Release: Nov 10, 2011 - Author: -Der-Tribun - Translator: Gladion
Loom is a Lucas Arts production from the early 90s. At the time, the company was already famous for its tricky adventure games. This is why the fan base was happy when another game was released in 1990, but they were quickly disappointed.
Loom, an adventure in which Bobbin Threadbare, the last weaver, explores the secret of the magical yarn, was an extreme alienation from the classical adventure genre. There is no inventory, no action verbs and no interactive dialogue. The only method of control is to manipulate items and people via magical singing. Additionally, the game is very short (it is possible to beat it in three hours). Originally the first part of a planned trilogy, it remained a curiosity of which even Lucas Arts itself started making fun of.
There are several versions of the game. The original 16-color version was released identically on PC, Amiga and Atari ST. A few months later there was a 256-color version for PC on CD and on the Japanese FM-Towns home computer. While the FM-Towns-version is a perfect port, the PC-CD-version is a small catastrophe. Dialogues and cutscenes were cropped and cut, almost all the character portraits are gone, there is nearly no music (weird in this game) and, additionally, this version is even censored. The voicework can't save the PC-CD-version any more, either.
The censored PC-CD Version has been compared to the (almost) uncensored Japanese FM-Towns Version.
The Japanese FM-Towns Version has been slightly censored too. This censorship also regards the PC-CD Version but has not been enlisted in this comparison. The reason for that is that we decided to compare the PC-CD version with the FM-Towns version rather then with the old EGA Version (which is completely uncensored) because the CD- and the FM-Version are based on the same upgraded and enhanced version (as mentioned above). It is always easier to compare two versions which have the same main-structure.
But you can read about the last tiny bit of what is missing in the Japanese FM-Towns version and the PC-CD-Version in our other comparison with the old EGA Version which will be available shortly after this one has been published.
This report is being started with the obvious censoring.
There are dead and wounded people as Bobbin looks for the guilds who were attacked by the undead relatively late in the game. At the shepherds' guild, there are originally the shepherds lying on the ground, bleeding to death. There was a completely new background drawn for the PC-version and the shepherds don't bleed any more.
At the glass-blowers' guild, Bobbin finds dying Goodmold and his head is lying in a pool of blood. This pool was removed from the PC-version and a new image drawn for the object-line.
It should be noted that this censoring is inconsistent, as other bloody scenes like the death of Bishop Mandible and of Hetchel are still bloody.
Both versions are censored compared to the original EGA-version, this detail is being dealt with in a seperate report.
Missing content and differences
Now, the report follows the plot line to take a look at the rest of the changes and cuts. The dialogue croppings, which take place without the scenes being changed, are too numerous to be listed and thus, are ignored from here on, there are exceptions, though.
The company logo in the beginning differs. This is because Lucas Arts had been named Lucasfilm Games before. The name was changed shortly after the FM-Towns-version was created (the text below the logo is altered for later releases), and the CD-version reflects this with the new logo.
The view of the big weaving loom shows the threads shimmering in different colors in the FM-Towns-version (like in the original one). On the PC on the other hand it is static and the threads don't glow.
The close-up shots of Hetchel and the main weaver Aprothos are missing during the conversation between Hetchel and the elders.
During Cygnas attack on the guild, the part of her appearing and flying towards the village is missing. After she has transformed everybody, the part showing her leading the weavers, who she transformed into swans, to a dimensional gap is missing, too.
The close-up shot during Bobbin's talk with bewitched Hetchel is missing.
Of shepherd and glass-blowers
A rather curious change, the icon for the workers in the tower was changed (it is more logical now).
For a change, there is new footage on the PC for once. The dialogue between the glass-master and Bishop Mandible Bobbin eaves-drops got a new close-up view that didn't exist before.
His character portrait is missing as Bobbin talks to the glass-blower Goodmold.
The FM-Towns-version has got another close-up shot as Goodmold mentions how the dragon raided their glass-treasures-stock years before. The PC on the other hand features a new scene showing the dragon attacking.
Her character portrait is missing as Bobbin talks to the main sheperdess, Fleece.
The interesting thing is the fact that obviously a new close-up shot was thought of, and parts of it are hidden in the source code. Here the image of the scene that was, in the end, not used on PC-CD.
After Bobbin was captured by the dragon, her portrait is missing, too.
The realm of the forge
The close-up shot of Rusty is missing as Bobbin meets him.
The angry firelord was also stripped off of his character portrait.
The PC-version misses the close-up shot of the Dragon waking Rusty as she finds him (he looks like Bobbin this moment) before she eats him, the dialogue remains the same, though.
The largest part of the scene afterwards is missing. Bobbin wakes up and realizes that something must have happened to Rusty. He looks through the cell door and watches the firelord moaning about the blast furnace only having little fuel left before throwing the musical stick into it. The view out of the furnace showing the firelord takling about their major contract is contained in the PC-version.
Rusty's passing away is much less impressive on the PC. His body was moved to the right and he simply floats out of the screen. In the FM-Towns-version, there is the original scene showing how he moves into the beyond through a dimensional rift.
Directly afterwards, there is a scene with Hetchel missing (she came back through the rift). She laments that somebody had to die for her return, then she looks to the forge and says that these wary people would never let Bobbin inside. She then notices the emergency signal of the musical stick and flies to the forge, directly into the funnel concerned to the furnace.
On the PC, she flies directly to the forge, then there is an exact cut to the furnace.
Bishop Mandible's character portrait is missing.
The FM-Towns-version has a long shot of the cathedral and its surroundings as Mandible explains his plan. On the PC, there is another close-up view, which is used later again.
How they return and Mandible explains how he may be able to perfect his plan with his crystal ball was cut out. Through it, he tells Cobb on the PC to watch Bobbin while still outside, in the original version he does so while inside.
Cobb's portrait is missing, too.
On the PC, Chaos has got more to say and his portrait is shown, too. Chaos makes it clear to Mandible that he manipulated him into opening the gate to the realm of the undead and that he will reward him with death. An important element that is missing in the FM-Towns-version.
The portrait of transformed Lady Cygna is missing.
The portrait of Ghost Rusty is missing, just like his entire dialogue. He blames Bobbin for his death in the dragon's teeth.
The fortress of the dead looks different as it reaches Loom. On the FM-Towns-version, the nightsky and the light were considered, not on the PC (looks just like in the realm of the forge).
You don't see Chaos' portrait as he shows off. Interestingly, the portrait (especially the background) shows differences in the FM-Towns-version
A bizarre change. In all versions, Chaos is male. Not on the PC-CD-version, though, where Chaos is suddenly female.
Additionally, in this comparison, you can see the different color effects in the weaving loom very well.
After the destruction of the weaving loom, the entire scene of the thread tearing completely and Loom Island being split into two because of that is missing.
The PC-version also misses a large part of the ending credits. First you see the swans leaving Loom with the thread of time and space. Then Fleece watches the swans as they pass Crystalguard. Finally, Rusty sees the swans, too, as they fly through the realm of the forge.