Cut items and features (Apocalypse)

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X-Com Apocalypse - History

A collection of features cut from the final release:

  • Hidden features which can be easily found in the game folders.
  • Removed items with some remnants of their intended purpose found by exploring the game code.
  • Pre-release beta versions containing some working features but were cut to meet a production deadline.
  • Features mentioned throughout the production timeline but were removed.

and

  • Supporting information relevant to the official release.

Introduction

Two excerpts from the official Mythos Games website explaining a vision of what the game could have been, versus the reality of hardware limitations and time restrictions.

After completing this game I know how Francis Coppola felt after filming 'Apocalypse Now'. Just about everything that could go wrong did go wrong, and the amount of effort required to pull it into shape was immense. After three years of hard work and five different producers 'X-Com: Apocalypse' finally hit the streets. The initial game design was definitely too ambitious and too complex. The aim was to recreate in some detail the events, organisations and personalities within a futuristic megalopolis. Each corporation had a leader who could be tailed, arrested, interrogated or assassinated. Organisations could buy and sell buildings as their financial fortunes changed. X-COM agents could spy on other organisations to gain valuable information. A sophisticated diplomacy display allowed the player to instigate aggressive or defensive alliances with other organisations.
There were multiple alien dimensions, generated pseudo-randomly, and the aliens gradually expanded their empire as the game progressed. The game also featured a scenario generator and multiplayer options using a hotseat turn based system or a real time LAN option. Most of these features were implemented to some degree, but were finally stripped out due to the horrendous amount of work involved in QA and debugging. We decided right at the start of the project to include an option for real time tactical combat or turn based. This decision alone caused many of the headaches for the programmers, but the final implementation of the real time combat stands up as a truly innovative system.

Source:

Game Storyline
The year is 2084 and human civilization has undergone some fundamental changes since the last alien incursion. In an attempt to overcome Earth's problems without abandoning the planet altogether, self-contained cities called Megalopolises were erected around Earth in the year 2046.
Game Play
The majority of the game play takes place within the largest Megalopolis on the planet, MegaPrime. This vast city, however, is more than just a combat zone. To play the game well, players must immerse themselves in the society of Megalopolis, learning key information through interrogation of suspects and the investigation of organizations within the city. At the start of each game, the city of Megalopolis, the character skill sets and the alien universe are all uniquely generated to increase game replayability.
The in-game action of X-COM
Apocalypse falls into three distinct phases. The player investigates many strange, inexplicable incidents throughout the city. Inevitably these lead to conflicts with alien entities and their servants, in all kinds of locations within the city. The second phase features aliens beginning to send their larger invasion forces into direct, real-time combat with X-COM attack craft above the city. The final phase involves real-time squad level combat action sequences using an updated version of the familiar X-COM combat system. The aliens invade the city, running amok in the huge buildings and drawing players into the strange alien dimension. Players can choose either turn-based or real-time combat.
Additional Game Features
The X-COM agents have the same abilities as in the earlier X-COM titles with many additions including interrogation skill, perceptive ability, biochemistry, quantum physics understanding, forensics, engineering, sanity, driving skill and flying skill. The action is more lifelike, featuring SGI-rendered agents and aliens that can crawl, jump, climb, kneel, stand, run and walk.

Source:

SGI:

Pre-Release Versions

There are four builds known before the final version:

