This article was written a few years ago as a personal collection of notes. Thus it is incomplete, but maybe someday i will finish it. Also, forgive me for the shortness and the bad overall quality of this analysis.
[Original article in italian by monokoma, english translation by yota]
Eternal Darkness 64
The Eternal Darkness project was born on the Nintendo 64. This version had already many of the features and locations of the future Gamecube version.
This game developed by Silicon Knights was released in June 2002, only after a long and troubled development. Full of unseen like few other games, Eternal Darkness was first announced for the Nintendo 64 at E3 1999, then moved to the GameCube. The project was changed many times during its development: in addition to the transition from one console to another, at least a couple of chapters were removed and the story was distilled when Silicon Knights realized that it would not be possible to finish the game before the release date.
At that time, the developers announced that Eternal Darkness would have been a trilogy, so that it could have been possible to explore the complete story, mitigating the impact of cuts to the game’s plot. The game’s subtitle, “Sanity’s Requiem”, was added for this exact reason, to distinguish it from the (unreleased) sequels.
Karim was not in the early builds of the game. Silicon Knights had originally placed a Templar Knight fighting against Muslims in the scenario, but later changed this in 2001. The only remnants of this character in the finished game is a cutscene before Roberto’s story showing him being taken by Pious in disguise as the “foundation” for the Pillar of Flesh, since he is able to see Pious in his true form.
Silicon Knights stated in an interview with Nintendo Power (volume 164): “At one point, the story even included one of the other, stronger characters (note: presumably Michael) taking his own life in Edward’s presence rather than face the Ancients. This scene was eventually removed because it was considered far too grim.”
The game originally included a United States Special Ops commando who falls into the pit near the pillar of flesh. Presumably this chapter was an early version of the Michael one, whose finalized intro scenes and character model show him as a Canadian firefighter who was fighting an oil well fire in Iraq. His original equipment, such as the rifle and uniform, was placed a small ways off in the same chamber, on the body of a Marine. [Info from Wikipedia]
In a couple of screens from a cinematic removed from the final game, we can see an MC-130 cargo, a real-life plane that was developed in the early 1960s and was heavily used in “Operation Desert Storm”. This plane was probably used in the early version of the Gulf War chapter in the game – likely it was the airplane that the removed Special Ops commando would have used to land.
From a series of concept art we can even notice some unused ideas for different game endings, with a zombie apocalypse after the Ulyaoth god takes over the world, a flood of people that follow Chattur’gha’s orders and a city with trees under Xel’lotath influence.
Other smaller differences in the beta version are Alexa’s shirt color (red instead of black), the removed “real time shadows” and Maximillian Roivas had still his “hairs” in the cell cutscene.
[spoiler /Clicca qui per la versione in Italiano/ /Nascondi la versione in Italiano/]Il gioco Silicon Knights uscì nel Giugno del 2002 dopo uno sviluppo che definire travagliato sarebbe un eufemismo. Ricco di unseen come pochi altri, questo titolo venne annunciato su Nintendo 64 all’E3 del 1999, per poi essere spostato su GameCube. Il risultato fu buono, tanti lo odiano, altrettanti lo amano, certo è che il gioco venne modificato tante volte durante lo sviluppo: oltre al passaggio da una console all’altra vennero eliminati interi capitoli, la storia venne distillata, tutto faceva presagire che sarebbero arrivati dei seguiti a completare l’idea del progetto originario. Finora comunque non se ne sa nulla (escluse le vacue speculazioni), il tutto a favore degli appassionati degli beta.
This title, by Silicon Knights, was presented for the first time in playable form at E3 1999, on the original Playstation. It immediately received critical acclaim by the audience, not only for the graphics hardware that led Sony to very high levels, but also for a gaming system that already went beyond it’s full potential, though it was only a fraction of the final product.
Both of the video screens, from which you can find online, you may notice immediately a particular pointing system (which was also picked up by then Eternal Darkness) where you can target a specific part of the opponent’s body that lies ahead (limbs, trunk and head). The use of weapons to zoom was very effective, and there were large areas of exploration.
The game was scheduled for summer 2000, with a pack of more than 4 CDs, literally filled by a gigantic world, an immersive story and hours of movies in FMV. All this before Nintendo, after seeing the excellent results of the work of Eternal Darkness (the time in development for N64), decided to take over the team of Silicon Knights completely, making it one of his numerous 2nd parties.
“Too Human” had no more official news, but given the scale of the project and the years of work that had been spent, there are rumors now a conversion of title for the next generation of Nintendo console (the now discarded hypothesis of the little room on output cartridges on the N64), which was confirmed at Spaceworld 2000 (note the annual event of Nintendo products) with a FMV of a game cruising on the GameCube.
In 2005, Silicon Knights came under the control of Microsoft, and the project was moved to the Xbox 360. The game seems to have lost many of its original features, but can perhaps finally see the light..
Thanks to Celine for the contribution and to ForWhomTheBellTolls for the english translation!
This title developed by Silicon Knights, was first presented in a playable form at E3 1999, on the original Playstation. It collected immediately the attention from the critics and the public, not only for it’s good graphic (at least for its time), but even for an interesting and promising gameplay.
The release of the game was scheduled for summer 2000, on more than 4 CDs, filled with an huge world, an immersive story and hours of FMV movies… but it was never finished. At that time Nintendo, after seeing the excellent work that Silicon Knights were doing on Eternal Darkness (at the time in development for N64), decided to take over the team, making it one of its numerous 2nd parties.
After the cancellation of the PSX version of Too Human, there were rumors that the development of the game was switched to the GameCube. Those rumors were confirmed at SpaceWorld 2000, with a FMV presentation of Too Human for the Nintendo console. But even the GameCube version was never finished.
In 2005, Silicon Knights went under the control of Microsoft and the Too Human project was moved to the XBOX 360. The game was finally released in 2008, even if it has lost many of the original features.