Dreamland Chronicles: Freedom Ridge [PS2/PC – Cancelled]

Dreamland Chronicles: Freedom Ridge [PS2/PC – Cancelled]


X-COM is a series of computer games, started by Mythos Games and MicroProse in 1993. The first three titles were tactical games while the fourth was an action-based space combat/strategy game. The first installment, UFO: Enemy Unknown in Europe (also known as X-COM: UFO Defense in North America) was written by a team led by Julian Gollop. MicroProse quickly had an internal team create the sequel X-COM: Terror from the Deep. Subsequently, the Gollop brothers went straight to work on X-COM: Apocalypse, which would end up being the third in the series when released in 1997. Soon after Apocalypse, MicroProse was bought by Hasbro Interactive. All titles were developed for the PC, with a few ports to the Sony PlayStation and Amiga.

The Dreamland Chronicles: Freedom Ridge was a cancelled game by the authors of the original game (Mythos Games), claimed to having been “essentially a remake of the first X-Com with 3D graphics”. [Info from Wikipedia]

For more informations, you can check this site: www.commanderx.xcomufo.com


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9 thoughts on “Dreamland Chronicles: Freedom Ridge [PS2/PC – Cancelled]

  1. Ross Sillifant

    Found and old interview:
    Mark Asher
    What the heck. I dredged up an old file for an interview I did for CGW
    with Julian Gollop, one of the creators of the greatest game of all
    time, X-COM, so I thought I’d republish it here. A shorter version of
    this appeared in CGW 4 or 5 months ago. I don’t think they’ll mind me
    republishing it here. Think of it as a commerical for my monthly CGW
    interviews. (Remember, these interviews I do are supposed to be a bit
    on the silly side.)

    1. Is Dreamland inspired by X-COM? (I know, a dumb question, but it
    gives you a chance to talk about Dreamland a bit)

    Gollop: Yes it is, although it is fairer to say that Dreamland is just
    the latest development in the evolution of Mythos Games strategy
    games. X-Com was itself inspired by our earlier titles such as ‘Laser
    Squad’ and ‘Rebelstar.’ Dreamland itself is a massive game, with even
    greater detail and variety than X-Com. The story line is more
    sophisticated, with a few surprising plot twists along the way.

    2. The pausable real-time combat in X-COM Apocalypse worked well. Why
    are you returning to turn-based combat with Dreamland?

    Gollop: It is all to do the feel of the game. Dreamland is set in a
    grim, post apocalyptic future where the human race is struggling for
    survival. With just a few soldiers you have to succeed again and again
    in every tactical situation. The intimate, tense, atmosphere of
    Dreamland can only be recreated with turn based combat. Additionally,
    the 3D system we have employed is far more useable, because the player
    can control characters from a third person view or a first person
    view, without worrying about losing control of the situation.

    3. In X-COM I laughed the first time I saw a cow being dissected by
    the aliens. What were the aliens doing?

    Gollop: That’s a pretty good question, really. It has been known for a
    long time that cattle have been found strangely mutilated with various
    bits of the anatomy removed, such as the rectum, or a tongue. Some
    have blamed the government, but really it is those bug eyed aliens who
    were just trying to figure out which parts of the cow to eat. They
    obviously hadn’t found an In-and-out burger.

    4. Ever seen a UFO?

    Gollop: Yes of course, but my memory was wiped after seeing it.

    5. Are there any aliens in X-COM or Dreamland inspired by your

    Gollop: Yes, the ethereals. They turn up when least expected and they
    can read your mind.

    6. X-COM was responsible for more missing gaps in time than any aliens
    could ever hope to be. What made it special?

    Gollop: That is a very difficult question to answer. All we set out to
    do was create a game which we would like to play ourselves. I think
    some of the random elements helped, coupled with the interaction
    between the strategic and tactical levels. We ended up with a game
    which I did not know how to win – I didn’t know which were the best
    strategies or tactics, even though I designed all the games systems.
    That is what makes a good strategy game.

    7. Do you still work with your brother at Mythos? What’s that like?

    Gollop: I still work with Nick, and together we manage the company.
    Its OK these days…I am used to the humiliation of been bullied by a
    younger brother.

    8. What is the coolest thing about Dreamland?

    Gollop: There are so many cool things, I don’t know where to start. I
    get a lot of smug satisfaction blowing the head of an alien and
    playing soccer with it — passing from soldier to soldier — and still
    being able to meet the mission objectives.

    9. Did you ever wonder that if there really are aliens watching us,
    they might be ticked off by all the computer games that portray them
    as evil lunkheads?

    Gollop: If the aliens were devious enough I am sure that they probably
    have a hand in promoting these games just to lull us into a false
    sense of security. Maybe next time we should make a game from the
    aliens’ point of view, wiping out the selfish, anti-social pests known
    as humans.

    10. What was the deal with that Pillsbury Doughboy-looking giant alien
    in Apocalypse. Where’s the menace?!?

    Gollop: Hmmm… I think you would have to ask the artist about that one.
    It was supposed to be frightening, but something got forgotten
    somewhere along the line.

    11. I can never spell Apocalypse! Why did you name that game that?

    Gollop: We just wanted it to sound like the end of the world was
    coming, and sometimes while working on the game it certainly felt that
    way. It is also a real tongue twister for some people — I remember
    somebody working on the project kept referring to it as Poxylypse. In
    future we will refrain from too many biblical references in games

    12. What’s the secret of designing a good game?

    Gollop: Getting the most gameplay for the least amount of effort
    involved in creating the game. This is something I have not always
    stuck to, and have consequently paid the price for it.

