Whether you are a die-hard X-COM veteran or a newbie who is considering playing the game for the first time, the demo is a great place to start. You can download it from our files section here. (1.44 MB zipped archive). It comes with a readme file from MicroProse for which anyone with a fleeting interest in this series should take a look at.

Below are the screens which show up when you play the demo. They were plucked via DosBox as the normal F12 screenshot feature the game uses doesn't work in the demo. The pictures themselves are stored in a .lbm (Atari Graphics) format in the the \DEMOLBM folder. If you are interested in opening them for yourself, they require a specialized photo editor such as Ultimate Paint. The text on some of the screenshots is stored separately in \UFO2EXE\Tactical.exe and is overlayed on top of the graphics. Here are the first group:

Notes: This is the MicroProse presentation screen for the demo. No real surprises here, except this is where it all began.


Title Splash
Notes: The early name of the game was supposedly "X-COM: Terran Defense Force". Obviously, this isn't meant for the European audience as their title was already determined to be "UFO: Enemy Unknown". However, when the game was being re-released in the US, the title had to be changed and it eventually went down in the books as "X-COM: UFO Defense". But who would have thought "Terran Defense Force" dealt with saving Earth from aliens and UFO's? A change for the better, really.


Notes: A different (and abridged) background on X-COM from that found in the official manual. Take note that this Muton is red which could indicate a possible higher rank in it's race. One theory is that this "controlling" Muton's skin is the normal green color underneath a red costume (with yellow pinstriping) for more flair.


Notes: This screen describes how the Geoscape functions and what your first task is. Also included is a group of run-of-the-mill Mutons dodging small arms fire while airborne. Could you imagine flying Mutons? Ouch!


The Geoscape
Notes: British spelling of "UFOpaedia" is nixed for the American version "UFOpedia" and the Funding tab is named "Highlight". In the official game manual, all the Geoscape pictures have this menu display which indicates a fully functional prerelease version exists.


Notes: An alert goes out that a UFO has been spotted. Even though the demo does not allow you to take control of anything, it still mentiones that more than one interceptor can be scrambled.


Notes: A screen showing an interception in progress. Note the different menu functions as mentioned above.


Notes: This screen shows an Interceptor armed with the default weapon configuration of a Stingray Launcher/Cannon and appears to be going up against a Medium Scout. Again, notice the menu options are different.


Terror Mission Brief
Notes: Even though the demo is supposed to be for the folks in the US, notice the British spelling of "terrorising".

Now is the time to pit yourself against the aliens in the playable portion of the demo. In one of the worst scenarios to imagine, your men will be on a nighttime terror mission against Snakemen and Chryssalids. I'd recommend giving Paul Blake the normal rifle and Manfred Geisler the Heavy Cannon, as Paul's strength is the lowest. You have a couple of flares and 2 clips of AC-I ammo to light up the map, so use them wisely. Whether you succeed or not in this mission is a moot point because the following screens show up afterwards:


Notes: More British spelling and the demo now refers to the title of the game as "X :Enemy Unknown"... TWICE! Are you confused yet? I am.


Adding Facilities
Notes: Imagine you are the foreman on this construction site. "The commander wants to build the 4th hangar where? Isn't this going to make the base hard to defend when the aliens attack? Nevermind, he must know what he is doing".
Soldier Screen
Notes: Here is a screen of a normal rookie soldier with normal rookie stats. Nothing to see here folks, shall we move on?


Notes: The Firestorm's UFOpaedia article. Instead of the normal 20 for fuel capacity, this model is a souped-up version with 3000. Maybe it is supposed to run on conventional fuel, or conceivably it's a mistake. If it is a mistake, it's a big one as this craft could remain airborne for a very long time.


Heavy Cannon
Notes: The Heavy Cannon's UFOpaedia article with messed up damage stats. Remember that this is a screenshot from the prerelease and doesn't apply to the demo. A stroll through the demo's OBDATA.DAT file shows the correct numbers though. Perhaps some of the stats were not resolved in the prerelease.


Notes: The Chryssalid's interrogation report in the UFOpaedia. Looks normal enough.



Notes: The Snakeman's interrogation report in the UFOpaedia. Nothing new.


Notes: The Sectoid's autopsy report in the UFOpaedia. Surprise, nothing new.


Notes: A picture detailing a mock Jungle terrain. It's present in all versions supposedly, and is included here to be complete. Recent testing has shown this might actually be used by the game.