Jump to content

ROSS'S GAME DUNGEON: REQUITAL

Recommended Posts

Funny you mentioning that you kind of wanted to see a Aeon Flux game, because I know about a game that was supposed to be like this at one point. It's a Playstation game called Pax Corpus, and it was made by Cryo Interactive Entertainment, the same guys responsible for the Megarace series. Never played the game (only know about it because of a Guru Larry video), but I know it was going to be a Aeon Flux game at some point but the license was canned, so they had to change a lot of stuff to sell as a original IP.
I wasn't aware of that. It really depends on the writing I think. If a videogame is only focused on the spy / combat element, I wouldn't be too interested. There's this whole weird world in Aeon Flux and the ideas they're meddling with that's the fascinating part.

Well... I can't promise you anything, maybe only a headache. As I said, I only knew about of it's existence thanks to Guru Larry's Fact Hunt, and I've never played it. I brought up this fact because I felt it could be an interesting topic to bring up in a follow-up episode. But, even if I didn't told you that, I think you would assume Aeon Flux had a hand on it just by looking at the cover:

 

pax_corpus_d.jpg

 

And yes, this game has a PC version. I thought it was a PS1 exclusive before I found this image to show to you. But again, don't expect this to be a good game. From what I know, this game bombed when it came out. The little footage that I saw from it made me a bit unconfortable because the UI is ugly, the camera is awful, and I got the impression the game has horrible controls. And I think that the fact that this game was advertised as "Tomb Raider in space" didn't help either.

 

As for writing... I'm not sure. Footage of this game on Youtube is extremely rare (just to show how obscure it is), and it doesn't seen that anyone had beaten it (don't blame them), so I don't know the whole story. But I know that is set in a matriarcal cyberpunk city where a scientist invented a mind-controling device called Pax Corpus, with the intention of using it as a remedy to help people that suffer from depression, however the main villain (the woman in dominatrix suit at the cover) wants to weaponise it. Not sure how much "out there" the plot is, but the fact that I've played Megarace 1 and 2, and I know about the existence of Commander Blood, I can say that Cryo Interactive Entertainment are experienced in being weird. Well, it's better you see a footage of the game to judge for yourself:

 

DlXZ-sz3CIU

Share this post


Link to post
One thing that I noticed, is that I don't think the "terrain wobbling" is caused by texture calculations.

 

(...)

 

And because it's a perfect grid, when the character moves closer to the edge of the "higher resoluion" area, the engine updates the terrain mesh, and some new vertices "pop out" because there were no vertices in the previous frame in those world positions, while other new vertices probably get created close to the surface of the previous frame's calculated terrain.

 

Yep. This is a heightmap game and the jiggles are transitions from one mesh resolution to another. Given the size of the maps I assume that the heightmaps are only roughly pre-designed (eg 1 pixel = 1 metre or more). The "fine detail" is probably a noise algorithm thrown on top. Why are you looking at the ground anyway? You should be looking at the bloom.

 

Regarding Ross' theory of texture mapping ALA playstation 1 era games: unlikely to be the case here. You can tell because there is no jiggling on any of the other textured 3D objects in the game (trees, people, walls, etc).

 

This game is using perfect texture mapping (not the affine/sim approximations used on the PS1), it's well beyond that era of graphics.

 

800px-Perspective_correct_texture_mapping.jpg

 

Some Playstation 1 games tried to combat this effect by dynamically increasing the polygon count (tesselate) as you got closer to the objects. Hence the jiggles.

 

The other fun PS1 graphics artefact was 3D object vertices going wibbly as they were moved around/animated. Each vertex's position was stored using a low-bitdepth number, so vertices had to move in discrete steps during animations. I've seen this in some early PC games too (FPS weapon model anims?) but I can't remember which.

 

Enjoyed the vid Ross :)

Share this post


Link to post

Hope someone can rip the music from the game, 'cause I kinda liked those snippets of the wonkier tunes. The easy-listening reminded me of that sax music in the new Twin Peaks.

Great vid with lots of laughs!

Share this post


Link to post
Snip

 

I've considered buying a copy for some time out of curiosity, but finding a copy isn't as cheap as I would prefer. I'll consider it with my next paycheck though and report back whenever it comes in.

 

It does look somewhat generic but Cryo hasn't disappointed me in the past when it comes to weird games from them, plus odd clunky PS1 games are sort of my thing.

Share this post


Link to post
I've considered buying a copy for some time out of curiosity, but finding a copy isn't as cheap as I would prefer. I'll consider it with my next paycheck though and report back whenever it comes in.

 

I've tried to search for a iso, but I couldn't find it. I found plenty of sites with info but no links.

 

However, I did found a site with a download of the PC version. Can't post the link here because I think that would go against the forum regulations.

Share this post


Link to post

 

I've tried to search for a iso, but I couldn't find it. I found plenty of sites with info but no links.

