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12 days in a town devoured by plague. It's an enemy you can't kill. It's a game where you can’t save everyone
12 days in a town devoured by plague. It's an enemy you can't kill. It's a game where you can’t save everyone
7,139 backers pledged $333,127 to help bring this project to life.

Classic Ice-Picks! (Not Really)

Posted by Ice-Pick Lodge (Creator)

At the end of October, we are planning to release the original Pathologic on Steam, GOG and Humble Store.

Not the Remake. The original game. It will, however, feature a number of enhancements, such as improved graphics and visual effects; cloud saves (and other modern-ish stuff it was deprived of previously); and a completely new translation produced by an in-house team from scratch. 

Now may be a good moment to reiterate that this is not the remake, which is still in the works, but rather a thing that we heartily call “Pathologic Classic HD: Now Comprehensible”.

 Now, we know it may be a bit confusing—


Look. There used to be only one Pathologic—the buggy 2005 game some of you fell in love with. It was a very important game for us, so now we’re making a new version—a reimagining that will, while remaining faithful to the core ideas of the original, explore them further and look for new methods of representation. New ways to convey our points. Yet the original game, however imperfect, is still very dear to us, so we’ve decided to preserve it in its best possible state—by fixing the major issues and re-releasing it.

— Why…?

Change is inevitable. During the Remake production we’ve found ourselves in quite a conundrum: ideally, we need to reevaluate the old means of expression, make sure that they work, and invent new ones when they don’t. And the “means of expression” aren’t just the graphics or soundtrack, but rather the whole bulk of expressive techniques, from non-core plotlines and character mannerisms to the puns they make; from survival mechanics to soundscape switching solutions.

Change is inevitable—and it is inevitably controversial. What may seem obsolete or redundant to us, can also be dear and important for someone else (and vice versa). Taking “the Pathologic you know and love” away from you with the Remake is the last thing we want to do, but we also need the freedom to make new creative choices without looking back at every step.

It was bugging us, of course. Everyone has their own idea of a perfect Pathologic game; its general plot came to Nikolay in a dream, so do we really have the right to alter it? On the other hand, it feels counter-productive to restrict ourselves to ye goode olde creative solutions simply because they’re there. To complicate the matters even further, it’s not like we don’t like them. We do honestly believe that the old Pathologic was a great game. 

Thus a solution was conceived: to make the original game accessible by fixing the major issues that were disallowing that (compatibility bugs, visual glitches—and the translation, of course). This way, the original Pathologic will always be available to you even if you come to disagree with the changes made in the Remake. And if you haven’t played it at all, you’ll have a chance to get to know the game that has defined us as a studio. We believe this to be a fair compromise.

Conceived, arranged for, and executed: the story of some unfortunate revolutionary’s life—and also of Pathologic Classic HD.

Which now arrives on Steam—legible for the first time ever.

— So, a new translation, huh?

Yes; the new translation was actually another major reason for this re-release.

See, we’ve promised the old Pathologic as a reward for some of our Kickstarter backers, and it was bugging us, too. We are still not entirely sure as to how our English-speaking players have managed to enjoy the game at all; sometimes the dialogue of the original release made no sense. We hesitated to offer this mangled beast as a reward to anyone, but after we did, it quickly became apparent that we cannot in good conscience simply provide them with the game as it was.

So we’ve endeavoured to at least make it readable—with the kind assistance from General Arcade and Gambitious. The translation effort was in-house, but we’re positive it wouldn’t have become possible without their guidance. And it was actually General Arcade that did the heavy visuals-updating lifting (thus winning our eternal gratitude).

— Why should I buy it at all?

Actually, if you’re a backer of an OLD AND NEW or higher tier, you don’t have to; obviously it’s the new, Pathologic Classic HD version that you’ll be provided with as a reward as soon as it is released (i.e. at the end of October).

If you aren’t, here are some more incentives:

  • the original Pathologic is on Steam for the first time ever;
  • it’s the most polished version of the game in existence;
  • while the models remain the same, it’s way more visually pleasing due to Cool Effects and Better Textures;
  • it supports modern screen resolutions (up to 1920x1200);
  • more quality-of-life improvements.

There are also some perks available to the non-Russian-speaking gamers:

  • you can finally find out what the hell happened there;
  • like seriously, Maria used to say that there “is a ‘bog’ in ‘Utopia’” completely disregarding the fact that no, there isn’t;
  • we mean it, some plotlines are obscure enough even with proper translation;
  • you’ll also get to see restored content.

