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Deadlock: Planetary Conquest (Mac OS Classic)

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Title Screen

Deadlock: Planetary Conquest

Developer: Accolade
Publishers: MacSoft, GT Interactive
Platform: Mac OS Classic
Released internationally: 1997

MovieIcon.png This game has unused cinematics.
TextIcon.png This game has unused text.
DebugIcon.png This game has debugging material.
SoundtestIcon.png This game has a hidden sound test.
Carts.png This game has revisional differences.

Deadlock just might be one of the two finest turn-based 4X games about seven factions vying to colonize a planet ever made in the nineties.

Debug Features

Hold down Option-C while selecting "About Deadlock..." from the Apple menu to access the Command Code Input console.

Deadlock (Mac OS Classic) - Command Code Input.png

Enter ghoti to instantly complete your current research project.

Enter frodo to fill your provinces with the maximum population they can currently support.

Enter make it so to receive 5000 credits, plus 100 units of each resource.

Enter touche for a window where you can test every dialog clip in the game. You might have to drag the list to one side to see the pre-rendered talking heads that accompany them.

Deadlock (Mac OS Classic) - Show Video.png

The code sage rat returns a unique message suggesting its functionality was disabled prior to release.

Deadlock (Mac OS Classic) - Pied Piper Sentinel.png

Finally, enter chineese buffet [sic] to add a Debug menu to the menu bar.

Deadlock (Mac OS Classic) - Debug.png

"Debug 1 (AI Stats)" brings up an overview of the AI armies' current activities.

Deadlock (Mac OS Classic) - Task Forces.png

"Debug 2 (God View)" lifts the fog of war, so that you can see all factions' units anywhere on the map.

"Debug 3 (Minister Stats)" provides a look at the AIs' domestic status, as well as who they're at war with and which of five personalities they've been randomly assigned. The personalities are called "Senator Bob", "William the Cool.", "Techademus", "Psycho Psusie", and "Spyder the Spoiler".

Deadlock (Mac OS Classic) - Minister.png

To do:
What distinguishes the personalities' playing styles?

"Debug 4 (Unused)", as expected, does nothing.

Heads and Tails

Each playable race has a pair of unused cinematics called "head" and "tail" that would have led into and out of its video messages.


The "head" clips show static clearing to reveal a faction's logo. The seven logos are never seen in-game (except for a glimpse of the Tarth's in the opening movie), but they do adorn the manual and guidebook without explanation.

These emblems were "all done in Photoshop 2.5 using early bump map and lighting tools."

(Source: Ken Capelli, Deadlock's lead artist)

Each is accompanied by a sound effect befitting that race's aesthetic.

Uva Mosk


Each "tail" clip briefly displays a species' representative looking straight at the camera. (The game's 'talking head' videos all start and end on this pose, which would allow them to chain together seamlessly.) The clip is distorted by animated static, representing the transmission being cut (and disguising the still image underneath).

The audio for each tail is the same as the head, only truncated by 1/5th of a second. The exception is the Cyth tail, which is reversed as well as truncated.


The Skirineen have no logo; their head and tail clips are identical shots of the trader's face accompanied by his usual audiovisual static.

Skirineen Raid Dialog

A cut feature would have allowed the Skirineen black marketeer to sell leaders an additional service: commando raids against their rivals. Raids against the player might have been resolved in a 3/4 view action minigame, which was cut in the playable prototype stage due to lack of budget for its assets and the impracticality of the scrolling graphics it demanded.

(Source: Russell Shiffer, Deadlock's lead designer)

Each race has unused dialog related to the raids, although some of it only exists as subtitles. (Notice that only the second in each pair of lines specifically addresses that spokesperson's own leader. The first lines seem to be pleas from other species for the player's help.)


Skirineen commandos are landing! Help us!
Hive Imperius, Skirineen commandos are landing!


Skirineen trespass our colony. Come, join in their destruction.
Skirineen trespass our colony, Veil Lord. [The audio clips part of the last word]


(no audio) Skirineen commandos attack our colony! Join us and we'll stop them.
(no audio) Commander, Skirineen commandos are destroying our colony!


Skirineen are landing in our territories! We need aid!
Maug-chief! Skirineen are landing in our territories!


Perhaps you'd like to assist us. Skirineen commandos have dropped from orbit.
Overseer! Skirineen are dropping from orbit! Stop them!


(no audio) Come, pound flesh with us! Skirineen land in colony!
Trouble Ubergeneral! Skirineen land in our colony!

Uva Mosk

Skirineen are landing! Join our cause, and we'll dispose of these defilers!
Skirineen land, Grand Hortus! They're defiling our colony!


The Skirineen's own dialog has the most discussion of raids, naturally.

(no audio) So you feel the need to hire a commando.
(no audio) Our commandos can be yours... for a price.

They have six ways of asking which province to attack...

Where do we land?
Now show us where we should go.
Pick the territory you need us in.
So, where do you want us to pillage?
This better be worth our enthusiasm.
We've arrived. Now what?

...and another six of accepting:

It begins.
They will tremble.
How lovely.
Ah. Of course.
A brilliant choice.

An after-action report is part of the service.

(no audio) Very little was destroyed. Unfortunately.
(no audio) This damage should slow them down for awhile.
(no audio) We annihilated them.


The game's personified help system also has some words on the subject:

Skirineen commandos can help you out of trouble. Sort of.
A hired Skirineen can destroy enemy buildings.
Your satellite's beam weapons can help or hinder a Skirineen raid.


