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The UNBIBLE

For gameplay advice and broader discussion of single-player Unreal including custom maps, mods and mutations that alter the game.

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Subject: Re: The UNBIBLE

Post Posted: 19 Dec 2011, 23:55

This is my take on it

HUB 1 = Probably the very first version of Nyleve. The Beta version is based on this.
PlayerShip = Vortex Rikers
Mines = Some minor section which evolved into Rrajigar. I remember seeing a shot of the very first room of DIG and it looked more like a cave than a real mine, though that had already a BigMan and the UnBible says otherwise.
Ruins = The only thing near Nyleve which looks remotely mayan/ancient is Chizra - and Ancient.utx definitely has mayan textures. UnBible says that the outdoor section was guarded by Brutes (something like Sacred Passage? But as far as I can read it was supposed to look completely different). Also the Chizra puzzle door probably replaced the rock that had to be moved. We're kind of there I guess.
Castle = This is Dark Arena. In the beta version you still had to cross a bridge to access to it (though it was probably larger before due to Sacred Passage being totally different). This Dark Arena definitely sounds like a much bigger thing compared to what we got. Obviously there's the Stone Titan boss and the arena design described in the UnBible is almost the same as the Dark Arena 97/98 beta one because: the main floor of the arena was a mover and was supposed to be broken; there's lava below said mover.
HUB 2 = Sounds like a combination of all the HUB2 levels and I guess it looked totally different than Harobed/Noork/Trench (though the fact of seeing a crashed ship in the distance reminds me of Harobed-Terraniux). Though the more I think about it the more I'd say FHub4.
Alien Spacecraft = Probably turned into a well known human starship named ISV-Kran. I'm sure that the mentioned small temple is Vandora or something unknown entirely.
SkyCity = The white-themed Sky City from old shots.
Crypt Pyramid = One thing is that Cliffy did a lot of stuff already by that point. This may be either Soledad or maybe one of those removed Crypt levels. Soledad had some sort of underwater passages and back in the day it was even bigger than the leaked version.
Decayed Spacecraft = Terraniux.
Mountain Ruins = Vandora? Velora? Or something new.
HUB 3 = All new I guess.
Crypt Pyramid pt2 = More Skaarj? Lava? Sounds like Morose.
Skaarj Mines = Foundry.
Decayed Ship = Cryox.
Skaarj Fortress = Most probably Nali Castle. Warlord is even hiding there.
Skaarj Mothership = lol

Really not so sure overall since there were loads of scrapped levels.
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Subject: Re: The UNBIBLE

Post Posted: 20 Dec 2011, 08:43

I don't think we can assume that the retail levels appear in the order that they were originally planned. Chizra still feels closer to the description of the crypt pyramid than Soledad to me, but I agree that it would make sense for Soledad and Morose to form the two halves of the crypt complex. What you suggest makes a lot of sense anyway.
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Subject: Re: The UNBIBLE

Post Posted: 20 Dec 2011, 11:17

I'm sure that Epic always had the same order of levels in mind. I think the only time when they changed things is when they said they moved Foundry to a late-game level because it was too hard (Foundry was found right after Rrajigar). I don't remember where it was said though.
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Subject: Re: The UNBIBLE

Post Posted: 20 Dec 2011, 11:37

You may be right, UB. It's just that there are one or two coincidences that make me contemplate other possibilities, particularly around the temples.

On the Ruins:
Deep within the Ruins the player will also find a Chameleon. It can be used to get past the Kraal Lord at the castle entrance.

1 Artifact is found near the exit of the underground ruins


Early pics of Velora Temple showed a Chameleon. The pyramid at the end is clearly designed to house an artifact. Much of the map takes place underground.

