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written by Raptorjedi on Oct 15, 2003 03:50
The Past
There have been some requests for the older versions of Noctis, and Lightning4 gladly loaded them up to cdisk for everyone

I have now added the things Alex said about the older versions Noctis from the old page

Alex said:
As stated in the intro page, this game (or simulator? or RPG?) kept evolving since 1996. I can't remember the precise date of birth, but it was a late summer night, those nights when you can see a lot of stars. And in effects, the whole thing began with a starfield simulator: a lousy little program showing a bunch of stars placed in random positions on the low-res MCGA screen, in shades of blue-gray. By looking at those dots, I thought that... well, as long as the stars where there, why not writing some code to reach them? But curiously, the very first thing I created after the stars, was the ship, our possibly ugly, small, protective, beloved stardrifter. The same night I added the first function of the ship: the internal light. At that point I could stand alone in the darkened room, the only light coming from the screen, and turn on and off the ship's light, seeing its light affecting the desk, the keyboard, the objects around... the atmosphere was cool, definitely cool. I was curious, very curious, both to see if I would have been able to create a program that could "invent" some planets around those stars, and to see what kind of planets it would have invented. The computer's display was speaking italian, and it was translated to english only in 1999, with the purpose of publishing it on this site, which by the way didn't exist anywhere on the net until 1999. But the history of the site itself is another thing...
Noctis 1
Alex said:
Although there had been numerous other changes made before 1999, that "international" version was the very first public release, the one I'd call today "Noctis I". Don't ask me to make it available, because it seems I've completely lost it. All the old diskettes, and the hard drives, seem to contain more recent versions, starting from Noctis II. If by any chance someone preserved the first version, and sends it here, then I will certainly add it to this page, but I doubt it: in 1999 this site was just born, and little known, it lived on GeoCities servers (before Yahoo! assimilated GeoCities), precisely in their homestead called SiliconValley/Platform/1628. Sadly, all what remains of Noctis The First now, are those very few screenshots presented below, some of which show features that were removed in later versions.
The line about the Noctis I pictures being all that is left of Noctis I is not true, you can download it below. I just felt I should leave Alex's description of it intact

cd/zips/Stargazer/noctis i (125 Kb)

Edit by Stargazer:
I have re-uploaded Noctis I, as people reported problems with the previous file. If you still experience problems, try removing the file "memoria.nct".

Noctis II
Alex said:
Noctis II was not called that way: I was still calling it just Noctis, and to be precise, the first version to hold a visible number was the fourth one; thus, not even Noctis III was called that way, although since the second version I had been silently counting those major releases. Noctis II was the first version to allow for a starmap to be built; previously to Noctis II the stars had no name, and it was very difficult to find the same star again (neither you were intended to, anyway). It was a free exploration, with no purpose of mapping the galaxy. Oh, and yet another tiny detail: both in versions I and II, there were absolutely NO MOONS. I just didn't code them... as well as multiple star systems. The engine generating the star systems was quite simpler than the current one: just a star, and its major planets. What about Felisians? It may sound strange to today's explorers, but Felisians didn't get in the plot until Noctis IV, although their home system was labeled in the very last days of Noctis III's developement. Before the fourth version, you were defined by the manual itself as "an undefined being, either alien or human, you choose". Probably the most interesting feature mantained in Noctis II was the (now) legendary Fationic Cannon. Well, finally, although Noctis II keeps its own starmap, the file wasn't intended to be shared in a central archive, so there's no way to send an outbox from Noctis II. Also, there is no guide at all. Something more? Ambient sounds were present in Noctis II, but very crappy. If you're going to run the game under Windows, I strongly suggest choosing no sound; if you want to try the sound, the best thing to do is having an extra-old Sound Blaster PRO and selecting sound option 1 on startup. The ZIP archive also gives you a chance of taking a look at how this site looked like when it was hosted by GeoCities.
cd/zips/Lightning4/noctisii (544 Kb)

Noctis III
Alex said:
Functionally much more near to what's the most famous release so far, Noctis III introduced the GOES Net modules, and the concept of a galactic guide. Sharing data was possible, but more complicated: the INBOX and OUTBOX modules didn't exist, so the way to submit data proceeded by sending the whole starmap.bin and guide.bin files here. Even the fourth release proceeded this way for a few days. Extra functions in Noctis III? I can think of only one: the target preview monitor, located on the right wall of the ship, and therefore providing one more screen.
cd/zips/Lightning4/noctisiii (295 Kb)
└> last changed by Stargazer on July 07, 2004 at 10:32
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