A big part of what keeps me returning to Rogue Agent over the years is making codes for it. Inevitiably this interest has led to some neat discoveries. I'll post about all that here.
As for codes, I mainly make them for cheat devices intended for use with the Gamecube and Playstation 2. I eventually want to make codes for the Nintendo DS version, and possibly some form of hacks for Xbox beyond file modifications.
Unused Files, etc.
ACTION REPLAY CODES:
Unused Files, etc.
There are a number of unused elements remaining on the Rogue Agent disc. With the exception of the missing online/system link maps on the Nintendo Gamecube port, all three console versions share the same content.
Unused Main Menu Map
Here's an odd one that I didn't discover until 2018.
There simply aren't any unused levels on the Rogue Agent disc, and that goes for all versions (well, technically the online map variants for the PS2 version aren't used anymore... but they were available without hacks when the servers were up). All the stage folders are accounted for, and for years, I accepted that. So, this discovery came as a big surprise when I was fiddling around with modding the Xbox version of the game.
The main menu is map number 1_99 in Rogue Agent. It's a level file like any other, you just can't walk around there... or at least, not under normal conditions. Rogue Agent lists levels by three types: shell, singleplayer, and multiplayer. One of those is reserved solely for the main menu; "shell."
A simple edit of the game.cfg file can change how the game loads these levels. Where you see "level_type" under 1_99, you can replace "shell" with "singleplayer." This will force the game to load the main menu in a "playable" state.
You'll start in the middle of a flat plane with a basic yellow/blue checkerboard pattern, surrounded by a similarly basic "skybox." This placeholder texture can also be seen on many other leftover assets found in the game.
So... what is this place? Obviously it's not a legitimate "level." It really is just a flat square with a large box surrounding it. That's about as basic as you can get for a room. Maybe this existed so that the developers had something to load when booting the game, before the actual menu was functional. The Jackal and Type-S Frag are the only weapons found in the 1_99 level file, and I was perplexed as to why they were there at all for years. This explains that, at least. Even the Spec-9 isn't available here, and the game will actually crash if you try to drop the Jackal.
This is the closest thing to a legitimately unused map in the retail builds of Rogue Agent. It does exist on all three console versions, since they all obviously have the main menu stage on disc. Codes to access the stage can be found above.
The same temporary skybox can actually be seen in the development montage footage that is unlockable in the game (seen below). The texture even appears to be stretched in exactly the same way. This makes me believe that the map included in 1_99 always had this temporary checkerboard texture.
There's another interesting thing to note about this footage, and how it relates to the 1_99 map. The player is equipped with only the Jackal. It was simply called the "Desert Eagle" early in development, as can be seen in pre-release footage, and also internally in the game's memory. It is my belief that the Jackal actually was the default firearm early in development, and this might explain why it's the only gun model in the 1_99 directory.
Another minor note to consider, is that 1_99 has a RGB fog color value of 140032. This is just the ordinary value of the fog color on the main menu, but even if you altered the opacity/distance, you wouldn't be able to see any impact on the menu itself. Basically, this value is meaningless under normal circumstances, but you can increase the opacity of the fog to see the color in the unused 1_99 map. Normally, the fog color isn't even visible in the unused map, so I have to wonder why it's set to anything other than 000000 in the first place... maybe the developers just set a default for all maps. You can see the color in the image on the right, after I've hacked the opacity.
For now, the final note I can make about this is that when 1_99 is loaded in singleplayer mode, there is no audio, with the exception of some of the menu sound effects. My initial assumption is that simply no audio clips exist here besides the menu navigation sounds, but I'll need to confirm that. The menu theme also doesn't play, so get used to the eerie silence when you check this place out.
Unused Map Selection Images
1. Fort Knox in Multiplayer
This unused map select image still exists on the Rogue Agent disc. The level wasn't actually called "Gears," that's just the image I replaced to get this to show up.
There's no doubt that this was absolutely a multiplayer map that got nixed... and likely in the final phases of development. I'm pretty sure I even read a gamespot.com hands-on article years ago where the previewer specifically mentioned this level as being available when they tested the game (I will try to find this again eventually).
I can probably figure out how to make the proper name show up sometime... but for now, it's nice to know that some evidence of the stage remains. Don't get excited, though; the actual map is 100% no longer on the disc.
The final proof of this being a full-fledged multiplayer map, is that it's referred in an internal map list I found in the game's memory. It is displayed as follows:
This level is actually referred to internally as "Fort Knox," so I imagine that that's probably what the proper name for the stage is meant to be. It is my understanding that "FS" indicates the online variant (FS=Full Screen, maybe), and "SS" would be the splitscreen version of the map. So, technically we lost two maps with this one.
Finally, it's pretty safe to assume that this map was basically a straight rip of the bottom level of the Fort Knox mission; even the crashed helicopter can be seen in the selection image. Players probably would have been able to take cover behind debris and stacks of gold.
Leftover Test Level Directory
I mentioned in a section above that no unused map folders exist on the Rogue Agents discs. Technically that's not completely true... but the only leftover folder that exists from a removed stage is empty, and for some reason it is only present on the European Nintendo Gamecube release of the game.
The level in question is, in fact, a test level. The stage number was 1_4, and it is still listed in the game.cfg file under the name "whitebox." Dan Orzulak apparently mentioned this very map to attendees of the EA Community Day event for Rogue Agent (I will post a reference for this eventually). It was the map the developers used to test the core mechanics of the game.
There's a lot of evidence of this test level in the game's memory, but it can also be seen as clear as day in the game.cfg file, listed after Fort Knox. This is true for all versions, but the European Gamecube Version has just a little bit more than any other release.
