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View Full Version : "Loom Sucks"? What??


ATMachine
09-19-2003, 11:01 PM
This is not a thread to debate the merits of Loom. Rather, it shows off a piece of vandalism in the game itself.

In the PC CD version of Loom, there are several 256 color close-ups of the characters. These are not used in the game, but they exist nonetheless. One of them, that of Elder Atropos, has had a secret message added to it.

Here is a picture of the close-up in question:
http://home.comcast.net/~ervind/loomvandal.jpg

It's very hard to see because it's printed in dark gray on black, but it is there.

Here I've recolored it in red:
http://home.comcast.net/~ervind/loomvandal1.jpg

Yes! Some disgruntled LEC graphic artist wrote "Loom Sucks" in Elder Atropos' face! Apparently, the game was an object of scorn even within LucasArts itself.

I'd like to say that I did not add this message. I'm not trying to fake anything here. I also personally love Loom, and I can't fathom why anyone would want to add this silly message. But there it is.

By the way, if any websites are using this picture on a page of "Characters in Loom," I advise them either to edit the picture to remove the graffiti or replace it with this one from the FM Towns version (http://home.comcast.net/~ervind/loomattry.gif), which has no such graffiti.

HenryJonesJr.
09-19-2003, 11:31 PM
hmmmm

Skinkie
09-19-2003, 11:35 PM
Funny

Drigo Zoxx
09-20-2003, 12:07 PM
Are you sure you got it from an original Loom CD?

ATMachine
09-20-2003, 12:28 PM
Yes, I'm quite sure.

On this Loom fanpage (http://gba-roms.com/samandmax/loom/charaktere.html) and this one as well (http://www.meristation.com/aventura/retro/retroloom6.htm), there are closeups displayed of the characters. The ones of Atropos in both places also have the "Loom Sucks!" message hidden in them.

Owl
09-20-2003, 01:37 PM
How did you find that?

Drigo Zoxx
09-20-2003, 04:44 PM
Personally, I do not own Loom 256 CD version, but can anyone on this forum who owns an original copy of this game's cd confirm this?

ThunderPeel2001
09-20-2003, 05:20 PM
Wow! It's very easy to hide messages like that in pictures. In anything no more than a 256 color picture you can hide messages in black on black that will never be seen by anyone unless they alter the color of one of the backs. I've seen it before but never in a commerical game. Wow! Well spotted!!

To think it's taken over 10 years for that little message to appear!

~ John

BTW - I don't know of anyone with the technical skills required to alter graphics WITHIN a old LEC game. Confirming it from the "original CD" seems rather pointless to me. One question though: Which came out first: The FM Towns version or the PC 256 color version?

ThunderPeel2001
09-20-2003, 05:33 PM
Just checked: That picture isn't even seen in the LOOM PCCD version!?!?!?! Methinks we are being hoaxed :)

Ever notice that Cob is called "Cobb" in MI?

~ John

ATMachine
09-20-2003, 07:42 PM
There is no hoax here. The background in question is not in the Loom CD gameplay, but it does exist in the Loom CD resource files.

Don't believe me? Use ScummVM to start Loom CD, press Shift and ~ when the intro ends, and type "room 54" in the debugger. You'll see the room.

The fact that the background is not in normal gameplay means that this message was very easily able to remain undiscovered. The black on black of the text means that even when the closeups were found, the message was not noticed. That's how it's remained hidden for over ten years!

BTW, the FM Towns version came before the PC CD, and it's just like the disk version, only in 256 colors with CD music (no voice).

Drigo Zoxx
09-20-2003, 07:50 PM
'just curios, how did you found out this secret mess?

ATMachine
09-20-2003, 08:44 PM
I had a picture file saved to my HD of this closeup at 2x this size. I happened to look at it a little more closely than normal, and suddenly the message jumped out at me.

Drigo Zoxx
09-21-2003, 03:41 PM
I bet it would have been noticed easily if programmers used that cu in the game... when you draw it in full screen mode to 2x the LOOM SUCKS writing, all in capital letters, is quite big.

