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Title Screen


Also known as: Gene Wars
Developer: Bullfrog Productions
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Platforms: DOS, Windows
Released in US: October 1996
Released in EU: September 1996

DevTextIcon.png This game has hidden development-related text.
DebugIcon.png This game has debugging material.
Carts.png This game has revisional differences.

PrereleaseIcon.png This game has a prerelease article

Genewars answers the question of what you would get if you spliced the DNA of Command & Conquer with that of Spore.

Sub Pages

Read about prerelease information and/or media for this game.
Prerelease Info

Debug Mode

To activate the in-game debug mode, enter SALMONAXE at any point during the game.

Key Effect
B Instantly builds or upgrades
C Access all purebreds and hybrids
D Show memory info
L Summon monoliths
S Improves technology
T Makes buildings translucent
W Win immediately
Shift + Z Reveal whole map
F5 Duranium bulb appears at cursor
F6 Drop bombs from cursor
F7 Shoot at selected creature
F10 Add money

(Source: KasketDarkfyre)

Build Date

Hidden inside gw.exe.

Version Code
beta 4
Jul 19 1996

Debug log file adds:

Version 12383(RReed)
Sep 02 1996
Sep 26 1996
Nov 26 1996

Development Strings

Version 1.1

Hidden in gw.exe at 0x12B614:

(c) 1996 Diadem Inc.

There's also this error message at 0x12C75E:


Version beta 4

Map 'conq020' opened in the level editor

Binary file of this version is much larger than other versions (over 5MB), as it is a debug build, which:

  • contains debug information (names of global and local variables, names of functions source code line numbers),
  • contains debug logging (additional printf() calls with various messages which help in debug, and assert() calls),
  • contains the level editor, which can be invoked by command line parameters

Revision Differences

Version 1.1 adds a networking mode accessible right from the main menu and speed controls.


Command line parameters

When entering an unrecognized command line argument, the game still references itself Biosphere. It also prints out recognized command line arguments, many of which have no effect in the final game, but do work in debug builds (beta 4):

Biosphere Options:

 - n             Network mode enable
 - x<name>       Network session name
 - d             Debug mode enable
 - dl            Debug Lo / Hi res emulation
 - dk		 Debug keyboard handler
 - s		 Enable hi quality sounds
 - e             Editor enable
 - g		 Screen shots mode
 - z		 Tester Autosave

Most parameters are case insensitive (except `-i`). This is visible in the array used by command line options parser:

const char cmdln_opts[] = {

Pathfinding modifier key

Pressing `z` during the game modifies pathfinding for the local client, so that routing ignores buildings (see forceAllowRouteThroughStuff()). On network game, this causes desync as the algorithm is only changed for the player pressing the 'z'.