Out of this World, or originally known as Another World, was released in the U.S. in 1991 on the Amiga, Atari, and DOS systems. This original and innovative platformer has cemented itself as a cult classic and as one of the most influential games ever created. The game was pusblished by Delphine Software and Interplay Entertainment, but has quite an interesting and original development history as its unique and stunning game play.
Originally conceived by Eric Chahi, a french programmer whose career began in the 1980s on the Amiga and Atari systems, Another World was his brain child and almost entirely developed on his own. Inspired by games like Dragon's Lair, Chahi thought that it would be possible to create similar game play and effects using vector outlines and a technique known as rotoscoping. The result was a science fiction video game known as Another World.
Released in North America as Out of this World, the game is a side scrolling cinematic platformer unlike those of its time. With virtually no text in the game, the game play involved maneuvering your character through puzzles and fights using only on screen cues from the games actors, situations, and body language. The game had an unlimited number of lives and good check point system, allowing players to determine the best course of action through trial and error.
The game was released on a series of early video game systems and slowly released to other consoles over the early 1990s. As the game was ported to more systems like Nintendo's SNES, the game saw minor enhancements in the form of additional game play and levels to lengthen game play. It even had some minor censoring in one scene due to the adult natured theme of the game by Nintendo. The game has had such continued popularity and cult following that it has even been ported to modern systems and seen a 15th anniversary re-release with enhanced graphics.
The story of Out of This World centers around a young, successful physicist Lester Knight Chaykin. One stormy night, Lester pulls up to his lab in his Ferrari, thinking about his latest experiments and not noticing the weather. Taking the elevator to his lab, he begins the particle accelerator while cracking open a cold one. Outside, the weather begins to pick up and the storm intensifies. The accelerator begins the process and speeding up the particles. They race around the containment ring and then, suddenly, at the moment of particle impact, a lightning strike lances down and strikes the surface labs power conduits, sending a massive surge of energy to the accelerator. In a flash, Lester, his desk, and parts of the accelerator control panel and lab are gone.
A second flash occurs and suddenly water is filling Lester's lungs and surrounding his body. Cold, murky water. As Lester ascends, trying to find the surface, he notices the desk and parts of the lab are sinking to the void below and into the arms of the long seaweed spindles on the bottom. As his lungs scream for air, he can't help think, "were those seaweed stalks getting longer?" Then Lester breaks the surface of the water, gasping for air. He climbs out quickly, noticing that he is in a small, deep pool. As he is devouring the air, he begins to notice the ground and surface is like nothing he has seen before, filled with dirt and minerals quite grey and hard. Then, as he looks up, he slowly realizes things are quite different. He is not in the lab. He is not outside. He is…on another world.