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Aquatic Stage is an unreleased and removed stage in Spore that was originally going to be included, but did not make it to the final game.
During the SXSW 2007 demo, Will Wright said that the underwater phase was on the verge of being cut out. He also said that, if cut, the aquatic stage would be one of the first things to add via an expansion pack, though ultimately no such expansion was released.
In the Aquatic stage the creatures were going to be fish, amphibians, and reptiles. The creatures could be covered with tentacles, fins, and other such parts like in the Creature stage. The parts you would put on your creature would affect its personality. For example, if you were to put on a lot of weapon parts, your creature would be aggressive, and if you were to put on a lot of social parts, your creature would be friendly. It is unclear if there would have been Epic fish similar to the Epic Creatures in the creature stage. The Sea Monster could have been one of these "Epic Fish". Carnivores, just like in the creature stage, would be able to hunt and kill other fish, while herbivores could eat algae or seaweed. Also, like the current Creature Stage, omnivores could do both.
In GonzagoGL's (who is a prototype Spore Creature) files, when one looks under its Data sub-file, then clicks on the Models sub-file, there is a file called Underwater, and inside that are some odd sub-files, including (by exact name): "jelly fish", "rare fish", "swimming tripod", "underwater flora", "underwater rock", "underwater rock small", and "whale". This matches the animals seen in the 2005 E3 movie of Spore, and the "Unidentified Creatures" article in Spore wiki, where a whale-like creature presents in the picture.
When Spore was being developed, underwater civilizations were proposed. As in the Tribal stage, you would be able to place your village underwater to start an underwater tribe. In the Civilization stage, you would be able to make underwater cities, which could produce submarine-like vehicles. It is unknown if being able to make your spaceship dive underwater was ever considered. The underwater cities and the idea of villages didn't make it to the full game due to animation problems. You can, with terraforming, put tribes underwater, but they just swim above the water.
In the aquatic stage, there was going to be a vast world with giant underwater mountains, deep trenches, underwater plains and hills. There were going to be underwater ruins as well. Despite some rumors to the contrary, aquatic civilizations do not exist in Spore. However, Will Wright has hinted that underwater civilizations may appear in an as-yet uncompleted expansion pack. It is, however, possible to build vehicles that travel over seas.
These rumors come from the GDC '05 Spore Demonstration where, as he builds a city in a bubble in space, Will Wright says that "about this time we could build cities in these bubbles underwater". This was removed however due to unknown reasons.
There is no way to go underwater again after completing the cell stage, with the exception of sea vehicles. You can swim in the Creature stage, but going too far from shore will result in being killed, because the Sea Monster will eat your creature. It has no effect on the overall game, however. Sometimes in the space stage you can flood tribes and/or creatures, although it does not kill them, by way of the Sea Monster or drowning.
Reasons for removal of Aquatic Stage
- Problems with animation (the aquatic world itself is very, very big. And it may take longer time to create a full interactive aquatic world without glitches).
- Problems with navigation since you are in a 3-dimensional space.
- Problems with camera calculating.
- Possible errors in alpha textures. (This partly lead to the navigation problem as well.)
- Restrictions on parts and flexibility, due to being able to move AND swim.
- Aquatic Stage may be a reference to the prehistoric seas of Earth.
- There are many user made Adventures much like the Aquatic stage, which can be found on the Sporepedia.
- The Aquatic Stage was actually not an individual stage, but rather a portion of the Creature Stage.
- The Aquatic Stage probably would have been comparable to the Ordovician, Silurian, and Devonian periods on Earth.
- There is a known glitch that causes the game to switch the values of land and water, resulting in the player's creature being unable to go ashore without being eaten by the Sea Monster. However, this is not a true "Aquatic Stage", and the glitch seems to have been fixed in one of the newer patches. Surviving is very hard, as you cannot dive underwater to heal or eat.