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Title Screen


Developer: Bullfrog Productions
Platform: DOS

AreasIcon.png This game has unused areas.
DevTextIcon.png This game has hidden development-related text.
GraphicsIcon.png This game has unused graphics.
TextIcon.png This game has unused text.

PrereleaseIcon.png This game has a prerelease article
NotesIcon.png This game has a notes page

This game was stuffed away in a cardboard box and found 30 years later in a garage
This game was never completed and/or given a public release.
As a result of this, keep in mind that the developers might have used or deleted some of the content featured here, had the game actually been released.
To do:
This site has some excellent info on the map data and other unused textures.

Creation was a highly-ambitious title set in the same universe as Syndicate and at the same time as Syndicate Wars. The player would have controlled one of the stewards of the planet Proxima Centauri IV, aka Creation, who take care of the last vestiges of underwater life that have been transported to the terraformed planet following ecological disaster on Earth. However, a species of alien fungus found on Creation puts the new world in danger as the Syndicates realize it can be used as a drug and weapon and hence want control of the planet. The player would fight back by maneuvering their armed submarine and directing their dolphin minions through a highly-detailed underwater world.

The game was in development for about five years, being scrapped after intended publisher Electronic Arts lost interest. An early demo build was included on the cover CD of the December 1995 issue of PC Gamer (UK) magazine to tie in with producer Guy Simmons' making-of diary on the game. It was also included as part of the Bullfrog's Christmas Demo CD that was sold by Bullfrog over Christmas 1995, and various magazine cover discs (including PC Zone Issue 37) in mid-1996.


Read about prerelease information and/or media for this game.
Prerelease Info
Miscellaneous tidbits that are interesting enough to point out here.


The demo gives the player around two minutes to explore the ocean. In this time the player can observe various fish and schools of dolphins. Killer whales can also rarely be seen, and the rarest sight of all seems to be the uniquely-named orca "Daisy" as mentioned in the briefing text, who has a green tracking marker on the HUD when approached. After two minutes, control of the player's craft is overridden and is forced to a location where sinister pulsating egg-like fungi can be seen and a final jumpscare ends the demo...

It's worth noting how unrepresentative of the final game it seems this demo is. Following the accompanying making-of diary in PC Gamer, this was the first basic playable build of the rebuilt game engine, where little was implemented and almost no gameplay mechanisms were in place yet. The function strings suggest some basic combat had been worked on, but the RTS elements of the game are entirely missing, and the user interface has barely been started on. The submarine handling was also massively reworked in the year following the demo, so even basic movement is not as the final game would have responded.

The original demo from PC Gamer included its own sound setup program. However, most copies of the demo on the internet are ripped from the Bullfrog's Christmas Demo CD, and as with the other demos from this CD (including Theme Hospital and Syndicate Wars), Creation uses a shared sound setup system that would install sound drivers on the player's local C: drive. Without this step ran first the demos have no sound. All the ripped versions of this demo found on the internet as of writing have not had this step followed, so do not work properly with no sound or music played.

An incomplete version of the teaser demo can be downloaded here.

Command Line Options

The game accepts the following inputs:

  • -h - puts the game into high-resolution mode from the start.
  • -record - if the demo is run with this command, it will record all player movements to the file RECORD.PKT (or a .pkt file of any name specified).
  • -playback - will play back the specified .pkt file (or RECORD.PKT if no name is specified). If the file doesn't exist yet, the demo will continue as normal. The player cannot override the recorded movements or put the game into high-res or third-person view while a recording is playing.
  • -movie - seems to behave identically to -playback, including the ability to specify a .pkt file.
  • -editor - locks all player controls and then eventually ends on a black screen. See the Editor section for more details.
  • -debug - doesn't seem to do much, but causes the demo to end on a black screen like -editor, so it's presumably also trying to go to another screen.
  • -network, -players <n>, and -session <name> - network arguments that don't seem to work.
  • -s and -t - unknown.
(Source: Mark Sowden, Talonbrave.info, Mefistotelis)

Extra Controls

Additional controls not listed in the in-game tutorial:

  • 1 - Third-person camera mode.
  • F - Skip introductory cutscene.
  • R - High res mode.
  • P - Pause.