On the left, you can the file structure for the campaign stages of that particular version. A folder labeled "1_4" is still present on disc 1, and inside that folder is... nothing! Well, there's an empty SOUND folder... but the necessary level files needed to actually load the damn thing are gone. Why someone went through the effort to clean this folder out, but leave the actual folder itself is beyond me... and I sure wish they didn't!
There's no point to speculate on what exactly this test level might have been like. We can see that is was a "singleplayer" type stage in the game.cfg, but that's not exactly a revelation. It's a bit unusual to me that the stage is numbered "1_4." We know that Fort Knox is 1_3, and the scrapped first portion of Fort Knox was 1_2 (more on that in "Unused Text Strings.") I would have expected a basic test level to be listed before any of the main campaign stages, but I'm sure there was some reason for it.
Some footage of this map may very well exist in the "Development Montage" clip that's available in the game. It would be a waste of time to try and guess which locations that might be, until one day a prototype of the game hopefully surfaces with this "whitebox" map still intact.
1. Spec 9?
This unused uzi is listed along with the other pickup weapon models. Every gun has an alternate name in the memory, and for some reason, this particular submachine gun is labeled "Spec9." Needless to say, this is a little bizarre, because Spec 9 is the name of the default sidearm in the final game. However, the Spec 9 as we know it is listed as "WP99 (Walther P99)." It's difficult to speculate if any of the alternate weapon names were ever intended to be used, as some are pretty generic. Either way, this is the only unused weapon model I've uncovered in the game, and unfortunately it cannot be wielded at all without crashing.
The fact that it can't be used actually isn't surprising. While the pickup model is fully intact, with textures and all, there exists no corresponding player weapon model. So basically, the game is trying to load something that simply isn't there anymore.
Well, there is no guessing about what this one is; it's definitely a bunch of bananas. The model file is called, "bananas.msh," so... there isn't much room for interpretation. As to the nature of their existence, well... that one might require a bit more thought.
No texture file remains for these potassium-rich fruit (assuming there ever was one). If they are hacked into the game, a pickup icon displaying, "weapon name here!" can be seen while standing above them. They can't actually be equipped, however, but it certainly makes you wonder.
3. Alternate HS-90
When I was desperately searching for the scrapped HS-90 (seen in dozens of pre-release screens and videos), I stumbled across something... less exciting, but still interesting.
Found only in the third portion of the Hong Kong stage, this "alternate version" of the HS-90 is completely identical to the standard weapon, with the sole exception of the actual gunfire effect. Instead of the standard lotus-shaped flare, it expels a simple orange orb, as well as bullets that form a red trail as they pass along surfaces. When dropped, the pickup icon lists the gun as, "weapon name here!"
It's difficult to say exactly what this was intended for. I don't believe it's a remnant of the scrapped HS-90, because no footage exists to suggest that it ever had this gunfire effect. Perhaps EA was torn between two alternate effects for the final gun? The bullet trail is a pretty cool effect, and is never seen with any gun normally accessible in the game.
Unused Text Strings
1. Scrapped Fort Knox Segment
In the DATA/SHARED/LANG/Eng folder of the Rogue Agent DVD (all versions), a series of .txt documents can be found that outline all of the text used throughout each mission in the game. Each file is listed with its appropriate mission ID. The Fort Knox stage in the released game is listed as 13eng.txt (1_3). There remains one .txt file that references an unused mission number, however: 12eng.txt (1_2).
Upon reading this document, it's clear that EA forgot to remove all references to the axed rooftop portion of the Fort Knox stage (see the Development section for more info/images). It seems this would have preceded the current portion of the Fort Knox mission, and suggests that the player may have actually had to work with Bond before his virtual demise.
This is the exact objective text string as listed in the .txt file:
12_OBJ1_Meet up with Bond Meet James Bond on Upper Roof
Also, there was a related string of dialog for 007:
Bond_MeetYouOnUpperRoof <0.0,3.5>Use your cover—|I’ll meet you on the upper roof!
Since the game seems to draw directly from these .txt files for the in-game text, it's safe to assume that this is exactly how the objective/dialog would have been displayed in the original opening of Fort Knox. It's still unclear if the player would have started inside the helicopter, if it would have crashed outside the complex, or if Bond would have died in the same manner as he does in the final game. Still, it at least gives us an idea of how the team had planned for an opening of a larger scale.
On a final note, this particular document is dated as being completed on September 24, 2004. This suggests that the rooftop portion of the Fort Knox mission was axed less than two months before release.
2. Possible Removed Multiplayer Maps
Also in the DATA/SHARED/LANG/Eng folder of all versions, the 199eng.txt file has some listed items of interest. This is the file associated with the main menu (1_99), and therefore it includes references to many aspects of the game.
Of particular note are the names of a few possible multiplayer stages that have long since been removed. They are displayed as follows:
Casino_Floor Casino Floor
Cryo_Lab Cryo Lab
Gold_Loading Fort Knox
Gold_Smelter Gold Smelter
Grinder_Room The Grinder
Test_Range_Battle Test Range Showdown
Test_Range_Duel Test Range Duel
It is possible that some of these simply reference locations from the campaign, but considering that the text within the 199eng file is mainly related to things you'd actually be seeing on the main menu, I find it unusual that they'd be referencing individual locations from those missions.
"Gold_Loading Fort Knox" is a definite reference to the unused Fort Knox MP stage that I have already detailed above. "Test Range Showdown" and "Test Range Duel" are also definitely the names of MP stages, most likely intended to be based on the test range portion of the Volcano Lair mission. Interestingly enough, such a level does exist in the single card multiplayer of the Nintendo DS version.
If "Neon_Rooftop" was actually an MP stage, then it's pretty safe to assume that it was based on the billboard rooftops of Hong Kong.