  • Debug Only sent out to "Quality And Assurance/Debuggers", no public release. This X-Com Apocalypse version contained all of the cut content and cut functionality in its current state at that time before it was removed. Additional options were unique cheats to aid in testing the game. A total of nine randomly generated alien dimensions were planned (three were complete) with an alternate ending if X-Com did not find all nine alien worlds.
Alternate endings:
1) Earth is destroyed due to X-Com's failure to succeed in combat, destructon of all bases, excessive negative funding. (Very Bad Ending)
2) Planet Earth is teleported into the main alien dimension due to massive infiltration then stripped of resources with the remaining population becoming slaves or food. (Bad Ending)
3) X-Com destroys the main alien dimension but does not discover the other dimensions which the aliens have populated. Earth appears to have been saved but is eventually destroyed as revenge. (False-Win ending) 
4) The main alien dimension is either destroyed or sealed once all other dimensions are discovered or conquered. (Good Ending).
  • First Beta This X-Com Apocalypse version was unstable due to the removal/disabling of content and functionality which was chosen earlier to be cut. The nine dimensions were scrapped in favour of just one human world and one alien world with the main antagonist being the Micronoid lifeform. (Alternate Endings #1 and #2 were combined when the player lost (Bad Ending) with a new winning ending being made: "We did it! Yeeessss!" (Good Ending). It frequently crashed due to missing data, a broken research tree, and program critical errors. It was not possible to complete the game unless cheats or work-arounds were used. A working "Skirmish Mode" and a "Multiplayer(Peer-To-Peer) Mode" were present but was prone to errors and desynchronisation.
  • Official Demo An official public release made available on 15th April 1997. It contains a single, playable battlescape combat mission.
  • Second Beta Not intended for wide public distribution. A common pre-release build of X-Com Apocalypse which was mostly complete except for intermittent crashes and missing graphics in certain areas. Remnants of the cut content and cut functionality were present within the gamefiles but all had been removed or disabled when playing the game, with a few exceptions. Some of the disabled content is still present within the installation and can be found via editors but has no use in-game. The executable (xcomapoc.exe) has a date of 12th June 1997 which is after the official game release due to planned patches and corrections. This build contains remnants of the "Skirmish Mode" with complete removal of "Multiplayer Mode", which did not work.

Final Release

Once the game was stable, two global versions were released in 1997 on compact disc. A United Kingdom (UK) version and a United States (US) version with both using DOS-version files:
DOS versions use UFO2P4.exe and TACP4.exe. These are the original final-version files. Common on CDs.
Windows uses UFO2P.exe and TACP.exe These are the enhanced final-version files made specifically for the WIndow95 operating system. Digital distributions use the Windows files versions. Some may not. There are minimal differences between the two with the most obvious being the different title screens for the two regions.

Cut, Deleted, Removed, Hidden

  • "UFOpaedia" text is sourced from UFOPAEDI/paedia.mt, from the commercial release of X-Com Apocalypse.
  • "In-game text" is any text that appears within the Agent Equip screen or if on a battlescape when using the cut content.
  • "Debug text: only appears if any previous versions had relevant text.

Name Change

Mega-Primus was originally called "MegaPrime"

Agent Equipemnt

Mind Shield

Cut Item MndShld (Apocalypse).png
Xcom3-mindshield.png

UFOpaedia: The Mind Shield is an expensive, clumsy device which protects the wearer from Psionic attacks.
In-game text: <none>
Debug text: Psionically Protect Unit, Lend Psionic Strength, Psi-Drain, Psi-Lend, Psi-Unpanic, Psi-Unstun.

This device was intended, as text above, to complement an agent's psionics skills and functionality. The removal of this device was not complete and it still can be found within Marsec owned buildings when performing a raid however, it can only increase an agent's Psi-Defence skill when it is active (denoted by a white outline) and held in the hand. The device has an unintented effect of permanently increasing the Psi-Defence attribute if the Mind Shield remains active when the mission is completed or that agent has escaped the battlescape.

ForceWeb

Cut Item ForceWeb (Apocalypse).png
Xcom3-forceweb.png

UFOpaedia: An energy beam device which can render a target immobile for a short period of time. The target remains conscious but is unable to move or use equipment.
In-game text: <none>

This weapon was to behave like weak version of the Stun Grapple but with a local area-effect stun. It was designed to capture multiple small units within a small 3x3 area or for use against a single large alien. Prior to removal, the stun grapple was unable to affect large lifeforms so this was the weapon to use. The Beta version of the game has a working weapon but without any animation effect. It was to use the Energy Pod ammunition. The fire-weapon sound effect is the same as the Stun Grapple.

Dimension Destabilizer

Cut Item DimenDestab (Apocalypse).png
Xcom3-destabilizer.png

UFOpaedia: An X-COM developed Disruptor Beam weapon based on Alien technology. It is a faster firing and more effective weapon than the Devastator Cannon.
In-game text: Destabilization. A device based on disruption field research which could be used disable Alien disruption shields.

