The One: Remembering A Legend

Review by superluigi77 on Wednesday, April 18th 2012
Click to play The One

The One is a game created by obeliskos


This review is going to be a little bit different. Instead of reviewing a single game I'm going to be reviewing an entire series of games. This particular series of games has become little known by the Sploder members of today as the vast majority of the games in this series are no longer accessible. The only one that can still be played is the one listed above. That's right. I'm reviewing the "The One" series, created by the one and only Obeliskos.

Before I can delve into this series I should first explain to all of you who and what Obeliskos was. So few of us remember him. He left us many years ago after making quite the name for himself here. He was an avid opponent of art game makers and especially those who would actually play art games. He made a couple of games speaking out against art games. They just never made any sense to him and honestly they don't make much sense to me either. His disdain for art shown through in his own games which were by no means artistic, but still very, very good. He focused on substance rather than outward appearances, which is a mindset that has been lost on most of us these days. (But it is still a very valid, one mind you.) In an ultimate twist of irony, though, Obeliskos did at one point create an art game. It was simply entitled "The Game" and all it was was "The Game" spelled out in polygons. Btw, you just lost the game 3 times. And so did I. (Curses!)

Unfortunately, before Obeliskos left us he decided to make private all of his games save for the original "The One" which has since been placed in the Epic Game Library. I have recently uncovered a small portion of his old games through a little internet magic and with the help of a few good friends. (Yall know who you are.) Included in these games were several games in the "The One" series which is how I am able to do this review. Speaking of reviews, I believe I am supposed to be doing one right now so I'd better get to it.

The One

The story behind this series of games is a vast and scintillating one. The entire story remains lost until we can restore the remainder of the series. I can say this much about the story, though. The plot revolves around a young man named Sean who voluntarily joined USAAA, the United Social Assembly Across Asteroids. He is sent upon a solo mission, about which he knows hardly anything. With each game the story continues to unfold.


The first thing you all need to keep in mind about the "The One" series is that it was made in 2008 and thus Obeliskos was working with a lot less then we have today. The beauty of his work was that despite working with less he still managed to accomplish more with his games than most of us today. One thing he was very good at was finding the not-so-obvious uses for everything. He could even turn your allies against you. (Although, I don't believe he featured that trick in "The One".)


Hmm... Not much to see here. A green corridor obstructed by either doors or weak walls. (You can't really tell which going by the thumbnail.) A normal wall on either side of the player further confines your movement. Not really anything to comment on. Some people don't like simplistic thumbnails like this. I don't mind it. It adds a bit of mystery going into the game as it doesn't reveal anything. It gives you almost no idea as to what you've gotten yourself into. (Much like when you began reading this review.)

The One in General...

The games themselves hearken back to a simpler time, a time when a game didn't need to be a work of art in order to be considered good. As I said before, Obeliskos didn't try at all to be artful in his games. Each game in the "The One" series was rife with challenges and struggles. One particular trap that Obeliskos favored was forcing the player to allow himself or herself to be taken by a chain of pushers and eventually requiring the player to later again traverse the chain from the opposite direction using a shrewdly placed invisibility power-up. The trick is in not picking up the power-up too soon and getting yourself stuck by the pushers with no way out. More often than not that's how I lost games. This trap does get a bit repetitive after seeing it in every game. In retrospect it would have been nice if he changed up his trap selection from game to game instead of having a default trap for each one.

Mission Impossible?

This is a series of very challenging games. I, myself, have not beaten a single one of them but have made significant progress on each. If and when you decide to give these games a chance do not expect to beat any of them on your first try. Or your second try. Or your third try. Expect to beat them on maybe your 6th or 7th attempt. A lot of things contributed to the difficulty of these games, namely obe's signature tricks and traps as well as a healthy does of enemies and a not-so-healthy dose of power-ups.

Examining the Opposition

As for the enemy placement, Obeliskos did a very good job, or rather a good job for the time period in which the games were made. The problem with a lot of his battle scenes was that they could easily be defeated by manipulating a certain pair of glitches that I'm sure Obe wasn't aware of at the time, or by using up some of your probes to kill the enemies for you if nothing else will work. Despite the lack of danger from his enemies, you can tell that he put a lot of thought into how he played each and every one of them. It's obvious that he attempted to place them in a manner so that they couldn't be so easily beaten. (But again, he didn't seem to be aware of those aforementioned glitches.) A good example of one of his precise enemy arrangements comes from the first of the series. It is the very first battle scene and it is a big one. Obeliskos starts off his game by pitting you against a battalion of ballistic bogies; You are greeted by a pair of hyperactive launchers and then given a nice welcome from a horde of mobile fighters while at the same time beckoned in further by a pair of manic mortars. It's all designed so if you recklessly delve in you surely will be destroyed. If you take a more subtle approach, however, you can escape without a single scratch on your armor.

Nurse, Get This Man a Megahealth, STAT!

As far as items were concerned Obe tended to give you what you needed and little more. You would have just enough to survive until your reach the next group of provisions. In terms of judging a game's item placement that's about all you can ask for. He didn't need to get too creative with his placement to make it effective.

Mission Analysis

I will be doing this section a little differently this time. Instead of a report card I'm going to be grading via a checklist of aspects expected in your standard epic game(s). A "Yes" is worth 2 points, and a "No" is worth 0 points. A "=" is a sort of "sort of" mark. It is worth 1 point.

Was Enjoyable to Play: Yes

Is Worth Playing Again After You've Beaten it: Yes

Inspires Users to Play Until They've Beaten it: No

Influences Other User's Game-making Styles: Yes

Battles, Traps, and Puzzles All Worked Well: =

Was Aesthetically Pleasing: Yes

No Glitches Present: No

Items and Power-Ups Were not Lacking nor Abused: Yes

Creativity and Unique Concepts Displayed: Yes

Is Worth Playing and Attempting to Beat: Yes

Score: 15/20


"The One" series may not be enjoyed today as it once was but that doesn't mean that you should not give it a chance. It is a truly transcendent group of games. For older members it makes us nostalgic for a time when Sploder was so much simpler. For newer members it gives them a glimpse into Sploder's storied past, back when so many of our greatest members first began their march towards epicness.


Dr. Greenstache's Time machine

For the sake of this review and everybody who wants to see the rest of the "The One" series here are the links to some of the games I unearthed. Be wary of the ground on which you are about to tread. It is sacred.

The One - Return:

The One - Mellow:

The One - Escape:

The One - Sedated:

The One - Challenge:


Shameless Self-Promotion Time

I will soon be releasing to the forum an audio review. (Don't ask for your games to be in it. I've already chose then ones I'm doing, and yes, I will being reviewing multiple games.) For you MS members I will also place a link to it here or in a separate review. With any luck it will be finished soon!


The One Reviewed by superluigi77 on Wednesday, April 18th 2012. The One: Remembering A Legend - A game review written by superluigi77 for the game 'The One' by obeliskos. Rating: 4