A related feature was "something kinda cinematic called the Tribunal where you'd be brought before shadowy figures (the overlords who were watching over the Gallius IV contest) for some sort of judgment if you were caught using the Skirineen. Early on it was going to be realtime 3d with some sort of conversation tree [and] minigames." These plans were abandoned "fairly quickly" when real-time 3D of the desired quality proved impossible on home computers of the time.

(Source: Ken Capelli)

The finished game contains one orphaned subtitle per race accusing another leader, at a raucous Tribunal, of paying for a Skirineen raid.

ChCh't Only weak sloth hire Skirineen filth. Harsh justice now lands heavy... ON YOU!
Cyth Many injustices have harmed us throughout these galactic times. Here is another example. The Skirineen were brought against our colony by them!
Human Please, please, please, everyone. Silence. We were invaded... illegally by Skirineen. And this criminal is responsible.
Maug Spies have damaged our magnificent lands. We demand retribution! You, the guilty, must pay, and pay mightily.
Re'Lu This savagery shows poor judgment. Perhaps this punishment will give... higher understandings.
Tarth QUIET! SHUT UP! Only cowards make secret deals with Skirineen. But this coward is caught!
Uva Mosk The Skirineen once destroyed entire worlds. Now they wish to harm this planet. These fools who hired them must be punished!

Other Unused Dialog


The Skirineen trader has many unvoiced lines related to bidding on his services. In the game, he sets prices for everything. (These might have applied specifically to the deleted raid feature discussed above.)

So, what do you dare bid?
Offer us the money you can afford.
Bid what pleases you.
A large sum is good insurance.
Of course all this depends upon who pays the most....
We will... discuss... your offer.
Your offer might be enough.
That's all? [Laughs.] Better hope it's a slow day.
In a moment, you will have our answer.
Hm. We shall see.
You might be hearing from us.
There's always a chance.


This line is found among each faction's subtitles, directly after the proclamation of victory:


Generic Bad Ending

This speech is found at the end of Oolan's subtitles, but doesn't match her role in the final game. While she is the only character to address you as "colony leader" rather than your culture-specific title, it's because she's a neutral observer who advises all factions simultaneously from somewhere in space.

Dream of your revenge, colony leader. Someday we shall return! Let us quickly leave this solar system. There was little we could do as their power overwhelmed us. But next time, they will be the ones fleeing the planet! Perhaps this defeat gave you new wisdom. Look on this not as a loss, colony leader. Look on this as... an experience.

In the final, each race's spokesperson has unique dialog when the game ends, but Oolan has nothing new to say if you call her at that point.


Text exists for many special events beyond those that appear in the game.

Cause Natural Disaster
Effect Stops Transportation in Territory
Summary Hurricanes move from territory to territory. Transportation is impossible through hurricane blasted territories. However, these storms usually follow a set weather pattern, so you can estimate which territory they will go through next.
Sea Beast
Cause Natural Disaster
Effect Sinks Ships
Summary There has been recent sightings of a huge monster thriving in the oceans of Gallius IV. If this leviathan is spotted in an ocean territory on your coast take precautions -- it may sink your ships. Note that all attempts to kill or sedate this horrible creature have failed.
Transportation Strike
Cause Low Morale
Effect Resource Transportation Costs More
Summary Moving resources between your territories is a hazardous job -- many dangers can sideswipe a hovertruck. Because of this and other gripes transport workers may start a strike, immediately raising transportation costs. These rates do not come down until the strike is over.
Torrential Seas
Cause Natural Disaster
Effect Stops Ship Movement
Summary Fierce sea storms are not uncommon over Gallius IV's oceans. These rough waters prevent all ships from moving until the storm dies down.
Bumper Harvest
Cause Chance Event
Effect Increases Food Production
Summary The perfect combination of rain and sun lets your crops thrive. Territories experiencing this excellent weather increase their food production.
Baby Boom
Cause Chance Event
Effect Increases Colonists
Summary A wave of romance sweeps over your colony, causing an unexpected baby boom. Your colony's population will fill their housing very quickly.
Fanatical Troops
Cause High Morale
Effect Gives Units Attack Bonus
Summary If you win several battles, your military may become completely loyal to you. All your military units gain a huge attack bonus for a period of time. Once you lose a battle, your troops will immediately stop being fanatical.

Revisional Differences

The Mac v1.1b3 patch, dated 27 August 1998, lists the following improvements:

  1. Random crashes with a type 2 or type 11 error have been fixed. Many of these problems were related to launching missiles.
  2. Maximum number of Building, Armies, and Colonists that can exist during a game has been increased. This allows the game to handle large maps with many races much better.
  3. In the Tutorial, Oolan should no longer appear while you're deciding where to place the Farm or University.
  4. Command-Clicking on your landing site during the Tutorial no longer changes the Mac's System Font.
  5. Fixed a few minor cosmetic problems in the Dialogs.
  6. The application's Minimum Size has been increased by 512 KB; the Preferred Size has been increased by 1024 KB.
  7. When the Host quits from a Multi-Player game, the network game will discontinue and all remaining network games revert to single-player mode.
  8. Fixed a problem where music wouldn't play at startup, and user input became painfully slow.
  9. Integrated newer version of Smacker™ video library which had some minor fixes. Built the application with CodeWarrior Pro 3.