This weapon was to be an X-Com derived version of the alien's disruptor weapon technology with the same recharging function but able to fire rapidly. Intended to fit between the Disruptor Gun and the Devastator Cannon within the research tree. Energy Pod ammunition is relevant to this weapon somehow but having a recharging function may have been caused errors, prompting removal. The fire-weapon sound effect is the same as the Devastator Cannon.

Energy Pod

Cut Item EnrgPod (Apocalypse).png
Xcom3-energypod.png

UFOpaedia: <none>
In-game text: Disruptor Beam

This ammunition object is used by two weapons: ForceWeb and Dimension Destabiliser. This ammunition does not work. Transtellar facilities may still have this item appear within their buildings (from raiding) in early versions of the game. See DOS vs Pentium versions.

Dimension Force Field

Cut Item DimenFF (Apocalypse).png
Xcom3-forcefield.png

UFOpaedia: <none>
In-game text: Incendiary

This weapon has no effect and has an unknown purpose. The name suggests it was used to project a defensive barrier as a sort of instant cover or to block passage through a doorway etc. Sound is unknown.

Tracker Gun

Cut Item TrackGun (Apocalypse).png
Xcom3-trackergun.png

UFOpaedia: NOT USED
In-game text: Tracker Dart

This weapon was used to tag units (typically VIPs) on the battlescape to allow them to be tracked across MegaPrime if they escaped the battlefield or if X-com units retreated and fled the mission. Their position would be similiarly marked as with X-Com agents when they use people tubes in the final release but would instead, use a "red man and yellow circle" icon. The "marked" person was then able to be stunned and captured on a subsquent mission (a raid?) and since they were "tagged" they would be sent to the Cells within an X-Com base. It used a fire-weapon sound unique to this weapon (TRAKGUN.RAW).

Tracker Gun Clip

Cut Item TrackGunAmmo (Apocalypse).png
Xcom3-trackmag.png

UFOpaedia: NOT USED
In-game text: Tracker Dart
This ammunition object is used by the Tracker Gun. It used an ammunition-impact sound unique to this projectile (TRAKHIT.RAW).

Multi-Tracker

Cut Item MultiTrack (Apocalypse).png
Xcom3-multitracker.png

UFOpaedia: NOT USED
In-game text: <none>

This device was used to locate tagged individuals on the battlescapse which were earlier marked with the Tracker Gun. The device uses a mini-map screen similiar to the in-game Motion Scanner but only displays the marked target and the user as a simple white dot.

Alien Detector

Cut Item AlnDet (Apocalypse).png
Xcom3-detector.png

UFOpaedia: <none>
In-game text: <none>

This device was used to find Micronoid infected units that were not currently hostile to X-Com within the battlescape. The game allowed some infected units to not automatically become hostile as a way to infiltrate an organisation at a later time, by not being killed. The device uses a mini-map screen similiar to the in-game Motion Scanner but is more accurate and uses coloured dots.

Psi-Grenade

Cut Item PsiGren (Apocalypse).png
Psibomb.png

UFOpaedia: A device which causes a Psionic disruption blast. Any target with high Psionic capability is particularly vulnerable to Psi-grenades. The blast will drain Psi-energy and possibly render the target unconscious.
In-game text: Psi-Blast

This weapon was a thrown grenade which, upon exploding, would cause units to "Panic" by reducing their Psi Strength, Psi Defence skills would also reduce their Bravery attribute based on a percentage calculation. The effect of this grenade, "Psionic Blast", was removed also. Does not use any sound effects.

Facilities

Security Turrets

Security turrets were used within some X-Com facilities. Turrets were used to suppress any uprisings and to thwart any attempt of rescue of prisoners or live aliens during a base defence mission. Alien Containment in the final version still has the turrets pictured within the UFOpaedia entry but these do not appear if the facilty is built. Other facilites which were cut also had some security functionality. Security Stations are the only facilities in the final version which use turrets.

