Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Rogue Spear: Black Thorn (lost build of deleted airplane level of tactical first-person shooter; 2001)

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A screenshot from the briefing of the removed mission.

Status: Lost

Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six series is well known in the video game circuit for having realistic representations of terrorist situations and police response.

However, everything changed after 9/11, and a game in development, Black Thorn, was changed due to concerns about sensitivity.[1]


One mission that took place in an airport terminal was changed by swapping out graphics to turn it into a bus terminal, but the European version of the game kept the original graphics for reasons unknown.

One mission that has not survived in any form was a mission that took place on a hijacked airplane.

Most missions in Black Thorn are based on real events, and this one was apparently based on the hijacking of Air France Flight 8969, an Air France flight that was hijacked on 24 December 1994 by the Armed Islamic Group (GIA) at Houari Boumedienne Airport, Algiers, Algeria, where the terrorists murdered three passengers, with the intention to blow up the plane over the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

This mission was removed from the game, and all that remains of it are some game codes that contains the text of the briefing.


A statement reported to be made in an e-mail exchange with Ubisoft Inc. explains the decision to remove the mission: "We are not sure what the reasons were for the release of the airport level in Europe. In the US it was felt that it would be in poor taste to release any plane related missions in the wake of 9/11. Since the European arm of Ubisoft operates independently of the US arm, they felt that the airport mission was ok to leave in. That was their decision, and it was made independently of the US branch. This is not an attempt to increase sales of the UK version since people that want to play the UK map can download it from a friend and vice versa."

"Any downloading of maps is up to the user. If you have a friend in the UK that has the map and you want to get it, we have no problem with you downloading it. However, if the map gives the game any troubles (which I doubt it would) there is not much we can do to help because it basically becomes a mod map on the US version. As for the BT01 mission, it was a plane hijacking. Considering the events on 9/11, it was felt that leaving that mission in the game would be in poor taste. Granted you are taking the terrorists out before anything bad happens, the scenario just hit too close to home. As a result, that mission was removed on a worldwide basis. "

The original briefing from Kevin Sweeny describing what has happened is as follows:

"We don’t know anything about this group apart from the fact that they seem to be very well organized and that they think big when it comes to ransom demands. They want, among other things, $20 million wired to an account in the Caymans, as well as enough fuel to allow them to fly anywhere in Europe or North Africa. Based upon the speed of their operation, this is a team of professionals. We just don’t have any idea whom they’re working for, or what they want besides the money and the jet fuel." "This is not the first time we’ve seen a situation like this in France. A very similar incident took place in Marseilles back in 94, when a French airliner was hijacked. Hopefully, the parallels are just a coincidence."

There is also a reference to the first mission in the r6 string table file referring to the plane as being blown up, and a few screenshots exist from the briefing.

It's unknown if any of the original code survived.



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