Omer Mor
09-21-2003, 09:17 PM
I just checked this cool easter egg:
I opened loom cd,
jumped to room 54,
viewed in full screen, and...

couldn't see nothing!

so I took a screenshot,
opened it in microsoft's photo editor,
added lots of gamma correction,
and - voila!
"LOOM SUCKS!" in all it's glory!
unbelievable...

ThunderPeel2001
09-23-2003, 12:59 AM
Wow, so it was added by someone converting the FMTowns version to the PC? Well who knows why they did it, they were probably very pissed off though :)

Check the credits and search for an email... that's how I found the guy who put a secret message in the MI Amiga game icon. He was very nice too!

~ John

Omer Mor
09-23-2003, 04:28 PM
Can you tell what was that secret message, and what did the man tell you?

Lord Savage
09-24-2003, 04:56 PM
Okay, I just opened up my original Loom CD and screen captured room 54 in SCUMMVM in my powerbook. I tried to apply a lot of gamma correction to Atropos and even did a red colour fill on his face. No message. Either there are two versions of the game or .... (the next part of the message was self banned) :eek:

The different version theory is valid because my Original Version is quite different from the other ones I have seen on ebay. In particular my CD was pressed by Creative Labs and not Software Toolworks/Mindscape. For example, my original Monkey Island CD was pressed by Software Toolworks.

Creative Labs also appears to have screwed up the batch that my Loom came from since the CD is silkscreened as being the Audio Drama Disc and not the Game Disc.

Any more thoughts on the subject?

Omer Mor
09-24-2003, 07:49 PM
your version sounds interesting.
i can assure you that this easter egg is not a hoax.
did you see the difference in the pictures between the pc cd version and the fm towns version? can you tell what your version looks like?
sounds like your version is extremely rare...

ThunderPeel2001
09-25-2003, 04:59 AM
I too have just checked it... it sure is there! Was that picture ever used in the FM Towns version or was it hidden too?

CaptainDread
09-25-2003, 12:47 PM
Originally posted by ThunderPeel2001
I too have just checked it... it sure is there! Was that picture ever used in the FM Towns version or was it hidden too?

The FM-Towns version was a 256 color update of the floppy version, so all scenes are present.

The 256 color PC version cut some scenes in order to fit with the game's dialog, which was changed from the floppy version.

Omer Mor
09-25-2003, 05:36 PM
the fm towns version had the pictures, and there's even a link to a screenshot in the end of the first post on this thread.

Lord Savage
09-25-2003, 05:43 PM
Originally posted by Omer Mor
your version sounds interesting.
i can assure you that this easter egg is not a hoax.
did you see the difference in the pictures between the pc cd version and the fm towns version? can you tell what your version looks like?
sounds like your version is extremely rare...

I didn't mean to imply that this was a hoax. :D

I wish I had web space right now so I could post my capture to the boards. :(

I have seen the screen captures for both the FM Towns and other PC CD versions. My PC CD version looks almost exactly like the other PC CD one. I say almost since, of course, mine does not have the hidden graffiti. The background has the same purple gradient, etc...

On a somewhat related note, I remember reading a long time ago (back around the time that the original LOOM PC CD was released) that the reason that the close-ups were removed was that the programmers and artists couldn't figure out a way to consistently sychronize the facial movements to the audio without it looking like a badly dubbed movie and they didn't want a static nonmoving head on the close-ups so, they cut them out. The Atropos message could be from one of the frustrated artists that worked on the synch problem only to be told to forget about it. :eek:

My guess would be that my version was a later version that was corrected before it was duplicated by Creative Labs. And since Creative Labs only pressed CDs that it bundled with their CD ROM kits the distribution of my version of the CD could be quite limited.

