I know most of my webspace is dedicated to LucasArts' adventure games, but DF had so many graphic alterations made during production that I figure it deserves some space here.
With that said, let's get on to the images.
This screenshot is taken from the electronic CD magazine Interactive Entertainment, issue #4 (August 1994).
The barrel of the Stormtrooper Rifle as seen here, instead of being shown at an angle as normal, is pointed straight forward, as are the weapons in DOOM.
Another picture from Interactive Entertainment issue #4. This one doesn't show any HUD or weapons. Odd.
Thanks to a friend of mine, I was able to track down two early slideshow demos of DF, which I have made available for download here and here.
Below are some screenshots from the first slideshow:
An early title screen for DF.
Gromas Mines. There's no slot for the number of lives you have in the HUD. I guess the idea of "extra lives" was added late in development.
Also, the Shield and Health displays are a strange blue color, and the battery-indicator lights are red, though they're green in the actual release.
Plus, the assault cannon's rocket indicator reads 0 instead of the two dashes normally present when using other weapons, and there's no light to mark when the head lamp is on.
The Tak Base generator.
Now the Health and Shield displays are colored black instead of blue.
A TIE fighter hangar.
I guess the developers had a cheat which could give you 999 rounds of ammo. Too bad they took it out.
The original design for DF Level 1 had Kyle stealing the Death Star plans from aboard a Star Destroyer, as shown on his PDA here; the idea was rejected because the level was too difficult to be the game's first mission.
The crest on the datapad's leather is that of the Rebel Alliance; in the final game it's a mercenary seal, fitting Kyle's status as a rogue agent.
The configuration settings were originally located on the datapad as well. But in the released game they're accessible from the menu when you hit ESC.
Finally, there aren't any buttons for Weapons or Objectives, the Exit button isn't clearly marked, and there's something called a Log.
Presumably the mission goals were filed under Mission, while the opening briefing was under Log. In the final version the goals are under Objectives and the briefing is under Mission.
Anoat, I think. Sewers, anyone?
The Detention Facility on Orinackra.
A screenshot without weapons or HUD, taken in the Jabba's Ship level.
This is the original design for Kyle's dropship, the Crow (the Moldy was added to the name later).
More of the odd original design for the Crow, as seen in Ergo Fuel Station.
Another screenshot of Gromas.
In this image the sides of the HUD display have been flipped!
More of the reversed HUD. Here the Shields and Health numbers don't match their visual indicators.
Again, the Shields and Health displays aren't correct for the numbers given.
By the way, I have absolutely no idea which level this is supposed to be. DF was originally planned to have 32 missions, so that one might have been cut.
Now the second slideshow. I'm not posting all 40 images from it, so feel free to download the slideshow demo for yourself.
The Crow's design is now finalized. That number in the bottom right corner marks the order of the slides.
This version of the datapad is finalized, except for the crest and one of the buttons, which reads Goal instead of Obj (for Objectives).
Taking on a Trandoshan. That red three-slotted grill, where the Lives slot is in the final game, is the original headlamp indicator. The bright red glow of the three lights in this image shows that the lamp is turned on.
Peering at Imperials through a hole in the wall. Now the headlamp indicator is off.
By the time of the second slideshow, the Shields and Health displays have been made to line up with their respective numbers.
An early version of the claymore sits behind those troopers...
...and deals with them quite effectively.
This 3D shot is missing some of the ships from the final version.
The Imperial Weapons Research Facility on Fest.
More of the Detention Facility level.
The screen flashes green as Kyle is hit with gunfire on Talay.
Another screen from Tak Base.
Using the grenade launcher on the Fuel Station.
Kyle runs down a conveyor belt on Anteevy.
More of the ice planet
Firing the Fusion Cutter. Look carefully at the upper left corner and you'll see the words "Screen Shot Taken."
Taking on some Gamorreans in Nar Shaddaa.
I don't recall the remote droid's sprite ever looking so clean and sharp in the final DF.
Yet another scan from an Adventurer, this time of PlayStation DF. For some reason the outer shields are the only ones lit in the display, despite the 200 shown clearly below them.
Noteworthy too are the pretty multicolored battery lights.
If that odd HUD from the PlayStation early version had made it to the finished release, it would probably have looked like this.
This black-and-white screenshot, scanned from the manual, lists the first mission as Rebellion's Hope. In the final game it's called Secret Base.
Still, most missions in the game have titles such as Gromas Mines: The Blood Moon and The Arc Hammer: The Dark Awakening. Perhaps the mission subtitles were once the ones listed on the menu, but got removed for reasons of clarity.
As a comparison, here's the menu screen from the actual game.
For more neat commentary and pictures, check out DF-21.net's page on this subject. Be especially sure to see the PC Gamer scans, which feature more of that totally bizarre design for Kyle's ship, the Moldy Crow.
View a shot-by-shot catalog of the differences between the Dark Forces demo and the final Level 1
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