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"Someone's sabotaged the door to Medical. Part of the lock's been removed."
Amanda Ripley

The Solace was a ship cut from Alien: Isolation during its development. It was to be the setting of the game's original opening scene, which was removed from the finished game entirely.[1]

History

The Solace was a small ship that escaped Sevastopol Station after the Xenomorph infestation began to take hold. Doomed for failure, it was heavily overloaded with desperate survivors who hoped to flee the station - it had no FTL drive and insufficient hypersleep pods for all those on board.

Seemingly a Xenomorph (or at least someone impregnated with a Chestburster) was also on board the ship after it departed Sevastopol. This, coupled with the eventual failure of the ship's power and life support systems, led to the death of all passengers on the ship.

After the chaos aboard, the derelict ship's emergency beacon was picked up by the Torrens on its journey towards Sevastopol. As per company regulations, the crew was roused from hypersleep to investigate. Ripley boarded the Solace and after discovering the fate of the ship and its crew, it broke up in space due thawing when Amanda turned on the power.

Another deleted section later in the game was to reveal that Seegson executive Ransome had met his fate while escaping Sevastopol aboard the Solace.

Development

The Solace was cut from Alien: Isolation during its development, reportedly around a year before the game's release when the story was heavily rewritten.

Solace Ice 01

Based on files found in the console version of the game, it seems that the map for the Solace used assets from the Patna - a medical vessel which was also cut from the game - and eventually became the Anesidora in the final release of the game. Interestingly, the map for the Anesidora in the final game is still called "SOLACE", showing how the layout of the Anesidora is probably very similar to that of the Solace, just modified to remove the ice effects, alternate scripted events and other unnecessary areas.

The Patna at one point had its own map file named "BSP_Patna" so it is likely that the Solace did just heavily re-use the Patna's assets, perhaps when the development team cut the Patna they used assets from it to build the Solace, or they merged the two maps to create the Anesidora when the Solace was cut. Leftover models and assets indicate that the Patna was somewhat similar in design to the Anesidora, with a number of elements remaining the same like the Fusion Generator room. The Solace however would have been quite different visually, since the ship was frozen in space the map was covered in ice. Sound files can still be found in the game for the majority of ambient audio and sound effects for the Solace, including space suit depressurisation, ambient room sounds, cryosleep pods opening (referred to as "Glass Coffins"), hull creaks, explosions and ice cracking.

It is possible (and highly likely) that the final sequence aboard the Anesidora where the ship begins to blow up takes heavily from the scene aboard the Solace where the ship began to break apart as Ripley escapes. A lot of similarities can be found in the Anesidora mission to the Solace's leaked mission scripts, for example, Amanda has to power up the generator after accessing it through a locked door which even has the same keycode as the Solace. Even the player's path in the Solace mission was very similar to the path that the player takes aboard the Anesidora in the final game.

Trivia

  • The Solace's engine room keycode was 4510, the same code used aboard the Anesidora in the final game.
  • On the Solace, the player would initially enter the engine room with a keycode discovered in a personal memo, then enter Habitation and go on to Medical. Again, this is very similar to what was in the final game aboard the Anesidora.
  • Amanda finds a pick-up schedule on the Solace with three entries for PSV Achelous and PSV Asbru checked by P. Scott & C. Gold.
  • A texture presumed to be from the Solace can be found in the game files named "Ghostship". This could have been the development title for the ship. There are also a number of textures in game for ice, which would have presumably been used aboard the Solace.
  • A number of sounds and animations are left referenced in the game files for the Solace, including ice melting and other scripted events. A large number of environmental sound effects and ambient sounds for the Solace are still present in the game.
  • The hypersleep pods that the crew were sharing aboard the Solace are nicknamed "Glass Coffins" in the game files.

Gallery

References

  1. "Steam Community - Alien: Isolation - The Original Story!". Retrieved on 2016-01-08.
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