An Abandonware Port for Falcon 060 and others
Flashback was one of those legendary 'never were' games, which were
speculated as made and ready to go for the ST, but were never released for
it. This all took place back when the ST was very much in the autumn of its
commercial life, in 1992.
It was the follow-up to 'Another World', which was released on the ST by a
combination of Delphine software and US Gold. Interesting that, even the most
mediocre labels were able to score the occasional hit by buying in outside
talent. So a rare word of praise for US Gold, although Delphine should get
the credit for the actual code.
Patience has its own reward, as previously commercial games end their shelf-
life and become abandonware. In that state they are ripe to be picked up once
more. Flashback has been given new life with the appearance of the
'REminiscence' SDL based game engine. This started life on the PeeCee and
other formats. It consists of a mixture of the PC DOS version of the game,
and apparently, the Amiga sound files. We've been allowed into the picture,
as it has now been ported to any Atari capable of running SDL based stuff, by
the Mint-fresh Polski, Adam Klobukowski. Cheers Adam!
He's kindly provided the game engine, and checking his web pages also reveal
he's given the SDL reanimation treatment to the Flashback predecessor,
'Another World'. However, Evil of DHS has taken the logical final step of
digging up the data files, and putting it all together in one easy to use
package. So well done everybody!
This abandonware port needs a bit more than an ST, unfortunately, in fact
quite a bit more than an ST. This has been quoted as needing at least a TT
class machine. In practice, it does run well enough with the 50mhz CT2
Falcon, but you really do need an '040 or '060 to get the best out of this
one. With a CT60, it is totally fluid and smooth of course ;-)
The basic storyline of Flashback goes something like this. Conrad Hart, the
player character, overhears the plans of an alien race, the Morphs, to
conquer Earth. The prequel is told in a smart vector animation sequence.
Conrad attempts to flee the pursuing morphs on his silver dream flying
machine, until this is fatally riddled with gunfire. The Morphs, always
careless, leave Conrad to his own devices after a cursory search. He then
wakes up and the game starts. This sequence, and the other cinematic cut-away
sequences still looks whip-smart and great even today, when the eye candy
expectation bar has been raised by mega amounts of real 3D and massive
processing on textures and the like for current games.
It's behind you Conrad!
A menu selector gives way to a fairly conventional looking game screen. It is
a side-on view, two dimensional. If you were pushed to describe it further,
you could say it was Miner Willy in appearance. However, the artistry and
overall graphical quality is several light years removed from the Speccy
garishness of the earlier game.
The graphics are some of the best things about this game, with smart and
beautifully drawn backgrounds, backed up with some of the most detailed and
fluid sprite movements for your ingame character. Imagine 'Prince of Persia',
but on a far more ambitious canvas. You have a combination of moves, running,
jumping, crouching, gunplay, and even grabbing and climbing. A large part of
the fun is in figuring out the full range of Conrad's abilities. Also, you
can combine many of these. The adventure part of this arcade adventure kicks
in, when you have objects to pick up and figure out their best use.
In the jungle, no-one can hear you scream!
The action does not take place over one world. The game starts in a lush
jungle, but there are several other game worlds, differently themed, and all
part of a larger puzzle to be solved.
One small absence in this otherwise pristine port, is a total silence. The
sound is still yet to be enabled, but there should be another version with
this reinstated, coming our way shortly.
I've spent a little bit of time looking up some internet resources, and I
found a site with some cheat codes in. I'm going to put these in here, but it
is debatable if they work, as I haven't had any luck so far.
Level Passwords - Here are all of the passwords for Flashback on all three
levels. At the title screen, highlight the Password option. Press START to go
into it. Enter the following passwords to reach higher levels:
1 PIXEL Level 1 - Jungle Stage
2 BESTY Level 2 - New Washington
3 PANCHO Level 3 - Death Tower
4 STUDIO Level 4 - Earth Stage 1
5 TOHO Level 5 - Earth Stage #2
6 AKANE Level 6 - Alien Planet #1
7 INCBIN Level 7 - Alien Planet #2
8 FALCON Level 1 - Jungle Stage
9 DATA Level 2 - New Washington
10 MILORD Level 3 - Death Tower
11 QUICKY Level 4 - Earth Stage #1
12 BIJOU Level 5 - Earth Stage #2
13 BUBBLE Level 6 - Alien Planet #1
14 CLIP Level 7 - Alien Planet #2
15 CLIO Level 1 - Jungle Stage
16 ACRTC Level 2 - New Washington
17 BLOB Level 3 - Death Tower
18 STUN Level 4 - Earth Stage #1
19 MIMOLO Level 5 - Earth Stage #2
20 HECTOR Level 6 - Alien Planet #1
21 KALIMA Level 7 - Alien Planet #2
See the ending sequence without playing the rest of the game
22 CYGNUS Ending Password
In conclusion, well we've waited years for this, was it worth the wait you
ask? Well yes of course it was!
Famous 'lost' game reappears at last.
Seems to be generic, run across a wide range of hardware.
A welcome return for the idea of 'big' action games.
Fantastically detailed player animation.
Not really dated at all.
It needs a higher end machine to run decently.
No sound (just yet.)
CiH, for Alive Mag,April '05.