For whatever reason, the demo won't end correctly if the high-res or third-person modes are enabled, with the game delaying the final scripted scene indefinitely until both are turned off.

Unused Level

Creation seems to have worked in the same way as Syndicate Wars in that a mission would be defined by the map file containing the actual terrain and a .lev file that would contain the creatures that would populate a level. The demo contains two .lev files - DEFAULT.LEV and BDEFAULT.LEV. The latter, which goes unused, is dated a day before the former, and will be loaded by the game if renamed to DEFAULT.LEV and used to overwrite the other level.

Level file comparison:

Creation-BDEFAULTThingsMap.png Creation-DEFAULTThingsMap.png


Red Fungus
Yellow Player Sub
Blue Dolphin
Cyan Killer Whale
Green Plant
Purple Shoal of Fish

At this point in development, each level file was a 256 x 256 tile grid, with enemies arranged on them in two dimensions only. Analysis of the level files shows that while the older level actually has more objects in it (340 vs 276), it's in practice actually more sparsely populated than the used level, as these are mostly just more plants. The very first start area shown in the uncontrollable part of the demo has the same shoals of fish and plants, but nearly all dolphins are missing from the older level. The fungus objects are also in a totally different place, which exposes the fact the executable must be hardcoded to take the player to a specific location for the climax of the demo which is now wrong. using BDEFAULT.LEV there is nothing there and the HUD dots for the fungi are hardcoded for the final level destination, although the animation of the tentacle still plays. The player start location is the same in both levels.

The most interesting difference visible in the older level is that Daisy the killer whale actually has her calf with her, whereas she is alone in the final level.


(Source: Level Heightmap - Mark Sowden, Talonbrave.info)

Unused Text

The demo contains a lot of random text relating to the state of an object, as well as when and where in the game that object could be.

 TARGET = %d
 Thing State = STATE_INIT
 Thing State = STATE_NORMAL
 Thing State = STATE_HIT
 Thing State = STATE_DYING
 Thing State = STATE_DEAD
 Thing State = %d
 Thing Damage = %d
 GameTurn = %ld
 MapX = %4.4x
 MapY = %4.4x

An FPS display. Some footage seen in the Bullfrog Progress Report shows this.


For network gaming.


Obviously would have been displayed when paused. This doesn't show up in the demo when pressing P.

 Oct 26 1995
 Creation rough

A build date. A different message shows up after quitting the game, and this is not displayed when starting the game either.

The file TEXT.DAT would presumably have contained the game's text messages. In the demo it only contains the following dummy string:

One Two Three  ONE TWO THREE  Example String


The player's craft in the demo seems to be unarmed. However, debug strings in the executable seem to show definitions for various weapons:

  • Laser
  • Mines
  • Chaff
  • Flares
  • "Projectiles"

There's also text for a function called "create_cetacea_projectile", which suggests the dolphins could fire projectiles as well!

Unused Graphics

HUD Graphics

The file PANELHI.DAT contains a raw image for a high resolution 640×480 control panel/HUD (when the demo is put into high resolution mode it has no HUD at all). This differs from the basic low resolution design used in the demo, but has many recognisable parts. Its various Steam gauges are missing. If the PALETTE.DAT is used it fits in with the low res color scheme. There is also a further palette file PPAL01.PAL that may also have been used. Applying this to the graphic gives it a deep red tint, which matches up with some of the magazine pictures of the game. Presumably, this would be some kind of danger mode for the sub.

(Source: Mark Sowden, Talonbrave.info)

Unused Textures

The game includes a large number of unused texture files, many of which seem to be from previous builds.


