|The following project has been shelved. It may or may not get a future release. Stay tuned.|
The Gerosha Chronicles: Centipede + 49 (called Centipede + 49 for short) is a shelved video game premise base taking place in the Gerosha Gaming Universe, a sub-continuity based off of the Cataclysmic Gerosha universe in the Gerosha multiverse making up The Gerosha Chronicles of Dozerfleet Comics. It takes in the early 2050s, well after the fourth season of the TV series pitch Sodality. It serves as Ciem's first solo adventure title since Ciem: Condemnation, giving her something to do outside the scope of her work in the Sodality of Gerosha. It is one of two projects proposed for the Gerosha Gaming Universe (Earth-G7.2) in July of 2013, along with Sodality: Battle for Metheel. The focus of this game is on completing a variety of maps either in a 3rd-person superhero mode, or in 1st-person shooter mode, depending on the player's preference per level. It was inspired by the video game version of Spider-Man 3, and by the original Ghost Recon.
There are several play options that would be made available for this game if created, or that could at least be explored. Like with Battle for Metheel, players would be offered the option of 2D or 3D viewing modes.
Single-player story mode puts the player in charge of one fire team at a time, consisting of seven soldiers plus Ciem. The remaining 42 soldiers are kept in storage, and may be swapped out as needed for the next mission if some soldiers die before the present mission is finished. Restarting a mission during the mission will restore dead soldiers. But when the mission is completed, any soldiers not alive will remain dead for the duration of the player's campaign. At that point, only starting a new game file will restore those characters to life. Saved game files after the game is complete become non-canon Earth-G7.2.1.X narrative universes of their own, with every new iteration based on which soldiers live or die.
Ciem is the only character not allowed to die. If she is knocked out, however, the mission needs to be restarted. Players may choose when they begin a mission if they are going to play as Ciem or as a soldier on the fire team. If the player chooses to be Ciem, then the player is stuck with that choice until either restarting the level or completing it. All soldiers that die before Ciem is knocked out will come back to life if the mission is restarted. If the player chooses to be a soldier, then the player may alternate which soldier is being directly controlled through a command map similar to the one in the classic Ghost Recon game. Soldiers have to be chosen for the squad in advance of starting a level. Once the squad is chosen for that mission, the player is stuck with that squad unless quitting / starting over or completing the mission.
Playing as Ciem
As Ciem, players have a variety of locations on the map that can be accessed. She can go in and out of various buildings, both intact and ruined. There are various environmental objects to interact with as well. You will be teleporting to get to hard-to-reach places, as well as to get out of situations where you'll be mobbed. Ciem has a variety of attack maneuvers and combos she can utilize also. Ciem may utilize her darts (500 per arm) for short-range combat or her centilegs for close combat. She has a healing factor, so keeping her away from a fight for a certain amount of time will allow her to return to 90% health if she falls under 90% and up to 100% if she falls to 91%. Several environmental objects, like cage doors and gates, can be smashed open or teleported inside of. She can then perform rescues, defuse bombs, or do whatever else needs to be done for that particular mission by way of object interaction. If she finds a weapon that would be useful to the soldiers, she can direct a solder to pick it up. Soldiers can have up to five additional weapons beyond their basic two.
Ciem is also able to direct the soldiers places, in which case any solider not directly engaged in a firefight will arrive. This will allow for her to keep several enemies occupied dealing with the soldiers while she goes about her objectives. While wearing the least stealthy outfit, Ciem is still expected to use some level of stealth in getting around. If knocked out, the mission will have to be restarted. She will often have a lot to say, and will quietly talk to herself during missions. She tends to think of Donte, her children, and her past quite often. As stated above, this mission mode will have a stereoscopy option. Gameplay will be from a 3rd-person platform/sandbox point of view, not unlike the Grand Theft Auto franchise or the game version of Spider-Man 2.
