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More Never-shown Art from Brian Moriarty's The Dig (and the First Real Screenshot!)


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A while back, you may recall that I gained some pictures of Brian Moriarty's The Dig from an anonymous source (let's call him/her "Nemo"). Here is a link to that thread, for the curious. It contains lots of cool stuff such as the sprite for Toshi Olema, the fourth character.


After posting this, I asked Nemo if he/she had any more pictures that might be of interest, and I did indeed receive some.


I've posted the ones that will be of most interest here.



This image shows the first-known true screenshot of the interface of Brian Moriarty's Dig. You can see the icons for "Examine," "Pick up," "Use," and "Move."


This is obviously not quite the same as the interface seen in this screenshot, which was taken from an early build of Sean Clark's The Dig.


I edited it to remove an obvious graphical glitch which involved Low's leg being somewhere away from his body (which is probably due to the fact that this build of the game would have not been fully bug-free yet). Otherwise, though, it's exactly as the game would have looked.



This is a picture of an earlier version of the "assemble the bones" puzzle. It appears to be much more like the "assemble the statue's gears in order to open the Atlantis door" puzzle in Fate of Atlantis.



This is a picture of the original version of the eel, which here is being electrocuted. The eel was once green instead of silver, and was smaller than the final one.



This picture shows some baby birds perched on the rock face by a beach. I don't know how they would have figured in a puzzle.



This image shows a ramp to the top of the center island from the central basin. Apparently you could climb up it to this location.



The original version of Brink. Check out that jumpsuit.





These all appear to be tunnels inside the asteroid. I guess that this was supposed to be the part where the astronauts passed through a "Klein bottle," which made them left-handed, in order to allow them to perceive the alien dimension. Follow this link to a picture of another tunnel in the asteroid.


This link is to a picture of an early version of the Nexus. I'm not posting it here since it's very wide.

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The original version of the rodent cave.



The original version of the cave where Brink's hand is cut off. In this version of The Dig, Brink's hand had to be cut off to save him from drowning when the tide came into the cave.



The original version of the waterfall which in the final game lies beyond the giant spider's cave.



The original version of a bridge in the map spire. As of yet, the tiny third doorway which is in this screen in the final game hadn't been added.



This image shows Boston Low grabbing a control in the planetarium. I'm guessing that the control opens the door (since the door is opening with a flash of light in the background).



Toshi Olema's remains after an encounter with drops of acid. An early magazine article on the game spoke of "violent and horrible deaths." I guess they weren't lying!



This image shows the original outer crypt. Here is a shot of what it would have looked like in the game.



This is apparently the original portal to the alien dimension. In the final game, the portal was in another room, and this room contained the fourth metal plate.



The canyon where the crew starts on Cocytus. There is not yet a hole where the entrance to the Nexus is.

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Boston Low's sprite. He looks much more like Indy from Fate of Atlantis here.



The PenUltimate. Notice that it's made by a company owned by Toshi Olema.









Images which were to be projected onto the PenUltimate screen in the game. A lot of them actually appear to include concept art.

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The original map room. I guess the map projections would have appeared in the top part of it.




Background concepts for the space shuttle. You can see Ken and Cora in there.



The original version of the asteroid exterior. The shuttle would have been on this screen as a 3D model.



An early version of what is labeled the museum. You had to place a pyramidal-shaped thing on the table in the center of the room for something to happen (I don't know what).



A 3D rendering of the PenUltimate.



A 3D model of the shuttle. In the final game, it's called the Atlantis (which is real); here it's the Arcadia (which doesn't really exist).



Concept art of the astronauts bringing the Pig down to the surface of the asteroid.



The wreck of the alien ship from the final game. The little Boston Lows are for showing the scale of the background.

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The appearance of a "ghost" in the ship interior. Here it is orange instead of blue.



The original version of a room in the map spire. In the final game this room connects the spider's cave and the map room.



This is one concept for the core of the asteroid. It was apparently left unfinished. It is an alternate to the core concept seen here, which may have been felt not to be "geometric" enough.



This is where the plates would have fitted in for the asteroid core concept seen above.



This is a test shot of sprites for the four astronauts' spacesuits. It is similar to the test shot shown in this link.



This image shows Boston Low staring up into the planetarium display, which hasn't yet been turned on.



This image shows the planetarium display when turned on.

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Just for reference, here are seven pictures from an early version of Sean Clark's The Dig.


By this point, Toshi Olema had been removed.


For the pictures of Brian Moriarty's Dig which I posted a while ago (with the stuff like Brink's hand jammed in the rock), check out the link at the top of the thread.









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A few pieces which I forgot to post earlier:



Art for Cora Miles on the PenUltimate.



Art for Ken Borden on the PenUltimate.



Another picture of the original eel.



More of the eel writhing in agony.



A closeup of the pyramidal table in the museum shown in one of my earlier posts.



A sketch of Judith Robbins being attacked by giant bats. I wonder if this is how she died in the final game.





These backgrounds were modified to appear in the end cutscene of the released game. The top one also was flipped upside-down and painted green to serve as part of the underwater cave.



A bird's-eye-view of the bottom of the map room. Dizzying, isn't it?

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Details of the deaths? Hmm...let's see...


You can see above that Toshi Olema is killed by falling acid drops, leaving behind a bloody, mutilated corpse.


