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New Thoughts on Brian Moriarty's The DIG


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Hey guys!


I am really, really sorry for disappearing for several years. I never left the Internet (you can see me on other forums under this same name), but I've had my attention elsewhere. It's weird to hear me saying it, but.... I kind of lost interest in graphic adventure games for several years.


That changed recently.


You see, I've come into possession of some code that appears to have been used for Brian Moriarty's The DIG.


And not just any code.... it appears to have dealt wtih the variables that were used to govern the scripts used in the game's ending.


This in fact suggests several things:


1) If you wanted to, it seems, you could summon extra astronauts from the shuttle to explore the asteroid's core at the beginning of the game. This probably had a bearing on the fact that the game artists drew TWO different versions of the asteroid core--it would change based on your choice of teammates.


Additionally, this means the crew would have been more diverse than was suspected from pre-release press reports and screenshots.


2) When one of your crewmates died, it was possible to keep them alive. Not only via the life crystals--but also perhaps by uploading their minds into a robotic shell. (Think of C-3PO, or the Robot Maria in Metropolis.)


3) Connected with this point, there was likely a body-swap machine, which would allow the crewmembers to switch physical forms--male and female alike.


4) The game was seriously adult. Not only in violence (Toshi's death involved being melted alive in an acid bath!) but also in sexuality. Think of some of the stuff in Arthur C. Clarke's novel Rendezvous with Rama and you'll get the general idea.


5) Low could assert his authority much more than in the final game. For instance, he could try to order the crew to do things they didn't want to do. However, the crew members would resent this, and would rebel in greater or lesser ways.


6) Judging by the screenshots, the life crystals had a counterpart. Let's call them "release crystals." These were sets of three sharp, spiky red crystals--which usually came contained in egg-like shells, one apiece, for ease of transport.


Their purpose was simple. Stab anyone with three of them together, and you would give them a merciful death. This could be used to ease the passing of a mortally injured crewmate.


Additionally, however, if you used BOTH the life crystals and the release crystals on someone, they would be completely healed, in mind and body.


(Think of the magic running boots, powered by green and red crystals, in Brian Moriarty's earlier text adventure Trinity.)


7) You actually had a LOT more control over who lived and who died than in the released version.


You could let your crewmates die, or save them, or bring them back--as long as you knew how to solve the requisite puzzles properly. Some of the puzzles involved dialogue, and these were likely made more challenging by the pictorial interface used for talking to your fellow astronauts.


And, just as in Fate of Atlantis, Boston Low could likely die if you screwed up too badly.


Even the final puzzle, carried over to the released game--the opening of the Eye Between the Worlds--apparently involved a set of choices.


In Sean Clark's version, Maggie sacrifices her own life so that Boston Low can rescue the Cocytans. But in Brian Moriarty's version, Low could, it seems, volunteer to do that himself.


Of course, since in this version the Eye was actually a gateway to Heaven itself, Low ended up in the same place regardless.


There, the godlike aliens whom he met would have given him an additional choice.


He would be able to decide his own fate, and those of his crew. Should they be restored to life on Cocytus; returned to Earth; remain dead; or, perhaps, something else entirely?


8) I think, most likely, this was the best-case scenario for winning the game.


The number of teammates chosen to explore the asteroid at the outset of the game was probably not relevant to the overall ending, so I'll ignore that variable for now.


Boston Low saves as many teammates as he can--before or after their death.


He and his crew try out the body-swap machine and the android bodies, and he lets his crew stay in whatever forms they like best.


Boston chooses to sacrifice himself to open the Eye. And, in Heaven before the aliens, he asks them to let his crewmembers have whatever destinies they would themselves choose. But for himself, he submits to the aliens' judgment... and is therefore rewarded with the choice of his own destiny.


PS: To whoever sent me this code (you know who you are): thanks!

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I can't say about the code--I don't know SCUMM syntax very well. But also, SCUMM's own language as used by the LEC coders was (as I understand it) quite different from the end product in the resource files.


There were only a few comments, so my understanding of it is still imperfect. But I saw enough to lay a foundation for some inspired guesses as to the storyline.


I received it via computer, by the way. I still have it, and I've started to ask around with old LucasArts veterans for some clarification as to its meaning.

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  • 1 month later...
  • 4 months later...

I haven't been here since forever, for similar reasons as ATM, but this brought me back here.


Mojo tweeted this:


@mixnmojo Mark your calendars... I hear #Disney will release a new #LucasArts adventure game on Nov. 30. #adventuregames




And then:


Mixnmojo ‏@mixnmojo 20h20 hours ago

(That is ATM’s personal guarantee, people!)


And ATM responded:


@mixnmojo The #LucasArts adventure game in question from yesterday's tweet?


From what I hear... it's #TheDig, by #ProfBMoriarty.


So, this is what we have. We all know ATM has some powerful friends. The timing of this is suspicious - ATM got these files just before he came out with that information. It's weird how The Dig would be counted as a new release, as it's already on Steam and, I think, GOG. He specifically mentions Moriarty both in his Tweet and in this thread, so could it really be an alternate version of The Dig? That would be insane - even more insane than an HD remake, as I expect they'd go for some of the others before they'd get to The Dig. Would be pretty amazing though, and ATM would come out of hiding just to hurt us like that. ATM, come in here and explain yourself.


ATM was Moriarty all along!

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No Mojo news story yet? I guess Jennifer will c&p it if nobody has time before the morning.

It's certainly interesting. It's also interesting in that it's actually not just out of the blue, as ATMachine has actually been talking about a release of Brian Moriarty's version of The Dig for quite a while.


Since there's not much to the news at this point, I think the twitter post and this forum thread will do for now. If there's something substantial that comes up though, I'll write up a news post about it in a heart beat. :)

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That's a very distressing thread. I hope ATM is OK :(


He at least seems fine in this thread, and I agree that the information that ATM has managed to piece together from the Alpha version of Brian Moriarty's version is of interest to fans of the game.


Thanks for your hard work, ATM. Try and keep those feet on the ground.

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Yeah, reading that worried me a little. I love how much research you put into this ATM, but I hope you're okay. If you're not just joking around (which would be fine), please remember that there are more important things in life than this stuff.

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