Game versions and builds (Apocalypse)
Currently, there are three known versions of pre-vanilla apocalypse.
- The "Debug" version; this was sent out to Q&A/Debuggers, it contains ALL of the cut functionality in the state it was prior to being cut. Includes cheats that the beta does not have to aid testing. The holy grail of Apocalypse development really; __would love to find a copy of this after losing mine with the First Beta back in 2001.__ No known copies exist in the public domain; PM me if you know otherwise.
- The "First Beta"; frequently crashes and puts up "blank prompts", most of the cut features are partially removed in this version, the game is not completable end-to-end due to a broken research tree but can be completed with the "beta cheats". It was only ever available internally to Microprose and Mythos employees but copies were leaked to friends and families. Both a working Skirmish Mode and a Multiplayer (P2P) mode are present, though the Multiplayer is prone to desynchronising and crashes, the Skirmish has lots of crash-to-prompt errors and missing tiles.
- The Demo Created in 15.04.97, demo allows you to play a single Tactical Combat Mission.
- The "Second Beta", most widely available pre-vanilla apocalypse. Intermittent "blank prompts" few crashes, effectively a "complete game" only with placeholder graphics in some places. All of the "cut" functions are still in the game and as complete as they ever were (excepting the tracker stuff that appears to have been partially cut), but have been made inaccessible without some tinkering. The behaviour of both aliens and X-COM agents is much more detailed as i have documented elsewhere and gives a happy middle ground to ascertaining how Apocalypse was "meant" to work prior to it's release. It has an .exe date of 12/06/1997 (dated after the vanilla release because there was an intent to further develop apocalypse with patches so for a time, a beta development branch was retained and then leaked). Beta2 has a Skirmish mode, but it does not work resulting in a crash to prompt on mission generation. Multiplayer (P2P) has been removed.
Release Date: Jul 15, 1997
Differences between versions
It appears that only certain versions of the game have what is described in the Apocalypse Technical Manual as a "Learning AI". Currently only the UK/EU Original CD-ROM and the 1.03 version of the North American / RotW release are known to employ this functionality. Digital Distributions such as Steam and GOG.com include the files but they do not appear to have an effect on the gameplay.