— More content? Care to elaborate?

Sure. Certain sections of the original texts were cut from the game when it was first released in English to make the translation into other languages less cumbersome. Now they’re back in.

— This is all very sweet, but that’s not what I backed you for. It’s not what I wanted you to do. Where’s my Pathologic Remake, goddammit?

The Pathologic Classic HD release was made possible with the kind help of Gambitious and external investments. The visual upgrades were mostly done by General Arcade. As for the new translation, the localization team remains on standby for now, so it’s not like they were diverting their forces and attention from the main effort; the re-release also laid the groundwork for the future work process. All in all, we don’t feel that the Pathologic Classic HD release has impeded the development of the Remake in any significant way.

And it does feel nice to finally do the justice to our most ambitious game to date by helping it achieve its Final Form. You’ll have a chance to see it soon—and we do sincerely hope you like it.

P. S. It’s not the Remake though. Sorry for not clarifying earlier.


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    1. Ice-Pick Lodge 2-time creator on

      @Gitte Tang Jensen, of course! In a major plot twist, you can now see that those posts were actually inspired by the Classic HD translation process. (Although the findings will, of course, find their way into the Remake.)

    2. Gitte Tang Jensen on

      Neat, this'll be a good incentive for me to finally play through the Haruspex storyline.

      You've talked a lot about your considerations about changing the names of people and places in the remake - Will the names be updated in this translation as well?

    3. Nathanael Rose on

      You are releasing this on GoG too? I bought the original on GoG over the summer and planned on playing it close to the release of the remake (To serve as a fix for the hype I know I will have), will it be automatically upgraded to this version you are releasing, or will I have to rake out more cash if I want this version as well? I hope I will not have to buy it again, but I understand if that is the case.

    4. Stephen "Stoibs" D

      Oh cool. Times like this I wished I backed at the old and new tier.
      What sort of price point on Steam were you shooting for?

    5. Sir Chaox on

      It sounds like the two games will be different... That's all I wanted to know. I will likely give the game a shot. I have the original game on GOG, so I hope it can be upgraded to the HD version if IPL is able to get that done (sounds like they are trying).

    6. Missing avatar

      JiminyJickers on

      It is a little bit disappointing that you are not upgrading the existing users for free. I have already bought this game on GamersGate and on Gog and have Kickstarted the new new version.

      So now to enable me to play the HD version, I will have to buy it again. It is a poor decision in my opinion.

    7. Missing avatar

      Niko Owl on

      Why so apologetic? That's a great surprise, especially for everyone who was stuck with the English version so far.
      It's always been a pain, having to preface every recommendation for this game with "It might read like Google Translate, and I know you're not going to do it, but it would be totally worth decyphering if you did!"
      Honestly, I almost gave up on the original myself after the first playthrough, even though it had me completely hooked. Probably wasn't the best game choice at the time when you're still learning English. Finding out there was a quite decent German version was like realising for the first time that you can take off the handbrake, while you're driving up a mountain pass. You get to enjoy the view.

      It's stunning that you managed to retranslate it on the side. And I was worried it might end up on Steam as it was, maybe scaring people away from the remake.

    8. Contemplar on

      It's funny really. I bought Pathologic on GoG a short while before the kickstarter campaign opened up, and now I'm determined not to play the original until after I play this fresh modern re-take. I'm gonna make sure that my first experience with the world and it's themes are from this project, and then backtrack to the original HD Remake later. Sounds a bit backwards, but hey~

    9. Missing avatar

      Gabriel Morin on

      That's good news, even though as other people have said, not having played the first game at all I'm not sure I want to spoil myself by playing it, even with a new translation.

      Also, consider that some players might actually prefer the old translation, so make sure it's still somehow accessible... if only for historical reasons.

    10. Yo Chupacabro! on

      Fantastic news. IPL, you are all absolutely fantastic for doing this!

    11. Missing avatar

      Hicks on

      @Sir Chaox

      If you haven't had a chance to play the original then it's really worth giving it a try as there's not really anything like it and having the foundation of the setting is likely to help with approaching the remake - likely to give a better foundation to its setting and to get you invested in the story and ideas related to it as well as being a unique experience in its own right.

      If you *have* played the original then I have a feeling that with a fresh translation - in particular Klara/Devotress' chapter ought to be easier to understand as it's in that chapter that things really came together and you can more easily push towards the more obscure ending and its related parts. I remember playing through all three characters and it was Klara's that when read back came across closer to a fever dream that would fade in and out of comprehension, following a language you are only partially comfortable with. If you've already played the original with its English translation you'll likely remember how odd at times the text could be. Perhaps with a new translation it could reveal more to the player than we originally were privy to.

