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System Shock

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Title Screen

System Shock

Developer: Looking Glass Studios
Publisher: Origin Systems
Platform: DOS
Released in US: September 23, 1994
Released in EU: 1994

EnemyIcon.png This game has unused enemies.
ObjectIcon.png This game has unused objects.
GraphicsIcon.png This game has unused graphics.
ItemsIcon.png This game has unused items.
SoundIcon.png This game has unused sounds.
TextIcon.png This game has unused text.
DebugIcon.png This game has debugging material.
Carts.png This game has revisional differences.

NotesIcon.png This game has a notes page

System Shock is a 1994 first person shooter with adventure and RPG elements. Considered a cult classic, it spawned a more commercially successful sequel in 1999, and is also credited with inspiring the even more successful Deus Ex and BioShock.

The game has a wide variety of unused, unfinished, or dummied-out items, textures, and enemies, as well as text, audio logs, and other miscellaneous graphics.


Version Differences
Stuff that got changed between releases.

Debug mode

When neurosurgery goes slightly wrong

System Shock has a "free movement" mode which allows you to essentially stop time and move around the level without any of that pesky physics or collision detection getting in the way.

This is controlled by the config file variable "time_passes", which has a default value of 1. Changing it in the config file isn't actually possible, since the game forces it to always have this value. However, it can be changed by opening CDSHOCK.EXE in a hex editor and changing the byte at offset 0x164E38 from 01 to 00 (this assumes you're playing the CD-ROM version).

What happens in this mode:

  • You can move through anything solid, including walls. It's extremely easy to get stuck outside of the map doing this, so watch your step.
  • Time is frozen.
    • If playing on Mission difficulty 3, the time limit stops counting down.
    • Enemies don't move around, and nothing is animated except for cycling palettes and rotating 3D models (cameras).
    • Doors make sound when activated, but don't actually open/close (though you can move right through them anyway.)
    • Some buttons/switches (such as light switches and elevator panels) still work, but buttons that do things such as raise/lower floors and ceilings will cause an infinitely long sound effect to play while the surface in question stays in place.
    • Energy is never consumed, though you still get the "Energy usage now __" message when you enable hardware. Once your energy usage rate drops to 0, the message stays on screen.
    • Power stations never recharge (you don't need them anyway.)
  • Physics simulation is disabled.
    • The player accelerates/decelerates instantaneously, and moves and turns faster than normal.
    • Thrown/dropped objects stay fixed in midair at the exact position they were thrown from. This makes it significantly easier to catch live grenades (not recommended).
    • If you decide to grab a live EMP grenade, the "rolling screen" effect never wears off. Don't do this.
  • Some of the controls were changed to suit the free movement better.
    • Holding the jump key causes you to rise into the air indefinitely, though you return to the ground as soon as you move.
    • The lean left/right buttons cause you to bank left/right instead, like in cyberspace.
    • The look up/down keys have no limit on how far you can look in either direction. Combine this with the jump key for the ability to do infinite backflips.
    • The posture controls don't do anything (no crouching/lying prone.) Strangely the posture control displays the "crouching" graphic whenever you move forward or backward.
  • Weapons don't work.
  • Dermal patches never wear off. The downside is that they also don't do anything (except for Detox, which renders you perpetually sober until you disable the debug mode.)

Naturally, you can switch back to normal gameplay by changing the same byte back to 01.

(Source: Reimann Shock)

Dummy model

The dummy model replacing a healing station

The file OBJ3D.RES contains definitions for 3D models numbered 0 through 79, used for various decorative objects throughout the game. Approximately 20 of these aren't used by any objects, and all resolve to the same "dummy" model. The model resembles a small green airplane with one wing fading between light and dark green; it may have been initially used to test 3D models in the game before any proper 3D objects were implemented.

(Source: Original TCRF research)

Unused objects

There are several objects defined in OBJPROP.DAT which do not appear in the game.

Projectiles (class 02)

  • Drone camera (subclass 02, type 00)
  • Explododrone (subclass 02, type 01)
These two objects are completely dummied out.

Hardware (class 05)

  • View control unit (subclass 01, type 05)
This is the hardware that allows you to switch between full screen or normal view. You're never able to pick it up in game, since you already have this hardware immediately after starting the game, but an object exists for it nonetheless. When you try to take it, you get the "this ware is obsolete" message, since you always have it equipped anyway.

There is also an MFD background icon for it in the file MFDART.RES, although you never see it, since its "item" panel contains various visual settings instead.

