Forgotten Worlds, released by Capcom themselves in arcades across the globe
in 1988, was, the first of Sega's reprogrammed versions of Capcom's
late 1980's coin-op bombshells, around the time when the Genesis first showed up in the
spotlight in 1989 and Altered Beast was the pack in game (Yes, I'm talking
about pre-Street Fighter II era for Capcom and pre-Sonic the Hedgehog era
for Sega). This was followed by other works: Ghouls n Ghosts, Strider (the
first three titles that I mentioned also had Sega Master System
translations, but the 8-bit version of Worlds only stayed in Europe), and
MERCS, their very little known military overhead shooter. Then in 1993, Sega
ended this saga of picking up Capcom's slack with the overpowering Sega CD
translation of the "one-man-army" hit, Final Fight, which blew away the
Super Nintendo version out of the water with it's faithfulness to the
arcade. After that, Sega let Capcom do their own thing with them.
This game is centered around two
muscle bound soldiers in the Forgotten World, a planet that was once living
life to the fullest and now it's ruled and infested by monsters, aliens and
dragons. These two
muscle bound, camouflage-wearing, Terminator look alikes (they both wear
"sunglasses" and one of them has a funky looking mohawk) are called The Nameless
Ones, for the simple fact that they carry no real names (that's actually a paradox right
there, but whatever.)
The graphics, mmm mmm mm! Need I say more? The Genesis system was
powerful enough to imitate the intro from the arcade game, and that also
includes the in-between stage cinemas, the game-over screen, a gruesome
picture of the soldiers getting blown away, and the ending. I also noticed
that in some parts of the game, the same font used for other Capcom games
like Final Fight and Street Fighter II (the original all the way up to the
Turbo Edition) is used.
As for the gameplay, those who have played Capcom's NES
game Section Z will feel right at home with the gameplay and the controls,
well, with a little R-Type seasoned in it because you fight with a weapon
satellite in front. The gameplay style of Worlds and Section Z have one
thing in common: you can shoot from both directions front and back, but in
this case, shooting is done in rotating in all eight directions. The right
button (C) rotates the satellite to the right and the left button (A)
rotates the satellite to the left. One of the game's options is rapid fire,
and that doesn't mean hold the button down. Becuase all you're concentrating
on is which way you rotate the character and the satellite, the game with
fire by itself and will never turn off. This is also one of those games
where if you die on time, the game is over; unless you have a rescusitation
potion or play in the two player game where the players can continue as much
as they want. Ideally, most people beat this game on the two player mode.
The one player mode will fire so many shots as if it thinks you have 2
The sounds of FW are a little top notch, not to mention that the arcade
music is replayed with a synthesizer due to the Genesis's sound technology
limits. They're still mood changing though no matter how it sounds. Both
boss music and the ending are the best tracks in the game.
The way different weapons are obtained is that you buy them. You can also
buy first aid packs that increase your lifeline, and an armor that takes a
few hits protecting you and it breaks off making you physically immune to
shots. Every stage, a shop comes up at a specific point, but the further you
get, the higher the prices of new weapons are. The current in Forgotten Worlds is called
"zenny", also used in later Playstation games like Mega Man Legends and Breath of Fire 3.
Also in my Gunsmoke review,
the stuff about the Yashishi (the pinwheel looking icon), and the PoW. I was
wrong. When I played this game again, I noticed that both those 2 icons
appear in FW also, and it could be their last appearance for sure.
So what is the nameless pair doing now? Well, in the early 1990's, TTI
(Turbo Technologies Inc.), the makers of the Super CD ROM system (that's
Turbo Duo to us), took this game and made a SCDROM version of it, in fact, I
believe a Turbografx 16 version exists also which is supposedly slightly
better than the Genesis version. But after that, nobody hardly cared about
the game anymore, and went into hiatus. The same thing happened to Strider.
But in 1998 and 99, the nameless soldiers..or at least one of them, got a
little taste of the new revolution of console and arcade gaming with an
appearance in Capcom's arcade, PSX and Sega Dreamcast super smash, Marvel
vs. Capcom, as a special back-up hero, under the name "Unknown Soldier".
This is another outstanding, almost addictive shooter that must never be
overlooked. The two player mode is just as fun as the one player mode though
it's insanely hard. Check Forgotten Worlds out, you won't regret it.