Probably a dumb question - WC2 Helmet - Blurred word?

sgupta

1st Lieutenant
So I've wondered this since starting WC2, and it's probably just my imagination, but...



The helmets in WC2...the yellow blurry stripe at the top. What is it? It almost looks like a blurred word to me...and it looks lower res than the rest of the image. Am I just crazy or something? =oP
 

Ijuin

Admiral
WC2 characters seem to have their callsigns printed on their helmets, but since you are allowed to choose Blair/Bluehair's callsign, his is blurred out so that you can imagine that it is whatever name you chose for him.
 

Dondragmer

Rear Admiral
The faces that appear on your right VDU have independent helmet graphics with names on them. The helmets used in the cockpit are generic - you can find them in the file HELMET.V00. The text has to suit every pilot, so they went with something blurred. I agree that it looks like it started as "real" writing, and there's a good chance that the artist wrote some as an in-joke - like the "dipstick" used in the lip-synch whenever the player's name is mentioned.
WC2HelmetStandard.png


There are a few oddities in HELMET.V00. For starters, there's this bent helmet, that I don't believe appears anywhere. (Jazz's damaged Helmet from the SO2 ending is in HELMET.V20).
WC2HelmetBent.png


There's also a special wide helmet for Hobbes. Despite this, it isn't quite wide enough for his mouth animation, with his whiskers occasionally flickering outside. While this could have said "HOBBES", they used a widened version of the blurred text from the human helmets.
WC2HelmetHobbes.png
WC2HobbesTalk.gif


Then there's the special space suit that Angel wears for funerals.
WC2HelmetFuneral.png


There are microphone graphics, which (sort of) fit on the portraits but aren't used anywhere in the game.
WC2Microphone1.png
WC2Microphone2.png
WC2Microphone3.png


Strangest of all, HELMET.V00 contains part of Shadow's and Spirit's hair. You would expect these to be stored with the rest of the face cels for both characters - PEOPLE.V11 (Shadow) and PEOPLE.V14 (Spirit). However, those files don't contain these parts of the hair, so the versions in HELMET.V00 probably are used by the game.
WC2HelmetHairShadow.png
WC2HelmetHairSpirit.png
 

-danr-

Vice Admiral
The faces that appear on your right VDU have independent helmet graphics with names on them. The helmets used in the cockpit are generic - you can find them in the file HELMET.V00. The text has to suit every pilot, so they went with something blurred. I agree that it looks like it started as "real" writing, and there's a good chance that the artist wrote some as an in-joke - like the "dipstick" used in the lip-synch whenever the player's name is mentioned.
View attachment 6908

There are a few oddities in HELMET.V00. For starters, there's this bent helmet, that I don't believe appears anywhere. (Jazz's damaged Helmet from the SO2 ending is in HELMET.V20).
View attachment 6909

There's also a special wide helmet for Hobbes. Despite this, it isn't quite wide enough for his mouth animation, with his whiskers occasionally flickering outside. While this could have said "HOBBES", they used a widened version of the blurred text from the human helmets.
View attachment 6910 View attachment 6911

Then there's the special space suit that Angel wears for funerals.
View attachment 6913

There are microphone graphics, which (sort of) fit on the portraits but aren't used anywhere in the game.
View attachment 6914 View attachment 6915 View attachment 6916

Strangest of all, HELMET.V00 contains part of Shadow's and Spirit's hair. You would expect these to be stored with the rest of the face cels for both characters - PEOPLE.V11 (Shadow) and PEOPLE.V14 (Spirit). However, those files don't contain these parts of the hair, so the versions in HELMET.V00 probably are used by the game.
View attachment 6917 View attachment 6918
Really interesting post Dondragmer, it does seem odd they never put those headsets to use; would have made perfect sense for Blair to be wearing one in the Caernarvon station comm room when the Concordia makes contact. Or even just for Edmond to be occasionally wearing it. Great to see the old artwork that I never new existed.

*Urge to play WC2*
 

Whistler

Commodore
Really interesting post Dondragmer, it does seem odd they never put those headsets to use; would have made perfect sense for Blair to be wearing one in the Caernarvon station comm room when the Concordia makes contact. Or even just for Edmond to be occasionally wearing it. Great to see the old artwork that I never new existed.

*Urge to play WC2*
Makes perfect sense when you see her comm vid.



It's a wonder we don't.
 

-danr-

Vice Admiral
Yeah, it seems weird they'd leave it in the VDU image but not the cutscenes, otherwise I'd have said that maybe a decision was made that in the 27th century we've moved beyond headsets. Especially since less than 20 years after the game was made we can Skype with a tablet with built in microphone and speakers :)
 

sgupta

1st Lieutenant
Oh cool! I *have* of course seen the names on the comm screens inside the fighters (which completely slipped my mind); I just was looking for them in actual cutscenes I guess. Really interesting to see the artwork still in the game that didn't make it. And cool tidbit about the hair as well! Poor Hobbes fur sticks out lol.
 