While possible to attack enemies, the game is wired so that Ciem cannot attack allies. Likewise, allies in soldier mode cannot hurt Ciem. Their bullets will have no effect on her, and will have effectively been wasted ammo. Ciem is unable to pick up weapons and fire them, instead relying on her centilegs and darts for a way to make an impact. She otherwise relies on using improvised weapons from her environment to throw or drop on enemies, or on hand-to-hand combat. Her darts are limited in number, and she is restricted to only 500 of them. They are not deadly in a single shot, but do cause intense pain and near-paralysis in enemies. This can be used to disable and knock out an opponent, or to make them easier for the soldiers to shoot dead.
Ciem can jump to get around, and has some very limited ability to climb. She cannot, however, walk or crawl up the sides of walls. She can run to some extent. However, her best means of getting quickly from one point to another is by Zeran teleporting. Zeran transportation only requires her to switch into teleporting mode and then designate where she wants to go. Travel happens within one second. However, she can only teleport within the player's viewing range. Zeran teleportation also depends on the battery life of her devices. Since the Ameristani regime has traded in the past with the Hebbleskin Gang, they too have some Zeran technology. Every once in a while, a power pack may be found in a level that recharges the teleporters. The teleporters are set to have a very long battery life, allowing for players to complete levels a good lot of the time with very little teleporter energy drained. If, however, battling a particular menace proves too costly and the teleporters are completely drained, finding a power pack will restore them. Otherwise, Ciem will be unable to teleport unless the mission is restarted or completed.
Soldiers will do their best to not die in this mode, and enemies will pay more attention to Ciem than normal. However, the player should be careful so as to minimize the threat level towards soldiers. If the mission is completed and some soldiers die, saving the game progress file will leave those soldiers dead for the duration of that saved game.
Playing as a soldier
Gameplay dynamics shift considerably when choosing to play as a soldier. During the mission's normal running time, the player cannot switch back to being Ciem. However, the player can alternate control of various soldiers within the fireteam. The soldiers' jobs are to plant depth charges or to engage enemies in combat so as to clear a path for a later group of soldiers from the regular army. In the mean time, soldiers should also keep their eyes open for any threats to Ciem. If Ciem is knocked out, the mission must be restarted. Otherwise, some soldiers are to guard her so she has minimal distraction from her mission. Other soldiers are to achieve other objectives while keeping the path clear for Ciem and each other. A command map allows the currently-controlled soldier to lead the others where they need to go, or to allow the player to adjust rules of engagement or switch who is being directly controlled. Soldiers will aim to protect Ciem unless directed to do otherwise. However, they will search for cover and will return fire if fired upon. Additional objectives may include conducting a rescue or taking a prisoner - or guarding Ciem while she achieves these goals.
Soldiers are enhanced with centuition, making it easier for them to tell where an enemy is going without radar equipment and to sense incoming danger and decrease their likelihood of being shot. However, they lack Ciem's reflexes and healing factor. This means they must heal from combat wounds or other injuries gradually in-between missions. An injured solider will be excluded from combat for three missions as they heal, making them essentially dead. If a player somehow manages to leave himself with all of a certain class of specialist dead, then weapons needed for that task must be appropriated off the bodies of fallen enemies in order to reassign someone's specialty. Without those weapons, certain mission objectives may become impossible to achieve.
At any time, soldiers may appropriate ammo and weapons off of fallen comrades or enemies. A soldier may have up to four weapons, five if grenades are counted. Otherwise, any additional weapon will require the soldier to sacrifice a weapon already in his or her arsenal. Soldiers whose weapon slots are not all filled up may then acquire the abandoned weapon. If a soldier dies and the mission is completed and saved, then that soldier remains dead for a duration of the saved game.
Gameplay in soldier mode is designed to operate as a combination of Halo and classic Ghost Recon mechanics, with the added requirement of guarding a superhero while she aids the mission. Soliders, as stated above, waste ammo if they shoot at Ciem. Only enemy fire can affect her. The game also has an "estimation of will and intent" mechanism built into it, so that players deemed to be intentionally shooting allies will be declared traitors. This mechanism will measure distance of player from friendly fire target, time taken to set up shot, and other environmental factors that could influence likelihood of confusion between friend and foe. Once the declaration of treason is made, the level must be restarted. A screen will load chastising such players for friendly fire mechanism abuse. Even though player ammo is wasted attacking Ciem, too many intentional shots wasting ammo on shooting her will also result in a declaration of treason that will force the player to restart the level.
