Good Game: Full Throttle (DOS)

Another Good Game

Today its Full Throttle a 1995 graphic adventure game developed and published by LucasArts for MS-DOS (DOS). It was Tim Schafer’s first game as project lead and head writer and designer, after having worked on other LucasArts titles including The Secret of Monkey Island, Monkey Island 2: LeChuck’s Revenge, and Day of the Tentacle.

Full Throttle is set in the near future, the game’s story follows Ben, the leader of a biker gang, who is framed for the murder of a beloved motorcycle manufacturing mogul and seeks to clear his and his gang’s names. A remastered version of the game was developed by Double Fine Productions and was released in April 2017 for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita.

Full Throttle was LucasArts’ eleventh adventure game overall and the tenth to use the company’s in-house game engine, SCUMM. It featured full motion video and action sequences, using LucasArts’ INSANE animation engine, which was previously utilized in Star Wars: Rebel Assault II: The Hidden Empire. It was the first LucasArts game to be released for Microsoft Windows and the first to be distributed only on CD-ROM. It also introduced a contextual pie menu through which the player controls interactions with objects and characters.

In contrast to other computer games of the era, which mostly relied on in-house talent for their voice acting, Full Throttle used mostly professional voice actors, including Roy Conrad as Ben, Mark Hamill as the villainous Adrian Ripburger, Hamilton Camp as the elderly Malcolm Corley, and Kath Soucie as Ben’s ally Maureen. It was one of the few LucasArts games to use licensed music, featuring songs by San Francisco-area rock band The Gone Jackals.

The concept of Full Throttle originated following the 1993 release of LucasArts’ previous adventure game Day of the Tentacle. The company wanted to create a game that could revitalise the genre, and could offer LucasArts greater financial success than its earlier projects, such as the commercially unsuccessful Monkey Island series. Convening its designers, LucasArts expressed to them the idea and encouraged the staff to suggest potential conceptual avenues for the game.

The company specifically asked Day of the Tentacle co-designers Tim Schafer and Dave Grossman to submit a design document outlining games that the two planned to develop afterward. At LucasArts’ request, Schafer and Grossman collaborated to propose prospective third entries in the Monkey Island and Maniac Mansion series. However, Schafer was willing to helm a project by himself, and he proceeded to develop concepts separately from Grossman that summer. Full Throttle was among the five concepts that Schafer submitted to LucasArts; according to Schafer, he produced “a pitch for a spy game, a Day of the Dead game, and a biker game” that later evolved into Full Throttle. Schafer later said that management “hated” the initial pitch, but he revised the design and repitched it with greater success.

It was reported that “it was eventually greenlit on Schafer’s assurance that it would be a hit” as he felt that its protagonist and concept were “more commercial” than the company’s earlier adventures.

Watch the video I made below showing about the first 41 minutes of the game.

Video:

Full Throttle Gameplay.

Developer: LucasArts.
Publisher: LucasArts.
Platform: MS-DOS.
Release: 30th April 1995 (NA).
Genre: Graphic adventure game

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