Friday, May 5, 2017

Developing Planescape: Torment: Enhanced Edition - Found Artifacts and Oddities

The original Planescape: Torment is filled with hidden gems.
During the development of Planescape: Torment: Enhanced Edition the Beamdog team dug deeply into the code of original Planescape: Torment and uncovered a treasure trove of secrets hidden within. Here are a few of the oddities we stumbled across while working with the original Planescape: Torment source code.

Not your ordinary test NPC.
Meet the infamous test character, Testocles. Like many cRPGs of its time Planescape: Torment was filled with text, however the conversation  mechanics of PST take speech option outcomes to the next level. In Planescape: Torment, the Nameless One can not only gain XP during conversation, but also be granted extra stat points, new abilities, or have his class change between fighter, thief, and mage.

Updated journal to “check shops with Robert Holloway."
Testocles’ dialog text tree is full of choices ranging from the aforementioned ability to make the Nameless One change class to a simple demand that the test character fidget. Here, Testocles fields a demand to view merchant stores for Robert Holloway, a programmer on the original game.

All hail Holloway! Merchant king!

These stakes are real! A successful test cancels plans for world destruction.
A secret message uncovered 18 years later.
As you can see in the above image, Technical Designer and Voice-over Coordinator on the original Planescape: Torment, David Hendee, left his mark on Curst’s Automap Screen. In the original Planescape: Torment this message was hidden and we found it only by adding the zoomed out map and uncovering the walkable path for the area. Learn about this discovery in the Planescape: Torment: Enhanced Edition launch livestream.

Run away from me, if you can. Like you’re scared. “RunAwayFrom ((PC), 2000)"
If we didn’t eat cheesy poofs, we’d be lame!
A sign of the times. The C language programmers on Planescape: Torment encrypted the data type void as a reference to the brand new hit show, South Park.

Japanese popular culture not only influenced Planescape: Torment, but also some of the test dialog.
Here, we’re introduced to Dak’kon in a test dialogue with some Hive thugs. According to the original team (watch our livestream with Chris Avellone!), the Planescape: Torment developers played a lot of Final Fantasy VII which may have influenced many of the higher level spells and the preference of each of the Nameless One’s companions to favor a single type of weapon based on their personality.

The original team had some fun with test text.
During our journey back in time, we found this bit of early UI and discovered the two most popular spells in development.
Creating Planescape: Torment: Enhanced Edition has been an unforgettable experience for the whole Beamdog team. Watch out for more on the making of PST:EE in the weeks ahead!

New to the planes? Find out more about Planescape: Torment: Enhanced Edition at


  1. lolTestocles. Thanks for posting this write-up, JB!

  2. Great article bee. Loving exploring Sigel. Also been reading forgotten realms tymoras luck. Which has a part of the book in sigil

  3. updated my jornal.