    13. Ever consider doing an updated Laser Squad?

    Gollop: Yes, many people have asked for it.

    14. If you were a soldier in X-COM or Dreamland, what would your stats
    be like?

    Gollop: Very poor. I wouldn’t recruit myself.

    15. How come there were no bathrooms in the X-COM bases we built?

    Gollop: There are outdoor facilities. This does of course compromise
    the defences of the base.

  2. Ross Sillifant

    Comments from Julian:

    Julian Gollop
    Since there seems to be some interest in the screenshots I felt an
    explanation was needed…
    The so called screenshots are actually stills taken from a
    pre-rendered promotional video which we made back in August last year.
    However, the graphics used in the FMV are actually very similar to the
    graphics we are using in the game (but not as good). The characters
    are being remodelled with patch based techniques (for curved
    As for the game itself I can say the following

    1. It is not a remake of UFO – the stroyline is quite different, and
    the gameplay is different. The story is set in the near future, on
    earth, in the aftermath of an alien invasion which has resulted in the
    surviving humans beeing herded into small reservations around the

    2. Given (1) above, I can say that it is a multilevel strategy game
    with turn based tactical combat.

    3. The game is fully 3D – you can control soldiers from both a first
    person view or an overhead 3rd person view.

    4. Buildings can be destroyed, with bricks and debris flying around.
    Proper physics modelling will be used for this.

    5. The game features pseudo-random maps, with static and dynamic light

    6. It is being developed for Playstation 2 as well as PC

    That’s all for now.

  3. Ross Sillifant

    Details on what happened to it after it was sadly shut down:

    When work on
    the project was shut down at Mythos, there were reports that Virgin removed
    all the game materials from their offices. And now we know where all that
    code and artwork went. So how did Altar end up working on the game?

    “We developed Original War with Paul Whipp at Virgin, who worked with Julian
    Gollop on the development of Magic & Mayhem and Dreamland. When Julian
    decided to focus on Laser Squad Nemesis, Paul brought the unfinished
    Dreamland work to us. It had to wait a little while until we finished
    Original War, but we’ve been working on it full time since the beginning of
    July. The game we are producing will actually be substantially different –
    and improved, especially in terms of gameplay – over the original Dreamland
    project, and we are using very little of the original art and assets. We
    would not like to give away false signals and lead players to believe that
    the actual game is going to look like it did on the older screenshots.”

  4. Ross Sillifant

    From The Daily Telefrag:
    “The Dreamland Chronicles – Freedom Ridge – an interview with an Audio
    Designer and Composer from Mythos – Garry Taylor. ”
    “Garry Taylor: The Dreamland Chronicles – Freedom Ridge is a turn-based
    strategy game. It is not a sequel to X-Com. The storyline is very
    different. We have a long history of strategy titles, and with Freedom
    Ridge we wanted to take everything we have learned from our previous
    games, and build on that history, to create a new and exciting game for
    next generation consoles and the PC. Whilst there are elements of the
    game that will be familiar to anyone who has played the X-Com games, we
    are looking to develop the genre, and bring the player something new.
    It is not a ‘remake’ of X-Com 1. The game is specifically designed to
    make the most of the power of the NG consoles, and will be out first on
    the Playstation 2.”
    Actually, we’re developing all the basic code platform independently,
    ie: same code for both the PC and playstation.

    Both the 3D and physics engines we are using are being written for
    both PS2 and PC, so we write the same code for both versions, and then
    just drop it in to the relevent platform.


  5. Ross Sillifant

    The official cancellation statement :

    It is with great regret that I have to announce that Dreamland has been
    cancelled. We have been looking for another publisher for a while now, but
    no agreement has been reached and we have run out of cash. This means that
    there will be no further development on the game

  6. MicroChirp

    Announced February 14, 2000 by Virgin Interactive:

    “Freedom Ridge is really an effort to take everything we’ve learned from doing this kind of game for the last 15 years and turn it into something groundbreaking,” said Julian Gollop, lead designer for Freedom Ridge. “We wanted to create a game that not only builds on some popular core concepts that we’ve used before, but also adds new elements and features that help us push accepted boundaries.”

    Set in the near future, Freedom Ridge uses themes from classic science fiction and modern UFO conspiracy theories to create an enthralling backdrop for the gameplay. After a devastating 70-day war against alien invaders the human race finds itself on the brink of extinction. With the military forces and governments of the world in ruins the player commands humanity’s last hope?a resistance force known as the Terran Liberation Army. Starting with a meagre supply of captured weapons and technology the player must drive back the invaders and free the Earth from alien domination.

    Throughout the game, players will take part in a deep, involving plot and uncover the truth about Area 51, alien abductions, and the mysterious Men in Black. Players must create new bases to supply forces, protect the surviving civilian population, and fight for every resource they need, since money is now worthless. Working with anything from scavenged F16 aircraft and M16s to mystifying alien technology, troops will need to master all manner of weaponry and vehicles for tactical squad-based combat against alien foes at hotspots around the globe.

    The Dreamland Chronicles: Freedom Ridge is scheduled for release in Q1 2001 on the PC and Playstation 2.

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