Proto:Daikatana (Windows)/Milestone 2
This is a sub-page of Proto:Daikatana (Windows).
Milestone 2 is a prototype version of Daikatana compiled on August 27, 1997. This version is based on the Quake engine instead of the Quake 2 engine, which the final game uses. Based on the name and the letter written by John Romero that is included with the files, it seems that this build was intended to be a status update of how the game was going.
The prototype itself is a very interesting snapshot of the game’s development before the move to the Quake 2 engine. Even though it was made almost three years before the final game came out, many parts of the final are already present here, though they underwent several refinements. It also has quite a few level design elements that made it into the final, with changes involving proportions and minor details such as changing the shape of pillars or lampposts. In fact, some of the levels in this build are merely simplified versions of the levels seen in the final game.
Despite how close it is to the final game in terms of ideas, it still needed a good bit of development. Almost every level contains multiple dead-ends, several bits of the art are rough, and the partners are nonfunctional.
Several years before Milestone 2 was released to the public, a stripped-down version of it called the Pre-Alpha was released. This version only has E1M3 and E2M3 as playable levels, making it impossible to see most of the content in Episodes 3 and 4 without hex-editing. It was presented as being from early in the game’s development, but the August 1997 dating of the executable shows that this is not the case. It’s likely it was compiled for another reason, with Milestone 2 coming a few days later.
Filled to the brim with rough drafts of the final weapons.
A good chunk of the final's enemies are present, but with all sorts of sound and graphical differences.
Surprisingly, almost all of the final characters are here.
Few items are in the game, but a ton of descriptions for items can be found in a .dll file.
All sorts of unused graphics for menus and some test models.
A lot of unused and eventually cut models that were meant to be used as decorations.
| Episode 1 Levels|
The origins of some of the final's Episode 1 levels can be seen here.
| Episode 2 Levels|
Ancient Greece Done With Completely Different Level Design 1997.
| Episode 3 Levels|
A snowy and foggy wonderland filled with familiar levels.
| Episode 4 Levels|
Two levels that are surprisingly similar to their final counterparts, and a level that was completely cut.
Different sounds everywhere, but a few are exactly the same as the final's.
Editor descriptions for enemies, usage of the phrase "Suck it down!", and death messages, oh my!
| Console Commands|
All sorts of fun commands that can be used in the game's console.
Stuff that doesn't fit anywhere else.
Milestone 2 comes with two executables: one that uses an OpenGL renderer, and one that uses a software renderer. The Pre-Alpha lacks the software renderer.
The skies seen in levels depend on the executable used.
With the OpenGL renderer, the sky will appear as pure white when the executable is first booted up. If the player dies, the sky will change to what appears to be a castle rising above the clouds in every Episode.
In the software renderer, the skies look similar to the ones seen in Quake. Episode 2 has a blue and white version of the sky seen in Quake. Episode 3 has a unique blue and white sky that uses completely original graphics. Episode 4 uses the dark sky seen in Quake.
The prototype has fog effects that only render properly in the software renderer. Playing levels that have fog effects in the OpenGL executable will make the game send errors about not recognizing the entities responsible for fog. The levels will still work, however.
Most of the models and textures at this point use formats (a heavily altered .mdl format for models and .skn for textures) that cannot be read in any model or image viewer, respectively. However, debug commands can be used to view every model when a level has a certain entity placed in it. There does seem to still be some sort of support for the Quake model format, though, as a few models used in this build can be read by regular Quake model viewers.
A few .bmp textures can be found in the texture folder \data\skins. Some of them appear to be slightly different versions of textures in .skn format, while others have no .skn equivalent.
Dlls and QuakeC
The engine uses .dlls instead of compiled QuakeC. When opened as a .txt format, the .dlls show a lot of text that is otherwise unseen such as items and full weapon names. There also seems to be descriptions of map entities and some error messages regarding things such as the AI.
Milestone 2 comes with a readme in .doc format by John Romero that talks about what Milestone 2 is and has a table showing the completion states various assets were in at the time the prototype was done.
A few variables regarding multiplayer (such as modem configurations) can be found in each .cfg file, but there doesn't seem to be any way to activate it.
This build of Daikatana is based on v1.07 of the Quake engine, as the console will state that it is running a "Version 1.07 Server" if you read the console while it's loading a map.
The abilities to save, load, or type messages do not work. Attempting to use them will make a "fixme!" error message appear in the console.
There is a button (F11) for an inventory and an inventory is occasionally mentioned in items.dll, but attempting to use it by hitting F11 does nothing.
There is demo recording support in the prototype: while not in a map, type in "record (demo name)", then type in the map name you want to go to. When you're done recording, type in "stop demo". If you want to play it back for later, type in "playdemo (demo name)".
The Infamous Arrow Texture
While this isn't super important, the fabled "hilariously large arrow texture" mentioned in GameSpot's Daikatana retrospective is present in this build's data\skin folder. While not as large as the article says, it is still far too large for a goddamn arrow, especially for 1997-era computers.