Advanced Alien Containment

Cut Facil AlnCont (Apocalypse).png
Xcom3-bigaliencont.png

UFOpaedia: NOT USED IN GAME ANYMORE!
In-game text: To secure and research large or dangerous Alien life forms

An X-Com facility which was an advanced version of the normally available Alien Containment. It was designed to hold the large lifeforms (Psimorph, Megaspawn, Overspawn and Queenspawn) and had its capacity tripled. An extra function of this facility was to allow X-Com agents to interrogate the aliens to extract information. Advanced security turrets were present.

Cells

Cut Facil Cells (Apocalypse).png
Xcom3-cells.png

UFOpaedia: NOT USED
In-game text: <none>

An X-Com facility intended as a prison to hold hostages, criminals, politicians, etc. It functioned as similiar to laboratories but agents were assigned to interrogate prisoners by using their (cut) skills of Interrogate, Perception, etc. Security turrets were present.

Advanced Cells

NO IMAGES REMAIN of this cut item.
UFOpaedia: <none>
In-game text: <none>
An X-Com facility intended as a prison which had further functionality to that of the smaller Cells. The Advanced Cells added torture as an additional interrogation technique. This was cut early due to corrupted graphics, error-prone turrets, program crashes etc. Advanced security turrets were present.

Repair Bay Vehicles

Annihilator
Police car

Base defence missions which contained a Vehicle Repair Bay would have a vehicle appear inside the facility. The vehicle was vunerable to damage and could be destroyed. The cut feature was removal of an vehicle appearing but the facility remained in the final version and still has a vehicle pictured.

Units

Each corporation had a leader who could be tailed, arrested, interrogated or assassinated.  X-COM agents could spy on other organisations to gain valuable information. "Mythos Games"
  • Every organisation had a Leader which usually resided within their Corporate Headquarters or Temple but was able to travel around MegaPrime to conduct 'business' such as extortion, coercion, sabotage, assassination, etc.
  • Each organisation could recruit a Spy with a set of skills that allowed them to assume the identity of others, obtain information by stealth, influence their command structure, steal technology, assassinate etc.


Politicians And Very Important People

"Vipttl.pcx" UFOpaedia Title Page - VIPs

UFOpaedia: !!!!Blank - Unused (WAS VIP TITLE PAGE)
In-game text: <none>
Debug text: VIPs, Police Chief, Politician, Corporate Boss, Gang Boss, Alien Attacks VIP, Crazed VIP Attacks VIP, VIP spotted. Do you wish to tail this VIP?, Observe VIP.

These unit types were able to be captured via the Tracker Gun weapon and then placed into the Cells facility. Information extracted via interrogation provided details of alien infestations, inter-organisation relationships and possible unit locations. If the imprisoned unit was not longer useful, a ransom could be offered to return this inportant person, or they could be executed if deemed a threat.

Gang Leaders

S-title.png
Cult Of Sirius Leader
Diablo Gang Leader

UFOpaedia: <none>
In-game text: <none>
Debug text: Squad Leader, Gang Leader, Cult Leader, Gangster, Psiclone Gang.

These unit types were used in the game as similair to Politicians and VIPs. All unique characters were removed except the two pictured.

Android Civilians

Android civilian.png

UFOpaedia: <none>
In-game text: <none>

These unit types were used to complement MegaPrime's varied population. Cut early however remnants can be found when "Probe Unit" or "Control Unit" is used against civilians and security. Their portrait picture may show an Android image but everyone (by attributes) is classed as human. No hybrid portraits are present anywhere unless hired by X-Com.

Agent Abilities And Skills

  • Interrogation

An agent's skill in persuading imprisoned units to divulge information and to influence an organisation diplomatically. Agents were assigned to the "Cells" facility and had a graded ability similiar to the 60↔100 skill of technical personel.

  • Perception

An agent's skill which complemented their Interrogation skill when interacting with prisoners. Perception also influenced an agent's ability to notice things on the battlescape and improved their accuracy and reaction attributes.

  • Forensics
Xcom3-investigate-alien-sctructure.png

An agent's skill which complemented the Perception skill when looking for obscure information within a battlescape such as evidence of alien infestation within buildings, humans infected with Mriconoids, clues to other alien dimensions, etc. It would also assist in successful extortion of an organisation if objectional evidence was found after a stealth styled mission. An important skill which was needed to discover the intended purpose and any weakness of alien-owned building targeted for future destruction.