Based on the time frame the CD Kit would have been one of the original 150kb/sec CD ROM (single speed) kits which definitely did not sell as well as the later kits. I remember the sales of the 300kb/sec (double speed) was when the sales really picked up for those kits. I bought one of those when they first came out and they came with Creative Labs pressed copies of Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis and Rebel Assault. No sign of poor old Loom. :(

Talya
09-25-2003, 08:56 PM
Don't get me wrong, I totally believe this entirely, but the original picture Atmachine attached w/o the red coloring, well, I copied it over to PSP, and decreased the colors on several different levels, all of which on the area where there should be a different hex color for the text it was just 000000, or, black. Maybe I did something wrong *most probable* Blah, just wanted to see for myself :p

-Sunday-

Drigo Zoxx
09-25-2003, 09:19 PM
Originally posted by Talya
Don't get me wrong, I totally believe this entirely, but the original picture Atmachine attached w/o the red coloring, well, I copied it over to PSP, and decreased the colors on several different levels, all of which on the area where there should be a different hex color for the text it was just 000000, or, black. Maybe I did something wrong *most probable* Blah, just wanted to see for myself :p

-Sunday-

The picture ATMachine attached is jpeg compressed and is low quality, so you can't reveal anything from that. You'll have to try that on the original uncompressed picture.

Lord Savage
09-26-2003, 06:11 PM
Originally posted by Drigo Zoxx
The picture ATMachine attached is jpeg compressed and is low quality, so you can't reveal anything from that. You'll have to try that on the original uncompressed picture.

Good point Drigo.

Here is a somewhat unconventional way to see the hidden message in ATMachine's unhighlighted picture. I'm working on some printers at work today and found that if you have access to a good quality grayscale printer like an HP LaserJet 4000 or 8000 you can just print it out and the printer will do it's magic. For some models you might have adjust the toner density to increase the contrast between the two shades.

It's a Friday and I just found out I have to work tonight! Sucks to be me!

Message to Drigo: "I am your father" :D

Talya
09-26-2003, 10:36 PM
Many thanks, I'll check it out :) I wasn't thinking xP

:jedijawa: Haha, that's choice. *Random*

-Sunday-

Drigo Zoxx
09-26-2003, 10:38 PM
Reply message to Jason: "No! It can't be true!"

ATMachine
09-27-2003, 02:23 AM
On a somewhat related note, I remember reading a long time ago (back around the time that the original LOOM PC CD was released) that the reason that the close-ups were removed was that the programmers and artists couldn't figure out a way to consistently sychronize the facial movements to the audio without it looking like a badly dubbed movie and they didn't want a static nonmoving head on the close-ups so, they cut them out. The Atropos message could be from one of the frustrated artists that worked on the synch problem only to be told to forget about it. :eek:

I have long suspected that this was the reason for their absence. Some of the "badly dubbed closeups" remain on the CD files. In ScummVM, start the game, press Shift and ~ to start the debugger, and type "room 95". You'll see an animated closeup of Chaos moving his mouth.

Also, start the debugger and warp to room 94 after the intro ends, but before the message about turning on subtitles comes up, and you'll see a close-up of Hetchel. Type "objects" in the debugger to get the numbers of objects; these are some frames of animation for her moving her head frantically, like Chaos above. Once you know the frame numbers, type "object ###" to see them.

(Note: this only works once. You'll have to restart, re-warp to the room, and type a different object number to see another frame.)

Omer Mor
09-27-2003, 01:00 PM
Talya & Drigo:
The picture that ATMachine attached is fine - in order to see the hidden message just increase the gamma correction to the max (my graphics card allows me to do so from it's advanced property pages, but I'm you can do it with any graphics program out there).

ATMachine:
You're just full of cool information! The "talking chaos" closeup in room 95 is very nice!

Lord Savage:
Are you sure your version is the newer one? Lets compare the CDs:
All the files on my cd are dated June 6th, 1992, and the LOOM.EXE interpreter reports being "Interpreter Verson 5.1.42 CD-ROM" (you can check that if you run it with a non-existent parameter, for example: LOOM.EXE x).
I just noticed that they had a typo in the word "Verson" ... :)

ThunderPeel2001
09-27-2003, 08:04 PM
You CAN'T see it in the picture attached. The easiest way to see the message is to do a simple replace (select the slightly lighter shade of gray from the picture and replace it with a bright color). In older art programs you could simple change the actual color from the palette, you may also be able to do this if you make sure you're looking at it with the lowest color depth without degrading the picture.

Bet that didn't make any sense, did it?