    12. Missing avatar

      Kleykens Benny on

      Hope it gets good reviews and does well but also hope not to bump into spoilers on the Interwebs to spoil my Remake experience.

    13. Missing avatar

      Vanessa Adams on

      This is wonderful news! Definitely went and bumped up a tier to get this. I adore the original version.

    14. Sir Chaox on

      Cool! Thanks :)

      I hope the new release is coming to GOG as well as Steam... (I saw you guys are working on it, good luck!)

    15. Ice-Pick Lodge 2-time creator on

      @SHStrand It's going to be much easier to understand what characters are saying with new voice over =) No subtitles though.

      @Sir Chaox We will try to elaborate this question in one of the soon to come updates. In short - the vision of the "remake" project already went too far from the idea of being "the same game, but better", so we want to preserve the "Original" vision of the game in this HD re-release. And no, you wouldn't "spoil" the new Pathologic if you play the old one, since we are making the game that would be interesting for people who already played the original game and for people who never saw it before both.

    16. Missing avatar

      steggieav on

      Hopefully the Steam release will bring more attention to the Kickstarter, meaning some more stretch goals will get funded. Can't wait for the new translation!

    17. Sir Chaox on

      I'm confused, can someone help me out?

      I thought this was a Kickstarter to remake the old game... And now there is this enhancement of the old game... But the remake is still being made as well?

      So if the above is true, why would I want to play the enhanced old game instead of waiting for the remake (which sounds like I'd rather play the total remake than this beefed up version of the original)?


    18. Missing avatar

      SHStrand on

      One little thing that bothered me in the original was that the voices in the very first scene (with the player characters on stage, right before character selection) and the little plays in the theatre were muffled and without subtitles it was hard to make out what the characters were saying. Will there be subtitles for these scenes?

    19. Andrew Duke on

      Any plans for places other than Steam? I enjoy Steam as much as the next guy, but having my games DRM free has been such a boon lately, thanks to GoG.

    20. Ice-Pick Lodge 2-time creator on

      @Glenn Trailer was created by Richard Cook. Check out his movie Pixel Poetry by the way

      @Ilya Unfortunately we were not able to port game on MAC or Linux OS =( Legacy of the old homebrew engine

    21. Jani Jereb on

      Not only is this agreeable, this is superb.

    22. Ilya on

      First of all thank you for doing it. Despite all of those bags, glitches, insane AI and horrible animation original Pathologic has been continuing to be a great game (one of my favorite).

      And question: are you planning to release a mac version of this HD version?

    23. Stephen Staver on

      This is pretty awesome news. Congrats guys! I will definitely be checking it out! :)

    24. Jake Leeder on

      Very, very happy abut this!

    25. Glenn on

      1) Amazing trailer! Was that your work or the work of some external company?

      2) You missed one other huge benefit to all of this: Pathologic is now much more easily recommendable to friends. Pathologic, for its staunch fans/defenders, was this missing link in video game history that was hard to describe to people who hadn't gone chasing it in the wild steppes, who hadn't done the crude work of meeting it halfway in its rough, though deeply intelligent state. Hopefully now it will be more like meeting a well-spoken tragedian and executor in an empty theater as they blow our minds. ;)

      3) Will you be doing any advertising? This could be a double win if you pull in sales for the remaster as well as new fans to back the remake.

    26. Missing avatar

      Mason on

      This is a magnificent idea that you've handled perfectly. Thank you!

    27. Missing avatar

      Alexander Seidel on

      Hmmm, now I'm torn. I have wanted to play exactly this for years, an enhanced, newly translated Version.

      But then you came up with the Remake. So now I'm torn between playing the HD Version as soon as possible, or not, to not spoil the awesome experience that the Remake might be. and I'm not exactly sure it's want to play through the game twice, not in the coming years at least.

      Mind you, "twice" for me would of course be twice will all three characters.
      Hmm, thanks for fullfilling a longtime dream, but I'm gonna wait for the Remake.

    28. Esteri on

      >Now may be a good moment to reiterate that this is not the remake, which is still in the works, but rather a thing that we heartily call “Pathologic Classic HD: Now Comprehensible”.

      Haha, god. I've heard a lot about the infamous English translation issues, and I'm actually a little sad they're gone, given how frustrating and/or hilarious some of them apparently were. However, it's wonderful of you all to have put effort into this (as long as it wasn't too much of a diversion) and I look forward to playing it.