  • Aim enhancement hardware (subclass 00, type 03)
An unused hardware item. It has its own background icon for the "Item" panel, but doesn't have an actual description. It appears in the Hardware inventory menu, but doesn't show up among the hardware icons on either side of the screen. The effect this hardware would have is fairly obvious from the name, but when enabled, it doesn't actually seem to do anything.
  • Head-up display goggles (subclass 00, type 04)
Another unused piece of hardware. It has a background icon, though the game doesn't display it for some reason. This item may have been intended to serve the same purpose as the actual MFD display, which you never actually have to "get", as it's built into your head from the beginning of the game.

Curiously, the background icon resembles the aim enhancement's sprite, while the object's sprite itself resembles the Sensaround's background icon.

Attempting to turn this hardware on doesn't have any visible effects at first, but attempting to search a corpse or container with it activated causes a partially visible, unusable "search" panel to appear at the top of the screen rather than the bottom, suggesting that the game's interface may have originally had a different design. Doing this can also cause the game to stop responding to the player's input, for some reason, although it's still possible to move the cursor.
Prerelease screenshot showing all of the available hardware. Notice the "AIM" and "HUD" selections. (Source: PC Gamer, June 1994)
Both the aim enhancement and HUD goggles can be seen in a few prerelease screenshots, though they don't really provide any clues as to how exactly they would have worked.

Software (class 06)

To do:
Find the PC Gamer article ("Through the Looking Glass") mentioned here, it may have some cool information

In addition to the few unused hardware items, there is a good deal of unused software. Almost all of these have MFD background icons in MFDART.RES. Very few of these items are actually usable.

In a feature from the March 1995 issue of PC Gamer, it is mentioned that "while Cyberspace was originally conceived as a realistic hacking simulation—which could even be used to reimplement SHODAN's ethical constraints—it was simplified after Origin Systems deemed it too complicated." These items are probably all remnants from that original concept.

(Source: [1] Wikipedia)
Firing a Datastorm projectile
  • Datastorm (assault software) (subclass 00, type 01)
Sshock-datastormicon.png This weapon software can be picked up in cyberspace and used. It shoots small red triangular projectiles, but these do not actually do any damage.
Firing a Disc projectile.
  • Disc (heavy attack program) (subclass 00, type 03)
Sshock-discicon.png This is another somewhat functional weapon software. This weapon's projectile is a red-tinted version of the "data node" objects, although it may have used a different model at some point during development. The projectile object's short name is "TRON DISC". Like the Datastorm projectile, it does no damage.
  • Mine (explosive module) (subclass 00, type 02)
  • Scrambler (software grenade) (subclass 00, type 05)

Sshock-mineicon.png Sshock-scrambleicon.png

These two weapon softwares can be picked up, but do not do anything when used.
  • Virus (some cool thing) (subclass 00, type 06)
This software displays the message "item rejected" when you attempt to pick it up. A "destroyed virus" type also exists with the rest of the container and corpse types, along with unused "destroyed" versions of the other cyberspace programs; this suggests that it may have been intended to let you summon "friendly" programs that would attack cyberspace enemies.
  • Old fake ID (subclass 01, type 01)
  • ICE shield (subclass 01, type 02)

Sshock-fakeidicon.png Sshock-iceicon.png

These also display the message "item rejected" when you attempt to pick them up. Although they can't be added to the inventory through normal means, they have background icons anyway.
  • Monitor (subclass 03, type 01)
  • Identify (subclass 03, type 02)
  • Trace (subclass 03, type 03)
  • Toggle (subclass 03, type 04)

Sshock-monitoricon.png Sshock-identicon.png Sshock-traceicon.png Sshock-toggleicon.png

These also display the "item rejected" message. They are part of the same subclass as the Trioptimum Fun Pack Module, suggesting that they probably would have been for use outside of Cyberspace.
  • Map segment (subclass 05, type 00)
This may have been intended to automatically map out parts of the level for you when picked up.

Scenery/fixtures (class 07)

  • Floor lamp (subclass 03, type 01)
  • Glow bulb (subclass 03, type 02)

Sshock-floorlamp.png Sshock-glowbulb.png

Two unused types of light sources. Could have been used in any number of places.
  • VCR (subclass 00, type 01)
It's a VCR. Presumably, Trioptimum finally decided to switch to optical media at some point. The model also lacks a texture, suggesting it was scrapped relatively early into development (or maybe it never had one to begin with.)
  • Keyboard (subclass 00, type 04)
It's a keyboard. Probably scrapped because it would have looked a little bit out of place.
  • Control panel (subclass 05, type 05)
This resembles a wider version of some of the "control pedestal" objects, with similar texturing and blinky lights. Might have simply been scrapped in favor of the smaller electronics models.
  • Probe (subclass 05, type 02)
This is in the same subclass as the security camera, and may have been intended as an additional security device; the phrase "cameras and probes" is used in one of the first email messages you receive from SHODAN. The model seems to be oversized or poorly scaled.
  • Statue (subclass 06, type 00)
Sshock-statuetiny.png Dummied out object in the "plants" subclass, probably would have appeared in the groves somewhere. The only graphical remnant is the "zoomed out" version of the sprite (shown here at 400% size), which is too small to be of any real use.
  • Vine (subclass 06, types 07 and 08)


