I was playing Mercenary 3 these days, and suddenly I realized that some of its "new" objects are nothing but Damocles objects, with a different model but identical functions.
Example 1: the SuperPerson suit. It is, in fact, a spaceship without a key that can be carried in the inventory, like the author's chair in Damocles. And just like the author's chair, the SuperPerson suit allows to operate the author's computer when boarded. This is evidence that the author's computer and the SuperPerson suit are one and the same. (BTW, this info is not in the Mercenary 3 solution, which instead states that the author's computer cannot be used in M3 because there is no author's chair. Simon?)
Example 2: the pulvin ore on Damocles. Mercenary 3 contains a pulvin detector that looks and works exactly like the Geiger counter in Damocles, but it starts clicking when the player approaches the pulvin ore, instead of the Novabomb. This makes me think that the pulvin ore IS the Novabomb, and the only reason why it cannot be detonated is that Mercenary 3 does not contain the four detonators (or does it? MDDClone author? Enjo? Is anyone who can access the original code willing to confirm or deny?)
These hidden similarities to Damocles lead me to make two conjectures. 1) Some time before the release, this game was supposed to be released as a standalone expansion for Damocles (like Second City for Mercenary). The existence in this very site of M3 previews that call it "Damocles 2: Double Trouble" and mention the threat of Damocles again, *in addition to* the plot of Mercenary 3, gives credit to this hypothesis. 2) The actual Mercenary 3 was once supposed to have a completely different plot. This conjecture is based on a comment in the Novagen cabinet in Damocles, mentioning "Paul's ambition to have more than one solar system in Mercenary 3". Was any work done to make this alternative Mercenary 3? Simon, you have talked to several ex-members of Novagen: did they ever mention anything like that?
Hey Simone, Pawel sent me the info about the superson suit (looong ago, shame on me), it's in the TO DO list (revamping of Mercenary III solution). I never talked about Mercenary III plot creation... more
Well, I don't have the full details but it's clear that Bruce wrote many of the Benson messages at least. I've been trying to get the meaning of many of those references with the MDDClone author, but ... more