What's New

Oct 9, 2003

Mark Levin <haveblue@mac.com> made some interestings observations about the contents of the PID Shapes in the Story forum post. Here the full story:

Re: PID shape cataloging
Posted By: Mark Levin <haveblue@mac.com>
Date: 10/7/03 9:37 p.m.

In Response To: PID shape cataloging (Speaker-To-Animals)

Well, let's see... ;)

This is based on the original TIFF collection posted here, I didn't use the new dumper.

The first unusual thing to notice is that the potions do not use pallette shifts. Collection 128 bitmaps 16 through 19 (the potions) could have been stored in much less space. The two rings, however, and the two keys, are *not* identical images, so they could not have been stored as pallette shifts. Upon further inspection, the "style" field seems to indicate a pallette shift; this is used for the monsters and scenery but, as above, mysteriously not for the potions or crystals.

There are a number of images that are very rarely seen because you have to do something unusual to see them in the game, like the Colt .45, M16, and Map images (you're never given a reason to drop these items, and you can't find them lying around either...). Also, as I recall, these images are much higher quality than they appear to be when viewed in the Examine Item dialog. What's going on here?

There is a "lost" style of Headless which is bright green and shoots purple spit. Major Headless?

The Phantasm has a mouth, which I'd never noticed in the game. Its presence adds nothing to the monster's menace, I'm glad it's hard to see.

The Big Blue Meanie has a "flinch" sequence (well, frame) with one hand over its face and a rather disconcerted expression. Has anyone ever seen this in the game? I don't think there's anything that does enough damage in one blow to make him notice.

The gray Ooze, or Stalker, from the PiD demo 2.0, is nowhere to be found. Why did they create a whole new monster for the demo?

There is a third style of "greek" column, like the type found in the Pyramid, that I don't think I've ever seen (see collection 153, style 2, bitmap 0).

The bone scenery items are available in two colors, although the difference is so subtle I doubt it's visible in the game at all.

There are 4 seperate copies of the purple crystal ladder sprites, differing only in their backgrounds. My new theory on this (writing this stream-of-consciousness style) is that each is meant for a level with a different unique color table, so the transparent color can be moved around as needed to accomodate everything else on the level. This would also explain why the monsters need differently colored backgrounds. There aren't any unnecessary copies of the ladders for the levels in the Pit, since those all use the same wall textures (and stop using ladders once you get to the Hole).

There are 7 dead Nazi images, shared among the 18 dead Germans. There are 5 dead American images for the 7 dead team members. There are 3 dead Cuban images for the 4 dead Cubans you find.

Without the fade to white, the climactic explosion doesn't look all that great :) There also seems to be a bug (in the exporter?) where pure white is replaced with pure black, giving the vapor clouds a rather strange appearance.

What's more interesting is comparing the demo items to the final game. Unfortunately the demo shapes dump did not include the monster sprites.

The watch has been changed. It looks more analog now (the face is round, and completely blank).

A number of slots contain what appears to be a "dummy" sprite, of a cardboard box. These correspond to shapes not present in the demo but found in the full Shapes file; possibly altered so that hackers would not discover the secrets of the full game from the demo. Too bad this wasn't even noticed for over seven years...

Some of the replaced shapes are tiny splotches that I can only assume represent slots that are not used but replaced with very tiny images to save space in lieu of deleting them (One wonders why they weren't simply deleted... Maybe Pathways was made with an Anvil pre-alpha? :P) Other, more recognizable shapes explicitly removed from the demo are: The easter egg, the Red Cloak, the nuclear device, the two rings, the ruby, the Alien Gemstone, the diamond necklace, the M-16 (but strangely not the Colt 45), the AK-47 and its ammo, and the M-79 and its ammo. Curiously, a large number of "spoiler" shapes were not removed from the demo (casting doubt on whether that was the reason at all), including the glass vial, the gas mask, the gold ingot, and the radio transmitter. Another thing to note is that all the cardboard boxes are *not* identical.

The mysterious backpack is present, in PID_C128_S0_B10.

The MP-41 is present, but for some reason it's completely white, as is its ammo, in the shapes dump. Bug in the exporter?

All the crystals are present, except that the black crystal is not found in the same place as in the normal game (it's in slot 58 instead of 57) and instead of the green crystal image there is a hybrid yellow/blue crystal. Maybe it let you talk to frozen people? :)

Jan 8, 2003

Added the full list of Official v2.0 Screenshots from the Bungie Press Pack (1994)

Beware of Low-Flying Nightmares
carnage doors open
demon infrared
good rat shot
Pathways Screen Shot
PowerPathways Screen Shot
skitters & shots
Witness Total Carnage
YEAH.bursting nightmare

And no... the full list has never been uploaded before.

Jan 6, 2003

Pathways Into Darkness was released in August 1993. Now after eight and half years of waiting we can see the PID Shapes is all their glory. Check out this post by Speaker-To-Animals on the Story Forum.

Jan 5, 2003

When the Official Screenshots section went live back in April 2001 I posed a question about a missing official screenshot from Bungie's Pathways Into Darkness products page. Originally their page featured nine screenshots but now only eight were being displayed.

Which screenshot was dropped?

What was odd about this missing screenshot?

The answer to the first question was the WOFDT.wraith.crystal.bodies screenshot. But what so odd about this missing screenshot? Well now you can find out on the Official Screenshots. For Pathways afficionados only.

Jan 4, 2003

More interesting PID news from the Story Forum.

PID coming soom to a computer platform near you?
May the source be with you?

Also rewrote The Gas Mask section to better describe the myth surrounding the gas mask.

And for the sake of posterity added the different versions of the following guides and help files:

Pou Lee's PID Basic Survival Guide
David Reevely's Pathways into Darkness FAQ Sheet/Walkthrough
Micah Anderson's Pathways Into Darkness "Howto" cheat file

Jan 3, 2003

A year in review. Some notable updates and submissions to the PID page last year.

We had the Official Hint Book: Raw and Uncensored! from Matt Soell. Helped to explain a few things found in the game and in the resource fork.

In searching old Usenet posts from comp.sys.mac.games we came across a post from Jason Jones regarding his views on game saving in PID.

Again from Usenet we got final verification from Jason Jones that the third group of dead people in the pyramid were Cubans.

And Doug Zartman helped to explain why we find The Stalker only in the PID Demo v2.0

Usenet continued to throw up some long forgotten gems. A little known undocumented feature and that final secret area in the PID demo v2.0.

The number seven reared its head again... seven Sentinels and seven bullets in the colt pistol (.45) magazine clip. Was there really a PID T-shirt? And was someone influenced by the Lost Tomb.

Ane these was a lot more... end game movies, demo locations, weapons talk, level name elucidation, and early plot speculation regarding the Sentinel.

Jan 1, 2003

Some interesting news on the Story Forum. Seems someone has hacked the PID shapes file and started to extract the sprite shapes.