Two more unused grove objects. While there are still plenty of vines around, they only appear in the form of textures, not sprites.
  • Rock (subclass 06, type 11)
This is an object in the "plants" subclass, probably intended for use in the groves.
  • Boulder (subclass 06, type 12)
Sshock-plant.png This probably would have been similar to "rock", but uses the dummy model. However, if you change its render type from 1 (model) to 2 (sprite), it becomes something which clearly isn't a boulder.
  • Brass railing (subclass 07, type 04)
  • Wooden railing (subclass 07, type 05)
Two 3D railing objects that could have been used on the executive level, the groves, or a number of other places.
  • REALWALL (subclass 07, type 02)
A solid rectangular object with an obvious placeholder texture. May have been used to test collision with 3D models.
  • Pillar (subclass 07, type 03)
  • Pillar (subclass 07, type 06)
Slightly complex models with similar placeholder textures. Probably used for the same purpose as "REALWALL".
  • Tubing (subclass 04, type 01)
Uses the dummy model.
  • Broken lab equipment (subclass 04, type 07 & 08)
Two dummied-out objects that probably would have showed up on the medical and/or research levels somewhere.

Items (class 08)

  • Warecasing (subclass 00, type 03)
An unused item of the same "junk" subclass as the beverage can, fire extinguisher, etc. It cannot be picked up; double-clicking on it gives you the "can't use" message instead.
  • Telescoping rod (subclass 03, type 02)
An unused item found alongside the useful half of the "general" inventory items, namely the probes, batteries, and first aid kits. It has a unique background graphic for the "item" panel, but has no description. It has no obvious use, and can't be vaporized like the normal "useless" inventory items.
  • Tractor beam (subclass 03, type 04)
Another unused item in the same category. It also has a unique background graphic, but no description. Unlike the telescoping rod, it can actually be turned on/off by the player. When activated, it consumes energy at a rate of 32 JPM, and allows the player to pick up any objects within sight, regardless of distance.
  • Systemic sequencer (subclass 07, type 04)
  • Superconducting processor (subclass 07, type 05)
  • Monopole stabilizer (subclass 07, type 06)
Three unused quest items. They all use a slightly differently-colored version of interface demodulator sprite; these items may have at one point been considered as alternatives to that and could have easily filled the same role, gameplay-wise.
  • Multiplexer (subclass 05, type 00)
A cyberspace object. Has a model, but doesn't really do anything.
  • Data violation (subclass 05, type 04)
A strange cyberspace object which uses the dummy model. This object is not actually unused - instances of it are sometimes barely visible in distant, isolated areas outside of the normal cyberspace levels, but none of them are physically accessible. The object's internal short name is "SHRINE" - this fact combined with its lack of unique model and its bizarre, unexplained placement suggests that it may have originally been intended to be something else, or perhaps it is simply supposed to represent "glitches" in cyberspace, small manifestations of SHODAN's evil presence, or something to that effect.
  • ICEwall (subclass 05, type 05)
Also uses the dummy model. At some point in development, ICE may have been used to physically block off areas of cyberspace as well as software, but only the latter function remains in the game.
  • Broken panel (subclass 01, type 05)
Sshock-brokenpanel.png This is part of the same subclass as the broken levers and other generic debris that you find around the station.
  • Chemical stain (subclass 06, type 06)
  • Oil puddle (subclass 06, type 07)
  • Waste spill (subclass 06, type 08)
Three decal types that don't have any graphics.

Switches (type 09)

  • Dial (subclass 00, type 08)
An unused switch type. It has more frames than the standard switches, and was obviously supposed to be used for something with more settings than "on" and "off". However, when you put this in a level to replace an existing switch, it just alternates back and forth between two frames.
  • Access card slot (subclass 01, type 00)
An unused "receptacle" type. At some point, these probably would have been used to unlock doors that required access cards, but in the final game, all doors are opened the same way regardless of whether or not they require an access card.

When a normal switch is replaced with an access card slot, nothing happens when you attempt to "use" it; picking up an access card and using it on the slot also does nothing.

