What starts out as a pleasant cruise on the Lady Crithania in 1921 turns deadly for many of the ship's passengers. Their world turns literally upside-down when they're clobbered by a massive tidal wave. SOS's adventure starts when you take your hero up through the liner's decks in search of survivors and an elusive exit, all with the clock ticking.
- Pick your character carefully. For example, Luke already has the ship's map.
- Be sure to watch what happens with your character before the tidal wave. It might fill in some details you need.
- Don't get too far away from people you've saved, or you'll lose them.
Are You Shore?
The game play takes a little getting used to. Because the boat is upside-down, you see strange sights, like toilets on the ceiling. Although the perspective is weird, you do get help from overhead-view maps as you navigate the ship's myriad decks. Your hero doesn't have to do a lot, just perform basic running and jumping moves that are easy to execute. There is a small learning curve for the controls, but in no time you're springing over platforms and through entryways.
The whole experience would have worked better without some frustrating situations. For instance, it's tense when you find a guy wailing a friend's name, but that becomes a big time waster when you find that he's crying over a lost violin. It's equally troubling when you do some careful climbing, signal your party to follow, and then sit with the clock ticking as they repeatedly miss the jump to reach you.
- Talk to all living passengers, because there may be a tidbit of help in their words.
- You can turn the map, so once you figure out where you are going, you can align it correctly.
- Get used to the controls before setting out on a "real" game. Practice will help you make the most of your time and get you through doors more smoothly.
Courtesy of the SNES's Mode 7 graphics, Vic Tokai's SOS easily rotates the ship on a dime, which adds to the excitement. Your character moves smoothly enough, though the animation isn't nearly as polished as it is in similar games like Prince of Persia and Flashback.
The sound sets a somber mood for your trek, though it's very simple and repetitive. You'll hear an occasional scream when a rescued passenger who's following you falls to his death, but such sound effects are sparse.
A Ship Off the Old Block
The premise behind SOS is great: Your hero has a compelling mission of goodwill and faces serious obstacles, all intensified by a race against the clock. Unfortunately, there are simply too many holes in SOS's layout. I had hoped for some smooth sailing, but the vehicle took on too much water to stay afloat.
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- Machine: SNES
- Manufacturer: Vic Tokai.
In this imaginative adventure game, you're practically a cast member in The Poseidon Adventure. Part action and part puzzler, the challenge here is to find your way out of the ship as well as rescue other survivors.
Also picked up by Vic Tokai is another rather intriguing title that is reminiscent of Prince of Persia. Originally titled Septentrion, S.O.S. casts you as one of the crew members aboard the giant cruise ship, Britania. As you are mindlessly doing your job, a warning is issued to the cruise liner to go to bay and not to press on in their present course. Unfortunately, the captain of the ship does not comply with the orders and shoves onward anyway. Due to the carelessness of the captain, the ship is overturned by a tsunami, causing many people to lose their lives as they are mercilessly tossed about the ship's hallways and rooms. You somehow manage to survive the capsizing, and now must try to radio out for help and get all the crew and passengers together so that they can be rescued. There are many other dangers that you have to face, like falling from dizzying heights to the floor, er... the ceiling in this case. Also, many people will be suffering from shock - and may react negatively to your immediate presence and concern for their safety. Well, that does it for the story, so now it's on to the play mechanics behind this unique title!
The levels are extremely unique - with a whole ship completely overturned, so the doors are up toward the ceiling and stairs are very hard to climb when you are under them.
Sometimes, the whole ship may rock to and fro, using rotation features of the Super NES. But just in case your bearings get seriously screwed up - you have a map that you can select to see just where the heck you are heading.
You are capable of flipping the map upside down, 45 degrees on an angle and even zoom in onto different areas to see what lies ahead of you. The way to read this map is that basically there is a marker for you and there is a funny little red light symbolizing the destination or goal that you are trying to obtain. Along the way, passengers will be screaming in terror and you must reassure them that everything is under control, all while jumping gaps in the floors and climbing shafts and avoiding getting flooded in by a sudden pressure burst of water from outside. Many other perils will come your way as you traverse the reverse of this giant luxury liner. This is definitely one of the most original titles around and should really provide for those players looking for a little diversity.
- Manufacturer: Vic Tocai
- # of players: 1
- Difficulty: Hard
- Theme: Action
The Lady Crithania is a wonderful luxury cruise ship. But when a storm overtakes her, all on board are pitched into utter chaos. Choose from four different men and try to escape. Each of the people has its own skills. Along the way you will find other survivors, and by chance, they might join you. When a giant wave hits, the entire ship is turned upside-down. You have approximately one hour to escape death beneath the waves. Adding to the danger, the ship rolls beneath the waters, tossing furniture about. After a half hour, the ship will crack open, allowing water to flood the passageways. Can you escape? Will you find the way, and brave the dangers of the deep? S.O.S. will be your test...
- Manufacturer: Vic Tokai
- Machine: Super NES
A unique adventure game using the plot right out of The Poseidon Adventure. Get out of a passenger ship that has turned upside-down. Here you must use precise abilities other than kicking, jumping, and punching.