A September 2002 Xbox prototype build of Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell has leaked, as a part of Project Deluge. As this prototype build contains playable versions of Nuclear Power Plant and Severonickel, this page is in the process of being comprehensively updated to reflect the new information that is discovered. Stand by...
This page contains a list of features and content that was cut or changed from the final version of Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell before its release. Many cosmetic and artistic choices were changed or discarded, and many gameplay elements also saw considerable changes made before the final game's release. Most notably, four entire levels were cut, along with all of their story. These levels comprised the game's nonexistent third act, with act 2 comprising the America missions, and act 4 comprising the Myanmar missions.
Splinter Cell was first launched on November 17, 2002, as an Xbox exclusive.
In 1998 or 1999, pre-production began on a new game called The Drift, and although this concept failed, many ideas from it evolved into core facets of Splinter Cell.
The development of Splinter Cell as we know it began at some point in late 2000, though pre-production of the game is poorly documented. Its early working title was Tom Clancy's Third Echelon, and this title can still be found in core configuration files for the game. According to Retro Gamer Magazine, the game's plot was originally to portray Azerbaijan as the enemy, rather than Georgia. However, after the September 11th attacks, this was changed, as Ubisoft felt Azerbaijan could've been interpreted by some as a middle-eastern country. This is backed up by Bobrov referring to the mercenaries as "Azeris" in Shipyard, and consequently Vselka Infiltration.
Audio and voice recording did not begin until around March 2001, judging by the hiring date of Fabien Noël, the game's lead audio designer. Actual level design did not begin in earnest until around August 2001, as evidenced by the hiring dates of several of the level designers. It is likely that significant parts of the game were playable in alpha form by the end of 2001, though this is entirely unknown. As a complete dialogue script for the game appears in the Xbox game files, all 14 levels were being worked on during this point in development.
Ubisoft hired six level designers between June and September 2001. According to Clint Hocking (level designer, then later lead game designer), the "middle levels" of the game were built first, meaning that the four Act 3 levels were likely the first Splinter Cell levels to be constructed. As such, their early designs were likely very informal, unbalanced, and used mainly for prototyping purposes. Hocking designed the first iterations of Severonickel in this stage, and continued to work with Severonickel until it was cut. Once these middle levels were built, Ubisoft then assigned level designers to designed additional levels. As the team was impressed with Severonickel, Clint Hocking secured the opportunity to design the first level, Police Station.
More refined level design began when this prototyping phase ended, which was likely between September and November 2001. This is probably when Shipyard (act 3, mission 1) and Mining Town (act 3, mission 3) were cut from Splinter Cell. It is unknown whether or not they were worked on beyond the early prototyping phases. For instance, two level designers may have been assigned to build them, before being reassigned to other levels. That being said, there is very little evidence to suggest they survived into beta, where every other level is documented via screenshots. In an interview with Hocking, he states that those two levels were "bad". With no elaboration, it's impossible to know whether the level design of Shipyard and Mining Town was poor, or whether Ubisoft felt they were thinly-scripted. Judging by their dialogue scripts, these two levels are very front-loaded, with very little spoken dialogue occuring in their second halves. This poor writing may have been their undoing, though this is entirely speculation.
Parts of the beta were completed in time for E3 2002 (May 22-24), where the game would be showcased. A portion of Severonickel headlined the play demo. Severonickel was also heavily featured in marketing materials for the game, like screenshots and trailer gameplay. Around this time, Ubi Soft publicly stated that the game had 12 levels, already accounting for the cuts of Shipyard and Mining Town.
In July 2002, the level designer for Training and CIA HQ was fired for unknown reasons. A previous theory stated that the mysterious "fired level designer" was responsible for Mining Town and Shipyard, though this has been debunked with further research.
Later in development, between late August and early September, the decision was made to cut two more levels from the game; levels viewed as the game's weakest links. This was done to help alleviate the workload Ubisoft Montreal was under, in polishing the game and pushing it from beta to completion. According to Hocking, the levels cut would be Nuclear Power Plant (act 3, mission 2), and one of either Oil Rig or Severonickel. Hocking, now lead game designer, made the call to cut Severonickel instead of Oil Rig. There were two main factors that guided this decision. The Ubisoft Montreal team was embattled, and morale was particularly poor late in development, in part due to infighting and creative differences. Hocking cut his own level to boost team morale. At this point in development, Hocking had also assumed the position of lead writer. He cut Severonickel so that he would not have to bridge two gaps in the story, had he instead cut Oil Rig. Leaving one big gap in-between Kalinatek and Chinese Embassy was a much easier course of action, with the limited time left in development.