Lord Savage
09-28-2003, 05:32 AM
Originally posted by Omer Mor
Lord Savage:
Are you sure your version is the newer one? Lets compare the CDs:
All the files on my cd are dated June 6th, 1992, and the LOOM.EXE interpreter reports being "Interpreter Verson 5.1.42 CD-ROM" (you can check that if you run it with a non-existent parameter, for example: LOOM.EXE x).
I just noticed that they had a typo in the word "Verson" ... :)

Ok Omer here is the info you asked for. The interpreter on my CD is exactly the same version as yours complete with the typo. All the files on my CD are dated June 9th , 1992 so it looks like my CD was pressed after yours.


To Drigo: Search your feelings. You know it to be true.:D

Omer Mor
09-28-2003, 08:09 AM
Originally posted by ThunderPeel2001
You CAN'T see it in the picture attached.
Yes, you CAN!!! I opened the attached picture, added lots of gamma correction, and the message showed in all it's glory.

Lord Savage:
I'm sorry about my last post - I was wrong - the file dates on my version are the same as yours, but I wrote it wrong.
here is the complete dir listing:

06/09/1992 02:50 PM 117,089 LOOM.EXE
06/09/1992 02:50 PM 4,059,462 DISK01.LEC
06/09/1992 02:49 PM 8,307 000.LFL
06/09/1992 02:49 PM 2,613 901.LFL
06/09/1992 02:49 PM 4,193 902.LFL
06/09/1992 02:49 PM 2,019 903.LFL
06/09/1992 02:49 PM 4,388 904.LFL

Can you spot any difference (maybe in file sizes, or the file times) ?

Fred
09-28-2003, 04:22 PM
I managed to see it from the attached picture aswell. Resized it in photoshop by 250%, mucked about with the brightness & contrast, and there it is.

Weird.

HenryJonesJr.
09-29-2003, 01:01 PM
Originally posted by Lord Savage
Ok Omer here is the info you asked for. The interpreter on my CD is exactly the same version as yours complete with the typo. All the files on my CD are dated June 9th , 1992 so it looks like my CD was pressed after yours.


To Drigo: Search your feelings. You know it to be true.:D



My CD version Date is same as yours, but i dont know what version of LOOM i have, i havent played thru the game, do i have the one with the character close ups?

Omer Mor
09-29-2003, 03:11 PM
OK, it seems there has been some confusion, so I'll clear things up:
There are many versions of Loom, and this is the info I (or we) have right now, sorted by platform:

PC

Floppy version, 16 colors, midi music, no speech, full dialog, with close-ups.
CD version, 256 colors, cd music, speech, partial dialog, no close-ups.

FM Towns

CD version, 256 colors, cd music, no speech, full dialog, with close-ups.

PC Engine \ Turbo Grfx16

CD version, 64 colors, cd music, no speech, full dialog, with close-ups.

Amiga

Floppy version, 16 colors, amiga music, no speech, full dialog, with close-ups.
CD (known as CDTV) version, no info about this version.

Atari-ST

Floppy version, 16 colors, atari music, no speech, full dialog, with close-ups.

Macintosh

Floppy version, 16 colors, midi (?) music, no speech, full dialog, with close-ups. higher resolution of fonts and the music scale.


All the PC CD versions had no close-ups in the game itlsef, but the close-ups are actually in the resource files, and you can see them with a resource viewer or with ScummVM if you change rooms through debug mode.

Please correct me if I'm wrong and fill in the missing info.

Udvarnoky
09-29-2003, 06:39 PM
There's a floppy with more than 16 colors.

Omer Mor
09-29-2003, 08:07 PM
Can you be more specific? Like what platform, how many colors, etc..?
I know that there are rips of the pc cd version over the 'net that are small and have 256 colors, but they have no sound (because they are only rips), and I don't count them as real versions.

ATMachine
09-29-2003, 09:33 PM
The Macintosh version is the same as the PC disk version, except it uses a high-resolution (640x400) font for all text and the musical note scale.

Here is a screenshot:
http://home.comcast.net/~ervind/loommacpic.gif

ThunderPeel2001
09-30-2003, 12:04 AM
Hmmm, and it seems the Mac called Chaos the "Dead One"??

I would have thought the Amiga version had 32 colors, but I can't confirm because I've never played it :)

ATMachine
09-30-2003, 12:22 AM
No, he's still Chaos. The description of him as the "Dead One" in the bottom right occurs in all versions I've played.

