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Spear of Destiny - Mission Packs
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 01, 2004 3:09 pm
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WSJ wrote:
A: FormGen had originally intended to release a 1-episode game with a lot of ripped off stuff entitled "Raiders of the Lost Spear," but since they were going to get in trouble for that, they decided to release 2 crappy episodes instead and call them "The Lost Episodes."


Where do you guys get this information (and I'm not just picking on WSJ - His information was easiest to quote at the time)? I've never seen them called "The Lost Episodes" any other place but from people within this community.

Is there some place on the net that holds this magical factual information? As everything that I have read from the Apogee Faq to the actual box information, to the hintbooks, says nothing of them being the "Lost Episodes".

From the Apogee Faq wrote:

In May of 1994, FormGen Corporation released two new episodes for Spear of Destiny to stores. The collective name of the product is "Spear of Destiny Mission Add-On Packs." The new episodes each have their own individual titles, these being "Mission 2: Return to Danger," and "Mission 3: Ultimate Challenge." These add-ons have some new level graphics and some differently colored actors, but is essentially more levels for Spear of Destiny. These extra versions require that you have the first Spear of Destiny game (the original six Apogee Wolf3D episodes are not required).

In late 1994, FormGen marketed a "Spear of Destiny Super CD Package," which consists of id's
original Spear of Destiny, the two additional add-on missions, and hint books for these new episodes. Neither Apogee Software nor id software sells the add-ons or the CD, supports it, or has anything else to do with it. These are strictly FormGen products.



And to that I also quote the information that was given to me (via the actual Hint Manuals) in the pages of the DieHardWolfenstein Bunker:

Click here to read about the SOD MISSION PACKS

So... I've searched for your theory of "Raiders of the lost Spear" and Formgen... and it keeps comming up blank. Does anyone truely know where the information is and why people started calling them the "Lost Episodes"... They aren't lost... Never were...

Greg
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 01, 2004 3:14 pm
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BrotherTank. "Raiders of the lost Spear" was a joke I believe. Yes they are called as the Add-on Mission Packs. I think WSJ just got used to saying Lost Episodes. The thread was ask a stupid question and get a stupid answer.
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 01, 2004 3:23 pm
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ZuljinRaynor wrote:
BrotherTank. "Raiders of the lost Spear" was a joke I believe. Yes they are called as the Add-on Mission Packs. I think WSJ just got used to saying Lost Episodes. The thread was ask a stupid question and get a stupid answer.


While it was part of the ask a stupid question thread... I've seen everyone doing this. That is why I started this thread... I am not picking on WSJ, but rather asking everyone to help me out with this. This has been going on for some time. Search back into the Wolfenstein FanClub on Yahoo... and you will see this dates back from long before then...

My question here is, is this factual information? If so, where can I find this. In case you haven't noticed, I am a huge collector of information on Wolfenstein. I asked the question to see if someone actually knew the answer (I even asked in the Bunker pages). Who started this?? And or Where did it Start? - Better yet... If it was started by people in the community.. Why? Why not refer to them by the proper names? Is it because they didn't know the names? Is it because they were of a limited availability?

So, lets see if someone out there can help with the answer. Why do people refer to the two games "SOD Mission 2: Return to Danger" and "SOD Mission 3: The Ultimate Challenge" as "The Lost Episodes"??

Greg
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PS. Definitive proof may result in the award of a rare collectors item... "The JAPANESE VERSION".
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 01, 2004 4:42 pm
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Really, I think they may have been come to be known as the "Lost Episodes" because many people may have just not known they existed, since they didn't get as much publicity as SOD.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 01, 2004 5:58 pm
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Wasn't there a period of time between FormGen's demise and Activision re-releasing all the Wolf and Spear games that these Mission Packs were not only "forgotten", but unavailable? If so, they truly were "lost".

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 01, 2004 7:48 pm
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I believe they are entitled "The Lost Episodes" by the Activision README included on my 1997-8 reissuse. Not sure though, I always thought of them like the Super Mario Lost Levels. So I just call them that, helps to tell them apart.
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 01, 2004 8:02 pm
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Yeah, what I said was just a corny joke... using the Indiana Jones movie "Raiders of the Lost Ark."