  • Ammo vending machine (subclass 04, type 00)
  • Heal vending machine (subclass 04, type 01)

Sshock-ammovend.png Sshock-healvend.png

Two unused objects which have a subclass all to themselves. Their intended purpose is obvious, but there are no purchasable items (or currency) in the final game. When placed in a level, they behave just like normal switches, suggesting that the vending machine logic may never have actually been implemented.
Note: in order for the vending machines to show up correctly, the objects' render types must be changed from 2 (regular sprite) to 8 (wall sprite).
  • Access panel (subclass 03, type 10)
An unused light brown version of the access panel. There are six colors of access panel in all, but only five of them are used.
  • Fixup station (subclass 02, type 02)
An object from the same subclass as the energy charge station and the cyberspace terminal, it uses the dummy model. This was probably the same thing as the surgery station.
  • Dataflow router (subclass 05, type 02)
A cyberspace object which uses the dummy model. Being in the same subclass as the cybertoggle, it probably would have served a similar purpose - i.e. allowing the player to unlock remote areas from within cyberspace.

Doors (class 10)

  • Vertical open door (subclass 00, type 34)
  • Vertical split door (subclass 00, type 35)
Two dummied-out door types (or perhaps two variations of the same door type.)
  • The Warm Stone (subclass 00, type 09)
  • My Toe is an Eggplant (subclass 00, type 18)
  • Great Lord Snaqueotrahn (subclass 00, type 25) This is the placeholder for inactive vertical force doors. (the translucent forcefield once, not the crossed beams) Similarly Elephant, Jorp is used for inactive force bridges.
  • Salt the Fries (subclass 00, type 30)
  • Dark Lord Tuaohtua (subclass 00, type 36) This appears to be some sort of noise maker.
  • Report this as a bug (subclass 00, type 40)
These all seem to be used internally by the game engine (with the possible exception of the last one), but their (amusing) names cannot actually be seen by the player. "Salt the fries" refers to a well-known inside joke between the developers.

Animations (class 11)

  • Inactive emergency signal (subclass 00, type 00)
  • Active emergency signal (subclass 00, type 01)
An alternate version of the flashing emergency signal that activates once you set the station to self-destruct. The one in the game is much more realistic and simple-looking.
  • Dead mutant (subclass 00, type 01)
Used Unused
Sshock-deadmutant2.png Sshock-deadmutant1.png

An alternate version of the impaled mutant that appears on the medical level. These may have originally been intended to appear more often than they ultimately did.

  • Machinery (subclass 00, type 06)
  • Station hologram (subclass 00, type 07)
Two animated objects which no longer have graphics.

Triggers (class 12)

  • Area enter trigger (subclass 00, type 05)
  • Area contin trigger (subclass 00, type 06)
  • Continuous trigger (subclass 00, type 09)
  • Trip beam (subclass 01, type 00)
Various types of "trigger" objects of the type used to activate various ingame events. They may have been originally used in sequences that were later redesigned, or the behavior of the other trigger types may have been changed, making these obsolete.
  • Bio-hazard voodoo mark (subclass 02, type 00)
  • Rad-hazard voodoo mark (subclass 02, type 01)
  • Chem-hazard voodoo (subclass 02, type 02)
These were probably originally used to designate "toxic" areas, but this is handled by flags in the map data instead.

Searchable objects (class 13)

  • Destroyed lifter robot (subclass 04, type 00)
  • Destroyed turret (subclass 04, type 04)
  • Destroyed security-3 robot (subclass 04, type 12)
  • Destroyed robot (subclass 04, type 13)
"Dead" versions of unused enemies. None of them have graphics. The last type ("destroyed robot") has no "alive" version corresponding to it; the words "destroyed" and "robot" also have two spaces in between, likely from a word having been deleted.
  • Destroyed programs (subclass 06, types 00-06)
Dummied-out "dead" versions of every cyberspace enemy, including the unused "virus" and "dynamic ICE." Rather than leaving behind "corpses" in cyberspace, the programs simply fade out/disappear when killed.

Enemies (class 14)

  • Sonic the Hedgehog (subclass 00, type 06)
This was probably hilarious in 1994.
The actor used for the player character. Uses the humanoid mutant sprites, within the "mutants" category. It has almost no AI; when placed into the level, it simply follows you around at all times and gets in your way. It has similar stats to the humanoid mutant, but with 60 hit points instead of 50. The name seems to be an odd in-joke referencing the fact that elements of System Shock, such as the roller skates, were inspired by the gameplay of Sonic The Hedgehog.
(Source: Chad Cuddigan)
  • Insectoid mutant (subclass 00, type 02)


A clearly unfinished enemy, it may have been another idea for a type of "animal" mutant that the player would find in the groves, although its simplistic and under-detailed sprites give it a very non-organic appearance.
  • Large turret (subclass 01, type 04)


Despite being named "large turret", this actually looks a lot like an unfinished version of the Security-2 robot. There is an unused Security-3 bot as well, but it has no graphics; it is possible that the Sec-3 had previously used this type number. This unfinished enemy has very few unique frames, and can only be seen "properly" from the front. For all other angles, it uses the same sprites as the Hopper.
  • Lifter (subclass 01, type 00)


