January 19, 2017

[Game 062] Out Live (TG16 - 1989)

Translation by Nebulous Translations

Out Live is one of the rare breed of TurboGrafx-16 RPGs that makes it into Inconsolable.  The TG-16 is one console I never got to experience at all growing up as a young gee in da hood (well, middle-class hood), so I'm grateful to be able to experience anything it has to offer.  As one can tell from the sweet title screen, which is so far a future on planet it's astounding, the game has mecha in it, so even before I started playing, my interest was piqued.  Jumping into the mech for the first time, I was treated to a cockpit view of my mech warming up and coming online, until the entire interior was illuminated in all its glory.  The cockpit takes up about 60% of the screen, which normally would be kinda lame, but since these days I play on a much bigger screen than I did in the '90s, it's actually kinda immersive.

Wow, it's so close to my real mech!

In true mecha fashion, there are various large guns available, powered by the nuclear reactor and effectively having infinite ammunition.  There's also an optional weapon component, with depletable ammo like missiles, which can be restocked in any city (for a price).  An energy shield acts as the mech's hit points, and can be replenished either in a city or by a healing potion, er, I mean energy pack.  There are some other consumables but I haven't been able to experiment with them due to low funds.  You see, being the supra-genius that I am, I spent the entire 1,000 space creds that I started with on another main weapon before even leaving the city.  Turns out my purchase does slightly less damage than the weapon I started with and isn't even super-effective against a certain enemy type (at least in the first area).  The inn, er, I mean maintenance bay isn't free and just getting enough victories to finance the stay can be hard on a young mech just comin' up from da hood (well, future hood).  My poor mech took such heavy beatings for the first bunch of combats, since I'd have to survive for as long as possible just to scrape enough creds together for a recharge.

I'd walk it off but my hip actuator
is critically damaged.

As Out Live is dungeon crawler, it was time to break out the graph paper and mechanical pencil, as the lack of distinguishing features in the tunnels can make it easy to become disoriented.  The scrolling is silky smooth, which normally would be a good thing except I'm in a giant robot and the movement should be jerky and abrupt, with a resounding *KERTHUMP* as 50 tonnes of steel comes crashing down onto the ground — probably not the best idea for a dungeon crawler, though.  My initial mapping efforts were hampered by not realizing that enemies can come from the back or the side, changing the facing.  I was too busy looking at my map when combats would start and got turned around a few times, completely screwing up my maps.  Thankfully, things got better after I started paying attention, plus the mech comes equipped with a handy-dandy compass just in case I get distracted by squirrels.  So, after much grinding and selling of that useless weapon, I finally had enough funds to buy the Hawk Missile option, which gives me eight rockets that do over twice the damage of my normal weapon.  I also wanted to stock up on portable energy packs for extended mapping sessions but got roadblocked by the future's worst saleswoman.

Oh, sweetheart, let me mansplain
some basic economics for you.

I felt I was ready to tackle the first boss in the next city's arena, as per my mission to infiltrate the "dueling scene" and also track down a legendary pilot named Braudix.  The battle was notable only because the background was not a tunnel!

Not that I got to enjoy it — couple 'Awks
took care of this dude toot sweet.

This will likely be the formula for the rest of the game, but I hope it doesn't overstay its welcome with too many cities.  The map between the second and third city so far is huge, spilling over the edges of my graph paper and making me seriously consider going digital for map making, though I'll probably keep it real and break out the duct tape.  There's nothing in the "dungeon" either, just dead ends and city entrances, making mapping less fun than if there was stuff to annotate.  Oh well, I guess the recoil on this frickin' sweet new N2 Thunder Gun I just bought will dry my tears.