Pre-beta content

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This article focuses on differences in the assets of pre-beta Oni. See the Pre-beta features article for features removed from Oni during development.

Almost all available shots of pre-beta content are here, compared to final content when applicable. Most pictures are half-sized (click to enlarge).

Released levels

Decline in appearance

Fans have sometimes observed that earlier versions of Oni's levels as seen in pre-release screenshots and the 1999 trailer looked sharper or more detailed than the release versions. The reasons for these differences are given in these three posts by the game's Design Lead:

There was no conflict between anybody. It was just that early versions of the story called for certain locations and (before they knew any better) the architects went ahead and modelled them as "real" spaces (you shoulda seen the fully modelled toilets...very impresisve!). We basically had to go back into every level of the game and completely rip it apart to support the gameplay we were going for or else build them new from scratch.

All of the levels were remodelled in a short period of time. Higher detail environments were typically the ones that needed less changing. [...] I do remember that there was discussion at one point about the fact that every level started to get the bluish tint because they were all "high-tech". Perhaps that led to the new palette.

As I said, glass (and the glass-breaking effects) was often stripped out of the levels for performance reasons. That particular iteration of the TCTF lobby was reduced to a crawl because of all the glass. Also the glass retaining walls and bannisters didn't provide any cover for gunfights from one ledge to the other, so they were replaced by the low walls.

Combat Training

Firing range
Pre-beta Now
CHAPTER 00 . COMBAT TRAINING.png Combat Training firing range.jpg
The training level was added in the final month of development. Apparently they took the screenshot for the splashscreen before the level was finished, because the plasma rifle and both types of ammunition are dumped unceremoniously on the floor instead of materializing on the desk (which does not appear to have been added yet).

Syndicate Warehouse

There are 15 hidden doors there. When revealed, they turn this very linear level into a completely non-linear structure (more like a real warehouse).

Pre-beta Now
CHAPTER 01 . TRIAL RUN.png Warehouse from splashscreen angle.jpg
The level changed after Bungie West took a screenshot as a basis for their chapter's title screen. 4 doors were removed, the others re-textured, many crates were added to the floor and upper side levels, and the forklift is higher now.

Musashi Manufacturing Plant

This one has evolved quite a lot.

The room with the "engines of evil"
ManPlant11.jpg ManPlant12.jpg
ManPlant10.jpg ManPlant13.jpg
There was more conventional warehouse machinery in here back then. "Balor" is a reference to Myth, still seen in Chapter 1 of the final game.

The foyer
Genesis Level2 10.jpg Genesis Level2 1.jpg
Pre-beta ManPlant 1.jpg
Pre-beta ManPlant 2.jpg
Genesis Level2 2.jpg
Genesis Level2 3.jpg Genesis Level2 4.jpg
Genesis Level2 5.jpg Genesis Level2 6.jpg
Note the door leading off the center of the foyer: there was a corridor running through the middle of the building. The catwalk in the foyer has an interesting texture to the sides of its railings that isn't seen in other pre-beta shots of the level.

An unknown area
ManPlant3.jpg Genesis Level2 9.jpg
ManPlant1.jpg ManPlant14.jpg
The last picture has a very provisional-looking health bar; these are some early screenshots. Nevertheless they include an extravagant amount of lightmapping, discussed in the Pre-beta features article. (Light sources are actually visible in the first picture, hidden in the other three.)
This room may in fact be unrelated to Musashi, despite similar-looking stairs.

Inner flyway and back of the building
Pre-beta ManPlant 3.jpg ManPlant4.jpg
Genesis Level2 11.jpg ManPlant15.jpg
Genesis Level2 12.jpg ManPlant5.jpg
ManPlant6.jpg ManPlant7.jpg
ManPlant8.jpg ManPlant9.jpg
The stairs lead up to the offices. More lightmapping here, adding volume to the barely-textured level.

The offices
Genesis Level2 13.jpg Pre-beta Office 3.jpg
Pre-beta Office 4.jpg Pre-beta Office 5.jpg
Pre-beta Office 1.jpg Pre-beta Office 2.jpg
The offices seem to be in the back of the building, on both floors, with doors and "windows" onto the "alarm console gallery". First 4 pics: lower floor, the empty dark wall on the first is where the stairs are. Last 2 pics: upper floor.

Vago Bio-Research Lab

This one has kept the same basic layout, but there were a few changes. The most distinct difference is the night-time setting.

Front gate
CHAPTER 03 . PUZZLE PIECES.png Vago Biotech front gate.jpg
The barriers around the police vehicles have been removed since the screenshot for the splashscreen was taken. This might have been in order to give Konoko room to ride her bike, but it seems like she had room to fit through anyway….

Lab at night-time
Genesis Level3 6.jpg Genesis Level3 7.jpg
Vago18.jpg Vago17.jpg
Vago3.jpg Genesis Level3 11.jpg
Pre-beta Vago Lab.png Vago11.jpg
The interior is only done in one half of the lab. There are also pillars and foyer doors missing, and extra ledges along the sides of the area where you fight Barabas.

Foyer and SLD wing
Genesis Level3 8.jpg Genesis Level3 1.jpg
Genesis Level3 2.jpg Genesis Level3 3.jpg
Genesis Level3 5.jpg Genesis Level3 12.jpg
Genesis Level3 9.jpg Genesis Level3 10.jpg
There were stools for the scientists... apart from that, this wing is pretty much final.

(HERE is a redundant image that doesn't show much apart from floor tiles.)

Machines in the acid room
Genesis Level3 13.jpg Vago Lab acid machine.jpg
The final ones are much thinner, and the layout of the stairs and catwalks is different.

Vansam Regional Airport

The airport's entrance
Pre-beta Airport.jpg
This could be the "Arrivals" section (which is now completely empty).

TCTF Regional Headquarters

Parking lot
TCTF van.jpg
Genesis Level8 2.jpg Genesis Level8 4.jpg
Genesis Level8 1.jpg TCTF8.jpg
Some different vehicles. Different transition from the parking lot to the main building. Konoko's bike is parked nicely in the second shot, instead of laying on the floor.

Main entrance
Genesis Level8 5.jpg TCTF3.jpg
TCTF7.jpg TCTF12.jpg
The room is more than 2 times wider now. There are windows on the right and catwalks running across the far side. The entrance door changed a lot, but the van didn't change much...

The "atrium" rendered in an editor
Pre-beta TCTF HQ.jpg TCTF0.jpg
Genesis Level8 6.jpg Genesis Level8 6-2.png
The elevator was between the two sets of ramps. Solid floors had a tiling pattern, and ramps were transparent.

The atrium, another version
Genesis Level8 9.jpg Genesis Level8 3.jpg
TCTF13.jpg TCTF14.jpg
TCTF15.jpg TCTF17.jpg
The ramps had really nice railings (I wish they'd kept them), overall the room was much lighter (there's a light wall on the far side). Same "V" structures at the ceiling as above: they're gone now. The layout of the rooms on either side is different, too.

Genesis Level8 10.jpg TCTF11.jpg
Damocles 1.jpg
The model didn't change at all, but now it's placed at the center (floor 2/3) of a really tall, open room. As for the terminals, there are primitive ones with similar looks around Damocles and elsewhere. Note the Marathon logo on Damocles' chassis (an Easter egg).

TCTF1.jpg TCTF10.jpg
TCTF9.jpg TCTF4.jpg
TCTF HQ from magazine scan.jpg
The parking lot was more lushly lit on the outside. Now there's no light on the sidewalks. There used to be a lot more cars in the garage, too. The building used to have lettering on the outside reading "TCTF", which is clearest in the brightly-lit version of the level depicted in the above scan from an unknown magazine. You can also see the back end of the Syndicate van that crashed into the building; it also seems to be visible in the screenshot immediately before that one. (The design of the building was obviously in flux since some of the textures differ between those two screenshots.)

TCTF5.jpg TCTF19.jpg

Atmospheric Conversion Center

Turbitt - ACC 1.jpg Turbitt - ACC 2.jpg
Turbitt - ACC 3.jpg Turbitt - ACC 4.jpg
Turbitt - ACC 5.jpg Turbitt - ACC 6.jpg
These shots are probably from the time when this was an electric plant. Note that the giant tube that serves as the end of the level (seen in the first pic) has a floor to walk on, in place of the electrified beam suspended in the middle, which Konoko runs down while being pursued by the TCTF. The pipe is also connected directly to the building, rather than being at the top of an elevator shaft. In the current version of the level, the mid-air beam is also the shaft for the giant fan; adding the fan was probably a hasty improvisation to make the level seem more like an ACC and less like an electric plant... but the fan shaft is still electrified!

Regional State Building

Hardy once stated that RSB was the first building that Bungie completed. Apparently that is also why it's been through so many changes.

The foyer and lobby
Pre-beta RSB 1.jpg 1999 Trailer ID fight.jpg
RegionalState23.jpg RegionalState1.jpg
RegionalState4.jpg RegionalState25.jpg
RegionalState26.jpg RegionalState5.jpg

Upper floors
Pre-beta enigma 4a.jpg Pre-beta enigma 4d.jpg
Pre-beta enigma 4b.jpg Pre-beta enigma 4c.jpg
These stills are from a long-lost show floor trailer. It can be seen playing in the background of the video Harry made at Macworld NY in 2000 (see § Video footage), and was also described textually on the forum. An energy effect no longer used in Oni can be seen emanating from two points in image 1; we might think these are the impact locations of the Plasma Rifle's shots, however we can see the pre-beta impact effect of the Plasma Rifle at 10 seconds into the video mentioned earlier, and it's quite different: it breaks up into smaller plasma balls flying in different directions.

Images 2–4 show a sequence from multiple angles in which an Elite Striker dives to the floor to dodge enemy gunfire, then gets up and uses his Cannonball Roll on the Security Guard. In images 3 and 4, there is a different mystery effect emanating from the floor, either the result of the Security Guard's PSP stream impacting the Striker or a particle formerly attached to the Cannonball Roll.

More upper floors
RegionalState18.jpg RegionalState19.jpg

Back hallways
RegionalState12.jpg RegionalState13.jpg

RegionalState20.jpg RegionalState21.jpg

Konoko runs from Iron Demon.jpg RegionalState10.jpg RegionalState9.jpg
RegionalState11.jpg RegionalState24.jpg RegionalState2.jpg
RegionalState3.jpg RegionalState8.jpg RegionalState7.jpg
RegionalState6.jpg RegionalState16.jpg RegionalState17.jpg
By the time Bungie took the outside shot with the Iron Demon, they'd barred in the foyer. Also, notice the missing wall of glass in the last set of pics. This section is now occupied by a wall with a normal-sized door set in the middle of it. The original wide-open entrance is an odd design choice. Could it have been a pet door for the Iron Demon? Most likely the ID was only shown in this level because it was their "testbed" level, since it was really meant for BGI HQ, but perhaps an initial skirmish was once planned here. Finally, note the multiplayer HUD in the top-right of many of these pictures; the screenshot taker was in MP mode at the time.


Pre-beta Now
CHAPTER 10 . CAT AND MOUSE.png Rooftops towers.jpg
There used to be a set of stairs on the right tower which led down from what is now basically a sniper's nest, possibly connecting to the roof that Konoko comes from before she climbs the stairs that lead up to the left tower.
Turbitt - Rooftops 1.jpg
If this is the area that leads up to the roof where Konoko fights Mukade, it looks like the original plan called for a staircase, not an elevator. The overall flow of the level must have been different too, as the blocks that Konoko jumps up are missing from the area to the right of the floor that the staircase starts on. The buildings with the rounded and steepled roofs in the background are now in a different position with respect to the Mukade building. Perhaps a block of buildings was rotated for the final model.

TCTF Science Prison

The scanner
Pre-beta Science Prison scanner.jpg
New wall textures. Looks like the scanner's textures are actually higher-res than what we have now.

Security tower
Turbitt - Science Prison 1.jpg Turbitt - Science Prison 2.jpg
Turbitt - Science Prison 3.jpg Turbitt - Science Prison 4.jpg
Turbitt - Science Prison 5.jpg
There used to be some very interesting lit walkways leading in and out of the security tower. They were replaced on all three sides by corridors with laser obstacles. The last picture shows an interesting area that was apparently removed, which is roughly in the same position as the acid vat complex in the final model.

Syndicate Mountain Compound

Heart of the Sturmanderung Megacomputer
Pre-beta Now
Pre-beta Compound 1.jpg Compound 1.jpg
Pre-beta Compound 2.jpg Compound 2.jpg
1999 Trailer - Compound 1.jpg Compound 3.jpg
1999 Trailer - Compound 2.jpg Compound 4.jpg

Additional pics
Compound3.jpg Compound4.jpg
Compound8.jpg Compound9.jpg
Compound10.jpg Compound11.jpg Compound12.jpg
The basic layout of the room is the same, but it was much more crowded with "computers" and the existing catwalks were aligned differently.
In the last picture (early development?) there are no computers at all, the bottom floor is missing, and the set of catwalks/stairs is minimal.

The cargo bay with the Red/Blue tunnels and the hijacked truck
Compound7.jpg Compound6.jpg
Apparently the Syndicate is also in league with BLAM Transport Inc.! Another BGI front?

("Blam" was a Bungie in-joke as well as Oni's unexpected quit dialog in Windows.)

Compound14.jpg Compound13.jpg
In these pictures from early development, the general concept is in place but the ceiling layout (slope, girders) is different and the room size is larger overall.

Cut levels

When Oni first shipped, players poking around the game data folder immediately noticed something odd: some of the levels were missing! At least, that's how it seemed based on the gaps in the numbering of the *_Final.dat/.raw(/.sep) files: there was no level5, level7, and no level15, level16 or level17 either. These gaps were explained simply by Hardy LeBel (Design Lead) and Chris Butcher (AI programmer):

The change in the level numbering came because the story completely changed from the old stuff into the form that you now know. After the changes one level was out of sequence in the story. It was easier to simply rename that one level in the data and leave a gap rather than rename all the levels to support the new story sequence.

the term "removed" is a little misleading... it's not as if oni had 19 complete levels, and we just decided to leave five of them off the CD. levels 7, 15 and 16 were never more than a name and number. the other two (5: airport underground, and 17: bgi hq) were only partly modelled before being discarded in favor of reworking the existing environments to include those elements. with few exceptions, all of the cool stuff that we created made it into the game.

Names of these levels

Speaking of names and numbers, this information for a level is stored in a resource called ONLD in the global level file level0_Final so that the Load Game screen can display all the levels. Somewhat surprisingly, the ONLDs for some missing levels are present even in retail versions of Oni.

It appears that levels below 20 were intended as single-player levels, 30-35 were multiplayer maps, and the rest were test levels. For some of those levels there are fragmentary scripts which can be found in the European Mac releases of Oni, though we have to infer which script folders were connected with which levels based on the folders' abbreviated names. If there is any info to be gleaned from those scripts, it is described in that level's section. Here are the missing levels alongside their presumed script folder names. Click the name to jump to that section below:

# Name BSL
05 The Airport Part Deux Airport_II
07 Obsolete
30 The Arena of Pain aop
31 Crossing Zone CZ
32 Pit pit
33 Crossing Zone Too CZ_II
34 Capture cap
35 Territories
36 Test_Stuff
55 AlexTestSite ats
66 Experimental_II
71 FiringRange SR
77 One Room
88 One Room 2
99 Test Barn II

Airport Part Deux

The presence of the Airport_II IGMD folder in some versions of Oni explains why retail Oni contains an Airport and Airport_III folder but no "Airport_II". The scripts in this folder are very short, so little about the level can be inferred from them. However, a mention of the animation "KONOKOlev5_outro_run" corroborates the ONLD evidence that the missing level 5 in the sequence of levelx_Final files was an intermediate airport space between two other airport levels, which are in level4_Final and level6_Final. The quote above by Chris Butcher tells us that it was an underground portion of the airport which was removed.


This level, which would have been level7_Final, represents the gap between the end of the airport levels and the first TCTF HQ level. Since Bungie West removed its name, we can only speculate that this level is the one which Hardy told us was renamed and moved – thus it is still present in the game. Intriguingly, names of various animations indicate that Syndicate Mountain Compound, which is now level19, was once numbered level7. What that says for the original flow of the story is difficult to say, but it allows us to fairly confidently say that the level which is now labeled "Obsolete" was the Mountain Compound.


Below are the only four screenshots we have for the level. Similarities to the architecture in TCTF HQ have been noted, with this explanation:

The BGI level turned into TCTF HQ. [...] [A]ll of the levels in the game ultimately ended up being composites of architectural details that were stripped from various other pieces that the architects had made. The screenshots that you have of BGI were part of [an earlier, unused] building, as were a lot of the pieces of TCTF HQ.

See the BGI page for more info about this canceled level.

BGI1.jpg BGI2.jpg
BGI3.jpg BGI4.jpg

Arena of Pain

MP arena 1-1.jpg MP arena 1-2.jpg
MP arena 1-7.jpg MP arena 1-3.jpg
MP arena 1-4.jpg MP arena 1-5.jpg
1999 Trailer - MP arena 1-7.jpg
This was an arena with an industrial center area and much cleaner/brighter outlying areas connected by walkways, seen at various stages of development or in various flavors. This level also featured heavily in mid-development video footage (see § Video footage).

Arena of Pain 1.jpg Arena of Pain 2.jpg Arena of Pain 3.jpg
MP arena 1-6.jpg
In this area, the wall seen on the left appears to say "[DA]VES [AR]ENA of PAiN", which if true would refer to Dave Dunn the level modeler.

2000 multiplayer demo
MP arena 3-1.jpg MP arena 3-2.jpg
The arena Steve Abeyta played in when he demoed multiplayer in 2000 (see Multiplayer for a video of this demonstration). These shots do not depict the same side of the same room; probably opposite sides of that room. The ramp briefly flattens out before continuing to ascend halfway through the room, which in these screenshots can be easily mistaken for some kind of distortion or modeling error.

Crossing Zone?

Pre-beta Muro vs. Konoko.jpg Pre-beta Muro vs. Konoko 2.jpg
Alex Okita remembered this as "Just a bunch of tubes"; "It was pretty big, lots of falling and dying, from what I remember". The cross-beams are also reminiscent of Construction Pit.

Construction Pit (The Pit)

A giant playground where most of the 1999 trailer gameplay was recorded.

Up top
Pit1.jpg Pit2.jpg

Down below
MP arena 2-1.jpg MP arena 2-2.jpg
MP arena 2-3.jpg MP arena 2-4 with Iron Demon.jpg
Pit4.jpg Pre-beta blood.jpg
The first three pictures show some basic elements of the level's architecture (most notably, very steep stairs). The third picture shows Konoko knocking down an early Tanker, with what looks like a collision glitch. The fourth picture is a rare glimpse at the Iron Demon.

1999 Trailer
1999 Trailer - MP arena 2-05.jpg 1999 Trailer - MP arena 2-06.jpg
1999 Trailer - MP arena 2-07.jpg 1999 Trailer - MP arena 2-08.jpg
1999 Trailer - MP arena 2-09.jpg 1999 Trailer - MP arena 2-10.jpg
1999 Trailer - MP arena 2-11.jpg 1999 Trailer - MP arena 2-12.jpg
1999 Trailer - MP arena 2-13.jpg 1999 Trailer - MP arena 2-14.jpg
1999 Trailer - MP arena 2-15.jpg 1999 Trailer - MP arena 2-16.jpg
1999 Trailer - MP arena 2-17.jpg 1999 Trailer - MP arena 2-18.jpg
1999 Trailer - MP arena 2-19.jpg 1999 Trailer - MP arena 2-20.jpg
1999 Trailer - MP arena 2-21.jpg 1999 Trailer - MP arena 2-22.jpg
1999 Trailer - MP arena 2-23.jpg 1999 Trailer - MP arena 2-24.jpg
1999 Trailer - MP arena 2-25.jpg 1999 Trailer - MP arena 2-26.jpg

Wood rack
Pre-beta enigma 5 cropped.jpg
A region of The Pit, identifiable by the shared wall texture. Lumber is stacked in the background (this is a construction zone, after all). This is possibly our only screenshot showing an over-the-shoulder weapon animation variant which we no longer have. The yellow blob in the distant top-left corner is probably a relic flame particle that's still in the game, but drawn incorrectly due to a graphics bug.


We don't have any images that we can link to this level. The script for the level, found in the ats folder in some versions of Oni's IGMD, shows that this was a test level for Mukade's teleportation (with a comment referencing the "bamf" sound effect of comic book fame).

Miscellaneous mysteries

Pre-beta enigma 3.jpg Compound5.jpg
According to Alex Okita, the picture on the left was part of Manufacturing Plant, but "was cut out later since there wasn't any need to go in there".

The picture on the right has been attributed to Compound, but doesn't resemble anything in Compound or elsewhere.

Pre-beta enigma 1.jpg Pre-beta enigma 2.jpg
This looks like the Syndicate Warehouse or Atmospheric Conversion Center (interior), but doesn't match with the current versions of either.

Cut weapons

Genesis Level3 8.jpg
This now-extinct pistol was seen all over the place back when Bungie was taking pre-beta screenshots. This was the Shibume SH-40, a fully-automatic pistol that fired 10 rounds/sec.

Compound4.jpg Vago8.jpg
An unnamed machine gun with a visible clip of ammunition. Note the laser sight emanating from an odd place on the weapon. Unique aiming reticles for the weapons were added in the final month of development according to Hardy, but they were experimenting much earlier with the use of a laser sight to help the player see where they were aiming. The laser-plus-dot system can be seen in use with the Shibume SH-40 HERE, and a dot-only system can be seen in use HERE.

Early scram cannon 1.jpg Early scram cannon 2.jpg
The Iron Demon can be seen firing this weapon in the trailer at 1:25; apparently Konoko would salvage the gun from the ID after destroying it. Although fans were impressed by its size, some also wanted to know how petite Konoko could even hold the thing. Okita joked that it was filled with anti-gravity. This was probably the basis for the (much smaller) Scram Cannon.

Pre-beta Airport 2.jpg MP arena 3-2.jpg
Pre-beta enigma 6.jpg
This was some sort of energy weapon, firing small shots resembling lens flares which rotated as they flew. Note that the enemy is firing this gun in the last shot; Konoko merely wields an SMG.

Iron Demon

See Iron Demon to learn about the mech that Konoko was supposed to fight, which did not make it into the final game.

Altered characters

Some characters are considered to have declined in appearance since the 1999 trailer that was cut during Oni's development, particularly Muro:

1999 2001
Muro 1999.jpg Muro 2001.png

Besides the wardrobe change, his facial structure has been altered to make him, well, coyote ugly. When asked about Muro's redesign shortly after Oni's release, Hardy stated:

There were some issues with a few of the original characters, specifically the way they were modelled and textured. When Chris Hug[h]es got around to redoing them to remove sorting issues and correct their "physiques" (which is an 3D animation term relating to the way the vertices interact during animation) he often changed their clothes from the outfits Alex Okita originally gave 'em. Chris and Alex had what you might call a "friendly rivalry" in the art department ;^>

Cut animated textures

The 1999 trailer also reveals that computer screens were going to be animated. The engine still allows animated textures but, besides special effects such as fire, Oni only seems to use this feature once in the environment – for the 15-frame news broadcast on the giant screen in Rooftops. Animated textures would have brought more life to the environment, but at the cost of added memory, especially for the smooth computer screen animations seen in the trailer, which appear to be 30 frames long. Here are all three of them, though the third appears to be a fuller view of the second:

Animated computer screen 1 1999.gif Animated computer screen 2 1999.gif Animated computer screen 3 1999.gif

Video footage

See Videos § Public & TV footage.