AD

Finder of things, Doer of stuff
The WC movie also had the pilot's last name on their Helmet too, so I'd say that's probably a good bet for what it is.
 

sgupta

1st Lieutenant
Good point re the movie. That's gotta be it; I'm just dense. =oP I kept trying to figure out the letters.
 

Dondragmer

Rear Admiral
Well, we know from the VDU graphics that the WC1 and WC2 pilots have callsigns (and, in a few cases, thematically appropriate symbols) on their helmets. See here for the WC1 versions, Maniac's and Hunter's original call-signs, and the files to find them in.

Here are the WC2 helmets from VDU.V00.
WC2 VDU Angel.png
WC2 VDU Doomsday.png
WC2 VDU Hobbes.png
WC2 VDU Jazz.png
WC2 VDU Shadow.png
WC2 VDU Spirit.png
WC2 VDU Stingray.png
WC2 VDU Generic M.png
WC2 VDU Generic F.png


The only addition in SO1 (VDU.V01) is Bear.
WC2-SO1 VDU Bear.png


The faces added in SO2 (VDU.V02) don't have text, but I think they're meant to be the four Wild Eagles. This is interesting, because I don't think you ever receive communications from Crossbones or Talon.
WC2-SO2 VDU 1.png
WC2-SO2 VDU 2.png
WC2-SO2 VDU 3.png
WC2-SO2 VDU 4.png


For completeness, here is Jazz's helmet from HELMET.V20. Sure, it may have a few dents, but it survived a nuclear blast from a few meters away. Why don't they armor the ships with that stuff?
WC2 Remains Jazz.png


I still think it's interesting to ask just what the artist drew on the close-up helmet. They were presumably asked to add some generic stuff that suggested text while suiting all pilots. They succeeded too, since it looks almost readable. However, if it turns out that there was real text before blurring, it's probably a fourth-wall-breaking joke that only made sense to the development team. If you want to know what pilots canonically wear on their helmets in WC2, go with the VDU versions, while assuming that it's the yellow-on-gray color scheme from the close-up.

(Edited to show both WC2 generics)
 
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-danr-

Vice Admiral
This is interesting, because I don't think you ever receive communications from Crossbones or Talon.
If I remember right, you only hear from them if you shoot them and even then you get the generic face as per your last image. I don't think they even used Minx's image if you spoke to her either, just the generic confed female.
 

Dondragmer

Rear Admiral
If I remember right, you only hear from them if you shoot them and even then you get the generic face as per your last image. I don't think they even used Minx's image if you spoke to her either, just the generic confed female.
[I edited my post to tidy up the attachments, and the "last image" is no longer there. The picture -danr- is in the WC2 (VDU.V00) group, second to last picture.]

Thanks, I'd forgotten about Series 2 Mission A (Canewdon system). You're also correct that Crossbones and Talon use the generic Confed male graphic. (Like you, I had to shoot them. Curiously, once I was labelled as a traitor I gained the ability to send orders to Talon, but not to Crossbones.) Meanwhile, Minx has the generic Confed female face.

Crossbones ejecting:
WC2-SO2 VDU Crossbones.png


Talon acknowledging orders from a traitor:
WC2-SO2 VDU Talon.png


Minx in the Series 4 Mission D (Ayer's System) opening cutscene:
WC2-SO2 VDU Minx.png


If the last three faces in VDU.V02 really don't appear anywhere in SO2, maybe the ongoing work on deciphering the WC2 file format will one day allow us to put them back in.
 
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-danr-

Vice Admiral
If the last three faces in VDU.V02 really don't appear anywhere in SO2, maybe the ongoing work on deciphering the WC2 file format will one day allow us to put them back in.
Should be possible, I wonder why they were excluded in the first place - an oversight I guess. Great posts anyway.
 

HCl

WC EXE archaeologist
Nice discussion :)

The second SO2 comm face looks like it could be a Mandarin pilot, but I agree the others might be Wild Eagles. We should dig into the game files at some point and see if they are used.

As a side note, I'm getting close on my disassembling of the WC2 scripting code that we may be able to start playing with the Gameflow relatively soon. From my research so far, the WC2 scripting mechanism is pretty much a stack-based VM, with 186 opcodes. There are still more unknown opcodes than known ones, but as it is, things are making sense, and i'm able to follow simple chunks of bytecode and roughly understand what happens.

There are apparently four levels to it, with Script, Plane, Sequence and Sprite data defined in each Series / Incident chunk. Script only has one scripted function (often called "doit"), which is called to bootstrap the whole thing, and call other scripts (often from other "levels"). It's really amazing how different it is from WC1, and the more I look at this the more I agree with Quarto, in the sense that it really feels like a VM almost as advanced as the one used in WCP.

Anyway, this is proving to be an exciting adventure! :) I'll be posting more as I go along!
 
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