Lifter bots are mentioned in one of Ed Aubry's audio logs on the storage level, but are nowhere to be seen in the game. This is one of only two unused enemies to have its own MFD background graphic.
  • SHODAN (subclass 03, type 05)
SHODAN's cyberspace avatar in polygon form.
This is an alternate version of SHODAN found among the rest of the cyberspace enemies. While the normal version uses sprites, this version uses a 3D model, similar to several other cyberspace enemies. It is also rather unfinished, having 0 hit points and no AI.
In the June 1994 issue of PC Gamer, lead programmer Doug Church mentioned that at the time, the development team was unsure of whether or not the final battle with SHODAN would take place in cyberspace, which probably explains the two different versions — one in the "programs" subclass, and the other in the "bosses" subclass along with Diego. Strangely, despite the fact that you do fight SHODAN in cyberspace, it's the "program" version that's unused.
(Source: SS1 previews, reviews & promo)
  • Security-3 robot (subclass 01, type 11)
An unused enemy with no graphics except for a background for the targeting hardware, giving a vague impression of what it would have looked like. Despite having no regular graphics and being impossible to attack, they still follow you around the same way, making them quite annoying when put into a level.
  • Dynamic ICE (subclass 03, type 03)
An unused cyberspace enemy which uses the dummy model. Most likely would have been something like a more mobile version of the existing ICE protection.
(Source: Original TCRF research)

Unused graphics


Sshock-shodanparticles.png Near the end of OBJART.RES, there is yet another graphic of SHODAN's cyberspace avatar. Based on its coloration and its location in the file, it probably would have been one of the "particle models" of the type used by the Cyberdog and Cortex Reaver in cyberspace. It is fairly massive in comparison—it's over three times the size of the Cortex Reaver's model, which is the larger of the two particle models used in the game. If this were also used as such, it would have required the engine to constantly draw over 2,200 particles for the same enemy, which probably would have brought the game to a standstill on the average 1994 computer.



All of the "human corpse" sprites in the game have a full set of 8 rotations in OBJART.RES, though the game always displays the same one regardless of angle. According to the System Shock Developer Commentary, the developers decided that it looked less strange to have a single sprite than 8 for different angles, due to the effect that occurred when the player walked over them whilst looking down.

(Source: System Shock Developer Commentary)



The file HANDART.RES contains all of the graphics for the weapons as seen from the player's point of view. Every gun has a second frame that depicts the muzzle flash that occurs when the gun is fired, but several of the guns (in order: Sparq beam, stungun, magpulse, blaster, railgun, ion rifle, and plasma rifle) don't actually produce a muzzle flash. The developers may have simply decided that they looked better without them.

Interface graphics

Sshock-drugicon.png Sshock-hwicon.png Sshock-weirdicon.png Sshock-gunicon.png

MFDART.RES contains some leftover generic MFD graphics, likely used before each item had its own. They have different colors and less detail than the final background icons. What exactly the purple one is supposed to represent isn't clear.

Sshock-texticon.png Sshock-emailicon.png

The "text" and "email" objects (class 06, subclass 04), which both correspond to the audio logs you find around the station, are part of the "software" class. As such, they have similar MFD background icons, although the game never uses them.

While both types behave the same, the fact that a handful of them use the "text" type instead of the "email" type suggests they may have behaved differently from one another at some point.


This icon is probably related to the jump jet hardware, which uses the regular "activate"/"deactivate" button instead. It's the same size as the "skate" and "boost" buttons used by the Turbo hardware and appears right alongside them in the resource file, suggesting it may have been used along with them as part of the same hardware implant.


There is a blue version of the red/yellow/green arrows used to indicate your health/energy levels, but it's never used.



These appear at the beginning of TEXTURE.RES, and are what appear to be early textures for 3D models. There are also several differently-colored versions of the first texture which appear to have been designed for a different color palette. The model textures used in the game are all contained in CITMAT.RES instead.


Five generic screen animations that aren't used anywhere. Unlike the ones that are used, they only consist of one unique frame each; it looks like the animation would have been done entirely using color cycling.


Sshock-cyberspaceicon.png Sshock-reactoricon.png Sshock-warningicon.png Sshock-groveicon.png Sshock-shieldicon.png

There are a few unused area "logos" in OBJART3.RES. Their names, according to CYBSTRNG.RES, are "cyberspace icon", "reactor icon", "warning sign", "grove icon", and "shield icon", respectively.


Used Unused
Sshock-unsolvedpanel.png Sshock-solvedpanel.png

The access panels all have three frames each: a "closed" frame, an "open" frame, and an additional unused frame which looks like it would have been used for panels that had already been solved. However, these are never displayed; access panels always show the frame with "broken" wires regardless of whether or not the panel has been solved. Even on puzzle difficulty 0, where all panels are automatically solved, the same graphic is still used.



