The Lost was an action adventure/survival horror game co-developed by Irrational Games (the makers of Bioshock) and FXLabs. Set to be released in 2002 for the Playstation 2 and Xbox game consoles, The Lost went through several phases of development hell until it was cancelled.
The Lost was heavily inspired by Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy, particularly Inferno. The setting was present day, and the main character was a waitress/medical student named Amanda Wright. Amanda was a single mother who has lost her only daughter, Beatrice, in a tragic car accident. Desperate and suicidal, Amanda made a deal with the devil. Selling her soul, she was given the chance to plunge into the bowels of a concentration camp-esque hell in an attempt to rescue her daughter’s soul. The only aids she had in the bowels of hell are Virgil, a strange reptilian creature who Amanda must free from an enchanted sword, and four hellish beings called the Entities.
Each Entity was playable, with their own special abilities.
* Shadow: A thief-like character, Shadow specializes in stealth and deception.
* Light: Adept in defensive spell-casting, Light can also provide healing spells.
* Corruption: An emaciated mage that performs powerful, offensive spells.
* Instinct: A sword-wielding character that is best used in close combat.
The Lost’s development period had always been relatively rocky. Playable models of the game had been described as unstable, with a jittery framerate. The developer chose to retool the graphics engine in mid-development. Also, Crave Entertainment changed The Lost’s traditional publishing model to a budget game model. Eventually, legal problems amassed, and the completed game was canceled.
In March 2008 it was reported that all development and rights to The Lost was acquired by FXLabs, who later released the game for Windows PCs in India under the title Agni: Queen of Darkness. Agni is thought to feature redone art but keeps basic plot and gameplay elements intact. [Info from Wikipedia]
Chentzilla has gave us some more informations about these The Lost /Agni connections: “There are 4 characters in Agni (plus some more whom the heroine carries within her, but they are not playable). They look different from the ones in The Lost, but have similar abilities. Many other aspects of the prototype are also there, like Irrational’s trademark cameras and turrets (though the design is also different from ‘normal’ turrets and cameras, and from what we have seen in the beta videos as well).
Some things that were promised were cut, like the ability to spend skill points at will, but I actually think that a good thing – sometimes it’s better to simplify the game. Much worse are bugs in scripting – you can simply get stuck in several places, forced to reload an earlier checkpoint (yes, the save system is checkpoints-only). It’s possible that some of the ideas of The Lost ended up in BioShock too.
A comparison video for Shadow/Ghayab character in The Lost/Agni (published as Inferno in Russia).