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The latest development update for Hellgate: London's London 2038 multiplayer mod is curious in that it talks about some assorted bits and pieces that currently exist in the game's code, all pointing towards an unreleased sequel for the game that was to be built around the mysteries of Stonehenge.
Following these discoveries, the mod's developers are now wondering what they should do with them. And while they're busy with that, they bring us a general community Q&A.
Here are a few paragraphs on the supposed sequel to get you started:
Stonehenge was to be a proper sequel.
Storywise, they answer the question of Emerra’s fate; they expand on Murmur’s plot; they explain what purpose Stonehenge serves, and map the player’s journey through it. As they do, they explain where many of our FSS leftover files were supposed to fit.
Gameplay-wise, they explain where Stonehenge fits into the game. You see, this odd mechanic of an entire storyless expansion being randomly, unceremoniously accessible from a portal in Templar Base, at level 15 at that, was always inexplicably there. Even in Global, where, to their credit, the expansions lined up into a coherent story, Stonehenge was left out, still with no NPC to tell one. Well, these explain the former oddity, by revealing there was an actual plan A that never came.
The gist of both is, Stonehenge was to be a proper sequel. It would immediately follow the events of the main storyline, and become the next frontier. There, the player was to face entire acts, not random unexplained headhunting nests, each with their own mechanics and relations to the overall plot. The story would conclude with Moloch, and then promise more humanity-saving, heroic deeds. A promise for a future after this future past.
So I’m left to wonder why. Presumably, FSS had stretched thin under a ticking clock. As they did, they scrapped their vision for the main campaign, perhaps faced with the implementation issues that follow. So, they released the barebones Stonehenge that they had, as a detour instead of a destination. They, understandably, opted for some immediate use of the assets at hand, implementation be damned. Skip to 2021, and that’s the version we’ve always known.