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Heart of the Alien is a cinematic puzzle game that was released for the Sega CD in 1994. It was produced by Interplay Productions and Delphine Software and released by Virgin Interactive Entertainment.
Out of This World (which was released earlier for multiple platforms) was one of the earlier puzzle/cinematic games where the player controlled Dr. Lester Knight Chaykin, a physicist who, during an experiment gone very wrong, ended up being hurled to a distant planet. The player had to figure out what to do in order to make his way through the game, solving puzzles in various situations and working with an alien "Buddy" (real name unknown) at times in order to hopefully eventually escape.
Heart of the Alien is the Sega CD-exclusive sequel where the player this time around controls Buddy, which takes place right after the original left off. Buddy must make his way through his village (which he was the leader of) to confront and defeat a mysterious villain known as The Warden (that was introduced at the end of Out of This World) that attacked his village and to free the imprisoned members of the area. Like with World, the player must figure out how to get through certain scenes and situations (with a little help from Chaykin) in order to beat The Warden and the game.
Both games are on this release.
Out of This WorldEdit
The player is presented situations and they must figure out what to do and how to get out of the situation by using ingenuity and a certain control scheme.
For instance, a new game begins in an underwater area, which Chaykin and part of his work area is suddenly transported there. The player must figure out what to do (and rather quickly) to keep Chaykin from drowning and escape from the area.
Once that is accomplished, there are giant leech-like creatures that slither around in a couple of scenes immediately upon exiting from the water, which can kill Chaykin if the player does not dispose of them. The player will also have a run-in with a big beast that chases after them, which, upon escaping the beast, Chaykin will face a couple of locals (on whatever planet he is on) who will shoot him with a laser gun, which he will reawaken at some point in a cage with Buddy.
The game and story evolves from there, as Chaykin, once he is able to escape from the above, acquires a gun that can not only be used as a weapon, but also generates a force field and a super shot that can destroy walls and guards' force fields. Unfortunately recharge stations for the gun need to be found to keep its energy up so the player can defend themselves.
Destroying circuits throughout the game also helps the player out with various circumstances, along with draining a reservoir, helping out Buddy a few times (without him, the game cannot be won), defeating guards and several other dangers in several more compounds, and even manipulating the controls of an escape pod (among other objects) near the end.
If the player is able to beat the game, the final scene shows Buddy picking up a wounded Chaykin, then mounting a pterodactyl, which then flies off to places unknown.
Heart of the AlienEdit
Once the player starts up a game of Heart of the Alien, it shows a cinematic sequence, starting where World left off, with Buddy and Chaykin on the pterodactyl-like creature, which lands in the ruins of Buddy's village. The rest is a cross of a flashback of when The Warden and his men infiltrated the village, enslaving and killing various people, along with Buddy being imprisoned with Chaykin and how they escaped (which mirrors the gameplay from World), then ends at the present time.
Once the game starts after the sequence, the player must figure out how to maneuver Buddy throughout the alien landscape, which includes getting past beasts and various other dangerous areas, such as some kind of cactus-like plants that will expunge what appears to be acid and will kill Buddy upon contact, more acid dripping from a cavern ceiling (as well as an acid pool), some deadly mists, and getting past lethal bats so he can acquire his whip, which is his only means of defense.
Once getting past the natural death traps, Buddy will find himself in a prison, which he must figure out how to escape and defeat guards, deactivate electrical traps and enlist the help of Chaykin a couple of times in order to advance. Unfortunately -- and as shown in another cinematic sequence -- at one point during the game, Buddy is discovered and knocked around by The Warden, which Chaykin pulls him to safety, but ends up suffering a massive shock in the process when he is thrown into an electricified room when he attacks The Warden, trying to extract his revenge for harming Buddy.
After Buddy comes to, the game resumes with him further descending into the underground complex, overcoming more guards, deactivating more electrical traps, getting past or killing various creatures and using various devices to solve puzzles with (including two he has to collect and detonate in order to make his way further into the game) until he makes it near the end, which a box will fall on him in one of the last rooms, knocking out his whip in the process.
Right after that occurs, he runs into The Warden, which, if the player performs the correct actions to make it through the scene, Buddy will whip The Warden onto a trap door, which he will spring open, causing The Warden to fall through, triggering the last of the cinematic sequences. In the sequence, The Warden is horrified in being trapped in an area of the prison with angry inmates and one of the beasts that is seen several times throughout World and Heart of the Alien. He motions to fight it out one-on-one with Buddy, but Buddy throws a lever to release the beast, who, after a brief fight, drags The Warden away.
The freed inmates then set fire to the prison, and Buddy picks up Chaykin, who, as it turned out, was actually electrocuted to death, and he gets cremated. The sequence then forwards to a later time when Buddy's village is rebuilt and he gazes out at Chaykin's crematorium right outside his house (or office), which was left as a memorial, and the game ends with a bunch of pterodactyls flying off.
Out of This WorldEdit
Heart of the AlienEdit
- Out of This World was released for several platforms, including the 3D0, the PC (two versions; the original one in the 90s and an updated one in 2006), Amiga, Apple IIGS, Atari ST, SNES, GameBoy Advance, and mobile phones. The one included with this package is identical to the Genesis version, except for the music, some sound effects, a minor detail or two during the introductory cutscene, and in-game voices were changed, plus the controls are a little looser.
- Some of the passwords are glitchy, as, at some points when the player dies (particularly in the underground section where the player has to collect the explosives and detonator), guards will come back to life, and if the player dies again, the password will sometimes revert to an earlier one once the player presses a button on their controller.
- When Heart of the Alien is beaten, after there are several credit screens and all, and what seems to be a thank you screen lists Bolt Thrower for some reason. It is unknown if this is just a nickname of one of the team members who made the game (or just someone that had something to do with it) or a thanks for the death metal band's music or what, as members of Bolt Thrower had been contacted in regards to this message, but none of them had ever heard about it.
- ↑ E-mail from Harm Schotanus, curator of the Bolt Thrower FAQ, who had received an e-mail from Bolt Thrower bassist Jo Bench: "...as for the thanks.... i'm stumped!"