Gratuit: Little Big Adventure Free On GOG

Bon voyage!

I struggle to give firm opinions on games I played in the early-mid nineties, back when I’d only just started playing video games. I remember thinking Little Big Adventure was rubbish, but was that because I didn’t like it or because I was terrible at all video games then? Mysteries. It’s a game many people seem to remember very fondly, so perhaps I was a petulant child? (I can hear Pip crying “WAS?” from the other side of London as she reads this.)

Perhaps I’ll go back and check, as GOG are offering the adventure-platformer free for a day to celebrate launching a storefront en français. Lots of other French games are on sale too.

You’ve got until 7:59am GMT on Saturday to grab Little Big Adventure by looking for the banner on the GOG homepage and clicking it. The ‘Vive la France!‘ sale will run until 4:59am on Tuesday, with offers including Another World for £1.89, Little Big Adventure 2 for £0.99, and Fahrenheit/Indigo Prophecy for £1.89. If you dig LBA, They tell me that the sequel is ace too. Farenheit is absurd and a bit rubbish, and somehow remains po-faced despite being about a Mayan priest fighting AIs, but it’s fascinating for a while. It has a really strong start.

As well as a French translation of the store, today’s launch brings French-language versions of more games and French customer support. I’m planning to move to Paris next year, so perhaps I’ll callously use them to practice talking about video games in French.

43 Comments

  1. Laurentius says:

    This is, if not my favourite game ever, certainly my most formative video game. Of course I have both LBA and LBA2 from GoG already ( I still even have original CDs, let me tell you audio music is just so wonderful). Anyway it’s for free, try it and expereince the magic and glory of video gaming 90’s.

    PS. Saying LBA is rubbish is for me a sacrilege.

    • YogSo says:

      Indeed, Relentless/LBA is also one of my favourite games ever, and the only negative aspect I could hold against it today is the very “peculiar” save system it uses: the game is automatically saved every time you cross one of the “screen boundaries” that divide the game world. You can also save the game manually, but if you ever load it and keep playing from there, the autosave system will overwrite your original save point. So, if you want to keep a “library” of save files at certain points in the game (for several reasons: to replay a favourite area, to rewatch a certain cutscene, etc) you have to do a “copy” of your original save (using the in-game menu) and play that one instead.

      That said, the game hasn’t aged bad at all. The art design still holds strong, and the charming characters, sprawling adventure and engaging plot are all in there, intact.

  2. RuySan says:

    If you thought that LBA was rubbish, then you have no soul. :P

    I also loved LBA2, but it didn’t left such a big impression on me as the first one

    • Shadowcat says:

      Well, Alice, the bad news is that there was a period (from sometime in or after 1994) during which you were missing your soul.

      I’m afraid that we don’t yet know whether you recovered it; however if you play LBA and enjoy it, then I’ll have some good news for you.

  3. Volcanu says:

    Rubbish they were not. But they were rather difficult, particularly the first one and particularly if played with a keyboard if I recall. Maybe that’s why you didnt like it. I do remember repeated deaths due to falling in water, or being murdered by elephants.

    • Turkey says:

      I remember that the most frustrating deaths came from being cornered and stun-locked by two or more enemies.

      • Volcanu says:

        Oh yeah- that too.

        I’m very tempted to give them another go to see if I’m any less woeful than I was back in the day. I do remember it being one of the first games I played where it felt like you could go in any direction you wanted, and at the time that seemed pretty amazing. I have only foggy impressions as to whether it really was that non-linear or whether it just seemed so to me at the time…

        • Turkey says:

          Yeah, I’m curious about that too. I remember being terrified of exploring the world cause there were so many things shooting at you, so you ended up having to run from one safe house to the next. I think I beat it just slavishly following a walkthrough, and as a result I don’t know how open the world really was.

  4. wiper says:

    Ah, Little Big Adventure. The third-best Zelda game of all time, bettered only by Beyond Good & Evil and the astonishing* Little Big Adventure 2. Lovely worlds to explore, likeable characters, and a genuinely sizeable challenge to them. Good old French adventure games!

    One day Nintendo will be able to match up to them, maybe.

    *and astonishingly awkward to control – oh, for a version with modern camera controls…

    • Rise / Run says:

      Everyone talks about how great Beyond Good & Evil is, but I lasted about 15m in it and then quit because of the unskippable cut scenes that would repeat every time I screwed up due to controls I recall as being a bit clunky. I also recall that it seemed to think I was a 7 year old.