Multiplayer modes would exist for this game also. Depending on number of players, network or no network, and other options, players could choose to play in 2D or 3D. Players have the option of playing in 3rd person sandbox mode as palette swaps of Ciem, or of playing as soldiers in typical FPS fashion. However, players must decide on one mode or another. Usually, Player 1 makes the decision. In networking, players make a democratic decision of which mode to assume. A tie leads to the two players choosing one POV mode over the other to play each other separately from the other two who chose the opposite POV. If a majority chooses a mode, that mode is automatically assigned to all players.
At no point, however, can someone play as Ciem in one mode while battling another player who is controlling a soldier. Nor can any soldier take aim at a player in Ciem mode.
Ciem vs. the Palette Clones
Up to four players (traditional split screen) or two players (120Hz phase alternating split screen) may play in this mode. Player 1 is Ciem, and the other players are color palette swaps of Ciem referred to as the Palette Clones. They do not exist outside of this game mode, and are not canon to anything in the greater Gerosha Gaming Universe or Cataclysmic Gerosha. Player 2 is Cyaniem, and Player 3 is Magentiem. Player 4 is Verdiem. The objective is simple: Ciem and her clones battle in a free-for-all in 3D platform/sandbox mode to see who can walk away the victor in a brawl. Normal sabotage mission features are disabled to keep the focus on fighting.
Soldier vs. soldier
In 3D mode, phase alternation 3D allows up to two players to play. In 2D mode, a traditional split screen method allows up to four. Players have a choice of vertical or horizontal splitting for 2D with only two players. This versus mode operates essentially the same way as a typical FPS 2-player game. Soldier vs. Soldier also allows for a single player to join an intranet and play a networked game with friends. In network mode, the single player may play his game in 2D or 3D without affecting the 2D or 3D viewing preferences of other players on the network. Minigames like "Last Man Standing" and "Capture the Flag" are standard fare, and follow a format that is somewhere between Ghost Recon classic and Halo 2.
When the Phaletori launch an attack on Chimerica, the Sodality of Gerosha is called in to deal with the issue. A bored Donte decides to resume wearing his Emeraldon suit, in spite being retired and in spite his son Frank already having taken on the role. Two Emeraldons are deemed suitable by Lex Philippine of SCALLOP. Extirpon II and Ciem II also get involved in the adventure, along with nearly all still-active Sodality personnel from either the first or second generation. However, Roy gets sent to investigate conditions in Ameristan. Word is sent back to Lex that Halal Affadidah is in fact dead. The regime is falling apart, and surviving "dhimmies" are fighting back to regain their country from the oppressive Muslim Brotherhood. The regime spent so much time on its genocide campaign, that it has failed to manage farm fields properly. Food shortages have led to even greater unrest. Amusement parks have been torn down and replaced with killing fields. City parks are reduced to scorched hell zones. Swingsets across the land have been torn down and replaced with guillotines.
However, Roy is captured in a Marlquaanite prison field and finds himself being kept prisoner in Boston. Lex decides that while the land of Ameristan is ripe for Toklisana to reclaim and rebuild the United States; the Ameristani regime is still quite dangerous - and is not going down without a fight. A terrorist attack on a supermarket in Waco indicates the regime's desperation to continue its jihad efforts. An unconscious Candi McArthur is recovered by SCALLOP personnel beneath the rubble. They discover that during the initial attack, she fought bravely in civilian clothing to protect other shoppers.
Candi is sedated, and is taken to a SCALLOP lab. When she awakes, she finds herself made physiologically younger. Horrified by the anomaly, she escapes her lab table and locates Lex. He explains to her that the effects are temporary. With Dana gone, Lex wants Candi to resume being Ciem for a special mission. He informs her of the situation in Ameristan, then introduces her to "the team."
