Full Throttle

Developer: LucasArts
Release Date: 1995

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Stealin' his gang? Bustin' his bike? Framin' him for a crime he did not commit? Hardcore biker-gang leader Ben won't tolerate that. And whoever messes with Ben is in a world of hurt!

When ailing bike tycoon Corley, owner of Corley Motors, aproaches Ben and his gang, the Polecats, to escort him to a shareholder's meeting, Ben is reluctant, insisting that the Polecats are not thugs for hire. But what Ben didn't count on is Corley's scheming VP, Adrian Ripburger, whose ulterior motives not only put Ben and his men in danger, but could also spell certain doom to biker culture itself.


Released in 1995, Full Throttle, the tenth LucasArts Adventure game made with the legendary SCUMM engine is by many viewed as one of the best adventure games ever, and not without merit. Combining great graphics (for it's time), great voice acting, authentic heavy metal soundtrack and most importantly: great story with complex and immersive plot; Full Throttle draws the player in to experience the treacherous american highways of the near-future by the hardened (but lovable) anti-hero Ben.

Graphically the game is a vast leap forward from its predecessors, including The DIG which, while released after FT, was still in production when work on this game commenced. The Characters and backgrounds are rendered in MUCH more detail than was previously possible. Additionally, instead of cutscenes being made with the game engine itself, Full Throttle was the first LA adventure released that featured real animated cutscenes, adding even more life into the story.

So the visuals are great, but is the sound on par? Oh, you'd better believe it! First of all, most the music you hear in Full Throttle is made by a real heavy metal biker band called The Gone Jackals which, while not originally made for the game, fits it perfectly. As for voice talent, the roles in Full Throttle are mostly manned by professional voice actors, most of which really define their characters perfectly. Ben himself is voiced by the late Roy Conrad, whose deep and raspy voice really suits his role, while the main villain, Rippburger, is ironically enough voiced by none other than Luke Skywalker himself: Mark Hamill, in a fittingly sinister way.

Game play itself is also pleasing. The puzzles are neither moronically simple nor sadistically frustrating, entertaining the player while keeping his/her braincells active. The controls are simple and innovative, introducing the concept of what I like to call the Pop-Up Tattoo Interface, where actions are taken by holding the left mouse button on an item, making an interface in the form of a tattoo appear. The player then chooses one of four actions to enact on that item; fist for using items or picking them up, Mouth for talking, eyes for making observances and foot to kick stuff. (this form of interface would later be reused for Curse of Monkey Island). Meanwhile conversation would be done the same way as in most LA adventures: by selecting from various lines of dialogue.

The best feature of the game though, as I have already insinuated, has to be it's story. While its tone is darker and more serious than the previous LA adventures, the elements of the classic absurdist LucasArts humour still abounds, lightening the mood where it applies. The characters are not very complex, each having an obvious role in the story reinforced by the amusing caricature design. But this fortunately doesn't detract from the story in any way, and may even add to the overall charm. The game also stays true to LucasArts' "game design philosophy" where getting stuck or dying is impossible (although the latter rule is bent some near the end of the game).

As great as this game may sound though, there are two perceived flaws it does have. First of all it is not what some would consider a "pure" adventure game. In fact, there are a few 'action' scenes where progressing the plot will not depend on regular puzzle-solving. Fortunately none of these 'action scenes' are overly difficult to handle and unless you are a complete adventure-game purist, this will probably not bother you.

The other perceived flaw however has to with the game's length. Full Throttle is rather shorter than most, if not all, LucasArts games, prompting some to consider it more of an 'interactive movie' than a full fledged adventure game. This is regrettable especially due to the quality of the game, but fortunately it doesn't have any detrimental effect on the story.

Nevertheless, Full Throttle is a great game and easily one of the adventure-game classics. And if you haven't tried it yet, you should, right now!

By: Einsi