While "Pyramid Crypt" resembles Chizra in a number of ways (my italics):

These are the Nali Crypts. This is the first half of the Crypt Area. After the second level, the player takes a water submerged tunnel leading to the second half of the crypts. That half is used much more by the Skaarj. This half is is used less and is much cleaner and less worn and less tarydium is found here. Much of the Pyramid is flooded, so there are many areas under water like Chizra. Pyramid forms also occur throughout the Chizra sequence, such as the first ASMD room, the pyramid that opens the torture chamber, the shapes of the hallways and the shapes of the main rooms in Ceremony. These crypts were also built into and around a volcanic mountain which has unfortunatly become active in recent century. Thus the player will find lava areas. One special feature of this area will be the volcanic core of the mountain. This is an uprising of rock and lava deep within the crypts the volcano is in fhub4, so this was probably changed if the map was moved to an earlier part of the game, but there remains an uprising of rock in a bottomless pit at the shrine in Ceremony and lava around the nearby eightball. The volcanic activity has also resulted in a number of stream vents and lava tubes deep underground, many of them now submerged in water many underwater passageways in Chizra.

Puzzles in this area can involve blasting out thin walls resulting in lava pouring into or from certain areas.

If time allows, we can create meshes of bubbling, flowing lava coming out of vents and passages.

All Types of transformation stations can be found here.

The player will find All types of Skaarj in the Crypts.
The player will find the Razorjack for the first time here. From this area onward, the player will be able to find any type of weapon.

2 artifacts found here the two eightballs?


It's also worth noting that the obelisks outside the temple entrance in fhub4 resemble the Obelisk of the Clouds in Chizra.

Here's a suggestion that will cause you pain, UB: What if Chizra was commissioned to replace Soledad and/or Morose when Epic decided to move away from the more "dungeons and dragons vs. technology" concept that the game originally had to the "living, breathing planet" that we eventually ended up with, before being bumped back to earlier in the running order? :p

EDIT to add: I'm glad Foundry was moved. I'm not sure whether four mine maps in a row could have sustained my interest on my first play-through - they always were among my least favourites.
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Subject: Re: The UNBIBLE

Post Posted: 20 Dec 2011, 12:31

Ye Mountain Ruins must be probably Velora. Beta Velora still had its Chameleon and the Krall were already there. Also they shown that level a lot in those old shots; Vandora seemed to appear later in development.

The Chizra vs Soledad/Morose becomes more funny as it gets because they have a bit of stuff in common (some of the Soledad/Morose concepts ended up right in Chizra/Ceremony like the invisible walkway). I don't know how to answer you to that question but throughout their development I remember Epic removing and re-adding in various beta certain levels, or modifying them. Soledad falls into this as it had many more areas before the 97/98 beta.
The problem here is that they called the pyramid a Crypt, and it's unbelievable there were no original Crypt maps back in the day when you had at that point already Cryox and Velora (there are no other planned Crypt maps in the Unbible besides this pyramid). That's why it's hard to think that Chizra came so later in the game. And I don't know what to think if I saw Chizra with crypt textures. I need to see the old shots and see which maps appeared more often.
Overall I still say Soledad/Morose since: Cliffy did almost everything; no mention of other Crypt levels in the Unbible when by 1996 Soledad was pretty much finished and shown in the old shots; was Chizra ever shown in a screenshot back in the day?

Chizra and Vandora pretty much did their job at replacing the Crypts (and with Crypts we're already outside the Dungeons and Dragons territory since they had a background with the structures being made by Nali, Gods, classic Unreal magical stuff). Maybe they wanted to leave the Crypts alongside Foundry & co for the expansion pack. They even made a concept of a map with an abyss and guess what happened afterwards. Legend had access to the whole Epic database when making their Unreal games and according to Worch RTNP could have been better if they didn't run out of time.
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Subject: Re: The UNBIBLE

Post Posted: 20 Dec 2011, 12:59

If I remember correctly, Kran and Chizra showed up as screenshot packages much later than Soledad.