  • Sanity

An agent's skill which was comparable to Psi-Defence against psionic attacks. The sanity of an agent determined their willpower to resist interrogation by others, to remain undetected when performing an undercover operation, and influenced their resistance to psionic manipulation. Further discovery of cut features was that the worse an agents sanity, the harder it was for psionics to affect them.

  • Climb
Climbing

An agent's ability to traverse difficult areas by using a unconventional approach useful for stealth and covert operations.

  • Driving

An agent's ability which determined the maximum speed they could drive safely, evade hostile fire, weave through traffic, etc. An agent could be placed within the vehicle as a designated driver but this was removed in favour of autonomous robotic drivers.

  • Flying

An agent's ability to safely pilot a flying vehicle at maximum speed, effectively evade fire, accurately fire craft weapons, etc.

  • Swimming

An agent's ability to traverse bodies of water at speed and efficiency.

  • Technical Skill

Biochemists, Quantum Physicists and Engineers each have an aptitude for their relevant profession. Each type possessed skills for another profession, but at a lower competancy. This may have allowed a mix of professionals to assist others.

Bio-Chemists have 10↔50 skill in Quantum Physics.
Quantum Physicists have 10↔50 in Biochemistry and also 10↔30 skill in Engineering.
Engineers have 10↔-30 skill in Quantum Physics.

Organisations And Relations

Diplomacy

Diplomatic posturing between organisations cut early.

Real Estate

Buying and selling of buildings by auction. Cut very early in develppment.

UFOpaedia

Temple Of Sirius

UFOpaedia: <none>
In-game text: <none>
A UFOpaedia entry which was the old "Temple Of Sirius" building picture: 24sensod.pcx. It has been replaced with 33sirius.pcx.

City Walls

City Walls

UFOpaedia: <none>
In-game text: <none>
A UFOpaedia entry which implied something about City Walls.

Cityscape

Building Names

Raven ReachesMahler BuildingThe Gugarin InstituteLincoln Tower The Armageddon CentreCyborg InstituteDescartes TowersStellar ApartmentsLone Ranger ApartmentsCyclops MansionsDurruti BlockBlue Doctor ProjectEnlightenment TowersRenaissance BlockSlum City

Every building name which is numbered, each has three names. <building name ONE>, <building name TWO>, <building name THREE> with the only exception being Warehouse names, which go up to <Warehouse TWELVE>.


Battlescape

People Tubes

People Tubes corrupted palette
Error creating thumbnail: /bin/bash: warning: setlocale: LC_ALL: cannot change locale (en_US.utf8) /bin/bash: line 1: /usr/local/bin/convert: No such file or directory Error code: 127

UFOpaedia: The People Tube network is the mass transit system for the whole city. The anti-gravity pathways suspend the traveler above the floor and safely propels them at speeds of about 25 miles an hour.
In-game text: <none>
A UFOpaedia entry which is located within the "Buildings" entry. People Tubes is the only building within this category which cannot be chosen as a battlescape however, the normal text (above) remains in the game. Uses shopping mall features and geometry.

Car Park

UFOpaedia: <none>
In-game text: <none>
A battlescape which was removed and replaced with a Shopping Mall map. UFOPAEDI folder contains 04carprk.pcx.

Hotel

UFOpaedia: <none>
In-game text: <none>
A battlescape which was removed and replaced with a Luxury Apartments map.

Atmosphere Processor

UFOpaedia: <none>
In-game text: <none>
A battlescape which was removed and replaced with a Hydro Farm map.
UFOPAEDI folder contains 04atmos.pcx which is identical to 17police.pcx.

Ruins

UFOpaedia: <none>
In-game text: <none>
A battlescape which was removed and replaced with a Slums map.

Spaceship

UFOpaedia: <none>
In-game text: <none>
A battlescape which was removed and replaced with a Space Port map.

Outdoor Parks

UFOpaedia: <none>
In-game text: <none>
A battlescape which was removed and replaced with a Procreation Park map.