    29. Missing avatar

      Lubos Hanzik on

      This is amazing, thank you! Now I will finally be able to play this game for the first time.

    30. Shady_arc on

      @Luke Ridley: yes, we fixed the glithes caused by turning your torch on anywhere near grass (which was just anywhere in the town, really).

    31. Missing avatar

      Ward F. on

      Amazing! I will definitely pick it up, as I never actually have played Pathologic. I only knew it by reputation, but after the success of Knock-Knock, backing the remake of Pathologic was a no-brainer.

      Great work team!

    32. Hypnotic Geese on

      OMFG, that's awesome. Finally, a better English translation!

      And please, just shred and butcher the remake into whatever makes you happy. I don't really want a faithful retread.

      <3 *,..,*

    33. Missing avatar

      Dromlius on

      Great plan. Thank you very much!

    34. Missing avatar

      Hicks on

      What an unexpected treat! Looking forward to replaying. Hopefully sales from this remaster/reissue help towards the stretch goals for remake.

      It's going to be interesting to play with a new translation as the translation that we initially got while difficult to understand did in a way have a charm because of that, a kind of esoteric feel.

      Thank you though for keeping the original version of Pathologic relevant. Were there problems fixing the torch/grass display bugs or was it a relatively easy fix?

    35. Дмитрий Ковылин (Dmitriy Kovylin) on

      Но это только для Windows?
      But only for Windows?

    36. Julien

      Great news, well-done and thank you for making this classic accessible,

    37. Laputan Machine on

      Oh my god. I'm completely awestruck right now. This was a completely unexpected - but immensely pleasant - turn of events. Finally, we get to see the original Pathologic in its true form, with a decent translation this time, which people have been longing after for years. All I can say is - you are awesome, Ice-Picks! (And everyone else who helped make this thing possible).

      It's included in the reward tier I already got, but I'm probably gonna buy it again on Steam and give it to a friend, because you guys deserve all the exposure and money you can get. I just hope this won't take away too many resources away from the remake! (Which I'm still crazy excited for, I might add.) =)

    38. Commissar Jake on

      I can get behind this, as much as I 'enjoyed' playing the GOG re-release the poor translation made it impossible to truly understand what was going on. BUt with this... this we can explore the world you created, understand it was meant to be understood, Not have charecters shout gibberish at us... All in all, this was a good choice.

    39. Michael Yuan on

      Just about the Desura version, I know it is not gog or steam.

    40. Cerzel on

      I'm happy about this, for sure, especially with the new translation. It's a great way to send off the older version of the game; by preserving it in its most playable state. I'll probably wait for the remake myself, but I'll pass this on to my friends for sure.

    41. Ice-Pick Lodge 2-time creator on

      @Anton It will be available in Russian and English

    42. basilisk on

      Wonderful news, thank you! The game is indeed a cultural treasure worth preserving.

      So I guess I actually will play the Haruspex line in the original Pathologic, after all. And maybe, just maybe, even Devo… Klara. So much Pathologic, so little time.

    43. Anton Chirtsov on

      P.S. Обновлённая версия будет доступна только на аглийском языке? (не будет версии на русском?)

      P.S. The updated version will be available in English only? (there's no version in Russian?)

    44. Anton Chirtsov on

      Wow, it's a great idea - I think it's a great tribute to the original version which is still one of the best (non)games for me! Спасибо, ребята!

    45. Ice-Pick Lodge 2-time creator on

      @Alex There is no gameplay changes in game, since we wanted to preserve it "as is" for this release.

    46. Lafazar

      I like the idea that the original game will be available in a perfected form, so I support this move wholeheartedly.

      I also would love to see this released on GOG. If you don't want to offer it as a free upgrade, please consider making it at least available on GOG as DLC or standalone game.

    47. Ice-Pick Lodge 2-time creator on

      Yes, there will be a GOG release. We are currently working on a solution for the people who already have the game in their GOG library.

      Please do keep in mind that Pathologic Classic HD is actually a new release with a new publisher, with a lot of work being put into it, so it's not yet clear as to how we can compensate the people who purchased the very first GOG release.
      But that is definitely something that we want—and are doing our best—to do.

    48. Missing avatar

      calcifer on

      Excellent news you guys, thank you!

    49. Missing avatar

      Alex on

      Did you guys fix the balance in game by any chance? Or is the playability still terrible?