Alpha and Beta Versions
The Lost Worlds Collection
The following prerelease builds of Blood Omen are known to exist, and possessed by Lost Worlds staff:
Other Suspected Builds
The 12 July build of the game includes a file named KEVY.DAT in its PILL.BIG file. KEVY.DAT contains a file listing of the contents of PILL.BIG from 3 June, 1996 - about six weeks prior. The Lost Worlds staff believe that a build of the game was created on that date, but it is unknown if that build ever left the Silicon Knights offices, or if it still exists.
The Lost Worlds staff have a private fund for the purchase of this version of the game, and are willing to offer US$1000 for it. If you are in the possession of this build and interested in selling it, please get in touch with us using the Contact form.
The 12 July and 15 September builds include various features to aid in testing and debugging the game. In the case of the 12 July build, it is impossible to complete the game without making frequent use of them.
Many of the differences are chronicled in detail in other articles in the Blood Omen section. A massive amount of content remains to be added over time. For example, the overworld location of Vorador's mansion is completely different in the 12 July build. Not just the location on the world map, but the environment that the mansion is located in.
That's just the first random image I had lying around of something I'd not documented properly yet. It is going to take awhile to go through all of this material.
I examined the data for known builds of the game, and compared it with the information in the KEVY.DAT file to generate the following high-level breakdown of the differences. The numbers indicate the count of sections within a given map. For example, the 12 July build has 43 sections for map 01 (the overworld), while the 15 September and final versions of the game only have 40. Map numbers followed by a letter indicate a known or suspected repurposing of a given map number. For example, map 07 in the 12 July build is one of the Additional Crypt Dungeons, whereas in the 15 September and final versions, it is used for the Lost City. The letters are not present in the game data, and are included here to make the distinction for the reader.
From the perspective of the total number of map sections in the entire game, the progression is as follows:
In other words, the final version of the game contains about 62% of the number of "rooms" that were present in 3 June, 1996, and that earlier version of the game already appears to have been reduced in scope from the original design.
|02||Deleted City Interiors?||27||6||7||7|
|03||Vasserbunde, Steinchencroe, Nachtholm Interiors||8||24||26||26|
|04||Coorhagen and town east of Willendorf Interiors||0||14||20||20|
|07(a)||Crypt Dungeon 1||3||3||N/A||N/A|
|07(b)||The Lost City||N/A||N/A||23||23|
|08(a)||Crypt Dungeon 2||4||2||N/A||N/A|
|09(a)||Crypt Dungeon 3||3||4||0||0|
|09(b)||Temple of Hash'ak'gik||N/A||N/A||2||2|
|11(b)||Light Spell Dungeon||N/A||6||6||6|
|12||Wolf Form Dungeon||4||4||4||4|
|13(b)||Mausoleum Dungeon 4||N/A||0||5||5|
|16(a)||Force Shield/Magic Absorb Dungeon||5||8||N/A||N/A|
|16(b)||Repel Dungeon (Revised)||N/A||N/A||8||8|
|17||Inspire Hate Dungeon||6||9||12||12|
|18||Bone Armour Dungeon||10||10||10||10|
|19||[Not in any known build]||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|22||Mist Form Dungeon||9||6||7||7|
|23||The Oracle's Cave||7||7||8||8|
|24||[Not in any known build]||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|25||Control Mind Dungeon||4||4||4||4|
|26(b)||Blood Gout Dungeon||N/A||4||4||4|
|27||Repel Dungeon (Original)||7||8||N/A||N/A|
|28||[Not in any known build]||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|30||Flame Sword Dungeon||4||4||5||5|
|33||[Not in any known build]||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|34||[Not in any known build]||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|36||Avernus Cathedral Interior||3||3||5||6|
|37||Soul Reaver Dungeon||6||5||5||5|
|38||Wraith Armour Dungeon||18||18||19||19|
|39||Spirit Wrack Dungeon||3||3||8||8|
|42||[Not in any known build]||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|45||Nemesis Castle (Present)||4||2||3||3|
|46||[Not in any known build]||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|47||Overworld in the Past||8||5||7||7|
|48||William the Just's Castle Interior||6||5||10||10|
|49||Overworld in the Altered Present||8||5||5||5|
|50(b)||Ruined Castle of William the Just||N/A||4||13||13|
|55||Deleted Cave Interiors||4||4||0||0|
|58(a)||Willendorf Tunnel Dungeon||11||11||4||4|
|59(c)||Stahlberg Interiors (Present)||N/A||9||9||9|
|60||Stahlberg Interiors (Past)||0||0||11||11|
|61||Stahlberg Interiors (Altered Present)||0||0||11||11|
|63||The Pillars of Nosgoth||4||3||1||1|
|64||[Not in any known build]||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|65||[Not in any known build]||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|66||[Not in any known build]||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|67||[Not in any known build]||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|68||[Not in any known build]||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|69||[Not in any known build]||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|72||Energy Bolt Dungeon||6||2||2||2|
These figures reveal a significant difference between the 12 July build and the final version of the game, but a truly staggering number of changes took place between 3 June and later builds:
Cinematic Video File Dates
The 12 July build includes versions of the story cinematics which (except for act 1) are earlier versions than those included in the 15 September build and the final version of the game. The content of these videos is virtually identical to the later versions, except for the use of placeholder music (as discussed in Placeholder Cinematic Music). However, the modification dates for the files on the earlier disc may give some sense of which parts of the story remained concrete for most of the game's production, and which were altered closer to release.
Based on the file data, the visual content of each video was finalized no later than the following dates:
I believe that one of the large deleted areas was a separate location featuring Bane as a standalone boss.
One or more of the large deleted areas may also have been used for more-complete versions of the game world at different points in the time. That is, instead of being limited to the northeast corner of the map, the alternate eras might have encompassed the entire game world.
Alternatively, all three of the large deleted areas may have featured a Pillar guardian. In the final version of the game, Kain never fights Anarcrothe, and Vorador defeats Malek. One or both of these battles might have been intended to take place.
|"BMG Xmas" 1996 Crystal Dynamics Trailer||60 MiB||Crystal Dynamics|
|This video, provided by Halfiry, was discovered on a BMG promotional CD-ROM from Christmas 1996. It includes footage from Blood Omen featuring the five-tier magic meter and an unknown deleted area. The formal name of the trailer is currently unknown. The original file is named CD.MOV, and the BMG CD-ROM's label is bmgxmas.|
|1.||A few of the map sections were retained and used for the interiors of buildings in Ziegsturhl and Nachtholm.|
|2.||The large discrepancy regarding the number of sections in this map is due to the addition of antechamber rooms for each Spirit Forge, as well as two additional copies of the Pentalich of Tarot Spirit Forge being added to account for the alternate time periods.|