One Must Fall 2097 (Kenny Chou)

One of most underrated fighting games of 90’s. Released in 1994 by already “epic” Epic MegaGames, floated around as shareware first (shareware was big back then and Epic was creating very good shareware editions of their games), never got into “mainstream”, overshadowed by Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat. Yet, OMF 2097 is extremly polished fighting game and it deserves to be known. I don’t remember exactly how I run into it, but it could be a shareware floppy my friend bought on a class trip in primary school. We liked the game so much that I’ve convinced him to buy the full version :)

One Must Fall is a fight between… robots. Or rather, human assisted robots (HAR). You can pick one of 10 pilots and then 10 of the robots to fight with. The game offered single player story mode, where each pilot has its own story, goal and secrets to discover in talks with other pilots before matches. But the most fun part was the career/championship mode, where you could enlist into one of four tournaments, fight your way in the ladder and gain money to enhance your bot, resulting in more speed, more energy, etc. There are several arenas, some of them featuring things that can harm you, like electrical nets, spikes or airplane attacks. Each robot has few special moves that joined together could become a combo. At first, fights are easy, but later, in the hardest tournament, to win with certain opponents took great amount of skill. Each bot also has very different playstyle, as not of them were totally human-like. Some were swift, some were slow but strong, some dominated air. In general, the game followed the first rule of fighting games, that each fighter has to be different and learning one does not transfer to another.

One Must Fall was always drowning in mist of mystery. There were insane amount of secrets hidden in the game. Starting from special characters in tournament that had to be found or unlocked (starring characters from other Epic games even, hi Jazz!), through hidden gameplay options, difficulties, ending in whole new palette of special moves and “fatalities” called scrap/destruction moves. None of them were ever described in the manual – Epic just left all these things to be found and figure out. To these day, there are rumours floating, that you can unlock special this or that and noone really knows for sure, because with OMF, all of them seems plausible.

The music was created by Kenny Chou known as C.C.Catch at pc demoscene, a member of the group Renaissance. The game started with few credits displaying as thunder crossed the sky with overwhelming roar. So you had few of these, pressed enter, and then the menu showed up with the music kicking in. It’s energizing, pumping energy into you and asking you to jump into the battle.

Years later, another version was created – One Must Fall : Battlegrounds. But it was too late and noone really cared. The game got transformed into 3D and haven’t received good reviews. It has a nice music remix of the original theme, though, Check it out –

More about One Must Fall 2097 –
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/One_Must_Fall:_2097

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