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Happy 20th Birthday, Freedom Force !!!

Author Topic: The Lost - A bit of Irrational and Freedom Force History  (Read 1128 times)

Offline Ewzzy1

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The Lost - A bit of Irrational and Freedom Force History
« on: June 29, 2021, 04:25:54 AM »
I've been on a bit of a quest digging into all of the official content ever released for Freedom Force. Easily the most intriguing are the Instinct and Shadow meshes released to tease the then in development PS2 game The Lost. Despite multiple E3 appearances and lots of promotional interviews The Lost just never came together at Irrational.

It did come together at FXLabs, an Indian Studio years later in 2009. They hired a Bollywood actress, Malaika Arora Khan, to star in the game, changed a lot of the art, and finished production on PC. After that it was further modified for Polish audiences and then that version was translated back into English. A lot changed between the releases, including the playable characters that Freedom Force fans had downloaded.

Sorry these images are huge. I didn't want to throw away any resolution when there's so little of it.
Before we get into Instinct and Shadow, the main character is actually Amanda Wright. She has the most changes of the group. In the earliest concept art she's wearing a jacket and looks pretty generic. Near the end of Irrational's work she's got a waitress/housewife style. Once brought over to India she's replaced with Malaika Arora Khan. I believe the character is renamed Agni, but that might just be the title. The following Polish port creates a totally new blonde character that is once again named Amanda. The names going unchanged in the final English version makes me think there's a lot of Irrational's script surviving even if the visuals are changed.

You know Instinct from her Freedom Force mesh and signature zig zag sword, but you may never have seen her FXLabs redesign. You can even see subtle changes like the yellow boot cuffs in the later Irrational PS2 models. The new Instinct character and her costumes for Agni/Inferno/NetherWorld are totally new. You can see actress Malaika Arora Khan in costume as Instinct, though the character modeled after her in game is Amanda/Agni. Weirdly I swear there are bits of the later Instinct's costumes that seem related to the official Female Versatile Mesh.

If I hadn't sourced a manual for NetherWorld I wouldn't have realized this is the same character. Shadow (infuriatingly named the same as the FF villain) was never a favorite for FF modders and has nearly been lost to time. His later PS2 character design has a cool red mask. Maybe reason enough to make a new skin for the assassin.

The least information is available on the 4th playable character Corruption, so I included a passage from an old Gamespot hands on. He never had an FF mesh released, but his Agni/Netherworld character model seems eerily familiar to me. Maybe it popped up elsewhere? That pant/short combo is more memorable than floating corpse at least.

I've managed to source copies of the Polish and English copies of the final game. I'd love to acquire the Indian version somehow, or a late build of the PS2 game if I'm wishing. It would be fun to port the new Instinct mesh back over the old one. Anyone experienced in Unreal Engine 2 ripping? Until then I'm digging through other official FF content from nearly 20 years ago. If you haven't seen the "Exclusive PC Gamer Skins" included with their CD demo disk just wait.

Offline Epimethee

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Re: The Lost - A bit of Irrational and Freedom Force History
« Reply #1 on: June 29, 2021, 03:59:06 PM »
Interesting detective work on this mysterious game, Ewzzy. It's nice to put some backstory on those teaser meshes.
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Offline UnkoMan

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Re: The Lost - A bit of Irrational and Freedom Force History
« Reply #2 on: June 29, 2021, 04:15:08 PM »
This is a lot of cool work...

Maybe the last guy seems familiar because of the Kikaider mesh by... I want to say Revenant did that or... no... Who did that Mask mesh?
I like that last character a lot. He looks cool.

I do remember those other two meshes, seeing them now.

Offline Silver Shocker

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Re: The Lost - A bit of Irrational and Freedom Force History
« Reply #3 on: June 29, 2021, 06:37:50 PM »
Neat stuff. Very interesting.
"Now you know what you're worth? Then go out and get what you're worth, but you gotta be willing to take the hits. And not pointing fingers, saying you're not where you want to be because of him, or her, or anybody. Cowards do that, and THAT AIN'T YOU. YOU'RE BETTER THAN THAT!"
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Offline BentonGrey

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Re: The Lost - A bit of Irrational and Freedom Force History
« Reply #4 on: June 30, 2021, 07:16:55 PM »
Wow, great research, Ewzzy!  I missed the era when this was in the wind, but this is really interesting stuff!
God Bless
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