Omer Mor
09-30-2003, 05:16 AM
I would have thought the Amiga version had 32 colors too, but when I played it and compared the pictures with the pc version, I found no difference.

Talya
10-01-2003, 08:39 PM
Holy cats! Nothing like branching discussions xD I'll try it again with the gamma corrections, and if it doesn't work, I'll just mess with the brightness/contrast. Thanks all. And along the lines of discussion, I'm 100% positive Drigo must know this, but I believe Luke's line in ESB is: No, that's not true....that's impossible!!!
Not being nitpicky, just thought my post needed more content. And, of course, i could be wrong *falls over*

-Sunday-

Drigo Zoxx
10-02-2003, 09:27 PM
Originally posted by Talya
Holy cats! Nothing like branching discussions xD I'll try it again with the gamma corrections, and if it doesn't work, I'll just mess with the brightness/contrast. Thanks all. And along the lines of discussion, I'm 100% positive Drigo must know this, but I believe Luke's line in ESB is: No, that's not true....that's impossible!!!
Not being nitpicky, just thought my post needed more content. And, of course, i could be wrong *falls over*

-Sunday-

Actually I saw the movie in my home language which is not english, you know...

Lord Savage
10-05-2003, 02:53 AM
Originally posted by Omer Mor
OK, it seems there has been some confusion, so I'll clear things up:
There are many versions of Loom, and this is the info I (or we) have right now, sorted by platform:

PC

CD version, 256 colors, cd music, speech, partial dialog, no close-ups.
we know of two variants of this version:
One was pressed by Software Toolworks/Mindscape - with the "LOOM SUCKS" easter egg.
The other was pressed by Creative Labs - w/o the easter egg.

......
Macintosh

Floppy version, 16 colors, midi (?) music, no speech, full dialog, with close-ups. higher resolution of fonts and the music scale.


All the PC CD versions had no close-ups in the game itlsef, but the close-ups are actually in the resource files, and you can see them with a resource viewer or with ScummVM if you change rooms through debug mode.

Please correct me if I'm wrong and fill in the missing info.

I'm back and, boy, am I going to look stupid by the end of this post. It turns out that my Creative Labs Disc does have the easter egg after all. I was poking around in my SCUMMVM.INI and although my LOOM CD does not have a graphics filter specified, my SCUMMVM GUI does which means that the GUI graphics filter was carried over to LOOM CD and therefore wiped out the message. Removing the filter from the GUI allowed me to "see" the easter egg when I did I new screen capture and image manipulation. Sorry about this. Anyone who is having trouble seeing the easter egg should make sure that they have no graphics filters applied to either Loom or the SCUMMVM GUI in the SCUMMVM.INI file. I'm going to go hide under a rock now.

Lord Savage
10-05-2003, 02:58 AM
Originally posted by Drigo Zoxx
Actually I saw the movie in my home language which is not english, you know...

I would have done the scene in Italian if I had seen it in that language but I have only seen the movie in English and in French. Ok and also with Chinese subtitles but I digress...:D

Drigo Zoxx
10-05-2003, 07:24 PM
Anyways, I can't remember the exact phrase that he said at all, being it in Italian or English. I know what he said but I can't remember the exact words he used to say that... but I like it (...I know, it's only r'n'r....) :-)

Lord Fener: I can't seem to contact you on PM... I'd like to persuade you to back to the good side of the Force... :-)

Talya
10-06-2003, 01:29 AM
Drigo: Haha, well, there ya go. My bad on that one. That's what it is in English, and I failed to notice you're from Italy despite the fact it's written under your avatar plain as the eye can see *cough* *searches for her own rock to hide under*

-Sunday-

Drigo Zoxx
10-08-2003, 07:46 PM
Originally posted by Talya
Drigo: Haha, well, there ya go. My bad on that one. That's what it is in English, and I failed to notice you're from Italy despite the fact it's written under your avatar plain as the eye can see *cough* *searches for her own rock to hide under*

-Sunday-


Don't worry. It was just me trying to quote from movies haven't actually seen them in their native language. :confused:
Also please go away from under that big rock... ;) :D