It turns out that Candi's centuition ability - and no other component of her Centhuen Prototype nature - has been put into 49 trained Toklisanan soldiers. Those enhanced soldiers are eager to put their lives on the line carrying out surveys of the area, and clearing out resistance in those areas. The goal is to clear a path for a full-scale invasion to reclaim Ameristan for Toklisana - and the rebuild the United States. Lex feels that with Candi's years of experience being Ciem, she'd be perfect for the job. Candi, still upset that Lex used Darius' age reversal formula on her without her consent, begrudgingly accepts the offer.
Players of the game will have the option to view this intro movie or skip it. They can also go into a menu option and view it again whenever they please.
- Obligatory District: In this mission, the team recovers Washington, DC from the regime. Rueben Smith introduces the stage with his account of how his grandfather fled life in the capital city in 2018, as monuments were desecrated and replaced with Brotherhood-approved works of "art." The mission in Ciem Mode revolves around taking out the makeshift bunker forces and stealing a map of all the locations where the regime still has strongholds. In Soldier Mode, the mission revolves around rescuing small children from a building before it collapses while trying to avoid enemy fire.
- Macon Bacon: Emanuel Shift recalls that as a very small child in Macon, he used to enjoy watching his brother make transmissions. He became a transmission specialist himself in Texas much later on. As one of the oldest members of the force, Shift has seen it all. In Ciem Mode, the mission revolves around battling regime forces in a peach orchard. The goal is to keep them busy while the soldiers capture Afaz Hazib, a valuable member of the regime. Stealth is key in taking out enemies. However, the ultimate goal is to reduce the firepower resistance that the soldiers will face as they reach the barn. In Soldier Mode, the goal is to keep quiet and keep the emphasis on Ciem. Snipers are important right up until the time comes to raid Hazib's barn. At that point, riflemen become important. When the barn's snipers are taken out, prepare for a firefight. A soldier or two should sneak around the back apart from the others, so as to prevent Hazib from escaping out the back.
- Mushroom Rapids: The team is called in to explore the possibility that the regime is housing the first-ever 1GT nuclear bomb somewhere in Big Rapids. Ciem Mode has the player attacking enemy troops across town and drawing attention to herself on purpose. However, she has to avoid drawing too much attention. Otherwise, the regime will detonate the bomb just to get rid of her. While she can dive into the Muskegon River and survive the blast, she'll be severely injured if it goes off. The soldiers and most of the lower northern peninsula of Michigan will be destroyed, however. The walk to safety would be hell, as she'd be battling constant radiation versus her healing factor. The fallout cloud would also send fallout halfway to Greenland.
In Soldier Mode, the player must direct the soldiers to North Bond Hall on the remains of the campus of Ferris State. The bomb is said to be inside room 241, which was once occupied by Hadley Mint. Nakawé Gonzales alludes in the mission's intro to the rumors around Hadley and her time in that room. Using stealth, the soldiers must sneak up on Bond and secure a way in via the south wing. It is critical that outside perimeter scouts for the enemy not be able to give the signal, or else the bomb could be detonated. Likelihood of the bomb being detonated increases dramatically once inside Bond Hall. A gas mask and knockout gas specialist will come in handy for this mission. Tranquilizer darts will also come in handy, as dart guns make less noise. Once the bomb is reached, the player will have only seconds to shoot the man in the bomb's room before he reaches the bomb and detonates it. When the bomb is secured, a demolitions expert must disable it. The other soldiers must guard that soldier while the nuclear material is removed. Once the nuclear material is secured and the bomb's other components dismantled, the soldiers must reunite with Ciem and reach the extraction point at the south end of town, near the remains of Redeemer Lutheran Church.