I don't know why people call them the "Lost Episodes." Since I got them when I bought the full version of Wolfenstein 3D, I never had the manual for them, and I didn't know what their official names were... so I just called them "Spear of Destiny Mission 2" and "Spear of Destiny Mission 3." Then when I came to the Wolfenstein community, I saw that people were calling them "The Lost Episodes" as though that was an official name for them, so I guess I got used to saying "Lost Episodes."
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 01, 2004 8:19 pm
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Andy_Nonymous wrote:
Wasn't there a period of time between FormGen's demise and Activision re-releasing all the Wolf and Spear games that these Mission Packs were not only "forgotten", but unavailable? If so, they truly were "lost".

Andy


Actually... Id retains the rights... as intellectual property. I truely believe that while they released "their" source to the game, they still have all the source codes for all the other variations of Wolfenstein. So, they weren't lost by any means... at least none that I can figure out.

As for forgotten, I could see that.... But then again maybe not. Seeing as Formgen was bought out by GT Interactive (which was the true first commercial distributer of the full Wolfenstein 3d), and then GT was purchased by Atari.... I don't know if they were forgotten... but rather purchased and archived for future use. Both GT Interactive and Atari must have had something in mind when they made the purchase of the previous companies. I believe that Atari was after the distribution rights to Wolfenstein 3d, and by buying out GT, they got the best of both worlds and more.

Dugtrio17 wrote:
Really, I think they may have been come to be known as the "Lost Episodes" because many people may have just not known they existed, since they didn't get as much publicity as SOD.


That makes the most sense and actually fits the situation best. I know that most people didn't know of their existance. I was working for Radio Shack and we did know that they had been released. Unfortunately, the buyers at the head office in Barrie, didn't want to pick them up as they had with Spear of Destiny.

Sightly off topic....

Back when Id first created the shareware version of Wolfenstein, I was using it to sell computers at Radio Shack. It was released in May 1992 and I was using it within weeks of it's release. It really showed off the Tandy line of computers and everyone that came into the store wanted a copy of the game that we were using to demo the gaming ability of the machines. Strangely enough, I was selling more 286 based computers at the time as gaming machines, rather than for business use.

Anyhow... Formgen Corperation was originally based here in Canada, with a second office down in the United States.. And they had a business relationship with Radio Shack Canada. Formgen, while gathering the rights to Spear for distribution, was also developing and distributing their own hardware/software. They had a proprietary voice recognition card/software combination that was revolutionary for it's time. Radio Shack Canada had the exclusive distribution rights to the card/software for the first year of it's release.

I actually met the owner of Formgen at a training seminar just before they released their product via Radio Shack. I got to meet him for a second time, when I was the first computer rep in Canada to sell the product (by using not only various business programs, but also Wolfenstein circa early 1993). While people were making templates for the voice recognition to work in spreadsheets and wordprocessors, I was using it to integrate voice activated commands into the games I was using to sell our computers (the software recognised voice commands and turned them into keystroke combinations).

Anyhow, that is getting off the topic a little. But this will help show people how long I've been playing and following Wolfenstein... Formgen... with Spear of Destiny.

So if one assumes that people didn't know of their existance, then where/with who did the name "Lost Episodes" originate?

Greg
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 01, 2004 8:30 pm
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Just an easy way of adding two variations on the same game without having to explain anything.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 01, 2004 9:04 pm
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My take on the "Lost Episodes" name:
1993 - Doom released
1994 - SOD: RTD/TUC released

A lot of games got "lost" and simply overlooked when Doom came out. Mainly a bunch of Wolf3D-based games: Corridor 7, Blake Stone 2, Operation BodyCount, and ROTT. These went on to become mainly "cult classics" I guess you could say.
I knew about SOD when it came out, but not these. I didn't find out about them until I got the Super CD Pack in 1998.

EDIT: http://www.webster-dictionary.org/definition/Spear%20of%20Destiny%20(video%20game)

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 01, 2004 9:39 pm
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That link is interesting Adam... I hadn't searched within the dictionaries. Interesting that they use Brians site as one of the links to the "Lost Episodes" as part of their definition (indirectly).

It looks like their definition or should I say explanation comes from the usage of the term within the Wolfenstein community... But, that is the first definitive source that has been given for at least a partial explanation... Although, the information is somewhat defective... There really never was a 2 level shareware demo of Spear of Destiny..

