The Quest To Reclaim Identity: Flashback Dev’s Subject 13

The CV of Paul Cuisset, lead designer of Flashback (plus the oft-infuriating but semi-brilliant Future Wars), is a bewildering one. King of the world after Flashback, surely, yet his follow-up to it was Shaq Fu. While that no doubt bought him a mansion made of solid gold basketballs, his titles since suggest a slow decline, with his once-great studio Delphine Software International closing down in 2004. Follow-up company VectorCell met an abrupt end in 2008 after a Flashback remake and disastrous horror game AMY failed to generate requisite digital funbucks.

I would have predicted a Kickstarter any moment now, but looks like he’s instead gone traditional and partnered up with a publisher for his next effort, Subject 13, which is billed as a return to his acclaimed sci-fi adventure roots.

Details are sparse, including those on intended platforms, though “French-developed adventure game won’t be released on PC” is a relatively unlikely headline, eh? The plot synopsis we do have definitely evokes Flashback, though frankly it sounds more like his Delphine colleague Eric Chahi’s rather more more timeless Another World.

Here we go:

“In Subject 13, players will take on the role of Franklin Fargo, a reclusive physics professor. Fargo leads a solitary and bitter existence following the death of his fiancée, Sophie, during a robbery that should have targeted him. One morning, he wakes up in an abandoned underground scientific facility with no external contact other than a mysterious voice. The voice calls him “Subject 13.” As Franklin Fargo, players will interact with the 3D environment around them by collecting, using, and manipulating objects to overcome a multitude of devious barriers to the professor’s escape. Fargo’s goal is to not only set himself free but discover the true reasons for his imprisonment — can he escape from the prison of his past?”

‘Franklin Fargo’, eh? How very Stan Lee.

It’s unclear if this is a pointer-clickerer, a shooty-jumpy affair in the manner of Flashback, or, as the concept art above suggest, something with a touch of the Portals. Let’s hope for a game with some of the spirit of Flashback and Future Wars, but modern-day rather than consciously retro design values.

Release date, platforms, trailers, in-game screenshots, we don’t gots ’em, but we do know that Microids are on publishing duties. More soon, no doubt.


  1. Ravenholme says:

    Surely that should be “would have predicted a Kickstarter”. I’m fairly sure the grammatical usage of “predicated” does not fit there, and completely sure that the chemistry/science meaning of the word also makes no sense in that context.

    Sorry to nitpick, just struck me as a bit odd. (And equally, if it does make sense, I would love for someone to tell me and explain why. I mean, I could see it making sense if it was “Predicated on his track record I would have expected a Kickstarter any day now, but..”)

    On another note, this could be interesting, but it is a setting that is getting done a lot, these days, and as mentioned, Cuisset doesn’t have a great track record of late.

    • Convolvulus says:

      If I were to nitpick, I’d have gone with the bit about VectorCell meeting “an abrupt end in 2008” despite their final game launching in 2013.

  2. Premium User Badge

    Oakreef says:

    TIL the same guy was behind Space Harrier, Flashback, Shaq Fu and AMY.

  3. aleander says:

    bitter existence following the death of his fiancée, Sophie, during a robbery that should have targeted him.

    Sheesh. That tired old trope. The surprise twist better be that he actually is Sophie.

  4. Mungrul says:

    Don’t forget Operation Stealth!
    I loved Delphine games back in the ST days.
    Is there any way of getting and playing them now? Never seen them on GOG.

  5. Darth Gangrel says:

    The only game by Delphine Software that I have played is Darkstone (1999), a very nice and enjoyable Diablo 1.5-ish game. Quite a bit easier and less grim than Diablo, but charming in its own way. I haven’t heard of the company since, but apparently their other games (which are unknown to me) are more famous.

  6. TechnicalBen says:

    “a reclusive physics professor” I’m tired so read that as “a recursive physics professor” and was expecting some other gameplay mechanics…