Descent to Undermountain
|Descent to Undermountain|
This game has a hidden developer message.
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.
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.
A screensaver with a Q*bert-like background and rolling balls.
Several BMP files that are most likely intended to be wallpapers. Of those, two images are never shown in-game.
A red dragon head.
Ditto, but with the artist's signature.
Many sound files are located in the 'STUFF' folder, most are copy of those used in game, except:
Recordings of Kelben Blackstaff's voice complaining.
Kelben's voice will insult you if you click the "Stop bothering me" button.
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.
Joke or Unused Quest?
An image exists called 41.PCX. It's a screenshot of a quest description, but...it seems to be a joke.
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.
Present at the end of CONFIG.BAT:
rem *********************************************** rem * All done folks, we's outta here.... * rem ***********************************************
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.
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 )
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!
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
The Dungeons & Dragons series
|DOS||Pool of Radiance • Curse of the Azure Bonds • Secret of the Silver Blades • Pools of Darkness • Eye of the Beholder • Eye of the Beholder II - The Legend of Darkmoon • Eye of the Beholder III - Assault on Myth Drannor • Stronghold • Al-Qadim: The Genie's Curse • Blood & Magic • Descent to Undermountain|
|NES||Heroes of the Lance • Hillsfar (Prototype) • Pool of Radiance • DragonStrike|
|SNES||Eye of the Beholder|
|Genesis||Warriors of the Eternal Sun|
|Sega CD||Eye of the Beholder|
|Windows||Planescape: Torment • Neverwinter Nights • The Temple of Elemental Evil|
|PlayStation 2, Xbox||Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance • Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance II|
|GameCube||Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance|
|Game Boy Advance||Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance|