Colony Wars Red Sun oddities and cut content

JUN 01 2019

BDS 9000

During model extraction, BDSROC was found, which I immediately assumed to be a torpedo model for BDS 9000. I remember finding a texture of this face long time ago with automated TIM file scanner, at that time I just assumed this to be an internal easter egg among files. Finding this model shows that I was wrong.

I've purchased several torpedos afterwards and recorded a video so I could check it frame-by-frame and catch a glimpse of the torpedo, which indeed has a face on it. I like how this easter egg is hidden in a plain sight, you can't really notice it because of the sparks and difficulties with approaching it, not even mentioning you wouldn't even try to approach the torpedo as it may kill you in a blast.

BDSROC

BDSROC

BDS 9000 Description

BDS 9000 Description

It's actually an easter egg

It's actually an easter egg

I contacted one of the devs behind Red Sun, Julian Gold, wondering who's the portrayed person is. I was told it's Dave Semmens, which clicked instantly: BDS: Big Dave Semmens, and you even have that in credits!

Big Dave Semmens

Big Dave Semmens

Unused models

PIRMED

Pirate medium ship? Compared to other pirate ships, I find this design weird, mostly due to these fins at front.

PIRMED

PIRMED

RSUN4

One of the stages of Red Sun. Maybe there could be more missions including it. This particular model has weird floating rock. It's similar higher quality model is featured in one of the FMVs.

RSUN4

RSUN4

RSUN4 like model in FMV

RSUN4 like model in FMV

ROOK

It's hard to say if this is some kind of lifeform that was weaponized (similar to Tolrasaurs), a weird ship design for some faction, or something from Sha'Har which doesn't really follow their overall design.

ROOK

ROOK

BDOOR

Rather detailed blast door?

BDOOR

BDOOR

CALDE2

Some kind of guarded outpost, file name implies it belongs to Calderas.

CALDE2

CALDE2

Dropships

Several unused dropships, based on file names I assume these are for Dirt Warriors, Pirates and Rebels, the latter having unique carrier.

Dirt Warrior Dropship

Dirt Warrior Dropship

Pirate Dropship

Pirate Dropship

Rebel Dropship

Rebel Dropship

Empiret ship with a searchlight

Could be a part of some stealth based mission, or maybe just looking for something on the ground level.

EMPSER

EMPSER

SENSOR

Kinda resembles a satellite, since it's called sensor, could also be a part of stealth mission?

SENSOR

SENSOR

MINRO1

If it's indeed mining robot, I'd say it looks weird. Maybe it's supposed to be a ground mining outpost.

MINRO1

MINRO1

REFSML

Something related to the refineries? Ship design is similar to one the pirates have.

REFSML

REFSML

Ground units

Red Sun has several ground units, Navy in The Necessity mission, and Sha'Har in the credits (watch the ground). But there's also League ground unit and Refinery worker (if REFGND actually means it) not used anywhere.

League ground unit

League ground unit

Refinery worker?

Refinery worker?

Rushed models

What's remarkable about Colony Wars Red Sun is that it was developed only in a span of six months, while still being rather unique and improved entry in the series. This could explain some of the model issues that most players won't notice.

DIRFLT

This insanely huge ship only makes a short appearance in one mission. The moment you approach the ship - it's gone in explosion. Due to that you probably won't notice the fact that one of it's turrets is flipped by 90 degrees. The model also has incorrect texture applied on one of the jet flames, but since the ship is stationary in this mission, player will never see these jet flames.

DIRFLT

DIRFLT

DIRFLT

DIRFLT

Rushed UV

When I initially ripped playable ships, I immediately noticed they have rushed UV mapping, like on screenshot below. Simply flipping a half of this thruster UV fixes it, but it's not like anyone's gonna notice this in-game.

PLAHA1

PLAHA1

Navy dropship has much severe problem and I couldn't believe it's actually like that in-game.

DRONAV

DRONAV

DRONAV

DRONAV

Here's rather amusing Navy research ship with label reflected. It's applied correctly on the other side.

Navy research ship

Navy research ship

Navy research ship

Navy research ship

Amusing text

Mission names

Each mission is accompanied by script that has info on entities, what these entities are supposed to do and how it has to play out. The script starts with a mission title that doesn't always follow the original mission name, here are some of interesting ones:

In-game name In-script name Note
Covert Insertion Pretzel Power mission focusing on destroying power plants
Valdemar... Rescue the General
Retrieval "Raiders of the Low Stark" subspace mission with idol treasure retrieval
Hunting Jelly Hunting mission focusing on hunting Protoshelp cows, who are also called jellies
Protection Protect The Love Boat, Baby ! the protected ship literally looks like a boat
Gang Warfare 'Diamonds are for Heather'
Templecruiser The Templecruiser's Doomed
Rescue Team Extraterrestrials
Clear Path Kill 'Em All
Protect Cult Cult vs. Scavenger
Kidnap Queen Ping-pong
Escape Crazy Calamari
Hostage Release Turret's Syndrome mission is focused on destroying all turrets on a capital ship
Roadblock Deviant Stompers
Capture Sha'Har Sha'Harness
Sabotage Navy Has Sha Har Shjp typo!

Mission briefings

Some missions have two parts, player can see the full briefing only for the first part. Below are some hidden text from second parts of these missions:

Escaping subspace

[title] Escape Subspace
[reward] 0
[start]
This is the second part of a 2 part mission.

There is no briefing.

Objectives.
1.
2.
3.
[end]
[start]
HilachMerc//845.2...

Carry on from before.
[end]

Retrieving Diva's escape pod

[title] Rescue Diva
[itemlock] 46
[reward] 0
[start]
Objectives.
1. Find Diva's escape capsule.
2. Grapple Diva's escape capsule.
3. Exit through Jumpgate with Diva's Escape Capsule in tow.

continue...
|
Diva is still alive, but adrift in Hostile Space.
Valdemar, you must rescue her.

A grapple is necessary.
[end]
[start]
![Engram Link]
Save the wee lassie.

A Grapple will be needed.
[end]

Final mission - destroy Red Sun

[Engram Link]
bmp_brfmentor
This is your
Destiny.
[title] Destroy Red Sun pt2
[reward] 0
[start]
![Engram Link]
Irrelevant.
[end]
[start]
Also Irrelevant.
[end]
[start]
Now that's torn it!
[rating]
[end]
[start]
You saved the entire Human race.

How does that feel?

Additional info

  • Game Developer Magazine, AUG 2000: programmer Julian Gold recaps Red Sun development, what went right and what went wrong. The article also includes some neat concept art.
  • There was a demo of the game on Official UK Playstation Magazine #56: featuring very annoying short music loop that resembles original release music and also nauseating external camera. Unfortunately external camera is not shown on this video.
  • There's a cloak device that can be purchased if you activate Armoury cheat code. For some reason I never noticed it when I was playing the game long time ago and at first assumed that cloak device was cut. It makes you invincible and you can also fly through other ships.
  • It's possible to hack yourself weapons that are only exclusive to NPCs, they have names like Anti-Hull missile weak, SAAD laser, Orbital strike. Attempting to launch a mission with these will result in game crash. There's also Distress flare available that works fine, it functions similar to regular Flares and looks like the ones that are shot by General.
  • Among text strings, View models was found, I wonder if it's leftover or there's actual model viewer that can be activated.