 

However, I did found a site with a download of the PC version. Can't post the link here because I think that would go against the forum regulations.

 

Hm I'm not sure I have the technical know-how to run a PC game of that era, especially considering I'm on a mac. If it isn't on dosbox or GoG then I'll probably have trouble; that's why I'm considering the PS1 version (which is still relatively hard to find in America even in physical form). But if you can play it then by all means I would love to hear about it.

Share this post


Link to post

Ugh... Bad news about the PC version of Pax Corpus.

 

I had to download this game from 2 different sites (that apparently are the ONLY ONES that have the cd image of this game), and BOTH come with their set of problems. The first I downloaded from a russian site, and when I mounted it in a virtual drive it opened the instalation menu just fine, BUT the game refused to install saying that there wasn't enough space on the hard drive despite having (obviously) more than enough. Then I downloaded from another site (I think it's german, but I'm not sure), and this one installed. BUUUUUUUT the game had NO music (and worse, the tracks are on the image, but I'll get to that), and it crashed after the battle with Dr. Ellys (that one you can see in video I posted) and didn't played the cutscene that supposed to play after that. Then, I decided to check the game files and I think I noticed why that happened: THERE ARE CUTSCENES MISSING IN THE FILES!

 

And before you guys ask, the first image that I downloaded also has the same problem. The cutscenes are simple .avi files that can even play outside the game, and I noticed that only some .avis are present: The Cryo logo when you launch the game, the intro cutscene (3 times because this game is in 3 different languages), and the 2 endings. But nothing that happens in between. Addimitely, I wasn't running the game in the ideal operational system (I was running on Windows 7, this game was released for Windows 95-98), so I could've faced other problems in the long run, but that would be a matter of me learning how to emulate a older system. But when the cutscenes are missing it means that the game crashed because it couldn't play them, meaning that this game is unplayable due to missing files.

 

I'm afraid to say that we have another Bip Bop I & III here, and I have a theory of why this happened.

 

This game came at 1997, a time where many people didn't had a at least decent internet connection. So, to facilitate downloads, pirates would chop files to reduce the size of the game. I'm sure of that because I've played Day of the Tentacle and The Dig through pirate copies back in the day, and some things I still remember from them: DotT had only voice acting at the begining of the game, but after they split into the different time periods, the rest of the audio after that was only sound effects and music. And The Dig had ZERO voice acting and ZERO animated cutscenes, but everything else worked fine. What I think happened here with Pax Corpus is that the pirates removed the cutscene files, but did a sloopy job on that (The Dig worked even without it's cutscenes), but because this game was received poorly back them (and because it faded in obscurity), nobody cared, and as a result the only digital "copies" we have now where those botched ones. If someone here knows a digital pirate from that time (or WAS one, who knows?), please confirm if my theory is true. Either way, this is a true tragedy to gaming preservation.

 

There are some good news however. The first one is that I salvaged the soundtrack.

 

Yeah, for some odd reason the game have no music but I managed to extract the soundtrack files with the help of PowerISO, which shows that this game has music but it can't play because... My head hurts... Anyway, it's not special, but I think it has some neat tracks in it. If Ross is interested, I can send to him via e-mail. I wanted to actually put the tracks on Youtube, and then post on the soundtrack session of the forum, but I don't know any decent free video editor for that. I downloaded the free trial of Filmora, and while it's good, it leaves a ugly watermark. I know that I just want to share the OST, but I will not pay an video editor just for that.

 

The other good news is that there still are some physical copies of the PC version around: (it's illegal to post amazon/ebay links? Just asking because I didn't saw anything regarding that in the forum rules, but if that's the case you guys can delete these)

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Cryo-Pax-Corpus/dp/B00006YYBN

https://www.ebay.com/itm/PAX-CORPUS-HOPKINS-FBI-DOUBLE-PACK-BIG-BOX-VERSION-for-PC-RARE-COMPLETE-/271027230460?_ul=US

 

Dunno if these are legit regarding the good condition of the games, but unfortunately, I'm not buying these. Don't get me wrong, but I'm not a retro game collector, even if I had the money for that I would even do it. But maybe Ross can tell Clint from Lazy Games Reviews about these, especially since the second link is also packed with another obscure game (and a game that I expected THE LEAST to be sold along Pax Corpus, and a

on top of that).

 

Sorry everyone.

Share this post


Link to post

It's cool, good work with the soundtrack! I'll be purchasing a copy of the PSX version later today -- no guarantees as to whether it will actually work or when it will get here, but it's not a huge amount of money so I'm taking the plunge.

 

I'll keep you informed once I get it. I definitely plan to play through it and give you a rundown on how close it is to the original plans to adapt The Demiurge. I might record at least some of my play as well if I can figure out how, seeing as there's very little gameplay footage online.

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in the community.

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.