Final Thoughts on LBA1 – Spoilers all

Home Forums Previous Months 69 – June 2022: Little Big Adventure Final Thoughts on LBA1 – Spoilers all

Viewing 5 posts - 1 through 5 (of 5 total)

  • Shattered

    I beat LBA1 this week and wanted to share my thoughts, I hope I get to read some of yours! Also if you don’t want spoilers, turn back now!

    I am so happy for an excuse to replay a game I loved as a child. I was curious to see how much I remembered and if it held up or if I was remembering with rose colored glasses.

    I’ll start by saying I played both LBA games and my memory definitely blurred the lines between the two. I vividly remembered the starting escape sequence and the construction site at the end, but the rest was almost like playing for the first time.

    Did it hold up? Well unfortunately I was really bothered by a lot of terrible design decisions that I probably had more patience for when I was a child. Here are some things that really frustrated me because I thought they are obvious flaws that could have been easy to remedy.

    • -The save system and having to redo difficult or tedious sections on death
    • -The pickup economy was way too stingy and forced repeated farming where you did know items were
    • -Getting stun locked from enemy fire and unable to do anything until death
    • -Tedious backtracking especially for fetch quests. I really disliked needing to go from the dino fly to the catamaran by walking through the himalaya section. Exploring would have been so much more fun if the dino fly could land on any island
    • -Lack of direction. Without a guide I doubt I would have remembered I needed to fill a flask with water at a lake, etc. Good luck finding the blue key card. I was so confused because the game hid it so well that it made a 4th wall joke about finding it being a glitch, then later it ends up being mandatory!

    But the game is definitely worth playing, even if I’d suggest doing so with a guide. There are things I love about this game and probably appreciated better replaying it as an adult.

    • -The soundtrack is magical. Seriously. Phillipe Vachey is a genius and I’ve had this game’s soundtrack in my playlists for almost 30 years.
    • -The sound design is also really great. The *clack* *clack* to dampened footsteps when running over a carpet. The wobble of the magic ball. The *swish* *swish* of swinging weapons. It is really a nice touch.
    • -The voice acting is so over the top that I love it
    • The strange dichotomy of Fisher Price cartoon characters living in a 1984’esque world
    • -I really loved the assault sequence with the rebels for some reason

    I don’t think LBA1 held up as well as I remembered, but I’m pretty sure I’m going to love LBA2: Twinsen’s Odyssey!

    I am definitely going to play through the sequel. I’ve already started it and it really feels like a breath of fresh air after dealing with all the frustrations of the first game’s design. At the beginning of the game, you’re mainly focused on exploring and talking to people and I have a very clear idea of where to go. I’ve also gotten a few really great cutscenes that break up the action. I would hope that anyone who bounces off the first game gives the sequel a try because so far I’m finding it a much more charming and enjoyable game.

    Please! Share your thoughts once you’ve finished, I’d love to read them.


    Hey good job! I’m not quite done yet, but I’ve beaten this game a few times before, so I’m sure I’ll manage this time as well.

    In fact, I’m recording my playthrough and I just posted the first part yesterday:

    So yeah, made it to the Temple of Bu, hoping to finish the whole thing in maybe 3 or 4 of such videos.

    I know LBA1 is very flawed, but I just can’t help but love it to bits.


    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.


    I finished LBA1 over the weekend. I’d agree with more or less everything already said, probably liking it a little less overall. I had fun at times but it could be a bit of a slog to play through even using a guide. The backtracking was a bit much – it took way too long to travel between some locations. Trying to figure this out by trial and error must have taken forever.

    Some of the tasks required way too many attempts, like getting around one of the bulldozers on the construction site or the rolling log in the Temple of Bu. A lot of this comes down to luck as far as I can tell. I found aiming and steering quite tricky in general as I never knew quite how much one press of the key would turn Twinsen. I had to go back and forth to line shots up. If I’m honest, the combat was horrible in general. If I tried to avoid it, I’d run away from an enemy to get past them, often get shot in the back and this would pull me back towards them thanks to the dodgy recoil implentation. Or I’d get shot and pushed back into a wall, then as soon as I try to run away from the wall there was a bug where the game thinks I’m running into it so I keep hitting it. These little glitches really needed ironing out. The PC I was using was a little slower than ideal which won’t have helped.

    The save system isn’t entirely awful – I like that you get a clover for free if you die and it doesn’t reset a lot of the things you’ve done. The game is trying to be fair at least and I was able to forget about saving as intended. It only really bugged me on the trickiest parts where I was repeating things over and over.

    On the plus side, the size and scope of the world is impressive. There was no lack of ambition here for a game of the era. The story could be better told but it certainly has scale – it wouldn’t be out of place in a JRPG. The characters are fun and the world feels quite alive for what it is.

    My problems with LBA aren’t to do with the games age – I didn’t especially love it at the time either. There is a lot to like but it needed some refinement if you ask me, another few months of development to tighten everything up. It isn’t rewarding enough for the time you’d need to put into it. It certainly tried to do something different which is always to be applauded. Their earlier Alone In The Dark stands up better for me overall but I played that one when I was a good bit younger and struggled to the end without a walkthrough so I know it inside out which may be a key factor in loving these games.


    “Their earlier Alone In The Dark stands up better for me overall but I played that one when I was a good bit younger and struggled to the end without a walkthrough so I know it inside out which may be a key factor in loving these games.”

    Yeah, well said. I think this is a huge part of why I love this game: the very fact I played it over and over when I was young, infinitely exploring the world and learning all the ins and outs. By the time I was done I felt so impressed with myself and it imprinted a lasting impression for me.

    Objectively, I can see it’s pretty bad in terms of mechanics and the story is not at all as deep as it’s trying to be. But I still just enjoy being in this world because of the fond memories.

Viewing 5 posts - 1 through 5 (of 5 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

Home Forums Previous Months 69 – June 2022: Little Big Adventure Final Thoughts on LBA1 – Spoilers all