The unused content of Soldier of Fortune Payback
This article will cover some of the interesting content discovered while developing the Soldier of Fortune Additional Payback mod. While the mod does incorporate some unused assets, many are still left abandoned within the game's data files. Here is a brief summary starting with some vehicles:
They look WWII era. Perhaps these were placeholder assets. Next up, weapons:
Based on unused dialog, mortars were going to play a bigger role in the first mission, Al Qa'im: Outskirts. Miller tasks Mason with eliminating the mortar teams. Ultimately, the only thing related to mortars in the first mission ended up being the mortar barrage throughout the mission. Note the ammo boxes and shells are all part of the model and their textures were never done.
Once again going off of unused dialog, the player was to encounter a stationary M2 while working with Miller in the first mission. It animates similar to the DShK machine gun. The player pulls the charging handle before using the gun and the ammo belt and charging handle animate when firing. Note the lack of a heat shield around the thicker part of the barrel.
It seems at some point the knife was to be a select-able weapon. It has a selection icon which is grouped with the icons for the pistols. It has take out, put away, idle, attack, and grenade throwing animations. All of the animations have the player using the knife with their right hand except the attack animations. It appears when the knife was reworked to be the player's melee attack, the attack animations were just flipped from right handed to left handed and all the other animations were dropped.
All of the weapons in the game have their own melee attack animations:
Note that scopes and suppressors disappear during some animations. These melee attacks are done using the melee attack key. Only in some of the work in progress / test maps does the player use their gun to melee instead of the knife. That is to say, the map specifies if the player will use the knife for all melee attacks or the guns themselves. Which brings us to the next section, unfinished / cut maps:
Iraq escape would have taken place after the first mission. A friendly vehicle picks up Mason and together they head for the “green zone”. The unused dialog suggests this would have been an on-rails level, with the player firing from some kind of vehicle the whole mission. The map is quite big and takes a long time to traverse on foot. Note that within the game files the Al Qa'im campaign is known as “Iraq”, the Mogaung campaign “Burma”, Eshkashem is “Afghanistan”, Llebo is “Congo”, and finally Donetsk is called “Ukraine”.
A multiplayer version of Iraq escape seems to have gotten further in it's development than the single player version. It did not make the final game, however a picture of it is featured in the credits as seen below in the lower right corner:
Industry appears totally complete despite not appearing in the final game. It features the train engine and train cars that are otherwise exclusive to the single player version of Iraq escape.
Jackal is another seemingly complete multiplayer map. It uses a mix of assets from the game's other maps.
In one of the game's many test maps exists two characters who did not make the final game:
Based on their appearance and name, these guys would have been the villagers forced to work on the pipeline in the Mogaung campaign. Note there is some random variety in their colors like many of the game's characters.
Majid was probably going to be some kind of main/named character. He has a unique head and clothes. His file references an unfinished piece of head gear, the “pilot_helm”. To his right is Miller, who is the last and perhaps most interesting piece of 'cut' content.
Within the data of the first mission, Al Qa'im: Outskirts, known internally as “iraq_town”, there are lines of code that suggest Miller was at some point supposed to be John Mullins, the protagonist of the first two Solider of Fortune Games. Here are some snippets of code where Miller talks to Mason after killing Quan Li:
Notice how Miller's character is referred to as “mullins4”. The code is commanding 'mullins4' to speak Miller's dialog. Next are some lines setting up Miller for the boss fight:
Next the player is taken off invincibility and Miller(mullins4) is assigned to the enemy 'team'.
player.Invincible = false;
mullins4.TeamID = EnemyForce2;
Finally these lines are just to create the newest objective for the player which is to eliminate Miller. Again notice the name “mullins” is used.
objectives.Add(iraq_obj6mullins).TargetObject = mullins4;
Imagine that! You begin the game working alongside the hero of the series, only to get to know what a greedy, blood-thirsty animal he has become before he betrays and attempts to kill you. Or perhaps the developers were just using “mullins” as a place holder name. Certainly an interesting find. And that concludes this look into the unused content of Soldier of Fortune Payback.