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digmo

Exile 1 unused sprites

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Does anyone know what these sprites are for? I think I heard that they are Spider Lord and Sss-Thsss, but I am sure that those used the regular spider and slith chief graphics. Were these only in Mac version?

unknown.gif

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The latter, if not Sss-Thssss, might be an undead Slith from some of those crypt fights. A:EftP calls them Slith Avatars.

The former is a GIFTS. Note the nail polish and pink hair bow. There's some debate about it due to the low resolution, but that's what it looks like to me. It might have been an early-development idea that wasn't used, since the GIFTS are instead presented as normal-looking but giant spiders, similar to other giant spiders except in personality, in finalized-game text descriptions.

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Hello digmo,

 

I've just had a check, and you are indeed right. The fights with Sss-Thsss and the Spider Lord do not use special graphics for the important characters, even though it might seem like they should! The graphic used for the Spider Lord is that of a regular spider, and the graphic for Sss-Thsss is that of a Slith Chief, which makes sense. This is true for the Mac versions of the game, to clarify!

 

The older versions of Exile I with the original graphics also had no special graphics for these characters. Your special spider graphic is placed at the end of the list of character graphics in the newer versions, which makes me think that it was intended for a special situation – the Spider Lord is an obvious choice – but that it was either never implemented, or it was tested, and Jeff didn't like the look of it.

 

I'm less sure about your slith graphic, though. Do you have a number for the PICT resource showing that character, or could you let me know the characters that appear around it? I'm having trouble finding it in the graphics file. It's probably obvious, and I'm just missing it!

 

Welcome to the forums, digmo! Please do stick around and have fun here! We're nice and friendly, and we enjoy answering questions.

 

Incidentally, and this might be a little obscure, but I do hope your name is reference to Lode Runner 2 ...

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Jeff has a history of having unused items listed in his games, so having graphics and not getting to them is possible.

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On 1/5/2020 at 3:30 AM, Ess-Eschas said:

 Do you have a number for the PICT resource showing that character, or could you let me know the characters that appear around it?

Sorry, I am a Windows user, so I can't fugure that out.

On 1/5/2020 at 3:30 AM, Ess-Eschas said:

Incidentally, and this might be a little obscure, but I do hope your name is reference to Lode Runner 2

Spoiler

This is correct.

 

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I still have a copy of the original game around and a working resource editor! The spider is PICT resource ID 968 in the Mac version. I don't believe the slith is present in the Mac version at all (at least I couldn't find it anywhere). Both are on sheet MONST2 in the Windows version.

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Thanks Celtic! I just wanted to make sure I wasn’t missing something obvious.

 

Now that I’m writing, though, could you just confirm something for me? I currently only have access to the Mac version of Exile I – I don’t have a suitable system in place at the moment for running Windows programs from this era. Because of this, I can’t check the Windows MONST2 sheet myself.

 

This is something else that’s probably obvious, but I just wanted to confirm that the sprite in this post is distinct from the slith sprite shown in the screenshot below (to the south of the player). This is resource number 926 in the Mac version. I imagine it is, since it’s different by sight, and is early enough in the listing to presumably be on MONST1, rather than MONST2. But I thought it worth checking.

 

Basically, I want to rule out the possibility that this is a curious graphical anomaly!

 

3eIqNSW.png

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The spider is second to last on MONST2, and the glowing slith is last on the same sheet, in the WIndows version.

 

I adjust my statement on what they are. In Avernum: Escape From The Pit, there is no Spider Lord, but there is a Spider Queen. I suspect this was a late change in Exile 1, which was changed back in the remake remakes (and also the remakes maybe?). It'd be humorous, I suppose, to see the fearsome queen of the man-eating, flamethrowing spiders done up in nail polish and a pink hair bow, but I can see why Jeff would decide against it.

 

I still believe the slith is a Slith Avatar, the powerful ghost of an honored slithzerikai. In Avernum: Escape From The Pit, Slith Avatars fight you in outdoor encounters if you invade their crypts, and they are glowing, blue slithzerikai warriors. This may have been skipped just because it's not a well done graphic and looks a little tacky. I can't imagine this relatively unfearsome slith that looks like an everyday grunt would be the mighty Sss-Thsss, so either it is Sss-Thsss and was unused for that reason, or it is a magical glowing dead slith like in A:EFTP.

Edited by The Almighty Doer of Stuff

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Thanks for pointing out the placement of the slith graphic! It looks like it might indeed be unique to the Windows version.

 

21 hours ago, The Almighty Doer of Stuff said:

I still believe the slith is a Slith Avatar, the powerful ghost of an honored slithzerikai.

 

The connection to Slith Avatars is a nice idea, but unfortunately it demonstrates the potential pitfalls of consulting the Avernum games to make comments about the Exile series. Usually, this is fine, since generally speaking the two series are very similar – they’re the same underlying games, after all! However, there are enough little differences under the surface that, sometimes, it’s possible to get caught out. I think this is one of those times.

 

So far as I am aware, Slith Avatars are creatures unique to Avernum. They don’t appear in any installment of the Exile series. This includes Blades of Exile, released after the updated version of Exile I, so at least to me it seems unlikely that they were planned to be included in the first game.

 

Indeed, I’m tempted to say that there aren’t any spectral sliths of any sort in Exile I, but I’m less sure about my memory on that point!

 

So far as I can tell, Slith Avatars were created by Jeff as boss encounters for Bahssikava, a place unique to the Avernum games, and then ended up appearing in a few other places over the course of the series.

 

21 hours ago, The Almighty Doer of Stuff said:

In Avernum: Escape From The Pit, there is no Spider Lord, but there is a Spider Queen.

 

Just to clarify, this creature is referred to as ‘Spider Lord’ in both versions of Exile I. I believe there’s no mention of a queen, or indeed any reference to that particular character being female. The Spider Lord might just be a particularly powerful aranea, with no more importance to the colony than that. Think, by way of comparison, of a Vahnatai Lord. It’s a fair assumption that Jeff might have intended the Spider Lord to be female, since he’s pretty knowledgable about spiders (the relevant idea in this case being the tendency of female spiders to be larger and stronger than males), but there’s no actual evidence of this in the game.

 

Since I didn’t mention this before, I think linking these graphics to two boss encounters – the Spider Lord and Sss-Thsss – is reasonable. Both of these encounters feature multiple characters with the same sprite, and the only way the player can tell which is the stronger one as is is to ‘look’ at them. It can make the battles a little confusing. Having special sprites for the boss characters would solve that problem.

 

Note that this has already been done for one of the other boss fights in Exile I – the fight with Grah-Hoth. Grah-Hoth has a unique sprite to distinguish him from the other demons in the same fight, even in the original version of the game, which makes the battle a little more intuitive. The original version of that graphic is rather neat, actually – he wears a chain, presumably denoting high office, and has golden horns, which makes it look a little like he is wearing a crown!

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7 minutes ago, The Almighty Doer of Stuff said:

At least someone confirm to me that they see nail polish and a hair bow on that spider and that I've not spent too much time around the GIFTS.

You're cute! *in a high pitched voice*

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