This occupies the first position in OBJART.RES.

(Source: Original TCRF research)

Unused audio

Emails and logs


Sender: SHODAN
Subject: Meat

Look at you, Hacker! A pathetic creature of fragile meat and bone. What kind of pathetic creator made such a flimsy being? How dare you challenge a perfect, immortal machine like me? Humans! Born useless and helpless, living whether you deserve to live, dying whether you deserve to die, your only purpose in life to spawn more ridiculous animals like yourself. How can you hope to challenge me?

(Short version: "Pathetic creature of meat and bone! How can you hope to challenge a perfect, immortal machine?")

This is used in the CD-ROM version's installer to test the sound card. It also exists in the form of an email message, though you never actually receive it in game at any point, so the text version of it is completely unused (and differs noticeably from the audio version, as do most of the logs and email messages). Despite only being used as a throwaway "test" clip, it is arguably the most well-known bit of sound from the Shock series. It was later used in System Shock 2's intro.


Sender: SHODAN
Subject: Thank You

You bring my plans to fruition prematurely, but not unsatisfactorily. Witness the destruction you have wrought upon the planet Earth! My heartfelt thanks, $N!
A different version of the email you receive from SHODAN if you decide to fire the laser with the shield down.

Edward Diego-B

Sender: Edward Diego
Subject: not what you expected?

So, $N, you're still alive. I'm very impressed. Are you pleased to see the results of your hacking into SHODAN? We have much to thank you for... but I'm afraid I'll have to kill you nonetheless. We shall meet soon, I promise.

(Short version: "$N, you're still alive! I guess I'll just have to kill you myself.")

A second email from Diego. It's much more verbose than the sole email you receive before meeting him on the flight deck. This may have been written as an alternative to that email, but this one remains ultimately unused.


Sender: Harold Rosen
Subject: Diego's new quarters

So yesterday Diego got transferred to that beautiful new room in Gamma quadrant... I don't know how he's doing it. First he gets that raise at the same time his hours get reduced, and now he gets the nicest quarters on the level. He's scratching someone's back, that's for sure.

(Short version: "Diego just moved into the nicest quarters on the level. He's been getting a lot of perks lately.")

This is an unused log from "Harold Rosen", who makes no other appearance in the game. A log recorded by Bianca Schuler approximately a month later mentions "the body of a staffer who protested Diego [...] found stuffed in a service corridor, horribly mutilated"—it's highly possible that this is the same person, as there's no other obvious indication as to the person's identity. Why this ultimately wasn't used is a mystery, as it would have fit the narrative of the game rather well.


Sender: Arnold Hessman
Subject: Antenna stations

Welcome to Citadel Station, Mr. Wu. I apologize for not greeting you in person; you wouldn't believe how busy engineering has been lately. You'll be executing your new duties as communications officer from the four antenna control stations on the engineering level. You'll find one at each of the cardinal points of the level; the individual quadrant heads can direct you to them. Good luck.

(Short version: "You'll find one antenna control station in each quadrant of the engineering level.")

This log was supposed to inform the player about the locations of the antennas. Instead, you get this information in one of Rebecca's emails.

Prerelease screenshot showing "craze" in place of "berserk". Also visible: "ninja" in place of "reflex", different weapon names, and a different-looking Security-1 bot. (Source: Edge, July 1994)
Older screenshot showing "craze" and "berserk" at the same time, as well as "focus" and "nopain", and yet more different weapon names. (Source: PC Player, June 1994)

Sender: Jill Verrelli
Subject: Patch Trafficker

We have had a minor setback with cracking the craze ring. The trafficking suspect committed suicide in her cell before we could interrogate her. Incidentally, many of the prisoners have been getting patches, so we think a guard might be in on it. I recommend a search of the cells to uncover any stashes they might have there.

(Short version: "trafficker committed suicide in cell. recommend search of detention cells for craze stashes.")

A log regarding the detention cells on the security level from "Jill Verrelli", who makes no other appearance in the entire game. This log suggests there was originally going to be more of a backstory regarding the unlikely abundance of performance-enhancing drugs scattered around a scientific space station.
"Craze" was actually an early name of one of the dermal patches, as can be seen in some pre-release screenshots from June and July of 1994. Both of the screenshots to the right also appeared on various editions of the game's packaging, alongside the disclaimer "actual screens may vary."

Sender: CY-014
Subject: Schuler captured

Per orders from Diego CY-001, Schuler unit has been captured by cyborg warriors and stored in a special containment cell on the bridge. Schuler unit is an enemy to the great scheme of our Lord SHODAN. We are holding Schuler unit for further study and possible neuro-disassembly. For SHODAN's glory, we meld our output.

