PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE
Voted the Worst Movie of All Time...
Break new ground in interactive entertainment when you enter the world of PLAN 9.
You are the private investigator who must assist the legendary Bela Legosi, the original Vampira and the totally forgettable Tor Johnson, to recover six missing film reels and rebuild the movie cult classic.
Span the globe through fabulous graphic locations. Discover a wealth of movie memorabilia and get the chance to splice and edit this cult classic using actual film footage.
Extraordinary gameplay guaranteed.
~ from the back of the box
It's a bold move to make a game based on the Worst Movie of All Time™. That's what Gremlin Graphics attempted to do in 1992, playing on the reputation of Ed Wood's notorious sci-fi schlock from 1959. The result is a somewhat competent adventure game.
Perhaps thankfully, the story is not that of the movie, but of the fictional events that followed its production. The film reels have been stolen by Bela Legosi's body double and you have to find them. Almost everyone you meet bears the piercing gaze of Maila Nurmi's Vampira or the distinctive gawp of Tor Johnson, the wrestler-turned-actor that stumbled through his scenes in the movie. The only other characters you meet are the agora wearing Ed Wood and the decomposing Bela Legosi. Each one seems to retain the lack of personality they brought to their film roles, with perfunctory dialogue and surface-level personality.
The game itself is rather easy, with a click everything on everything mentality that can often lead to dead ends and no-win states. Just don't insult anyone unnecessarily and you should be fine. Beyond this, there isn't really any puzzles to speak of. The copy protection was much more difficult to figure out, even with the manual to hand. Eventually, you can swap around scenes from the movie which have been recreated with pixelated sprites. This editing tool is pretty good from a technical standpoint - it is an early 90s floppy game after all, but it will be a while until you get there. First you have to search for the footage.
Most of the reels are stumbled upon in many different locations. These are found through reading articles or exhausting conversations and then given to a taxi driver whenever you want to go there. Being more about the movie industry than sci-fi shenanigans, the sets are disappointingly mundane - moreso than the wonky sets of the movie. We have a shopping mall, an airport an office building. Even jaunts to other countries are just a screen or two devoid of much artistic merit. In this regard, they nailed the source material. There are a few ateempts at joking around but the dialogue is dry and full of exposition as is it was originally designed to be a text adventure. Was this penchant for dad jokes deliberate? Who knows, but all of these faults come together to give it a strange almost unsettling vibe.
Overall, it's a basic and uninspired adventure that wants - nay needs - to be weirder than it actually is. There is little to keep you motivated 'til the end, let alone to follow the clues to the next objective. That being said, its existance is something of an anomaly that I'm glad made it to market.
To download the game, follow the link below. This exclusive installer uses the DOSBox Daum build of DOSBox to bring the PC version to modern systems and FS-UAE with WHDLoad to emulate the Amiga version. Manual included. Tested on Windows 10.
File Size: 106 Mb. Install Size: 227 Mb. Need help? Consult the Collection Chamber FAQ
Plan 9 From Outer Space is © Gremlin Graphics
Review, Cover Design and Installer created by me