Generations Lost, Megadrive/Genesis

Generations Lost is a scrolling platform action game for the Sega Megadrive/Genesis, developed by Pacific SoftScape and published by Time Warner Interactive in 1994. And it really is rather good, in spite of it not reviewing so well when it was first released.

You play a young man called Monobe who is searching for his people’s past, and must explore six different areas that initially seem like a wildly overgrown planet. As Monobe begins to reveal the truth about his situation he discovers that he’s not actually living on a planet, but is instead trapped inside a gigantic interstellar transport vessel…

Monobe is kitted-out with a set of futuristic power armour and this allows him to fire upgrade-able energy bolts from a wrist device, as well as use it as a sort of ‘energy rope’ to climb up to higher platforms, and even to use it like a ‘Tarzan’ swing rope in certain situations. He’s also got a set of basic fighting skills at his disposal, such as running, jumping, punching, kicking and rolling. Monobe’s health is indicated by a coloured circle in the top left of the screen. If it’s green he’s healthy. If if drops to amber, and then red, then he’s in danger of dying if he takes more hits. If Monobe does die you’re either sent back to the beginning of a stage again, or to a continue point, which is a gold-coloured device with blue energy swirls moving around it. Thankfully there are also recharge discs that can be found along the way and these will boost his health back up to green again, if he stands on them. The game does have a password system, so you’ll be able to access the majority of it if you can find some passwords online, but playing the game through on expert difficulty is a challenge worth undertaking.

The gameplay in Generations Lost is similar in many ways to Delphine Software‘s classic Flashback, and surviving the hostile environment – and attacks from strange creatures and feral humanoids – is mostly a case of good timing, as well as skilful use of Monobe’s physical abilities. That said: some sections of the game are very tricky and practise is required to survive them. Especially when it comes to using the energy rope.

Generations Lost was reportedly originally intended to be an X-Men game (based on the Marvel comic book), and was probably the victim of cuts as a result of its change of scenario. This may explain why the gameplay is repetitive and the variety of enemies is relatively low.

There’s a hacking minigame later in the game, and alternative routes to take, but generally the gameplay in Generations Lost is mostly about platforming; avoiding traps; neutralising enemies, and occasionally swinging from tree to tree like Spider-Man.

I’d say that Generations Lost is something of a ‘hidden gem’ on the Megadrive that few will have seen before, and it is still well worth playing today. The graphics and animation are superb; the music and sound effects are very good, and the gameplay is well-designed and challenging, without being unfair. Just don’t expect too much from it and you might enjoy it. I played it for the first time recently and thought that it was excellent. The critics who panned this game when it first came out were wrong about it!

More: Generations Lost on Wikipedia
More: Generations Lost on YouTube

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