      Should I give it another try? And if so, why, really?

      • zapatapon says:

        You shouldn’t, because obviously you’re all dead inside

      • mouton says:

        Myself, I really disliked BG&E. It is, for some reason, really loved by a lot of people, but what I found was – even ignoring the fact that is a horrible port – a colorful game, with simplistic title-denying black-and-white story, cheap tugs on heart-strings (oh noes, the pig guy must have died!) uninteresting characters, and occasionally fun but ultimately uneven gameplay.

        I understand it must have been a formative game for some people, being their early game experience. I can see how that could work, but to me it was unpleasant.

        • Froufrou says:

          If you think about it, the Zelda storylines are at least as simplistic as BG&E’s, these kind of ‘”tale” games, are loved for their poetry, not their complexity.

  5. Rao Dao Zao says:

    We got LBA2 free with our first computer in 2000 and it was the best thing ever.

    I recently played LBA1 from GOG and… By ‘eck it’s traumatic. LBA2 is overally pretty happy-go-lucky, even when the aliens are being evil, but LBA1 is just relentlessly dark. Getting tranquilised meaning you wake back up in a mental hospital with the guard coming to beat you… Yes.

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      basilisk says:

      The combination of cartoon characters and an Orwellian dystopia always was a bit weird, yes. And if I remember correctly, it’s a lot harder than the sequel, and sometimes quite unfairly so.

      Quite frankly, I’d recommend skipping straight to LBA2 to anyone who’s intrigued by this. The story stands on its own; what you need to know is mostly covered in the intro. (Which I’ll freely admit brings nostalgic tears to my eyes today. I absolutely adored LBA2 back in the day.)

  6. Turkey says:

    I think this might be the Frenchiest game out of all French games. It’s more French than Beyond Good and Evil, Rayman and Another World combined.

  7. Kaeoschassis says:

    Farenheit was absurd, yes. It was… quirky to begin with, and went utterly fruitloops about halfway through. But that’s what made it. Rubbish it most certainly was not, and I’ll fight anybody on that!

    • Ross Angus says:

      I was going to half-heartedly stick up for it too, but then I had to admit, Alice is bang on (I finished it and enjoyed it).

    • Lambchops says:

      Ah Fahrenheit. Inspired start, some horrible clunky time skipping storytelling towards the end but a gloriously insane denouement that makes everything worth it.

      Objectively it fell apart somewhat under its ambition and gameplay wise ended up a mess of quick time events, but all the same I can’t help but remember it fondly, though it’s perhaps telling that rather than being as a classic innovative game (which it certainly had the potential to be) I remember it fondly for much the same reasons I remember Disaster: Day of Crisis on the Wii for!

  8. Fletch says:

    I’m an amateur speed-runner that decided to run this game (and it’s fantastic sequel) because they made such an impact on my childhood.

    The original is not the best looker in the world and if you don’t know what you’re doing, it can be damned difficult at times…but by God if it isn’t still a fantastic game.

    Definitely worth playing through, especially for free.

  9. Cropduster says:

    Good god the nostalgia runs deep. First series I ever played.

    I’d honestly recommend playing 2 first, aside from being prettier and set in more varied locations, it is a lot less frustrating. After long periods of repeating the same section due to the uncaring save system, or even dieing because you ran into a bin in athletic mode, that 99p will save you much hassle in the long run.

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      Skabooga says:

      Just in case Alice couldn’t hear that from the other side of London.

  10. Chuckleluck says:

    I came here because the RPS twitter post said “Little Big PLANET”. Now you got me all sad for being a PC gamer, RPS :(

  11. LionsPhil says:

    Odd. I remember having a boxed copy of this, and being deeply disappointed.

    Although I think some of that may be that it was mistakenly advertised as an adventure, back when that world hadn’t quite been so ground down out of meaning by “action adventures”.

  12. Cardinal says:

    No game has ever made me feel so guilty. Out of curiosity I beat up on a friendly elephant NPC. I didn’t think they could be killed, but it turns out they can…. eventually. He turned into a single golden coin. I’m 38 now, and still feel ashamed. Sorry elephant dude.

  13. Jimbo says:

    Absolutely loved this game when I was a kid. Completely charming (check out the dopey dragon on the box art!) but I always remember it as having kind of a sinister edge to it too? It has been about 20 years though so maybe I’m misremembering it.

    I never could get into LBA 2 for some reason.

