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Full Throttle (1995)

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Full Throttle is a graphical adventure game, originally developed in-house and released in May, 1995 by LucasArts. It was the tenth game to use the SCUMM adventure game engine.

One of the more cinematic and polished of LucasArts' adventure games, its story features the hero, a biker-gang leader called Ben Throttle (his last name was never revealed in the game), attempting to find out who double-crossed him and left him for dead in a dumpster, and why. It was praised for its polished feel and engaging story, but generally considered to be too short and easy by the games fan community. Full Throttle was also one of LucasArts' most adult adventure games, featuring melee combat, murder and general malevolence.

Full Throttle screenshot

Full Throttle running in ScummVM

The game was released only on CD-ROM, featuring a full voiceover soundtrack. The project was led by Day of the Tentacle creator Tim Schafer, who was also its writer and designer, and featured the vocal talents of Roy Conrad (as Ben) and Mark Hamill (as Adrian Ripburger)-- known to be a consistent contributor to LucasArts' games. It was also one of the only LucasArts games to use externally recorded music, courtesy of the Gone Jackals. Certain tracks from their (at the time) current album, Bone to Pick, were featured in the game.

In 2003, development on a sequel, Full Throttle: Hell on Wheels, began; a video teaser was released and an interactive demo was shown at E3 that year, but shortly afterwards the game was cancelled.

Story

Plot summary

The story is set in a dystopian future where motorized vehicles are giving way to anti-gravitational hovercrafts. A hardened biker named Ben is the leader of a motorcycle gang called the Polecats. As his gang rides down Highway 9, they come across an expensive white hovercraft limousine. Ben, in the lead, unceremoniously drives over the limousine, crushing the hood ornament. Unknown to the gang, the limo belongs to Malcolm Corley, the CEO and founder of the last domestic motorcycle manufacturer in the country, Corley Motors. Intrigued and impressed, Corley demands his driver catch up to the gang.

As Ben and his gang relax at the Kick Stand Bar, Corley approaches. Malcolm befriends Ben with stories of his past adventures as a biker. Before long, Corley's sinister vice president Adrian Ripburger enters the bar and asks to speak to Ben privately, outside. He asks Ben to have the Polecats appear at the upcoming annual Corley Motors shareholder's meeting as an "escort". When Ben declines, he is knocked out and thrown in a dumpster by Nestor and Bolus, malicious henchmen of Adrian Ripburger. Ben later awakes and attempts to link up with the Polecats, whom Ripburger has coerced into escorting Corley to the shareholder's meeting. However, Ben finds that his bike had been sabotaged when he attempts to catch up. After crashing and falling unconscious, he is discovered by a reporter named Miranda, who manages to bring him to "just the right person". When he awakens, he meets a female mechanic named Maureen (or Mo for short), who patches up his bike with a few parts she asks Ben to retrieve.

Ben finds his gang waiting for Corley while he's in the restroom at a road stop. Meanwhile, Miranda witnesses Ripburger murder Corley outside of the restroom, and manages to take pictures. Bolus snatches the camera while Miranda escapes. After they leave, Ben discovers Corley, and with his dying words, he tells Ben that Ripburger did this to take over the company and he intends to produce mini-vans instead of motorcycles. Ben must set things straight by finding his daughter, who is revealed to be Maureen.

With his gang now jailed in connection to Corley's murder, Ben crosses the desert as a framed fugitive to find a way to clear his name, save his gang, and prevent Ripburger from turning Corley Motors into a minivan producer. He crosses paths with other motorcycle gangs: the speed-addicted Vultures (of which Mo is later found to be a member), the brutal Rottwheelers, and the enigmatic Cavefish. After much ado, which included crossing the Devil's Canyon using Vulture's accelerating device, Mo's attempt on Ben's life (since she is assured Ben has murdered her father, and remains so until she sees the pictures Miranda have made) and the fiery demise of Ripburger's henchmen, Ben arrives at the shareholders meeting in time to catch Ripburger announcing his reign over the company. Ben and Maureen expose Ripburger as the murderer with the pictures Miranda took, and broadcast the last will and testament of Malcolm Corley, who names Mo the rightful successor to his company. Exposed, Ripburger flees the scene. As Ben and Maureen ride away, Ripburger makes one final attempt to ram them off the road in his semi-truck. Maureen's gang, The Vultures, arrive in time in a land-driven cargo plane to immobilize Ripburger's truck. The vehicle comes to a screeching halt over a bridge demolished earlier in the game, and after a final conflict, Ripburger is dropped into the gorge below. Corley's funeral follows, and with the Polecats freed and Maureen in her rightful place, Ben rides into the sunset on his bike.

