Codex Gamicus

File:Originalwar boxshot-1-.jpg


Original War is a non-linear real-time tactics computer game developed by Altar and released by Virgin Interactive on December 3, 2001. It was re-released in the UK under the budget Sold Out label in 2004.

Different Times[]

As the game story develops it becomes clearer that the Russians are from a different universe - a consequence of the American time-travel and their successful moving of the resource Siberite to Alaska. Due to this, the Russians call the Siberite, Alaskite. As a consequence of the alaskite-movement, a number of Arabian sheiks and warlords hire mercenaries to prevent the Americans from acquiring the powerful resource and assure that oil remains as the primary energy source.

Time constantly changes due to the actions of all the sides involved. For example, in the Russian version of the universe Hitler never ascended to power and Trotsky was appointed the leader of the USSR.

The game story is freely based on sci-fi novel The Last Day of Creation (1981) by Wolfgang Jeschke.


During World War I American forces encounter an unknown device, along with an unknown mineral called Siberite. Decades later they find out that the mineral is a catalyst for cold fusion, and it is the fuel for the device named EON. After numerous experiments with Siberite and the EON, they finally realise that it is a time machine. But, by the time of the discovery, they have used all of the siberite and research stops. Then in the new millennium Americans find vast deposits of siberite in Siberia, and are able to extract enough of it to use the time-machine for small-scale time-travel. They come up with a plan to send a few dozen U.S. Soldiers to Siberia, where they will travel 2 million years back in time, to move the Siberite to Alaska so that the U.S. will rule time and right perceived historical wrongs. The best troops are selected, briefed, and told that it is a one-way trip back through time. The Americans travel back in time, move the Siberite to Alaska, changing the course of history from the 1920s on. In the alternative timeline created, the USSR remains whole, the U.S. is more powerful than in the original timeline, and many other changes also occur. This results in the USSR being in the position of the U.S. in the original timeline. Soviet scientists have managed discover how the EON, which they call TAWAR, functions and has have enough Siberite, or Alaskite as it is called in the alternative timeline, to send a large number of troops back in time to prevent the initial timeline modification.


Note. Since this game is non-linear game, there exist numerous variations to the story, but this is the general one.


The American side is shown through the travels of John Macmillan, with brief parts of John's life and happenings drawn in his diary. The first diary page is of American scientists and top brass telling John about the EON. The next page shows American forces finding the EON during the First World War and taking it home to Area 51 to experiment on it. On the next page John is hand picked amongst others to join an expedition to Siberia. Enough Siberite was collected to allow the American forces to go 2,000,000 years back in time, but as John is standing before the EON he gets second thoughts of entering. The night before he had met a woman, Joan Fergusen. Joan is a backup scientist working on the EON in the American base in Siberia and will not travel with the others, John now has a reason for not going after all.



The Russian campaign is considered campaign #2, being harder than the American one. Here you play as a Russian mechanic nicknamed "Burlak", an excellent mechanic loyal to the people of Russia. The Russians are aware of the U.S. troops present in Siberia when they step into the Tawar, but are surprised when they find that even though they travelled in squads, they appear scattered in both location and time. In the Russian campaign, Burlak has fewer choices than John Macmillan because of the arrogant Red Army leadership.


Original War is distinctive from most RTS-games due to many reasons, the most distinctive feature is the fact that you are unable to train new soldiers. However, you are able to draft the local apemen in the area into your army, using scientists in a similar way of the converting priests in Age Of Empires. In addition you can, with the appropriate research, build computer-run vehicles and turrets. Both apes and computers are generally worse in combat than their human counterparts.

Another distinctive feature is the resource system; there are three different types of resources in the game: Crates, most common resource as they are used in the of construction of buildings and vehicles in the game. Oil, used mostly early- and midgame as a cheap yet readily available power source. And Siberite/Alaskite which is more effective than oil, enabling vehicles or generators to run without the need of refueling thus allowing the creation of more powerful equipment. In addition the latter resource opens up several advanced research topics.