From the Apogee Faq wrote:
There is a two level playable demo floating around for Spear of Destiny. It's the same first two levels that appear in the full version of the game. It is not shareware; commercial demos are for the most part non-interactive, however, this one *is* interactive, and since it bears a close resemblance to Wolfenstein 3D, which is shareware, the Spear of Destiny demo is frequently mistaken for being shareware, which it is not.


But other than that... it doesn't give a definitive origin for the name "Lost Episodes"...

Hmmm... still looking...

Greg
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 01, 2004 10:24 pm
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Please - DO NOT COME ASKING FOR THIS. This is a very rare collectable and is near impossible to obtain. It was given to me by a very generous person in exchange for the Spanish version, as we both had more than 1 original diskset of the games.

Here is proof of the Japanese Version of the game:







Yes it does exist. But the original disks can't be used on a western PC. It actually took another good friend of mine to hex edit the disks so that he could extract the data files from the Japanese Disks and transfer it to readable format on western systems. So that person also has a copy of it.

Unfortunately, I just looked into my collection and I only have 1 set of disks left, so I will not be able to give this away as a prize, without giving up part of my collection, as I previously stated in my first post. Sorry...

So please.. No more asking / begging for this...

Greg
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 01, 2004 11:14 pm
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An interesting newsgroup link from Google:
http://groups.google.com/groups?hl=en&lr=&ie=UTF-8&threadm=2qp1pb%24ha8%40gw.PacBell.COM&rnum=11&prev=/groups%3Fq%3D%252B%2522spear%2Bof%2Bdestiny%2522%2B%252Bformgen%26start%3D10%26hl%3Den%26lr%3D%26ie%3DUTF-8%26selm%3D2qp1pb%2524ha8%2540gw.PacBell.COM%26rnum%3D11
Quote:
This was published in The Age, a Melbourne (Australia) newspaper...
10 May 1994
<snip>
Over the next four months,
three new mission disks will be released for the game offering more
levels of Nazi-blasting fun.

I'm guessing the three new mission disks is either a misprint or that they were also counting the original SOD (even though they said new).

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 02, 2004 5:18 am
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They have simply been dubbed the lost episodes by players, because many chose to forget them so it makes them difficult to get a hold of on the online market, because no one has them or really wanted to buy them. They were never officially titled the lost episodes, as far as I know.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 02, 2004 5:38 am
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Check out the box art for them here:

http://mobygames.com

The mission packs were released just after Doom, so I agree with Adam that Doom rendered them obselete.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 02, 2004 7:05 am
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Mmmmm... The Japanese and Spanish versions... Ņami ņami... *drools*

And I thought my collection was a kick-ass one...

Ariel.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 02, 2004 9:23 am
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Arielus wrote:
Mmmmm... The Japanese and Spanish versions... Ņami ņami... *drools*

And I thought my collection was a kick-ass one...

Ariel.


The spanish version you can actually make yourself.... It used the same original files as Wolf3d English. To make it, just open the Version.H file and uncomment the #define SPANISH (if it isn't there to uncomment, just add it). Then compile and test. You may need to adjust some of the screen locations for printed text, but once you see what should go where, that is easy to figure out and fix.

As for the japanese version, the files that are different there are the vgagraph as it holds the japanese character set. I guess I could award the vgagraph file on it's own as that would not be pirating by any means. Then it would just take another edit of the version.h file to bring the code over to the japanese version. Thus you could in fact create your own japanese version. Hmm... will check into that one...

ack wrote:

I know it's been 10 years, and finding those involved may be rough, but perhaps you should go straight to the source and find those who participated in the creation of the mission packs. If the nickname does date back to when these fellows created these sets, who would know better than them? If the nickname came into being after their release, then obviously my suggestion is crap.


Tried that... Even wrote to John Romero a few times... But it would seem that he doesn't want to respond to my letters. Maybe he just viewed it as yet another piece of fanmail...

Greg
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 02, 2004 11:55 am
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Wait! I might have found an interesting piece to this puzzle. I was checking out doomworld when I noticed a review of a weapon pack that was made to combat the TNT episode (which was a commercially released mission pack) of Final doom. It was called "TNT the lost episode," not what it's supposed to be called. Anyway I was doing some more snooping and noticed that Commander Keen: Keen Dreams that was liscensed by softdisk is also known as "the lost episode." Coincidence? Not sure, but hopefully this will help.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 02, 2004 1:42 pm
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BrotherTank,

Maybe Colonel Bill can help out some. He made the shareware patch called "Lost Episodes" (LOST-EP.ZIP) sometime in 1997. Ask him if he gave it that name, or if not, why he called it that.
http://www.fortunecity.com/skyscraper/graveyard/801/


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 02, 2004 10:17 pm
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BrotherTank wrote:
Then where/with who did the name "Lost Episodes" originate?

