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Major Stryker beta released!  "Kicking off 2018."

User is online   Hendricks266 

  • EDuke32 Senior Developer
  • 5,943

  #1

https://boards.3drea...ta-released/783

Quote

Two days, two Major Stryker posts.

Yesterday was the 25th anniversary of the game, and today we have a special treat. In talking to some of the developers on the actual anniversary, we discovered that we had a working beta version of Major Stryker as well that was dated August 12, 1992. We have decided to release the beta for you to check out. There was one legendary beta that we cannot seem to find - was the first beta. That one was so hard that every single beta tester complained it was too hard. That almost never happens, so it was made a bit easier to play, that is what you’re seeing here.

The game is fairly complete, but it is not totally finished either. The music is there, but no sound effects are there. The gameplay is mostly finished, but not totally polished. Order screens are not finished, and various help is incomplete.

Tech Stuff: This beta does require DOSBox to work - there is no shell provided for this release, nor will we give any support in getting it to work under DOSBox.

Back in the day we used to take multiple steps to prevent our betas from leaking. For some titles we used a physical hardware dongle, and on some we made it so the games had to be played inside a specific date range AND have a specific environment variable and/or a command line parameter to run. Not all of them used all our security methods, but this Major Stryker beta used some of them. To get the game to run right, you need all the files in the directory, and have to start the game with the “PLAY.BAT” batch file inside DOSBox.

Here is the download link: http://legacy.3dreal...r_beta_0892.zip

Summary: We thought this would be something fun you guys would like seeing. Was a fun little surprise to discover on the anniversary day, and after some check with various folks, we’re releasing it for free on the day after. Enjoy!

Spoiler

12

User is offline   leilei 

  • 438

#2

Not pictured: really fucking long prototype Apogee theme

Posted Image
5

User is offline   Lunick 

  • Snazzy Ex Tazzy
  • 4,599

#3



LeoTCK - EDIT: Jimmy, Blow it out your ass!
http://duke3dmaps.tumblr.com/
6

User is offline   Malvineous 

  • 5

#4

Wow it's great to see more of these betas coming to life! Many thanks for all your effort getting this to happen!

Interesting to see that some of the music they used in this one has been borrowed from other games - Cosmo and Keen 4, 5 and 6. (These links will play the songs in a recent web browser.)

  • invince.imf - amusingly long version of the Apogee theme as Leilei mentioned
  • rockit.imf - a slower tempo version of the title song used in the final release
  • wednesdy.imf - extended version of "Wednesday on the Beach" from Keen 5 (this version was passed along at some point by John Romero but it's nice to see it in use somewhere)
  • whodo.imf - don't recognise this one, sounds a little like the Blake Stone style in places but not sure whether it's a reused song or whether it was cut from the final game

It also looks like the other Stryker songs are slightly different to the versions used in the final game, but not sure precisely yet what the differences are.

Fascinating stuff! Thanks again.
5

User is offline   Lunick 

  • Snazzy Ex Tazzy
  • 4,599

#5

View PostMalvineous, on 16 January 2018 - 07:18 PM, said:

[*]whodo.imf - don't recognise this one, sounds a little like the Blake Stone style in places but not sure whether it's a reused song or whether it was cut from the final game
[/list]

I'm told it is from the boss level in Bio Menace Episode 2



LeoTCK - EDIT: Jimmy, Blow it out your ass!
http://duke3dmaps.tumblr.com/
3

User is offline   Malvineous 

  • 5

#6

Oh it is too! Thanks for clarifying that!
0

User is offline   NY00123 

  • 102

#7

Lemme first quote my post from the 3DR forums thread:

NY00123 said:

ok, I might not be very familiar with Major Stryker (although I did get to complete the whole game).

Nevertheless, the availability of this prototype build is really great!! :smiley:

As usual, many thanks to any individual who had a part in making this possible, if directly, and if not.


Now, to answer Malvineous:

First of all, it's great to see you here! (Hahaha, no worries, I'm also not posting in forums a lot.)
I also looked at the IMF tracks from the beta's data file (which is VOLUME1B.MS1). It does look like a lot (most) of the tracks were used as temporary placeholders in this beta; Although, at least in the case of whodo.imf, Bio Menace was eventually released ~7 months after Major Stryker, so maybe no final decision was made by then.

I think there is an interesting tidbit, regarding one of the Keen tracks, though!

View PostMalvineous, on 16 January 2018 - 07:18 PM, said:

  • wednesdy.imf - extended version of "Wednesday on the Beach" from Keen 5 (this version was passed along at some point by John Romero but it's nice to see it in use somewhere)



So, I took a look at the Keen tracks, and here's what I got to say about them:
- skating.imf (Skating O'er the Ice - Keen 5's high scores table): This seems to be the same as in the Keen 5 data.
- alienate.imf (Aliens Ate My Babysitter - Keen 6's world map) and oasis.imf (Tropical Ghost Oasis - Keen 4): These are exactly the same extended versions as found in Romero's supplied IMFs. A MIDI variant of alienate.imf (the extended version) composed by Bobby Prince was also made available online at some point.