Both Oil and Siberite/Alaskite are collected in a not too unusual way, by sending out scientists, who have been trained in how to locate the two materials, to locate the deposits, and then once found build the appropriate building for a steady, infinite stream of the resource. Crates however are not as infinite as they are sent from the future and generally arrive in a steady stream but at random intervals, giving the chance that none would appear for a certain period of time. Most maps in the game are programmed in such a way that the crates arrive around certain locations. The American and Arabian sides are able to use Optoelectronics to locate the exact location of the crate that arrives, while the Russians, who have focused on time-based technology, are able to predict a perimeter where the crates will arrive a few seconds before they materialise, giving them a lead to the area of materialisation, but not the exact location. In addition, the former optoelectrionic research shows the materialised crates on the map permanently, or until that location is scouted by allied troops, whereas the Russian player must immediately sent transportation to the site shown or lose the map marker forever.

In addition Original War incorporates elements commonly found in RPG's. Each unit differs in movement speed, armor and firepower, for instance, an average human unit has a speed of 10, but some have 12 or 8. Technology exists that allows for higher firepower, but there is none for movement or armor. Every human or apeman unit has its own name, unique portrait, unique stats and unique xp requirements for leveling up in a skill.

Four kits exist, each with their own responding skill. The soldier kit has the combat skill, the engineer has the engineering skill, the mechanic has the mechanical skill and the scientist has the scientific skills. In addition each side has its own unique kit, all these respond to the combat skill. Apes can only be soldiers or engineers in Original War, but nevertheless they have all the four skills, but they do most of the time all start on zero. Each skill has its own xp-counter which is used to determine when you will gain a level in that skill. Xp is gained in a number of ways, the most usual one is by performing acts related to the skill. Also, when using the required kit, the experience will be gained more quickly.

In the campaign you gain extra xp after each mission, the farther into the game you are, the more xp you gain, also, how many of the various demands (often sidequests) for each mission you meet also counts for the number of xp you gain at the end of the mission. This is added together and you get a high number of experience, you then choose what skill to focus 50% of your xp on, the three other skills gain the remaining 50% amount between them.

Original War Support[]

In January/February 2005, Stuart "Stucuk" Carey asked Altar Interactive (Now known as Altar Games) for permission to maintain Original War and they agreed. In June 2005 work began on the first patch v1.03, which primarily added basic Mod support to Original War. OWS (Original War Support) site was very basic when the first patch was launched in November. In December 2005 a forum was created and then a front end to the site.

On January 20, 2006 was bought for the site. It was around the time the forum was created that Beta Testers started to help with the patches (Finding bugs, Offering Ideas, etc.). Over the course of 2006 OW has become more and more stable, with bugs removed, exploits removed and features added.

Original War Clanbase[]

Clanbase is a statistics system for Original War. When users do a ranked game with 1.07 or above the match results are sent to Clanbase where the data is processed and points are awarded to the winning team. Clanbase was created by Yuri Stratov and is maintained by Yuri.

Original War Memory Addresses[]

The following text is referring to Original War version 1.10b

 Address      Type    Description
 0x006A1DBC   BYTE    Developer Mode Switch
                      Command line parameter DEVMODE gives the same result
 0x006A2D40   BYTE    This flag indicates if the current game has been loaded.
                      Set it to 0 if you want to gain the fourth medal at the end of each mission.
 0x006A2D48   BYTE    Disable user control. Set it to 0 if you want to gain control of your units
                      when a cutscene is running. You can earn precious seconds.
 0x006DA4B9   BYTE    Widescreen flag. Set it to 1 to enable widescreen.
 0x0113E390   BYTE    God mode. Set it to 1 to make your units invincible.
                      The bad thing is that this will made the opponent units also invincible.
                      Use this when you consider the opportunity to make an ultimate assault!
 0x0113E590   BYTE    Pauses the game if set to 1.
 0x0113E591   BYTE    Displays "Paused" on the game display if set to 1.

External links[]