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Harvester

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Title Screen

Harvester

Developer: DigiFX Interactive
Publishers: Merit Studios (US), Virgin Interactive (EU)
Platform: DOS
Released in US: September 24, 1996
Released in EU: 1996


GraphicsIcon.png This game has unused graphics.
RegionIcon.png This game has regional differences.


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

And you were just a scroll away from scaring everyone shitless, being fired, and possibly being arrested too...
Oh wow. Sometimes, you have no idea how morbid the things in these pages can be.
This page contains content that is not safe for life, whether it be you or anyone in proximity to you.
Such as: Digitized cannibalism.
Hmmm...
To do:
Examine the dozens and dozens of NPC and enemy sprites for unused frames. Upload an animated GIF of Steve's unused jumping and ducking animation.

Harvester is an ultra-violent point-and-click horror/mystery FMV game released in mid-1996 by DigiFX Interactive (formerly Future Vision). Originally intended for a 1994 ship date, it was delayed several times and later revamped to compete with Sierra On-Line's highly successful Phantasmagoria. Even the witty, dark-humor couldn't save the title from major bugs and poor sales which led to the closing of DigiFX less than one year later. The MS-DOS version was recently reissued on GOG.com in March and on Steam in April of 2014.

Unused Graphics

The following bitmaps (sans palette) are found in the large HARVEST.DAT and HARVEST2.DAT resource files located on the game's three CD-ROMs.

Unused Character Portraits

Hmmm...
To do:
Research to see if any portraits for characters with speaking roles go unused.

Harvester contains several unused character portraits; expressions that characters never express, portraits of characters who have no speaking dialogue, and even portraits of characters who were cut from the final game.


Harvester PASTORL1.BM.png Harvester PASTORL2.BM.png Harvester PASTORL3.BM.png Harvester PASTORL4.BM.png Harvester PASTORL5.BM.png

Character portraits of Mr. Pastorelli. Pastorelli has no speaking lines in Harvester, so these go unused.


Harvester FIRE1 2.BM.png Harvester FIRE1 3.BM.png Harvester FIRE1 4.BM.png Harvester FIRE1 5.BM.png

Portraits of the fireman who appears outside of the Harvest Fire Department. Despite having five portraits, only one is used ingame.


Harvester GENDEPT1.BM.png Harvester GENDEPT3.BM.png

A man in a cowboy hat. Named GENDEPT in the game files, this character is never seen in Harvester.

Dirty Magazine

Harvester DRTYMAG.BM.png

The cover of an indecent magazine featuring Harvester's lead female, Stephanie. Likely part of a scrapped (or joke) dirty magazine item, as this image is located alongside other examinable documents. There also exists an inventory icon for this magazine.

Early Game Over Screen

A mockup of the Game Over screen can be found leftover on the third disc's HARVEST.DAT binary archive.

Early Mockup Final Screen
Harvester gameover early.png Harvester gameover final.png

The early bitmap above is notable for containing a high quality digitized frame of Steve (the player character) which is not seen during gameplay.

Early Help Screen

Two very basic help screens (HELP1.BM and HELP2.BM) are leftover from an earlier version identified by the header as "0.3a."

Mouse & Keyboard Controls Joystick & Inventory Controls
Harvester help1.png Harvester help2.png

The first screen describes features which are not present in the final build. Steve cannot jump or duck on his own, and backing up manually is an undocumented feature which only appears to work if a melee weapon is equipped (not counting unarmed). The attack modifier key was changed from SHIFT to ALT sometime during production. The second screen mentions joystick controls which were never implemented (see below).

Unused Help Screens

Two additional help screens (INVHELP.BM and JOYSHELP.BM) are never displayed on the in-game Help menu.

Inventory Actions Screen Joystick Controls Screen
Harvester invhelp.png Harvester joyshelp.png

The Inventory Action screen depicted above is not displayed on the in-game help menu. While all the information appears accurate, the sprite displayed on the left of Steve (with his arms on his hips) is not used during actual gameplay. The Joystick Controls screen is void of any content because joystick support was never finished.

Merit Studios

An older render of the Merit Studios publisher logo (METR0119.BM). An updated version of the logo appears as its own elaborate full-motion video before the game begins. The screen itself is programmed as a room the player could potentially walk around in.

Placeholder Mugshots

Every non-hostile NPC in game which can be interacted with is always accompanied by a mugshot of their face which displays an emotion while speaking. Most characters have four frames of animation (an idle face, a happy face, an angry face and a sad face). Some NPCs, however, appear to only ever display their "idle" mugshot because their three other face bitmaps are duplicates. Some characters which include a large range of duplicate mugshots are Pastroelli and Parsons (from the barbershop), the Wasp Woman, Range Ryder's corpse and the war veteran (from the Lodge). The game also references a missing secondary set of mugshots for Karin (Edna's daughter), but the game defaults to her primary set.

Unimplemented Designs

Out of the 5920 (!) frames of animations for Steve, jumping and ducking sprites exist which never play because the player cannot perform these actions regardless of what the help screen reads. Furthermore, every enemy in the game has 296 animations cells assigned to them regardless if they use them or not (Steve is counted as a "monster" by the engine despite being controlled by the player). Unused cells are simply 1x1 pixel transparent filler images, although there are a few special exceptions. For example: Hank, the player character's kid brother, is one of the few NPCs which cannot be killed in-game (an invisible wall blocks your path). In this case, a set of duplicate idle sprites fill his "death animation" slot as an exception handler.

Lost Location & Enemy

Reading through Disc 1 and 2's script file (HARVEST.SCR, after XOR'ing by 0xAA) reveals two deleted locations: SEWER2 and SEWER3 which have complete layouts but are commented out. SEWER2 has code for spawning an enemy named GATOR, but its sprites no longer exist in the game's data. These two locations would have existed between the first sewer section under Mr. Johnson's street and the tunnel leading into his garage. Furthermore, the two tunnel internal names are listed as TUNNEL1 and TUNNEL3, implying a location in-between may have existed at some point.

Regional Differences

First FMV Second FMV
Harvester gore1.png Harvester gore2.png

Some international releases of Harvester are censored. Two full-motion video cutscenes were removed in their entirety, both from the "Mystery of Motherly Love" section of the Lodge in which a mother is brutally cannibalized by her three children.

Revision Differences

Hmmm...
To do:
Check for more of these b/w the original 1996 release and the Steam release.
Disc Change

While a more detailed disc change screen was present in the retail game, a new, hastily put together bitmap depicted on the left is used for the Steam Release. This is because the Steam version uses DOSBox as a wrapper and Ctrl + F4 is the virtual disc swapping key combination.