- Now, here's some *very* interesting point about wednesdy.imf. Like alienate.imf, it is an extended version, and a MIDI variant was made available. However, I think the IMF was *not* supplied by Romero at all. Either that, or it got lost on the way (which I'm doubtful). So this might be the *very first time* we all get access to the extended wednesdy.imf track in IMF form!
3

User is offline   K1n9_Duk3 

  • 138

#8

I've spent some time analyzing the beta and this is what I've found out so far:

Type "debug" at the title screen and you'll see a "DEBUG ON" message. Once debug mode is on, you can do this (from the title screen)
  • press F1 to F12 to play levels 1 to 12 (holding the bomb or the fire key down would have let you access the levels from episode 2 and 3 but they don't exist in the beta)
  • press scroll lock to view a level
  • press R to record a demo of the next level you play
  • press D to play the current demo
  • press the 1 to 4 keys (the ones above QWER) to save the demo to file (DEMO1.DR1 to DEMO4.DR1)
  • press O to access a very buggy "Options Screen"
  • press G to access a very buggy "Game Setup" menu
  • press K to access the "Keys Screen" - these keys can be used in the game (when debug mode is on)
  • press the MACRO key (scan code 0x6F, probably impossible to access in DOSBox) to get memory information as well as the scan code of the last key that was pressed


Some of these keys will also work from within the main menu, but not all of them.

Hail to the K1n9, baby!
5

User is offline   K1n9_Duk3 

  • 138

#9

I spent some time analyzing the music files in the beta and comparing them to the ones from the final release:
  • CRUISING.IMF - exactly the same as in the final release
  • TORPEDO.IMF - excatly the same as in the final release
  • PRESSURE.IMF - beta version is slightly slower
  • ROCKIT.IMF - beta version is slightly slower
  • TOMSOME.IMF - beta version is slightly slower
  • SUPERSNC.IMF - beta version is slightly slower and differs in volume and/or intruments
  • INVINCE.IMF is not just a longer version of the Apogee theme, it also uses slightly different instruments than the fanfare in the final release of Major Stryker. The instruments in the beta seem to be the same as in Bio Menace, Blake Stone and Planet Strike.


The files listed above are actually the only files that the executable will play directly. The only other way to get a song to play in the beta would be to use it as a level song (defined in the level files WORLDAL1.DR1 to WORLDALC.DR1). These are the songs that are used in the levels:
  • whodo.imf (Levels 1, 2, 5, 8, 11, 12)
  • pressure.imf (Levels 3, 6, 9)
  • cruising.imf (Level 4)
  • tomsome.imf (Level 7)
  • rockit.imf (Level 10)

Which means that all the Keen songs and the one from Cosmo are indeed completely unused in the beta and it was more or less an accident that we got to see them at all.

Another thing I found out is that the beta also contains unused sound effects from another Apogee game:
  • SOUNDS1.DR1 is exactly the same file as DUKE1.DN? in the original Duke Nukem (not used by the beta at all)
  • SOUNDS2.DR1 is a slightly modified version of DUKE1-B.DN? from the original Duke Nukem (the beta loads this file but does not seem to play any of the sounds)


And to finish off the list of unused files, we have an unused Apogee screen in APOGEEDR.DR1:
Attached File  apogeedr.dr1.png (1.32K)
Number of downloads: 20
I think I've seen this screen before (perhaps in a preview/slide show), but I'm not sure.

I also found all the differences in the level files of the beta compared to the final release:
Spoiler


Hail to the K1n9, baby!

This post has been edited by K1n9_Duk3: 19 January 2018 - 02:08 PM

5

User is offline   Doom64hunter 

  • 186

#10

Regarding whodo.imf, it appears that it is using slightly different instruments than the version later used in Bio Menace. Namely, the triangle track, and the track for the guitar solo are using much less distorted instruments than the final version.

View PostNY00123, on 17 January 2018 - 10:22 AM, said:

I also looked at the IMF tracks from the beta's data file (which is VOLUME1B.MS1). It does look like a lot (most) of the tracks were used as temporary placeholders in this beta; Although, at least in the case of whodo.imf, Bio Menace was eventually released ~7 months after Major Stryker, so maybe no final decision was made by then.


Considering how thematically similar rockit.imf and whodo.imf are, I'd wager that it was originally composed for Major Stryker, and not just a placeholder.
0

User is offline   Frenkel 

  • 36

#11

View PostK1n9_Duk3, on 19 January 2018 - 02:05 PM, said:

And to finish off the list of unused files, we have an unused Apogee screen in APOGEEDR.DR1:
Attachment apogeedr.dr1.png
I think I've seen this screen before (perhaps in a preview/slide show), but I'm not sure.


The font that's used for PRESENTS looks familiar.
It's also used in Roboman. That's a game that is created by one of the co-founders of Monolith Productions.
0

User is offline   MusicallyInspired 

  • 2,795

#12

Why do the 3D Realms boards not work anymore? Or is it just me? I get just a white screen.

Roland SC-55 Music Packs
new! It's Green (Duke3D BETA Track!) in FLAC, OGG, & MP3 with metadata loop tags
Duke3D, Doom, Descent, Hocus Pocus, and more...
Legacy of Grabbag Metal Medley
0

User is offline   K1n9_Duk3 

  • 138

#13

View PostMusicallyInspired, on 17 February 2018 - 10:14 AM, said:

Why do the 3D Realms boards not work anymore? Or is it just me? I get just a white screen.

Both the boards and the old forums seem to work fine for me.

Hail to the K1n9, baby!
0

User is offline   MusicallyInspired 

  • 2,795

#14

Ok now it's working. Weird.

Roland SC-55 Music Packs
new! It's Green (Duke3D BETA Track!) in FLAC, OGG, & MP3 with metadata loop tags
Duke3D, Doom, Descent, Hocus Pocus, and more...
Legacy of Grabbag Metal Medley
0

User is offline   leilei 

  • 438

#15

View PostFrenkel, on 17 February 2018 - 08:43 AM, said:

The font that's used for PRESENTS looks familiar.

Posted Image

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