Yup, as Andy mentioned, it was Colonel Bill and the reference on his site that got people calling them the Lost Episodes. I'm pretty confident on this. At the time, most people I knew didn't have Mission 2 and 3... and I remember full version games being alot more rare on the net, as free websites and file sharing programs were not as well known. Most people just downloaded the patch on Mike (Colonel Bill's) site to get a glimpse what Mission 2 and 3 were like, since it was freely available and based on the shareware 10-level set. Then, of course, people started calling the Mission Packs by the same name. I also talked about this set alot back in the days of the Wolfenstein 3d Fanclub, and even added it to the shareware compilation in Chokage, so I'm pretty certain that this is how the name "Lost Episodes" got associated with the mission packs.

Brothertank wrote:
Tried that... Even wrote to John Romero a few times...

I think ack was referring to the people who made the SOD Mission Packs, such as Chuck Archer and Alan Hemphill. I know for a fact that some of them are still active on the net, like their beta tester Warren Buss. It's all a matter of trying to find out how to contact some of them, which may or may not be that hard. It's an interesting suggestion; I believe.

Brothertank wrote:
Here is proof of the Japanese Version of the game.

Personally, I don't really find the Japanese version you're showing that interesting. It doesn't really change the structure of the game, besides the writing and alignment. One thing I'd really like to have is the 3-Episode version, it would be nice to see how compatible it is with the 6-Episode version (so that we can be sure editors and such will work with it, nomatter how rare it might be). I've always wondered if any of the walls / objects / songs / levels were not included in the 3-Episode version, it really fascinates me, considering how the WL1 version is very conservative; and how the next 3 episodes would be blanked out. I don't even think there's an references to the 3-Episode version in the Source Code, besides the WL3 tag itself. Confused
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 03, 2004 8:48 am
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Chris wrote:
Brothertank wrote:
Tried that... Even wrote to John Romero a few times...

I think ack was referring to the people who made the SOD Mission Packs, such as Chuck Archer and Alan Hemphill. I know for a fact that some of them are still active on the net, like their beta tester Warren Buss. It's all a matter of trying to find out how to contact some of them, which may or may not be that hard. It's an interesting suggestion; I believe.


That's what I meant by tried that... I tried writting a few of them... even John, and no-one responded back.

Chris wrote:
Brothertank wrote:
Here is proof of the Japanese Version of the game.

Personally, I don't really find the Japanese version you're showing that interesting. It doesn't really change the structure of the game, besides the writing and alignment.


That's all there is. The other files are the same from what I can see/tell. They included a number of japanese characters as well as the standard font. The only changes I can see are in the vgagraph file.

Chris wrote:
One thing I'd really like to have is the 3-Episode version, it would be nice to see how compatible it is with the 6-Episode version (so that we can be sure editors and such will work with it, nomatter how rare it might be). I've always wondered if any of the walls / objects / songs / levels were not included in the 3-Episode version, it really fascinates me, considering how the WL1 version is very conservative; and how the next 3 episodes would be blanked out. I don't even think there's an references to the 3-Episode version in the Source Code, besides the WL3 tag itself. Confused


The 3 episode is the same as the 6 episode in all ways except the map file only contains 30 levels. The rest of the files are the same as the 6 episode version. Back then we didn't have the editors we do now, so adding maps wasn't one of their concerns. The game menus show only 3 episodes active. The signon screen for the WL3 is "Apogee"... as it is in the WL1 signon... Also the endscreens talk of buying the next 3 episodes only, as the WL1 shareware talks about buying all 6 (actually first 3 - next 3 or all 6 - so the WL3 is basically a chopped version of the wl1 exit screens). I haven't tried mixing the two versions to see what the wl6 exe does when it sees wl3.

There are also "GT" versions of the signon screen as well, but these showed up in the WL6 version of the game... (For those true collectors)... When Id started selling the game commercially via "GT Interactive" - . One of these days I'll have to do up a complete breakdown of the differences between all the versions out there... lol..

Hope that helps...

Greg
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