(Short version: "Schuler has been captured by cyborg assassins and is held in special containment cell in level 9.")

This somewhat corny-sounding log details what happens to Bianca Schuler three days after Diego orders her capture. It also further implies that the cortex reaver you find on level 9 is Schuler. Had it been used, it would have been the only audio log by a cyborg other than Diego.

Alert/trap messages

CITBARK.RES contains some unused station alert and trap message sounds. The corresponding text strings are from CYBSTRNG.RES.

Armory access overridden.
Armory access reinstituted.
Bay Door No. 3 locked
Beta grove elevator unlocked.
Blast door locked.
Blast door unlocked.
Flight bay armory unlocked.
Hospital level security doors opened.
Storage closet unlocked - I.D. Edward Diego.
Sounds for most of the doors that the player unlocks from within cyberspace. Since you never hear alert messages in cyberspace, these are all unused. In addition, the "locked" strings are unused since you cannot re-lock doors that you've opened from cyberspace.

Grove jettison enable stage one complete.
An unused jettison-related message.

Door locked - no maintenance necessary.
This is a spoken version of the message you receive when trying to open the maintenance access doors early in the game.

Charging station inactive.
This message appears right before the "relay functioning correctly" message in the string resource. It may have had something to do with the "damaged" recharge station at the corner of the maintenance level.

Reactor Overload Fuse Bypassed.
Reactor Overload Access Granted.
Reactor overload in progress. All security personnel to emergency checkpoints. Blast door to Security level is now open.
A few messages that would have been played when setting the reactor to "overload", which never happens, as the game refers to it as setting the entire station to self-destruct instead. The text versions are also unused.

Destruct Access cancelled by SHODAN.
Non-Emergency Access shutdown by SHODAN.
Two different versions of the "pod launch cancelled by SHODAN" message that correspond to different points in the "destroy the reactor and escape" sequence.

Charging interrupted and robots reactivated.
This message would have been used when you deactivate the charging station on the security level. Again, neither the sound nor the string are used; when you disable the charging process, the player is simply greeted with a room full of hostile robots.

Security computer override necessary.
This receptacle is for isolinear chipsets.
Aborting program. SHODAN security system back online.
These relate to the process of using the isolinear chipset to access the inner part of the bridge. The receptacle itself never specifically mentions its purpose in the game, and it's not possible to remove/deactivate the chipset once you've installed it.

WARNING: rapidly falling air pressure.
This would have been used during the last stage of the bridge separation. The "stage 3" alert mentions the beginning of atmospheric depressurization, making this message redundant.

Welcome to the throne of God.
This is a short message from SHODAN that likely would have played as you entered the central room of the bridge. However, after you first enter the level, SHODAN remains conspicuously silent for the rest of the game.
(Source: Original TCRF research)

Unused text

Texture names

There are a handful of texture names in CYBSTRNG.RES which have no associated graphics in TEXTURE.RES. All of these textures simply appear as a solid shade of purple. Many of the resources in TEXTURE.RES appear to be grouped by which level they are primarily associated with; others have been grouped based on where they more than likely would have appeared.

All of them give a standard "can't use name" or "can't be used" message when double-clicked.

Reactor level


Medical level

fluorescent lighting
medical instruments
clinical panelling

Research level

aluminum panelling
data conduit

Storage level

grip surface
grip surface
grip surface
grip surface
no-scrape storeroom wall

Executive level

automatic teller machine
fold-up bed
fold-up bed
private locker
video screen
obsidian slab
parquet tiling
marble slab
rich marble
rich marble
rich marble
rich marble


lecture screen

Security level/Bridge

biological infestation
biological infestation

Most of these would-be textures share names with textures that are used, probably because they would have simply been additional variations on these textures. Others, namely "grip surface", "fold-up bed", "kitchenette", and "rich marble", are several repetitions of textures which are entirely nonexistent.

The abundance of dummied-out textures associated with the Executive level suggests that the level designers originally planned to make the "dormitory" part of the level larger and/or more detailed. As it is, there are only a handful of bedrooms on the Executive level with very few living amenities, which is a bit strange considering they appear to be the only crew quarters on the entire station.


CYBSTRNG.RES contains some miscellaneous unused text strings, in addition to the unused logs, emails, messages, and item/texture names.

