This game has unused graphics.
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...Well, all the articles here are, in a way. But this one moreso, and the article may contain incomplete information and editor's notes.
Reunion is an odd strategy game, which tried to combine genres and styles. Mainly it's a 4X space strategy in real time, with every colony being a separate city management game, plus there are adventure elements. You are in charge of a lost colony founded by people who escaped Earth after a coup. Your goal is to find Old Earth and to reconquer it. To reunite!
Amiga version. Was there any difference between Grandslam and Merit versions? Was there a Hungarian version? Maybe more on language differences?
2 distinct kinds of MS–DOS distributions are floating in the net: English floppy version and European 4-lingual (English, French, German, Italian) CD version. Both display Grandslam logo in the intro, but some archives have a readme file that mentions Merit Studios as the publisher. Looks like there was no difference. I did not find Amiga version(s).
The 4-lingual CD just contains 4 separate games in different folders plus the installer. The English folder is nearly identical to the floppy version, save for 2 files: the main executable GRWAR\REUNION.PRG (fixing many stability issues) and GRAFIKA\CHARSET1.PIC.
|Floppy CHARSET1.PIC||CD CHARSET1.PIC|
Resources of the 4 games on the CD differ greatly, because much of the text was stored in the executables or as bitmaps, and much of the speech was stored in the music MOD files. (Though GRAFIKA\CHARSET1.PIC is the same in all CD versions.) Textless bitmaps and voiceless sounds are mostly identical. Most file names are the same, but English version has 4 unique files: CREDITS\STEAL3.MOD, INTRO\PAL13.PIC, INTRO\PAL14.PIC, INTRO\PAL21.PIC (also present in the floppy version) and French version has 1 unique file: INTROP\_BACKUP_.PIC.
STEAL3.MOD is a slightly different version of the credits theme STEAL2.MOD (see below).
PAL13.PIC, PAL14.PIC and PAL21.PIC are still frames from the intro (see below).
_BACKUP_.PIC looks like 19X4.PIC (a piece of the intro slideshow), but with huge (640x1100) white rectangle attached below.
Also, GRAFIKA\DEATH.PIC in English versions differs from the rest. It is 256 pixels high rather than standard VGA 200, because it has a black field under the picture and a pink separator. Since these images are only used as a source of palette for the animation (see below), there's no visible difference in the game — the player actually sees the death animation that looks like the non-English DEATH.PIC.
|English DEATH.PIC||Other DEATH.PIC|
English versions include 2 different versions of the credits theme "Steal the Sky": CREDITS\STEAL2.MOD and CREDITS\STEAL3.MOD. Non-English versions only have STEAL2.MOD. There isn't much difference, though.
Europa revolt storyline, bar
The Amiga AGA version has this text hidden inside of game.exe at 0xAE. Do note that the executable will need to be RNC decompressed to be able to see the string.
CD Version price: 3000 pounds, MR HALL! SIGNED BY: THE AMIGA DEVELOPER TEAM
Some bits of untranslated Hungarian can be found within the game's files.
mit gyartsanak mit fejlesszenek ok, ennyi lesz
what to do what to improve ok, that's it
Still Frames as Palettes
The game animation format ("SpidyAnim", RLE based off PCX) does not store the palette, and it has to be read from a separate file. In most cases it is read from *.PIC files in the same directory. Some of them may only contain 768 bytes of colours, but most are frames from the same clips. Many of those frames are not used anywhere else.
Dialogue text gaps
GRAFIKA\PIRATES.PIC has sprites for NPCs that eventually show up in the bar by the command center. Except for the second from the left, who does not appear in the game. Considering there are obvious gaps in the dialogue files, those were probably his.
Additionally, the beetle-like alien (top second from the right) is said to be a shapeshifter. In all other of his scenes — including the ones set in the bar moments later — he looks entirely different, like a red humanoid with huge blisters. It's possible the beetle and the blistered humanoid started as separate characters.
Privateer and Galleon
The images WAR\PIRLOST.PIC and WAR\PIRWIN.PIC are not used anywhere. Judging by their size and layout, they would fit perfectly in the combat debriefing interface for defeat and victory, like WAR\GRLOST.PIC, WAR\SPLOST.PIC, WAR\GRVICT.PIC and WAR\SPVICT.PIC:
Furthemore, GRAFIKA\SHIP3.PIC has 4 icon sets for different kinds of fleets. Red are for military ships, green are for non-combat transports, blue are for satellite carriers. Which leaves brown. There obviously was some 4th category of fleet planned, and there was 3rd category of battles. Pirates, mercenaries or some other shady setup looks like a good guess.
EPULET\EPULET*.PIC images from 1 to 25 are pictures of colony buildings used in the colony interface help. EPULET26.PIC has no picture, just a placeholder number. It is not used in the game.
By the way, "epulet" means "building" in Hungarian.