Perspective: Side view
Visual: Fixed / flip-screen
Gameplay: Arcade, Fighting
Vehicular: Mecha / giant robot
Setting: Sci-fi / futuristic
Published by: Moon Doggie
Developed by: Diversions Entertainment
Martial arts games (so-called “fighting games”) have never been as widespread on the PC as, say, on arcade machines. Historically, personal computers simply could not compete with powerful arcade machines in the ability to quickly and in detail display the opposing players, and the keyboard and mouse are much inferior to joysticks in solving character control tasks. However, there were always enough fans of fighting games among PC owners, and, consequently, ports and clones of the most famous martial arts under MS-DOS appeared. After the incredible success of Street Fighter II, many developers began to look for themselves in the field of creating fighting games. One such attempt was One Must Fall, developed exclusively for DOS. The game has not matured to the status of a commercial product: two fighters very similar to the unforgettable Ryu and Ken, essentially the same, were lazily stomping on the screen, slowly repeating the learned tricks.
Fortunately, Diversions Entertainment did not abandon the project, and in 1994 One Must Fall 2097 (hereinafter simply OMF) went on sale. The action of the game was moved a hundred years forward and replaced two identical fighters with eleven really different huge manned robots. This replacement turned out to be very interesting and successful. Firstly, when creating fighters, the designer is not constrained not only by existing fighting styles (as the fighters from Street Fighter representing the martial arts of their native countries are constrained), but even by the fact that the fighter must be a humanoid. Secondly, now two machines with the same set of techniques may turn out to be dissimilar in battle, because they are driven by different pilots, and it would be much easier to improve a piece of iron than to train a body - if only there was money. Thirdly, the introduction of this very money into the game: it would be expensive to maintain a 30-meter steel giant for one salary, repair it and buy improvements for it - it was decided to turn the battles into tournament competitions of professional athletes ... Well, what, sport is sport, - I would look - in our time, people are watching, for example, rubbing ice in front of a sliding stone. Fourthly, the idea of piloting a "mech" is very popular in science fiction and not-so-fiction, various anime and other manga. It is quite possible that the fact of the presence of robots has replenished and will replenish the army of OMF fans. No one said that an avid MechWarrior (a fan of the Mechwarrior game series based on the BattleTech book series), who spends his free time shooting enemy mech heads with PPC, would not want to change his hobby a little and, for a change, move a steel foot on this very head?
As already mentioned, robot fights in the world of OMF are not only socially acceptable (unlike the semi-underground competitions of Street Fighter and Fatal Fury or the mystical survival tournament from Mortal Kombat), but are also professional sports and shows. The massacre of metal colossi is even in the news; the announcer, who briefly characterizes the last fight, is one of the most recognizable OMF characters. You will have to deal with the management of your “sports team” personally. It includes decisions to change the tournament, change the robot and improve it; if you find yourself on the verge of bankruptcy, you will have to sell some of the improvements to your robot or work off the debt by working as a mechanic. However, it must be said that the tournaments, so popular with a wide range of viewers, are a relatively new phenomenon for the year 2100 of the OMF universe. It all started in 2097 from the Nativity of Christ (hence the number in the title), when the international mega-corporation WAR (World Aeronautics and Robotics - World Aeronautics and Robotics) decided to colonize Ganymede, one of the satellites of Jupiter. It was decided to appoint the colony's administrators the winner in the battles of HARs (Human Assisted Robots - Human Controlled Robot), a kind of avatars of workers who performed work in unbearable conditions for humans (lack of air, weightlessness, etc.). Actually, OMF offers two modes for a single player game: the story of ascent to the management of the colonization of Ganymede and the career of a professional HAR pilot. If the first limits the player in improvements, gradually strengthening the opponents, then the second leaves the player himself with the help of HAR preparation control and the choice of tournament rank to adjust the difficulty. By the way, the style of passage will certainly be different. If in the narrative mode of the struggle for control of the colony you mainly rely on strong single hits with a minimum of jumps, and combinations can only be afforded by pilots of the fastest machines (such as Shadow or Shredder), then in tournaments HARs show their true potential , and mobility and the ability to combine individual techniques come to the fore.
Combat system OMF at first glance is no different from many other martial arts. All fighters have three kicks and hands of different strength and speed, which can be applied from a squat; all are endowed with the ability to strike in a jump, throw the enemy, block the blow and finish off the defeated a la Mortal Kombat; Everyone has their own set of special attacks. However, OMF is not as manufactory as it might seem, because, as already mentioned, both bots and their pilots have their own characteristics. Thus, if you have some combination in the fight with the powerful but clumsy Shirro, then the nimble Milano is likely to leave her. The ability to upgrade HARs means that the Jaguar, which at first seems to be the weakest of all, becomes a mobile hurricane of powerful combinations of attacks, and the Pyros, relying mainly on single special attacks, ceases to seem so preferable. There are eleven different HARs in the game - eleven (with a playable "boss"), pilots, including many secret identities (like Jackrabbit's Jazz rabbit), and even more; each driver has three stats that can be upgraded during the tournament, each car can be upgraded up to three in six different areas. If you want to surprise us with your knowledge of combinatorics, you can count the number of possible different "fighter-robot" systems and write the number in the comment (don't forget that HARs get bonus special hits for certain achievements in the tournament). If I were you, I would not bother myself with such calculations, but would simply play this little miracle of human resourcefulness. By the way, what struck me at the time: it seems that the AI of opponents in OMF is assigned to pilots, and not to HARs; the same characters pilot different cars in different tournaments - and so, the "author's style" is quite recognizable.
The technical performance of the game is rather pleasing. If your HAR seems to be moving too slo-mo, then he probably just needs to make a mobility upgrade or choose a more suitable pilot. Graphic performance, perhaps, at the level; no, let's say, the local beauties are far from Mortal Kombat, but on the other hand, the famous MK has nothing more to boast of. Arenas are good - the effect of three-dimensionality thereof is created. By the way, four out of five arenas are interactive and capable of influencing the course of the fight in one way or another (the so-called “hazards”). Among other things, OMF is also widely known in narrow circles for its musical accompaniment - rather simple, but surprisingly overpowering techno is very, very appropriate to listen to.
It's definitely worth playing. This original Epic MegaGames creation is one of the most iconic fighting games, one of the best in the genre, and yet easy to play from the keyboard.