The Lost, a game which has never seen release in English-speaking territories, laid the foundations for Irrational Games’ masterpiece.
“The Lost was a bit of everything. It was Silent Hill meets Zelda meets Devil May Cry in the sense that it was a series of levels in linear fashion, but within the levels, there was freedom,” game designer Bill Gardner commented in the latest instalment of Irrational Games’ From The Vault series.
“We wouldn’t have been able to make BioShock if it weren’t for The Lost. In a lot of ways, it was what BioShock wound up becoming.
“We had said with The Lost, we wanted to take a lot of what made System Shock 2 successful. We learned so much from it, and learning to interface on a console game, while accounting for the tech aspects and considerations on all sides was, frankly, helpful.”
Developed for the PS2 and Xbox, Irrational felt the finished game wasn’t up to its usual standards so chose not to have it published under its name. Instead, the finished title was licensed to an Indian studio called FXLabs. The game was ported to PC, localised – and then peppered with Bollywood. The resulting title plays exactly like the original game, but seems strange to its own creators.
“You’re playing this game, this otherworldly version of a game you spent a couple of years working on, and it’s just weird. You can’t wrap your head around how bizarre this is,” Gardner added.
Here’s a music video featuring gameplay assets; probably the closeest you’ll get without tracking down an import and learning another language.