Reply To: Final Thoughts on LBA1 – Spoilers all

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Hey, I’m glad you managed to beat it! Pat yourself on the back, it ain’t an easy feat! I’m of the opinion that the greatest issue with this game is as you said the lack of direction and guidance, it feels pretty aimless at times, so I feel no shame in looking up where to go next. It’s just a sign of the times, trial & error was a far easier pill to swallow at the time and it made games feel longer than they necessarily were.

I have a very good friend with whom I beat this game again a few years ago who happened to play a demo of it on PS1 way back and he had such a detailed memory of the prison entrance of the game, even though it was such a small demo that ended as soon as you got out. I’m sure part of it has to do with age and being a kid.

As a side note, you can somewhat get around the stun-locking by pressing CTRL just as you get hit, this essentially cancels the *hit animation, though it works much more smoothly in LBA2. But yes, the stun-locking has prevented a lot of people from enjoying these games and it can get very ridiculous very fast in the original game.

As I’ve said, I happened to play LBA1 quite a bit later than LBA2, probably around 2002 or 2003 and as such I was more warm to the “fun adventures of Twinsen” sort of vibe from the second game. The first game offers a far more serious and delicate premise, which initially caught me off-guard, but I’ve become quite warm to its idea in recent years. My main gripe is that they don’t really do anything with it. You are presented with this dictator figure and an entire totalitarian regime that seems to allude to Mussolini’s 30’s & 40’s Italy or perhaps some of the many other military coups of the 20th century, the protagonist (and I assume more characters) is imprisoned for dreaming the destruction of the planet! That’s such a cool premise and the whole dreaming part can be extended beyond the concepts of messiah complexes, benevolent deities and evil leaders (or corporations) destroying the planet by means of exhausting resources. It could also just be an allusion to just… dreaming. Imprisoning people for literally dreaming a better, safer world or whatever. What a great idea!

And yet the game does very little with these concepts. Bad guy trying to make a whole in big ass construction site, kidnaps your gurl because we have to have a damsel in distress (thankfully Zoe is a bit more of a character in the second g ame) and then you have a final showdown of sorts. I was pretty disappointed when I finally beat it back in 2005 or so.

And yet, it still holds a lot of charm for me to this day, despite all that.