These loose files are not used by the game. The individual TMAPxxx.DAT files are in fact the extracted constituent textures of the TMAPS.DAT file which is used by the game. While they have timestamps from October 1995, they seem to in fact include graphics from a much older build (or builds) when the game still represented creatures with 2D textures rather than 3D models. As with other Bullfrog games, the file includes the game's billboard textures, including animation frames for 2D versions of a shark and dolphin, what seem to be either explosions and weapon effects. It's not clear which images inside are actually used by the game, as none of these can be seen in the demo - if any actually are, it may what appears to be a bubble graphic. The shark animation in particular seems very similar (but not identical) to the one seen in the PC Gamer diary of the game from January 1995, so it and the dolphin were likely 2D placeholders from the scrapped 1994 builds before Guy Simmons took over and rebooted the project (notably the sprites are simply different view angles of the creatures, they do not move or have any actual animations). The images do seem to use the demo's palette, but there are some multibyte images that it's not clear how best to rip - these images are shown below in greyscale as a result.

TMAPxxx.DAT files:

  • 0-7 - Shark view angles


Oddly TMAP004 (the side-on view of the shark) is some kind of inverted image, so was removed from the animation above and included here for completeness:


  • 8 - Seemingly a far distance version of 9, with bubbles coming out of it


  • 9 - Some kind of robotic drone, maybe the front of a torpedo?


  • 10 - 18 - Possibly a flare countermeasure


  • 19 - A kind of star-shaped light with bubbles coming out of it - possibly a torpedo or missile moving away from the player
  • 20-36 - A pill shaped object with a checkerboard pattern on it rotating as it sinks in the water. Some kind of weapon countermeasure or depth charge?
  • 37 - An odd yin/yang looking object
  • 38-53 - An explosion that eventually dissolves into particles/bubbles


  • 54-61 - Dolphin view angles



This is not used at all by the game. It includes what seems like the textures for either terrain or more likely some kind of vehicle or building. Possibly this could even be the textures for the early submarine model. It's not clear what palette it should use - it's likely as with the TMAP files the correct palette is not included in the demo files.


(Source: Mark Sowden, Talonbrave.info)


What seems to the unused companion file to BLOCK64.DAT, which is used by the game. This again does not seem to have the needed palette included. What's also interesting is that it seems this may have textures for the sea surface in it (there is no surface to the ocean in the demo, it merely loops back to the sea bed). It's also comprised of 32×32-pixel textures as the name suggests. However, the green plant in the middle doesn't conform to the 32×32 grid that the rest of the graphics adhere to.


(Source: Mark Sowden, Talonbrave.info)

Cut Models

The demo's files include two 3D object formats - .PRJ files and .DAT files. .PRJ files seem to be a variant of 3DS Max objects, something Bullfrog talked about directly importing into other games of theirs (most notably Syndicate Wars). The .DAT file models contain a header stating "BULLFROG OBJECT DATA". These seem to be leftover files in an older file format, and are not actually loaded at all by the demo.

Old Format Models

These are the older .DAT models, in the same format used by Hi-Octane. They aren't loaded by the game, but it's possible to convert them to a modern object format to view them:



  • CAR-01.DAT


It seems the Hi-Octane DeLorean was going to be recycled once more, before its appearance in Syndicate Wars.











Confusingly this is in fact identical to the Sperm Whale model in SPERMANI.DAT.





An odd name for what seems to be some kind of frogman in a swimming pose.









There don't appear to be texture maps for the above objects in the game's files.

(Source: movAX13h)

Unused New Format Models

These are .PRJ files. The following are not loaded by the demo. It's possible to see what these are by replacing another model with them, most obviously the player's own sub (SUB15.PRJ), although the textures seem wrong:

  • 1HGHRED.PRJ - a simple plant model consisting of the same texture intersecting in an X shape, similar to the one used in the demo.


  • DFIN3.prj - a slightly later version of the dolphin model. It's not clear what has changed.


  • FUNGUS2.PRJ - another version of the fungus model. Again it's not clear what is different.


  • KILLERX2.PRJ - Presumably an early version of the killer whale model. Hacking this into the game it actually just appears as two large triangles, so was either a placeholder or doesn't seem to work properly.


  • KILLERX3.PRJ - an earlier version of the killer whale model. Not clear what is different to the final one.


  • OILLERX2.PRJ - The earliest included version of the killer whale model. This is a whopping 762KB big - the others are 86KB at most. There's no visible extra detail or anything obvious to explain why this would be.