From "Blinded by Reality" (which I've just archived to a Word document, as most of the web pages seem to be down):

With the game already more than two months late, the Unreal team showed up at the 1997 Electronic Entertainment Expo to exhibit Unreal in GT Interactive's booth. Most of the attendees expected the game to be nearly finished. It wasn't. As Bleszinski remembers, "After E3 last year, we took a lot of heat. People started to doubt the team and wondered what was happening with the game. We looked at the online coverage, and the press had a lot of valid points. We didn't show very much artificial intelligence, and the levels looked too much like mazes and didn't have anything memorable in them. We took that feedback to heart."


The criticism referred to here reflects comments made more recently about the crypt maps in the beta / RTNPUE.

That's why I wonder whether Chizra - in something like its present form, not in Crypt textures - might have been conceived as a replacement for Soledad / Morose before they decided to cut that section of the game all together. Which means we might both be right about what constituted the "pyramid crypt"?

We shall probably never know unless CliffyB and crew are re-interviewed and asked to recall points of detail that they probably won't even be able to remember anyway, fifteen years after the fact. :)
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Subject: Re: The UNBIBLE

Post Posted: 20 Dec 2011, 13:08

Hellscrag wrote:We shall probably never know unless CliffyB and crew are re-interviewed and asked to recall points of detail that they probably won't even be able to remember anyway, fifteen years after the fact. :)


I've always wondered how much developers keep their games in mind. At UnrealSP, we remain true to the original game many years after it was published. Can you expect devs to have a similar attachment?
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Subject: Re: The UNBIBLE

Post Posted: 20 Dec 2011, 13:31

CliffyB probably remembers everything. Some months ago he even answered to Leo about Unreal. It's quite ironic how people called the maps "mazes" back then - when Quake 2 was released, because the levels I played were all terribly inferior to Soledad/Morose.

Also I'm pretty sure they didn't show Soledad/Morose but other unknown maps. Check the 1997 Unreal trailer - there's an unknown, boring-looking Ancient map with lava and some weird-ass high-tech thing filled with Skaarj.
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Subject: Re: The UNBIBLE

Post Posted: 20 Dec 2011, 15:48

Perhaps. I guess Soledad and Morose are just steps in the long journey of Unreal's level design.
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Subject: Re: The UNBIBLE

Post Posted: 20 Dec 2011, 17:00

Would have been more helpful if the Unbible pics weren't lost. All of this talk makes me want to play Unreal and RTNP RTNPUE once freaking again.
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Subject: Re: The UNBIBLE

Post Posted: 20 Dec 2011, 17:41

UBerserker wrote:Would have been more helpful if the Unbible pics weren't lost. All of this talk makes me want to play Unreal and RTNP RTNPUE once freaking again.


Me too, but then I have only played it once!
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Subject: Re: The UNBIBLE

Post Posted: 21 Dec 2011, 10:50

Fuuuuuuuuuuuck
Okay Leo corrected me on something: Crypt Pyramids are not Soledad and Morose but a cancelled set of levels by John Anderson that eventually went in Unreal PSX. Also Skaarj Fortress seems to be actually Bluff Eversmoking and the Alien Spacecraft is not ISV-Kran but something else entirely.

Lastly, new stuff. Written by Myscha, late 1997 (credits: Leo)
UStorylevels.rar

Unreal Story explains the existence of Crypts. And SkyCity's concept sounds cool.
EDIT: freakin' DISSENT
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Subject: Re: The UNBIBLE

Post Posted: 21 Dec 2011, 16:14

More stuff to read - excellent - thanks Leo (if you're reading this).

EDIT to add: Gryphon. :)
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Subject: Re: The UNBIBLE

Post Posted: 21 Dec 2011, 16:22

A lot of that stuff reminds me of the Unreal books. It's nice that even if everything Myscha and co. wanted couldn't go in game, it at least went into the novels.
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Subject: Re: The UNBIBLE

Post Posted: 21 Dec 2011, 16:36

There were a lot of cut Myscha maps. Dissent exists though since it was shown in the xmas 97 trailer (if I am right but it was a decayed-themed structure with bio rifles and Skaarj).

Sooo, ISV = InterStellar Vehicle.
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