GW11 Omega Project…

When Media Can’t Be Found, It’s Just Re-Created… After the Break…

GW11 Omega Project…

Ultima VIII: The Lost Vale.

Bioforge Plus.

The first version of “TimeShift.”

Proton Fire.

The list of vaporware media is long and extends to every medium, from computer games to books, from stage plays to music. Some of it will eventually be recovered, such as the Joan Anderson letter or an Oswald the Lucky Rabbit serial, but most are likely lost forever. A copy or two might have been made but a change in address here, a flooded basement there… Not to mention that all media decays over time.

It’s well known that the expansion, “Ultima VIII: The Lost Vale” was made. Complete. All set to go with a box mock-up and everything. Yet, odds are, it doesn’t exist anymore. A few copies were likely made but, even if those copies still exist, the clock is ticking on those CD-ROMs still being readable.

There’s a story that, when the “Blade Runner:Ultra Uber Ultimate Edition” was being made, a whole huge crate of raw footage material for that movie was discovered in a warehouse. The crate of goodies was slated to be disposed of but, because of laziness, bureaucracy or just plain forgetfulness, the contents were never disposed of as originally intended. We, as movie buffs, historians and fans, are all the better because of it but, suppose for a moment, some industrious employee had followed through on those instructions. That’s a whole lot of cinematic history to throw into an incinerator… And it’s probably happened more times than not. Just ask the fans for the movie “The Wicker Tree” how they feel about the topic.

In the realm of pen-and-paper RPGs, there isn’t a whole lot of happy endings when it comes to recovering vaporware. Even the largest of pen-and-paper RPG companies didn’t keep a lot of copies floating around of works-in-progress. One pre-release test version of “Dungeons & Dragons” (titled “Beyond This Point Be Dragons”) was found in a garage with a stack of other papers that were slated to be tossed out. “Proton Fire,” an RPG that was being made by the biggest RPG company at the time (TSR), is still missing-in-action after nearly thirty years. No one should be holding their breath that someone has a pristine copy of it (and it’s supposed modules) floating about with ready access.

For the RPG “Gamma World,” fans were mystified when the multi-module storyline that started with the module “Alpha Factor” ended at “Epsilon Cyborgs” without the concluding module “Project Omega” to finish the storyline. It’s sort of like listening to a song but with the last half-minute cut out of the song. Fans were left hanging… Until the fans stepped in to finish the song for themselves.

Written in 2003, “GW 11 Omega Project” is not a recreation of the proposed original; No one really knows how the story was supposed to end. It’s not an official “Gamma World” product (the multi-module storyline only exists with the third edition of the game and not the as-of-now seventh edition).

In a world where media is often irrevocably lost, it’s nice to know that there exists fanbases that are ready to fill in a sudden and unnecessary void. We may never know how the ‘real’ Project Omega would have ended. At the very least, though, we have a tangible “Omega Project” that answers that question. There are a lot of dedicated fanbases out there; It’s nice to know that some of those fanbases are willing to fill in the blanks left by others.


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