- The Champion Returns: Ciem, after a brief day or two to recover from the trauma of nearly being nuked, joins a band of soldiers to reclaim Boston for the good guys. As a soldier, the player must secure the docks. A large firefight will ensue at some point, given how angry the regime is at having lost their only nuke in Big Rapids. Soldiers must hold the line and survive the onslaught they will receive for a full 20 minutes while Ciem rescues the Gray Champion. As Ciem, your goal is to rescue the Gray Champion in half an hour or less, before all the soldiers die holding the line at Boston's docks. Using the mission map that was stolen in the first mission, Ciem navigates through the broken city to find where Gray is being held captive. There will be several enemies to battle in order to secure Gray. Once the player succeeds at freeing him, he will become an extremely powerful ally NPC. He will kill most of the enemies that Ciem faces as she tries to rendezvous with the soldiers, resulting in her having more time and energy towards meeting up and spending less time on fighting. Once Ciem meets up with the soldiers successfully, the Gray Champion will arrive to wipe out what remains of the enemy in Boston.
- Aching Ankeny: With Ron Barrin's blessing, Ciem and the soldiers travel to Ankeny, Iowa - the birthplace of Pilltar. It turns out that a Stagtar unit and controller were left behind by Scott Morrisson for his personal use under the assumption that he'd defeat Pilltar and kill the Barrins. Now, the regime has reactivated Stagtar to terrorize the locals near Des Moines. In Soldier Mode, the player must move the soldiers towards the holding bay where Stagtar's pilot is stationed and take the pilot out. In Ciem Mode, the player must battle any regime found; and must also battle Stagtar while keeping him from killing innocents. Once Stagtar is defeated, Ciem must rendezvous with the soldiers and finish off any regime found there.
- Sanford Sans Sanity: Regime practices of prima nocta have resulted in the city of Sanford, FL suddenly suffering from a massive epidemic of Dwayne Strain. Despondent, mutilated victims of both the regime and resistance have turned to marijuana and watermelon lean for comfort dealing with their agony and slow march to death. This has led to "living dead" terrorizing the non-infected. In Ciem Mode, the player must battle as many "zombies" as get in the way while rescuing non-infected and giving them a place to escape. In Soldier Mode, the player must assassinate the drug suppliers and regime heads responsible for keeping the "plague" going. All rescued civilians along with Ciem and the surviving soldiers must then reach the extraction point.
- The Third Battle for Gerosha: In Ciem Mode, the player will fight like never before to rid all regime from the premises of the Triangulum and reclaim it for the good guys. The spiritual significance of Gerosha is understood by the villains, so they will fight tooth and nail to maintain their stranglehold of control. In Soldier Mode, the tactical team must take out key targets while a full-scale invasion battles the regime's desperate last wave of resistance. The final stages of this conflict involve catching up to Ciem and claiming the Triangulum. Once the Triangulum is secured, the Sodality of Gerosha and SCALLOP will arrive with the full weight of the Toklisanan Army and Marines.
With Ameristan back under Toklisanan control, all remaining loyalists of the regime are rounded up and executed in ways almost as brutal as what they showed to innocents under the regime. Not a single mosque remains, for they destroyed themselves with infighting. Toklisanans rush into as many areas of the re-acquired territory as possible, eager to heal Ameristan and restore the United States to (almost) it's former glory (not counting Chimerica, which remains under Chinese control.) They are shocked and appalled that the Brotherhood could leave such a trail of nothing but pure destruction in their wake.
Candi returns to her home in Waco, in the Texan Triangulum. She embraces Donte, as she looks forward to the formula gradually wearing off so she and Donte can grow old together. Meanwhile, her children move to southern Indiana to oversee the reconstruction of that region. Frank and John decide to patrol Evansville as it is rebuilt, while Dana, the current Ciem, moves to Gerosha with her cousin Andy "the Pitohui" Baret to protect Gerosha during its reconstruction. Dana's cousins via her Aunt Miriam help out with promotions and legal needs. Roy and John move back to Boston with Hea and Darren. The Sodality of Gerosha headquarters relocates to Evansville, not far from Gerosha. SCALLOP divides its operations between Evansville and Cincinnati, leaving a few operations behind in Texas just in case they need to. The stage is set for the plot to Ciem Tomorrow.
