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One Must Fall: 2097
Developer(s) Diversions Entertainment
Publisher(s) Epic MegaGames
Designer(s) Rob Elam
Platform(s) PC (MS-DOS)
Release date(s) June 15, 1994
Genre(s) Fighting
Mode(s) Single player, multiplayer
Rating(s) OFLC: G8+
Media Floppy disk, CD-ROM, download
System requirements 386

One Must Fall: 2097 is a fighting game for the IBM PC compatible, programmed by Diversions Entertainment. It has a sequel, One Must Fall: Battlegrounds.



Screenshot showing Crystal (in the blue Jaguar HAR) fighting Jean-Paul (in the red Shadow HAR).

Released in 1994 by Epic MegaGames, One Must Fall: 2097 replaces the human combatants typical of contemporary fighter video games with large Human Assisted Robots (HAR). These HARs are piloted through a physical and mental link to the human pilots; however, this is merely a plot concept, and it is never shown on-screen, nor does it factor in to gameplay. Eleven HARs and ten customizable pilots are available for play, along with five arenas and four tournaments. The pilots vary in strength, speed and endurance, thus the many HAR/pilot combinations allow for large replay value.

Unlike in most fighting games of its time, the arenas (except one, the Stadium) contain hazards. For instance, one arena features spikes coming out of the wall that can damage your robot, and one has a floating sphere that, when struck, triggers a fireball from the floor under your opponent.

The game has two main play modes: One-Player Mode, in which the company that markets the robots, World Aeronautics and Robotics (WAR), is holding a competition among its employees to decide who will be selected to oversee the establishment of the first Earth base on Jupiter's moon, Ganymede. The second mode is Tournament Mode, set three years after the first tournament, where HAR battles have become the premier source of entertainment for Earth and you, a new competitor, must win prize money to improve your machine and ultimately become the World Champion.

The game was later patched to include multiplayer support. On February 10, 1999, the game was declared freeware by the developers.

The ten pilots available in Story Mode are:

  • Crystal Devroe - A genetic engineer trying to uncover the truth about her father's mysterious death.
  • Steffan Tommas - A young sales representative who aspires to become the new president of WAR.
  • Milano Steele - The only son of WAR's founder who wants to take back the company and restore its former glory.
  • Christian Devroe - Crystal's twin brother who is convinced their father was murdered by WAR and is out for revenge.
  • Shirro - WAR's Public Relations Director who planned the competition and wants to ensure its success.
  • Jean-Paul - A brilliant market analyst with a bitter grudge against WAR president Major Kreissack.
  • Ibrahim Hothe - A robotics engineer seeking inspiration for new HAR designs on Ganymede.
  • Angel - A mysterious competitor with no known past or history with the company, later revealed to be a Ganymedian.
  • Cossette Akira - A space station designer and parapalegic, wanting to develop technology to walk again.
  • Raven - Major Kreissack's bodyguard who has his own visions for the company's future.

The ten main HARs and their features are:

  • Jaguar - concussion cannons
  • Shadow - creates duplicates of itself
  • Thorn - monomolecular spikes
  • Pyros - flamethrowers
  • Electra - electric bolts
  • Katana - monomolecular blades
  • Shredder - detachable magnetic hands
  • Flail - two swinging chains, wheels
  • Gargoyle - wings, air dominance
  • Chronos - teleportation, time manipulation

The eleventh HAR, the Nova, is the final battle in story mode, and is only playable in tournament mode (or through a special cheat on the player selection screen in story mode). It is equipped with heavy missiles and grenades, and is by far the tallest of the available robots. Each HAR has three special attacks that can be discovered (except for Shadow and Nova, who both have four), along with a "scrap" and "destruction" move (similar to fatalities in Mortal Kombat) that can earn bonus points and, in some cases, unlock secrets.

Using destruction moves in the tournament mode in the higher difficulty levels sometimes results in the player being challenged by an unranked opponent. Defeating that opponent and using a destruction move on their robot occasionally yields secret components which can be installed on the players HAR, significantly improving the effectiveness of certain special moves and sometimes adding new ones.

Devan Shell, one of the many secret challengers in the game.
Eva Earlong, another secret challenger in the tournament mode.

Secret challengers include Jazz Jackrabbit, Devan Shell, and Eva Earlong, the hero, villain, and damsel-in-distress respectively, of the Jazz Jackrabbit videogames, also published by Epic Games around the same time.

Differences between the shareware and full versions

In the shareware version:

  • The Ordering Info screen is different from that in the full version.
  • Only a portion of the soundtrack (three songs in all) is included, and two of the songs differ from their full game versions.
  • Raven, in the Pyros HAR, is the boss, and in order to fight him, the difficulty level must be ROOKIE or higher.
  • The Power Plant is the only playable arena.
  • North American Open is the only available tournament.
  • Crystal, Steffan, Milano, Christian, and Shirro are the only playable pilots in story mode.
  • Jaguar, Shadow, and Thorn are the only robots playable in both story mode and tournament mode. Pyros is playable, too, but in tournament mode only.
  • HYPER mode is unavailable.
  • The button-input sequences for each HAR's Scrap and Destruction moves are different (only in previous versions of OMF)

In the full version:

  • Major Kreissack, in the Nova robot, is the boss, and in order to fight him, the difficulty level must be VETERAN or higher.


Rob Elam, and his brother Ryan Elam[1], developed the entire video game, with exception to the sound system and the music. Even the sound effects were created by Ryan Elam.

Credits as shown from the Outro:

  • game design - Rob Elam
  • programming - Rob Elam
  • artwork - Rob Elam
  • animation - Rob Elam
  • game design - Ryan Elam
  • programming assistance - Ryan Elam
  • sound effects - Ryan Elam
  • sound system - Joshua Jensen
  • musician - Kenny Chou

(Kenny Chou was also known as CCCatch from the demoscene[2]).


  • The music was created by Kenny Chou (a.k.a. C.C.Catch) from the PC demo scene, who was a member of the group Renaissance. The music was done with Scream Tracker 3.
  • An early freeware beta was released of this game simply titled One Must Fall, featuring two characters who greatly resembled Ryu and Ken of the Street Fighter series.
  • Different versions of the game had varying CPU AI flaws. Example: certain versions had all AI opponents not guarding themselves against a Shadow's or Thorn's special moves.

External links

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