Unused Audio

The demo only includes a single .xmi file MUSIC.DAT that consists of the introduction music and some sparse bars that play in-game. However, debug text shows there are various functions for "DangerMusic" suggesting the full game would work the same way as Syndicate Wars with dynamic music playing when the player was in danger.

The file SOUND.DAT contains only the demo's narrative speech and the final sting music played at the very end (appropriately named HORROR.WAV). There are no actual sound effects of any kind included in the demo.


As with Syndicate Wars and Theme Hospital, it seems the demo contains the games' editor. However, it's also prevented from running, as in those games. If the -editor commandline argument is used, the game loads as normal, but controls no longer function when in-game. Once the final scene plays, the game will keep running with only a black screen visible.

However, the editor's graphics are present in the files WINBUT.DAT/TAB. It's not clear what palette these should be using, but the most reasonable-looking one is the file GAMEPAL.pal, which is also what is used in-game anyway. As with the editor for Syndicate Wars, it seems this would have been a similar Deluxe Paint-style vertical toolbar, with buttons that seem to have been used for raising and lowering the sea floor and even seem to include options for islands that would protrude above the ocean surface, something that doesn't seem to be possible in the demo. It's also possible these may have come from Magic Carpet, which shared many parts of its engine with Creation.

Creation-EditorIcon057.png Creation-EditorIcon056.png Creation-EditorIcon055.png Creation-EditorIcon054.png
Creation-EditorIcon059.png Creation-EditorIcon058.png Creation-EditorIcon053.png Creation-EditorIcon052.png Creation-EditorIcon051.png Creation-EditorIcon050.png Creation-EditorIcon049.png Creation-EditorIcon048.png Creation-EditorIcon047.png Creation-EditorIcon046.png Creation-EditorIcon045.png Creation-EditorIcon044.png Creation-EditorIcon043.png Creation-EditorIcon042.png
Creation-EditorIcon041.png Creation-EditorIcon040.png Creation-EditorIcon039.png Creation-EditorIcon038.png Creation-EditorIcon037.png Creation-EditorIcon036.png Creation-EditorIcon035.png Creation-EditorIcon034.png Creation-EditorIcon033.png Creation-EditorIcon032.png Creation-EditorIcon031.png Creation-EditorIcon030.png Creation-EditorIcon029.png Creation-EditorIcon028.png Creation-EditorIcon027.png Creation-EditorIcon026.png Creation-EditorIcon025.png Creation-EditorIcon024.png Creation-EditorIcon023.png Creation-EditorIcon022.png Creation-EditorIcon021.png Creation-EditorIcon020.png Creation-EditorIcon019.png Creation-EditorIcon018.png Creation-EditorIcon017.png Creation-EditorIcon016.png Creation-EditorIcon015.png Creation-EditorIcon014.png Creation-EditorIcon013.png Creation-EditorIcon012.png Creation-EditorIcon011.png Creation-EditorIcon010.png Creation-EditorIcon009.png Creation-EditorIcon008.png
Creation-EditorIcon007.png Creation-EditorIcon006.png Creation-EditorIcon005.png Creation-EditorIcon004.png Creation-EditorIcon003.png Creation-EditorIcon002.png

(Source: Mark Sowden, Talonbrave.info)

What look like yet more editor buttons can be found in BUTTONS.DAT/TAB:

Creation-EditorButtons001.png Creation-EditorButtons002.png Creation-EditorButtons003.png Creation-EditorButtons004.png Creation-EditorButtons005.png Creation-EditorButtons006.png Creation-EditorButtons007.png

There are also mouse pointer graphics that are clearly from the editor as well, contained in the files POINTERS.DAT/TAB. It's again unknown what palette they used, so the below were exported using PALETTE.DAT. They seem to show respectively a regular mouse cursor, one for interacting with cetaceans, one for plants, one for regular fish, and one for buildings.

Creation-Pointer1.png Creation-Pointer2.png Creation-Pointer3.png Creation-Pointer4.png Creation-Pointer5.png