Characters

  • Ben (voiced by Roy Conrad) is the protagonist of the game and a biker gang leader, though the other Polecats spend most of the game in prison with Ben trying to get them out of it. Ben's entire name appears only in the manual as "Ben Whatsisname". Tim Schafer stated that Ben's last name is "Throttle" but it wasn't included in the game because of fears of a legal action by the producers of Biker Mice from Mars, which featured a character by the name of Throttle.[1].
  • Maureen "Mo" Corley (voiced by Kath Soucie) is Malcolm Corley's illegitimate daughter and, secretly, a member of the Vultures. She has a stoic and skeptic personality, and works as a mechanic. At the end of the game, she inherits her father's company and abandons her biker lifestyle. However, as shown in the trailer, she was supposed to return as a biker in the sequel.
  • Malcolm Corley (voiced by Hamilton Camp) is the owner of Corley Motors, the last domestic motorcycle manufacturer, and a patriarch of the biker society respected equally by all gangs.
  • Adrian Ripburger (voiced by Mark Hamill) is the Vice-President of Corley Motors and the main antagonist of the game. .
  • Bolus (voiced by Jack Angel) is Malcolm Corley's bodyguard, secretly in league with Adrian Ripburger.
  • Nestor (voiced by Maurice LaMarche) is Malcolm Corley's driver, also in league with Ripburger, who describes him as the "smart one" of the two henchmen.
  • Suzi (voiced by Tress MacNeille) is the leader of the Vultures. She is the brains behind an operation to stop Ripburger.
  • Father Torque (voiced by Hamilton Camp) is the former leader of the Polecats. As the "wise old man", he gives Ben advice on his journey.
  • Darrel (voiced by Nick Jameson) is second in command of the Polecats under Ben.
  • Emmet (voiced by Mark Hamill) is a long-haul trucker with an intense hatred towards police and bikers. He is killed when the Cavefish attempt to hijack his truck.
  • Todd Newlan (voiced by Mark Hamill) lives in a trailer in Melonweed. He owns a junkyard. His best (and only) friend is his dog.
  • Miranda Rose Wood (voiced by Pat Musick) is a news reporter who saves Ben in the beginning of the game. She witnesses and photographs the murder of Malcolm Corley.
  • Quohog (voiced by Mal Friedman) is the bartender of the Kickstand. He's a bit of a coward, and easily pushed around.
  • Horrace (voiced by Bill Farmer) is a souvenir salesman at the Corley stadium. According to the game's manual, he had taken too many falls from bikes without a helmet, but Corley expressed sympathy and gave him a job.
  • Mavis (voiced by Nick Jameson) is the projectionist for the Corley Motors shareholder meeting presentation.

Gangs

  • The Polecats are a relatively normal, outlawed biker gang led by Ben. They spend most of the game off-screen in prison.
  • The Rottwheelers are considered to be dumb, ugly brutes, reflected in their choice of heavy, powerful vehicles.
  • The Vultures are a reclusive gang that favour extremely fast, agile machines.
  • The Cavefish are an underground biker cult known for psychotic behaviour, eccentric dress and strange technology.

Voice cast

Full Throttle employed plenty of skilled voice acting professionals, such as Kath Soucie, Maurice LaMarche, Tress MacNeille, Hamilton Camp and Mark Hamill. Full Throttle was the first computer game to employ mostly Screen Actors Guild registered professional voice actors instead of relying entirely on in-house talent, and also featured a few pieces of copyrighted music.

See also

External links


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