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Descent to Undermountain

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Title Screen

Descent to Undermountain

Developer: Interplay
Publisher: Interplay
Platform: DOS
Released in US: September 30, 1997
Released in EU: 1997


DevMessageIcon.png This game has a hidden developer message.
GraphicsIcon.png This game has unused graphics.
SoundIcon.png This game has unused sounds.
TextIcon.png This game has unused text.
Carts.png This game has revisional differences.
BonusIcon.png This game has hidden bonus content.


Designed by Chris Avellone and the same people that would give us Baldur's Gate, Planescape: Torment, and the Fallout games, Descent to Undermountain is considered by many to be the worst Dungeons & Dragons game released, set in the forgotten realms in the titular Undermountain super dungeon.

Unused Stuff

In the STUFF folder on the disc is quite a bunch of unused stuff. This folder will not install on your hard drive during game installation and includes a lot of files (121!). Most likely copies of stuff you will see or hear during the game in different formats, but also some that aren't.

Screensaver

WEIRD.SCR
DtU-weird.png

A screensaver with a Q*bert-like background and rolling balls.

Wallpapers

Several BMP files that are most likely intended to be wallpapers. Of those, two images are never shown in-game.

DRGN8X6A.BMP
DtU-DRGN8X6A.png

A red dragon head.

DRGN8X6A_SIGNED.BMP
DtU-DRGN8X6A SIGNED.png

Ditto, but with the artist's signature.

Sound Files

Many sound files are located in the 'STUFF' folder, most are copy of those used in game, except:

E02.WAV

E03.WAV

E04.WAV

E05.WAV

E06.WAV

E09.WAV

Recordings of Kelben Blackstaff's voice complaining.

EXE files

GOAWAY.EXE
DtU-Goaway.png

Kelben's voice will insult you if you click the "Stop bothering me" button.

Image Files

All the PCX, TGA, IFF can be viewed using software like Paint Shop Pro. The IFF files contain screenshots of LightWave3D 5.0 software showing the making of the TSR intro.

DtU-Opengl.png

Joke or Unused Quest?

DtU-41.png

An image exists called 41.PCX. It's a screenshot of a quest description, but...it seems to be a joke.

Deleted Content

According to the DTU.WRP file (which is a plain-text file), some areas of the game were deleted before the final release. Only the internal names (CLAN2, DROW4, BEHOLDR2, MADLANDS, IBBALAR2, PLAYGROUND) remain.

Developer Message

Present at the end of CONFIG.BAT:

rem ***********************************************
rem * All done folks, we's outta here....         *
rem ***********************************************

Revisional Differences

Only present in v1.0, while the credits roll, an interesting recording of the developer team discussing budget constraints ($8?) and the choice of what should be the credits theme is heard.

Shareware Version/Evaluation Copy

Within the game's executable is evidence of an "evaluation copy". It doesn't appear this version ever leaked outside of Interplay:

This special evaluation copy
of DESCENT TO UNDERMOUNTAIN has been issued to:

%s


    NOT FOR DISTRIBUTION
Continue
EVALUATION COPY

Also in the exe file is some clue about a possible shareware version. This was, in fact, never released, much to the complaint of gamers prior to the final release date:

( level_num - NUM_SHAREWARE_LEVELS >= 0 ) && ( level_num - NUM_SHAREWARE_LEVELS < NUM_REGISTERED_LEVELS )
( level_num >= 0 ) && ( level_num < NUM_SHAREWARE_LEVELS )

Unused Features

Multiplayer Support

DtU-network.png

Many complaints about this game arose from the lack of multiplayer support, even though it was promised on the game's box. This feature was apparently removed late in development but you can still see the network initialization if you run DTU.BAT with the "-verbose" command.

Found within the exe file is this comment:

 ConsoleObject->type == OBJ_PLAYER Created Cooperative multiplayer object
 Player init %d is ship %d.
 --NOT ENOUGH MULTIPLAYER POSITIONS IN THIS MINE!--

By looking at the DTU*.TEX files (there are nine of them and are plain-text), you can see all the multiplayer messages at different phases of development. The tex files suggest it also had multi-language support planned.

Can't save in a multigringo Taco!

Redbook Support

It seems that the game had Redbook support at some point in development. Present in the executable is this text:

Couldn't open DTU.SNG
songs.c
i < MAX_SONGS
%hd %u
RedBook Audio enabled.
RedBook Audio not enabled.
songnum < Songs_initialized

DTU.SNG has a map of the different tracks it would have played with their length and where it would be played:

; This table associates CD tracks with music items from the game.
; The music items are numbered from 1 to 5, followed by up to 22
;  level music entries, as indicated by the comments.
; The lines are in music item order.
; The Seconds column indicates the duration of each track.  If the
; music is to repeat, it will be restarted after Seconds seconds.
; If Seconds is too short, the music will be restarted before it
;  finishes.  If too long, there will be a gap of silence.
; You may have to add a couple of seconds to the actual song length
; to account for the delay time before the song actually starts playing.
; Otherwise, the song will stop a couple of seconds early.
; Lines starting with ; are treated as comments.
; No track number may be less than 1 or greater than the number on the CD.
;
; Track		Seconds		Comment
2		105		; title
2		105		; briefing
3		60		; end level
4		230		; end game
5		111		; credits
6		20		;112		; level 01
7		158		; level 02
8		153		; level 03
9		111		; level 04
10		224		; level 05
11		270		; level 06
12		143		; level 07
13		196		; level 08
14		169		; level 09
15		125		; level 10
16		103		; level 11
17		93		; level 12
2		105		; level 13
2		105		; level 14
6		112		; level 15
6		112		; level 16
6		112		; level 17
6		112		; level 18
6		112		; level 19
6		112		; level 20
6		112		; level 21
6		112		; level 22