga support one-button joysticks. The jump is activated by pressing up on the joystick, just like Prince of Persia.
Pressing "c" on the keyboard brings up the password screen. With the Amiga and ST versions, putting in the code for the first level (EDJI) may be the only way to skip the introduction.
The game can be installed to a hard drive on the Amiga. The ST version comes on double-sided disks (single sided disks were more common).
This game uses a code wheel for copy protection. There is only one code wheel and it works for all versions of the game. You may enter the symbols in any order, but you must successfully pass the code wheel protection twice to play the game. If you fail the protection on the Amiga or ST, the game will hang.
How can you tell if someone is playing the Amiga or ST versions? There is a little scorpion walking across the first level.
|Amiga/ST Password Screen|
All versions of the game use a password save system. The Amiga and ST use different passwords for the game than the later versions, twelve levels are available.
|Amiga Cinemascope Mode|
|Amiga Vertical Mode|
II. MS-DOS & Macintosh
DOS supports a two-button joystick, with attack/run on one button and jump on the other button, just like Super Mario Bros. I strongly recommend using a digital joystick like the Gravis Gamepad for this game. I could not get the joystick functionality to work correctly on my 486DX2/66 with a non-speed adjustable gamepad like those found on a Sound Blaster or Sound Blaster Pro and the 10KHz Sound Blaster or Disney Sound Source options. No amount of speed-adjustments elsewhere worked. When I used my Sound Blaster 16's joystick port, the problem went away without having to play with speed options.
The scorpion in the first level is absent from the DOS and later versions.
|MS-DOS Password Screen|
The Macintosh port was a contemporary of the DOS port and uses a 640x400 graphics window. If your machine is too slow for that, it can also do 320x200, 480x300 or 512x364. The main benefit to the higher resolutions is that the polygon graphics look less aliased (less jaggy).
There are a couple of really tough spots in the game, most of which were added to the DOS version :
After you escape from the cage, you get to an elevator. You have to go down and into a small room to disable an electrical panel. In the Amiga/ST versions, the room is otherwise empty, in the DOS version, there is a guard there. The guard is very quick and you must shoot the moment you leave the elevator room or he will kill you.
When you are rolling around in the ducts, in the Amiga/ST version, harmless steam spews out at certain points. In the DOS version, the steam will kill you. You must time your movements to get past the steam when it is not blowing. This is in addition to choosing the correct path to avoid falling to your death.
The caves are full of difficulties, from the falling rocks, to the tentacles on the ceiling and the pit traps to avoiding drowning after you release the water. The laser, fully powered up, can kill the ceiling tentacles.
Just after the caves, there is an corridor where you have to fight one guard on each side, and it is difficult to maintain your shields and charge up your gun to kill both guards before one gets you.
When you have to return to the caves, now flooded, an extra screen and pit traps were added to the DOS version in the area where you have to disable an electrical circuit. A running jump is necessary to get back into the water.
Immediately after the sequence were the guards are destroying multiple gates to get at you, in the Amiga/ST version you go straight to the tank. In the DOS version, two extra levels are added where you have to rescue your alien friend twice.
The tank in the arena requires you to push more buttons in the DOS than the Amiga/ST version to activate the escape pod. It does not seem like the enemies can destroy the tank, in the Amiga/ST version, but in the DOS version you will have to be pretty quick or the enemies will kill you.
III. Super Nintendo, Sega Genesis, Apple //gs
The Sega Genesis and Super Nintendo versions of this game are ports of the DOS version.
The SNES version uses the 256x224 (NTSC) resolution, and it does not support a 320x224 resolution. The gameplay is in a 224x160 pixel window.
|Apple //gs 16mm "Full Screen" Mode|
|Apple //gs 35mm "Matted" Mode|
While these versions have a journal entry just after the title screens, the earlier versions had virtually the exact same journal entry in their game manuals.
|Apple //gs 70mm Widescreen Mode|
|Apple //gs Television Mode|
V. Sega CD, 3D0
This version has enhanced music and sound effects, the music being done by Freitas this time. The load times are very reasonable. Some of the sound effects, like the beast's growl, are not quite as good as the original Amiga/ST versions. Unlike the Genesis version, the Sega CD version runs in the 320x224 resolution, but the graphics only occupy 304x192 pixels. The graphics, however, are not shrunk, merely cropped. This was probably done to limit the issues with overscan on TVs, not due to performance. The extra music is far more complimentary to the game than the cartridge versions. It plays like the Genesis version, so you will get all the dropping slugs in the first level.
Once the game ends, the sequel, Heart of the Alien, will begin. I will not say more about that game except it is so frustrating that it can drive one to violence, even with savestates. Chahi had no involvement in the game, and it lacks his fine sense of difficulty and pacing. The alien is much more difficult to control, and there are evil timing puzzles and pixel-perfect moves required. While Out of this World retains the censorship of the SNES and Genesis, Heart of the Alien is far from censored and the game was originally rated MA-13. Overall, if you have to play a console version, the Sega CD is the one to play.
It is well-known that the 3D0 version eliminates Freitas' music entirely and uses redrawn backgrounds with more detail. Chahi approved of neither change, feeling the backgrounds gave too much detail and did not work well with the polygon character models. What may not be so well-known is that the ending has been extended. The alien returns Lester to the ruins of his village, and once there the alien recalls how his village was attacked and he was captured. This same sequence is used, more or less, in the Sega CD version, but Heart of the Alien is not included in the 3D0 version.
V. Windows 3.1 and 15th Anniversary Edition
I do not have access to the Windows 3.1 version, but I read that its very similar to the DOS version. It may use MIDI music, however. Nor do I have access to the Symbian and Power PC ports, any of the unofficial, non-commercial ports, or the iPhone, Android & iPad 20th Anniversary editions. As I find the translation of joystick to touchpad controls to be a waste of time, I do not believe I will be trying them.
The 15th Anniversary Edition was released in 2006 and is compatible with Operating Systems from Windows 98 to Windows 7. It offers enhanced backgrounds (redrawn to 1280x800), higher resolution polygon graphics and an enhanced sound track, but these options can be turned on and off individually. It can run in a slow or fast mode. It supports resolutions from 640x480 to 1920x1200 and maybe beyond. It also supports joysticks and gamepads with redefinable keys. It uses the Prince of Persia and Super Mario Bros. styles of control. In other words, you can press Up or Button 2 on your gamepad to jump.
You do not have to turn any of these options on, so if you leave them off you essentially have virtually the same game as the DOS version, although it almost certainly sounds superior. The aspect ratio is always 1.6:1, regardless of resolution used (black bars being used to keep the aspect ratio).
The game supports many more save points than the original, and will automatically keep track of all the levels you unlock, making passwords mostly superfluous. There are three passwords for the first level alone. I only played the demo version, but I may buy this even if only to use the high-resolution images for my desktop. This was developed by Chahi, and seemingly represents his ideal vision for the game, both classic and modern. The music was remastered by Freitas.
|Windows 15th Anniversary Edition|