As basic Sodality and SCALLOP characters were already well-defined up to this point, the major challenge became finding names for the 49 soldiers. Most of them had their names generated using an online random name generator as a guide. Some of them are modified as puns, leading to potential Easter eggs if some of them are put on the same teams together. Other than Ciem, all other playable characters can grab or swap each other's weapons. Roles can be switched up as needed. However, every character has a standard specialty and weapon preference when they begin. By allowing the soldiers to swap weapons, the team can continue their mission even if the regular of a certain specialty dies. This dynamic is inspired by the original Ghost Recon, which had a serious issue in some missions that killing the default demolitions expert made the level unwinnable.
Ciem is the only one who is limited to using only her own weapons. When an important character dies, his or her weapon may be swapped with that of another soldier. Ciem can direct a soldier to make the swap. However, she cannot pick up any guns or bazookas herself.
Inspiration for Centipede + 49 draws from many FPS games, including the Fallout series. However, the single largest inspiration for the game is the classic Ghost Recon for PlayStation 2. Ciem Mode gameplay is inspired largely by video games released for the PS2 that are tie-ins with Sam Raimi's Spider-Man film trilogy. Most prominently, Spider-Man 3 became a source of inspiration for Ciem's gameplay mechanics. Allowing players to choose whether to play the game as Ciem or as a team of soldiers in each mission was seen as "having the best of both worlds." Centipede + 49 was first envisioned in late June of 2013 as a way to give Ciem a new adventure apart from the Sodality of Gerosha, as she is a flagship character of Dozerfleet Comics who has been lacking solo career adventures ever since the Ciem novel trilogy in Comprehensive Gerosha was canceled in favor of Sodality, and the Cataclysmic Gerosha universe.
Around the same time, the Dozerfleet founder came up with a premise for Sodality: Battle for Metheel. Both games were seen as ideal hybrids of formats. Unlike Centipede + 49, however, Battle for Metheel didn't mix sandbox/platform gameplay with FPS tactical shooter format. Instead, that game premise opted for mixing it with Mortal Kombat-style 2.5D boss fight stages. Viewer stereoscopy was also seen as something that should be considered as an option for this game premise, much like with Battle for Metheel.
The soldiers' designs are intended to resemble those of the Ghosts from Ghost Recon, but with more black in their outfits to indicate their affiliation with SCALLOP. The Ciem suit featured in this game premise takes utility belt cues from some designs for Comprehensive Gerosha, but otherwise is a compromise between the model used for early Sodality artwork and Candi's Battle for Metheel Ciem outfit.
The UI mock-ups in screenshot concept art are intended to invoke a world not unlike that of the games that inspired those modes. Making the game premise look like it could happen in UNREAL or RAGE as a game engine required intensive tweaking of the lighting, as mockup screenshots were originally made in The Sims 3: Pets. The parking lot screenshot takes place in the Late Night neighborhood of Bridgeport, which was also used for the Ciem Mode demo. The tank that is barely visible in the Ciem Mode demo shot is actually transplanted there from a Sims 2 mod from Mod The Sims, using pseudo-chroma key. The raw still had her viewing a taxi, which would not exist in a war zone city ruined by the Muslim Brotherhood in this game's world. Several Bridgeport native Sims were altered heavily with help from Create-A-Sim to generate the soldiers that feature in cover art. Screenshot demos were generated in early August of 2013, as a way of fleshing out article coverage of the project in the event that it should inspire an actual video game to be created.
In July and August of 2013, Dozerfleet Records began exploring possibilities for a digital playlist to promote Centipede + 49, determining potential soundtrack options. The first song to immediately be selected as good moodsetter was "Hurricane" by MS MR. It was followed on August 3rd of 2013 by "Keep It Low" by the Hundred in the Hands.
This game takes place in the Gerosha Gaming Universe, which explores its own set of possibilities of outcomes for Cataclysmic Gerosha following the timeline for Sodality. Its aftermath events are modeled after, but not identical to, the Comprehensive Gerosha plot for Ciem Tomorrow.
- Ciem Tomorrow
- Candi Levens (Cataclysmic Gerosha)
- Sodality (series)
- Sodality: Battle for Metheel
- Cataclysmic Gerosha
- The Gerosha Chronicles