As for Judith (aka Maggie in the final game), she apparently, as seen in the sketch, is attacked by giant bats at some point. I don't know if that's how she dies, though.


Brink's death is one I'm not sure about. I do know, however, that his body remained in one piece (at least in the first death, if he died more than once, like in the final game), and that he apparently died on this screen:



All of these deaths serve to advance the plot, and to make the world seem more dangerous.


The deaths in the final game were actually relatively tame ways to die considering the fact that this is an alien planet full of new and unexpected ways to get yourself killed. Falling down cliffs isn't anything that is too unusual on Earth.


Also, there was more gore in the game.


It was in this version that cutting off Brink's hand was first thought up, but it was to prevent him drowning when the tide came in, since water was in the cave.


In addition, one puzzle involved Boston needing to place the eel's eyeball on a flashlight in order to cause a ray to shine out from it that would kill bats. (Maybe he was rescuing Judith?)


So Boston had to kill the eel and cut the lens of its eye out (which would spatter blood on the screen). Then he had to place the eyeball lens on the flashlight and shine it at the bats, which would then die.


I got the "violent and horrible deaths" information from this article:


This article shows where Brink's body lies. Notice that Boston Low has a life crystal in his inventory! It looks a little different in the final game, but it's very recognizable as the green crystal.


Also, the article makes a tiny mistake: the engine which was to power this version of The Dig was, amazingly, not SCUMM. It was something weird called StoryDroid.


The article calls it Story Drawing, which is not correct. It's StoryDroid. Sean Clark's version, however, changed back to SCUMM, though it also at first used something similar to the StoryDroid GUI used in Brian Moriarty's version.


Here's a comparison:


StoryDroid GUI for The Dig:


Early-build SCUMM GUI for The Dig:


See the difference?

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BooJaka: Brink still was looking for life crystals in the crevice in the rock. That wasn't changed. As you can see above in my edited post, life crystals were in this version.


However, the reason his hand had to be cut off was because he'd drown before Boston could work it free of the crevice. It's not because, as in the final game, that there was no other way to get him unstuck.


It adds a sense of urgency, don't you think?


Also, I agree with you that unusual deaths would have been much cooler. In particular, I like the idea of Judith being attacked by bats.

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Here are the last few images that I'm posting of early The Dig.



This is very early art for what would turn out to be a seaside area in the final game.



This room, split into two parts in the final game, is where Boston Low must leap across a crevice, timing his jump with the waves of water. The water would have been added in later as an animation.


Here there is no bridge to the tram room, and the coloring is slightly different.



The plateau in front of the planetarium. This shot shows off the red sky, which the picture showing the interface does not.


In the final game the sky was blue. A lot of the backgrounds created for Sean Clark's The Dig have Earth-like skies, while most from Moriarty's The Dig have red skies.



This piece of art is taken from LucasArts' magazine The Adventurer #6. It shows all four of the astronauts. Toshi Olema, the astronaut to the far right, was later painted out of the picture.



This is the article from inside that issue of The Adventurer. Notice the eel - just like in the screenshots above!



This is a scan of an article in The Adventurer #7. By this point Brian Moriarty had left LucasArts, and Hal Barwood was trying to save this version of The Dig. Ultimately, he failed.


You can see the four astronauts at the surface of the asteroid, Boston Low in the alien crypt, the planetarium plateau, and the four crewmembers in the "acid droplets" room (likely mere moments before Toshi meets his bloody demise).

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OK. I guess I'm not quite done yet.


Here are two more pieces of The Dig art that I've decided to post.



The original version of the interior of the alien spaceship. In the final game it's slightly different, with a box which contains the odd blue sphere used in a puzzle.



The planetarium. The golden control on the pedestal is shooting a beam of light at the ceiling, which presumably activates the display of planets and such.

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Although I've never played The Dig beyond the demo, since I don't have the energy to go buy it, plus I hear conflicting reports on its gameplay, I really appreciate all these early images. I don't mind the spoilers, I'll probably forget them someday when I do get around to playing it.


Nice find... however you did it.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have a funny feeling that 'Nemo' used to work at LucasArts.

Is Nemo actually Brian? Or perhaps Hal? (Having just written that I get a perculiar feeling that Hal is dead...)


Either way, I have a funny feeling 'Nemo' has access to more than screens.....I'm talking about engine tests or early builds, cycles, something.


The original script, perhaps.


What was Brian working on when he gave up? What part of the game?

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But if such a thing does exist, it is our duty to find it, play it, and eventually,for somebody to(guess who¬¬) hack it.


If its out there, sitting on Nemo's desk, shouldn't we do all the best we can to get out into the world?

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Heh. I picked the pseudonym myself, actually. I was wondering if someone would get the joke. Good job. :)


My source isn't as high up as you've guessed. The stuff right here is probably the most exciting thing which Nemo was privy to while at LEC.


When Moriarty gave up, he was working on dialogue, says Nemo.

But he ran late on a deadline, and management, already displeased with the scientific nature of much of the plot (see the old thread for the "Klein bottle" bit), got even unhappier. That was a major factor in his leaving.


There were also some conflicts among the art team on production methods, and almost everyone on the old team left before Sean Clark took over.


And I have asked Brian Moriarty about The Dig, you know - his response was a rousing "No comment". :(


Edit - I'm considering taking down these pictures and replacing them with a downloadable .zip file for more convenience. Is that acceptable to you all?

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