One Must Fall:2097 was a fighting game developed by Diversions Entertainment and designed by Rob Elam. It was created in 1994. Epic Megagames produced One Must Fall.
One Must Fall was one of the original fighting game for the PC. The game involves quick action and fights between giant robots. The game was extremely fast compared to some of the other games for the time and in addition had scaleable time. The gameplay was different from all other fighting games of its time. The tournament mode elements are rarely seen even today.
Though it came out early in the life of the Internet, many newsgroups found the game to be extremely exciting. The gaming magazines were quite merciless with the game. It is one of the rare jewels that were shunned because they were somewhat rougher or hidden inside the shell. In addition it was a fighting games and it appears weaker then Street Fighter 2 which came out a year before.
The single player game was a simple fight through 12 or so combatents. The gameplay is extremely simplistic in single player as you just smash the oppenents mech using moves.
The true gameplay of One Must Fall was hidden in the tournament mode of the game. It allowed you to participate in a mock tournaments where you have to purchase parts for your robot and also train your pilot to increase speed, endurance, and power. Each upgrade actually changed the way the robots felt and moved. Power upgrades noticeably changed how much damage was done. Agility upgrades noticeably changed how fast each attack animation takes. No other game had attempted a RPG element to a fighting game before One Must Fall and only a handful have since.
The options of the game allowed a lot of customization. The player can change the speed, what moves works, if air blocking is allowed, strength and many other things to change the game.
In One Must Fall there was multiple types of robots. The complete list is as follows
Each robot has obvious positives and negatives. Nova is an extremely heavy hitter
, while Shadow is extremely fast. Gargoyle is an excellent air fighter while Flail can't get off the grond normally.
Each robot has a couple special moves and each move acts a little different then other robot's move. The Jaguar mech has a charge, a flip and a spitting venom move that acts similar to a venom. The Flail has a spinning attack, and the Shadow has shadow form attacks. No two robots are similar in their moves.
The scoring system of the game is important in tournament mode. While it is not too important to the money it will give a small bonus to your funds. The combo system is very nice as it is somewhat hard to pull off, isn't completely critical and very minor strikes are about all most players will get. A 6 hit combo is quite rare for the game. In addition to combos the game also counts consecutive hits. The amount of hits you can land with out getting hit back determines the "consecutive hits". If the amount is high enough there is a bonus that the player can get. The bonus is not as high as a combo bonus, for an example, one can get a two hit combo for ten thousand dollars and twenty consecutive hits count for about the same amount.
In addition to the game, there is a actual network multi player mode, that still can probably work with the Internet. There is a Modem Link, a Serial Link, a Bulletin Board Link, and a IPX Link network sessions. The IPX session needs a DOS driver. It is unknown if it will work under Windows at all. The multi player game is actually quite fun but as the game is simplistic, it is not too heavy and won't compare to Tekken or Virtual Fighter or any recent games.
And then there is the small pieces of the game. After a fight, the nightly news reports on the fight. There is prebattle taunts, and just ever piece of the game seems to work perfectly together.
The graphics of the game were not too revolutionary. They were interesting and beautiful at the time, and you can see there are a lot of pieces of machines flying around to signify hits, each robot does appear different, and each attack is quite unique. The game is sprite based but well built. Even in the slowest mode of the game, the models look beautiful, though they are certainly dated.
The sound and music of the game is well made, and certain fits the mood, the music is definitely nice thought there is probably only one song to the whole game. The sounds make you feel like you are in the battle. Overall it was stunning for it's time.
All this and more come in a game that can be run under DOS, with the famous 640k barrier still in place. The game still runs as good as it did on the original systems that it was meant to play on. The speed function of the configuration doesn't need to be tweaked nor does any program need to steal cycles from the CPU to make it work correctly. Overall the game does stand up to old school values, and is still quite enjoyable today.
In addition Diversions Entertainment
is creating and publishing One Must Fall Battlegrounds
which is a 3d fighting game, that is nothing like the original. It is currently in the beta
stage and has not set a release date]. It appears to be a less of a fighting and more of a third person fighting experience if there is such a possibility.