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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. Carnivores, just like in the Creature Stage, would be able to hunt other fish, while herbivores could eat algae or seaweed. Omnivores could do both.
When Spore was being developed, underwater civilizations were proposed. In the Tribal stage, players were able to place their village underwater to start an underwater tribe. In the Civilization stage, you would be able to make underwater cities, which could produce submarines and similar 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 overseas.
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.
After the full release of Spore, there is no Aquatic Stage included in the game, other than the Cell Stage being the only stage to play underwater and arguably the substitute for Aquatic Stage. However, there was a plan to include Aquatic Stage into a full game via expansion pack, shown by an advertisement titled "The Depths", albeit it was never publicly announced.
Removal of Aquatic Stage
While the removal of the Aquatic Stage is relatively unexplained, there is key subjects for the removal of the stage:
- Problems with animating (the aquatic world itself is very large. And it may take a 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 leads 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.
- Other than the Cell Stage, going underwater seems to have been completely removed from the game, as you cannot dive underwater and underwater vehicles used to be in Spore, but were removed along with aquatic stage for some reason.