Vehicles And Items

Structure Probe

UFOpaedia: <none>
In-game text: <none>

This device was the 'point' on the front of the Dimension Probe which had the purpose of 'probing' an alien building to discover any possible entry points and to get basic understanding of the structure's purpose. A squad of forensic specialists and supporting agents (see above: Agent Abilities And Skills) were then able to land and explore the structure for evidence of advanced technology, its use, hidden accesses, and to find structural weaknesses to enable future destruction. As a cut device, the Dimension Probe vehicle no longer has any use however, it still can be built and used in the final version.

Vortex Analyser

UFOpaedia: <none>
In-game text: <none>

This device was used to scan the current alien dimension for any hidden Dimension Gates after X-Com acquired knowledge of multiple alien worlds. If any vortices were detected, the Dimension Shifter device (see next) would be used to travel through the new gate, opening up another alien dimension. If research was accelerated by skipping directly to One Way To Win, the main alien dimension could be accessed and others could be bypassed.

Dimension Shifter

Dimension Shifter: Equip & Battlescape
Xcom3-dimshifter.png

UFOpaedia: NOT USED!
In-game text: Transports a vehicle between dimensions.
This device allowed an airbourne craft to 'jump' to one of (planned) nine alien dimensions without needing a Dimension Gate by using previously indentified but obscure 'Vortex'. Some UFO crash recovery battlescapes in the final version still contain this Dimension Shifter device within the craft but it is not recovered when mission completes.

Zorium

UFOpaedia: <none>
In-game text: <none>
An exotic-energy item or a vehicle fuel used for an unknown purpose. The X-COM series of games each introduced a new and rare exotic fuel used by the aliens (X-Com1 = Elerium, X-Com2 = Zrbite). It has been suspected that Zorium was to have been the exotic item specific to X-Com Apocalypse.

Overspawn - Live

Xcom3-overspawnalt.png

UFOpaedia: This enormous creature is deposited by an Alien Mothership. Its primary objective appears to be destruction of the city and annihilation of X-COM bases. The terror and panic that it causes amongst the population indicates a change in Alien strategy. It is possible that they have abandoned their attempts at infiltration and are now only concerned with revenge and retribution against X-COM.
In-game text: A gigantic monster that has ravaged the city.

This lifeform is a large alien, bipedal vehicle within the final version. Is it not possible to capture one alive but it can be killed. The "Autopsy" is available, whereas the "alive" lifeform research is not.

Alien Dimension

Security Turrets Inside Alien Structures

Alien turrets.png

This device is a security turret used by the aliens within their buildings. It fires a disruptor beam styled weapon. It may appear and work normally with the final version which was released for the UK region.

Alien Building Capture

X-Com could acquire alien buildings which may have allowed the manufacture of UFOs.

Multiple Buildings

Alien structures within any of the nine dimensions were to be redundant. Multiple building of the same purpose were to be built to safeguard losing any specific type or particular purpose.

Deactivated Dimension Gates

Aliens could close dimension gates. This would deny inter-dimensional travel, could trap active X-Com craft in an alien dimension, halt re-inforcements, etc.

Grounded Access

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rde1g6CQUt4 Each alien structure was isolated from the others and no 'people tubes' connections between buildings were present. X-Com craft would land on the ground to enable access to an alien structure. Once the craft was on the ground it was extremely vunerable to damage and destruction.

Research

One Way To Win

Xcom3-onewaywin.png

UFOpaedia: NOT USED
In-game text: We must discover a way to beat the Aliens once and for all.
This research topic was to have been the very last discovery when nine dimensions were planned. Knowledge of this building allowed proper completion of the game. See above: Pre-Release Versions

Game Styles

  • Multiplayer
CGSP Apr97 Pg34 (Apocalypse).png

Source: CGSP_1997_04_pg034.jpg
Multiplayer was to be a feature. All alien lifeforms and all UFOs had their own inventory/equip screen so that humans and aliens could fight in a randomly generated skirmish.

Concept Art - Aliens

Tim White (1952-2020), an artist who created some conceptual illustrations of aliens for X-Com Apocalypse.

X-FunnelHead

Sources

The Cutting Room Floor

StrategyCore

OpenApoc

Old Websites

Tim White

Map Editor

An easily accessible cityscape map editor hidden within the final version files. See Apatcher.