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      Ninja Dodo says:

      No, you’re remembering correctly. It’s whimsical dark in the same way that Beyond Good & Evil is. I mean the game starts with having to beat up a guard to escape from a prison where you are being held for thinking the wrong thing, and the world which you escape into is nothing if not dystopian, innocent visuals notwithstanding. LBA2 taught me the word ‘dissident’… Shame you couldn’t get into the sequel. Twinsen’s Odyssey was definitely the highpoint for me, though both are great in their own way.

      Desert island, the Temple of Bu, breaking into the museum with a jetpack. So good.

  14. Freud says:

    Little big adventure is a fantastic game and because of how it was designed, I could see it look decent on modern computers.

    I still vividly remember the sound and animation of Twinsen running into things. This game is quirky and charming in all the right ways.

  15. Big Murray says:

    This game makes my soul happy.

  16. Lambchops says:

    I love LBA 2. It’s the first game I completed (despite having to start all over again due to my wandering resulting in a game breaking bug in the final section, leading to a tearful fruitless call to customer support to try and get things fixed) and I’ve replayed it several times since and still loved it every time.

    Got the first one on GOG a while back but could never get into it thanks to the vagaries of the save system. Maybe it’s a case of modern gaming having spoiled me, maybe it’s a new found lack of patience but mostly I think it’s just a terrible save system which gets in the way of my enjoying something I’d otherwise love.

  17. Jac says:

    This is the first game I ever played on a pc and it totally blew me away. You are dangerous and wrong.

  18. Rikard Peterson says:

    I started playing LBA2 and really liked it, but after a while (after returning home from some trip IIRC), when people started shooting me constantly, my interest in continued play faded away. This makes me appreciate the LucasArts school of adventure games (no deaths) more.

    If a game wants me to explore, it can’t keep killing me. That’s no fun. This is also why I disliked the maze in Dreamfall, and quickly went for hints for that part. (I quite liked the game in general.) I don’t think exploring / puzzle solving is a good match with danger. At least not in that way where exploring is “rewarded” by death. That makes the game’s mechanics work against each other.

    If that just means that I’m bad at playing games, so be it. It’s not fun, and there are other games to play and other things to do that are a better use of my time.

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      Ninja Dodo says:

      I think there’s an argument to be made for actual danger as a requirement for tension. If there was no risk, the environment would have lacked the menace suggested by the story. I found it entirely doable to explore via occasional stealth and smart manoeuvring around (unrealistically slow) bullets though I can see how mileage may vary on that.

  19. Press X to Gary Busey says:

    I absolutely hated LBA when I first got it for my Playstation and didn’t play more than an hour.
    A few years later a friend noticed I had it and talked about how amazing it was. We played it all the way through in two or three days. He was absolutely right.

    The difficulty level is pretty backwards. It’s hard the first few hours before you get some items and the game opens up.
    I almost missed a true gem of a game.

  20. Premium User Badge

    Ninja Dodo says:

    Unrelated to games, but:

    >perhaps I’ll callously use them to practice talking about video games in French.

    I recommend this: http:///www.duolingo.com

    Already knew the language some but I’ve found it very useful for filling in the gaps. Also tried it on some languages that I don’t know the first thing about and seemed like a good starting point there as well.

    • Llewyn says:

      Oh my, how did I not know about this? Thank you very, very much.

  21. b0rsuk says:

    This is a very fun adventure/exploration game with a unique and memorable world. Just a word of warning – combat can be very frustrating because enemies are capable of stunlocking you to death. You’ll soon learn to avoid enemies because most of the are not worth fighting. You can treat it as a quasi-stealth game.

    I prefer the first LBA to the sequel, in part because of the darker setting and isometric view. Also the first game is difficult right away, with enemies all over the place. I appreciate the extra challenge.

  22. felisc says:

    Moving to Paris, are you ? Well maybe there you could organize an rps readers meet-up to show those chumps in London and Manchester that they are missing the REAL action… Right ? … anyone ?

    • grom.5 says:

      This. And we can also bring some tea to make you more at home… And some wine a while after because reason.

  23. JamesTheNumberless says:

    Hm, I had the demo of this and loved it, playing it through multiple times. Somehow I couldn’t get into the full game to the same extent. It’s honestly been too long to remember exactly why. Could be that it was frustratingly hard to control

  24. Simbosan says:

    Wonderful game, with an incredible score. I still find myself humming the main theme, decades after playing it.