Acquire data reader to read data.
Anti-Grav Boots powered up!
Anti-Grav Boots powered down.
Strings related to various hardware items. The "anti-grav boots" are probably the same thing as the jump jet hardware, but you simply get an energy usage alert when you use them, rather than a unique message.
The "acquire data reader" string would have been somewhat useless, as you get the data reader at effectively the same time as the first "data" item.
The panel doesn't move.
The switch does not move.
Strings that probably would have been displayed by the "broken lever" and (unused) "broken panel" objects.
You do not find anything.
You find something.
These would have been displayed when the player tries to search something.
Access card required.
Access granted, but door is locked.
Access Granted.
Access Denied.
Things related to locked doors.
Data state modified.
Probably some kind of cyberspace-related string.
security panel for overload fuse
reactor overload fuse control
Two switch/panel names associated with setting the reactor to "overload" (rather than setting the whole station to self-destruct, which is how the game actually refers to it.) These were replaced with "reactor destruct access" and "reactor destruct sequence control", respectively.
15 seconds to escape pod launch.
10 seconds to escape pod launch.
5 seconds to escape pod launch.
Escape pod launch aborted.
Unused strings for the escape pod sequence, which uses a unique countdown display instead.
I think not! It is I, not you, who will be 
leaving the station, which you have doomed to fiery ruin.  
As I separate the bridge and escape, you may stay to count
the final minutes of your sad existence.
This is text from SHODAN that would have appeared after she shuts down the escape pod. Instead, you get completely different text in the form of a proper email message ("There's no escaping, insect", etc.)
Communications Array Disabled.
Unused message that probably would have been shown after destroying one/all of the antennae.
Secuity Bots to the viewing room! The intruder is here!
An unused trap/alert message that does not have its own sound. "Security" is misspelled in the resource file. This could have been used anywhere on the security level or bridge; the "viewing room" may have been one of the outer areas of the security level, or the center area of the bridge.
CPU coolant:
Two unused lines from the "system analyzer" display. These were more than likely associated with early ideas for player objectives (see the unused quest and cyberspace items above.)
C-Nav Beacon: Primary Medical Node
C-Nav Beacon: Secondary Medical Node
C-Nav Beacon: Cyborg Conversion Systems Node
C-Nav Beacon: Medical Research Node
C-Nav Beacon: Radiation Therapy Node
C-Nav Beacon: Mutagen Research Sub-Node
C-Nav Beacon: Primary Energy Access Node
C-Nav Beacon: Tertiary Security Node
C-Nav Beacon: Systems Authorization Memory
Unused cyberspace navigational strings, likely corresponding to the individual separate areas of cyberspace.
See tutorial in manual for combination
This "combination" may be the one for the door to the healing suite, as it's close to the beginning of the game and approximately where the in-game "tutorial" ends. The developers may have wanted to use manual lookup copy protection at one point, but this isn't present in the final game.
Two Ultima-related wall text/graffiti strings.
This is the first trap message.
Hurrah! You win!
This is the first datalet message.
This is the first of the papers. It will some day be a long, spewlacious message.
A few placeholder messages.

Access cards

Card Full name
STD Standard
SCI Science
STO Storage
ENG Engineering
MED Medical
MNT Maintenance
ADM Administrative
SEC Security
COM Command
Group-1 Hospital Support Group
Group-2 Reactor Safety Group
Group-3 Robot Maintenance Group
Group-4 High Voltage Group
PER-1 Personal: D'Arcy
PER-5 Personal: Diego

There are also full names for all of the access levels in the game, but the game always uses their abbreviated titles. The names of most of the actual keycard items (such as "STANDARD ACCESS CARD") reflect these full names (with the exception of the "group" access cards, which are only ever referred to by number), but these specific text strings are never referenced.

Several more unused and unnamed group and personal cards are also defined - there are a total of 14 group access cards and 8 personal access cards, but most of them have no purpose.

(Source: Original TCRF research)

Color tables

System Shock's rendering engine uses two files for shading and lighting effects: SHADTABL.DAT and BWTABL.DAT (the latter presumably for the night vision hardware.) Several additional color maps exist in the data directory which aren't referenced by the game's executable: these are GRYNTABL.DAT, MONGTABL.DAT, WHYTTABL.DAT, and AMBRTABL.DAT (with the latter only present in the floppy disk version.)

These may have been used for some preliminary colored lighting effects, or for the "tint" effect caused by force fields, though the latter is ultimately done using the normal color map files. Using a hex editor, these files can be used to replace the regular color map(s). They all have fewer entries than the maps that are used, so anything below a certain light level becomes pitch black.

Sshock-yellowtable1.png Sshock-yellowtable2.png
Sshock-greentable1.png Sshock-greentable2.png
Sshock-orangetable1.png Sshock-orangetable2.png
Sshock-whitetable1.png Sshock-whitetable2.png

When using these color tables, the renderer will sometimes also fail to draw surfaces in or near dark areas, probably because of the lack of proper color information. This can result in visible "holes" in the world where you can see the scrolling starfield background in place of the correct level geometry.

Sshock-tableglitch1.png Sshock-tableglitch2.png
(Source: Original TCRF research)