Clint Hocking and others have mentioned that there was a big issue with factional politics and creative disputes within the design team, much more so than subsequent Splinter Cells. There was one half of the team that thought Splinter Cell should be modeled after Thief, with a very open-world design, with ambiguous pathways, and many different tools at the player's disposal in a given situation. The other half thought that Splinter Cell should be much more linear, calculated, and with a heavier focus on storytelling and skill progression, much like Metal Gear Solid 2. Hocking identified with the Thief group, and designed the first versions of Severonickel with this approach in mind. In fact, he details that the middle levels of the game were constructed first, with this open-world mindset. This likely means all of the cut missions were originally built to be totally open, which is something that is very evident in the leaked prototype build, along with other level data.
As development wore on, the team gradually shifted to the more linear mindset with level design. This meant that every level had to be chiseled-away, and stripped of many of the open-world elements, to make them more linear. This type of redesign likely suited some missions better than others, meaning some could've been enhanced by this change in design, while others could've been broken, and made totally redundant. This is likely why these four missions were cut, as the shift away from open level design ruined them to varying degrees, with too little time to redesign them appropriately. Shipyard and Mining Town were likely too open-world to even attempt to rectify, resulting in them being deemed "bad", and being early cuts. Nuclear Power Plant and Severonickel were likely very close to being deemed satisfactory, but required more time and attention than Ubisoft could offer.
As Nuclear Power Plant was eventually released with Splinter Cell's PS2 port, the circumstances surrounding its limited release are uncertain. For the porting of the game to the PS2, communication between Ubi Soft Montreal and Ubi Soft Shanghai was not very efficient, in part due to language barriers. As development for this port began in October 2002, the game data was sent from Montreal to Shanghai in large chunks. Within the game files for the PS2 port are distinct traces of Severonickel being present in early versions of this port. The most crucial trace is an unused line of recorded dialogue from Nuclear Power Plant, actually introducing Severonickel as the next mission. Because of how data was shipped from Montreal to Shanghai, it is likely that the entirety of Severonickel was received worked on by the PS2 team in Shanghai. If this is true, then the early plan for the PS2 release of Splinter Cell was to include two exclusive levels, being Nuclear Power Plant and Severonickel.
In early 2003, a handful of level designers revisited the cut missions, with the intent of releasing some or all of them as DLC content. Kola Cell was the first bonus mission to be released, in March 2003. According to Clint Hocking, this level was a "massively rebuilt version" of Severonickel, done by a different designer. The release of Kola Cell was likely the reason why Severonickel was dropped from the PS2 port of the game, so as to not have two versions of the same level, along with the story and timeline confusion it would've caused. However, given the timing of Kola Cell's release, it is likely that Severonickel was present in the beta for the PS2 port.
Soon after, Vselka Infiltration and Vselka were also released via Xbox Live. Although distributed as two separate missions, these levels were originally combined as one, in the form of Shipyard. According to the original data sticks, script, and texture files from Shipyard, the Vselka missions seem to somewhat overhaul Shipyard's apparently-flawed level design, though most of the original level's content and story remains.
There is evidence that Nuclear Power Plant was worked on for the potential release as DLC on PC/Xbox. In the 1.0 version of Splinter Cell, the static meshes for Nuclear Power Plant are not present. However, in 1.1, which introduced the DLC levels, they are present. The texture file for Nuclear Power Plant was present in 1.0, but in 1.1, its "last modified" date is September 8th, 2003, at 9:28 AM Montreal time. Nuclear Power Plant's release as DLC was likely abandoned for the same reason why Shanghai dropped Severonickel.
Mining Town was never released in any way, though its complete texture files can be found within Pandora Tomorrow. This suggests that Ubisoft Shanghai at least gave Mining Town a look, before discarding it once more. It is possible that a spiritual successor was released. Pandora Tomorrow'sJerusalem shares a number of design elements with Mining Town. Both levels involve infiltrating a residential setting with civilians, and elevators leading to underground areas. This is purely speculation, though.
- Sam's vest appeared to be a dark/olive green or gray. In the final release it is black.
- The original SC-20k was available in all missions, and had no suppressor (like its inventory icon). It was also called the FN-F2000, like its real life inspiration. The suppressor was added by beta, making it a key indicator when judging the age of a screenshot.
- Sam's facial hair was more noticeable and darker. It can still be seen in the opening video sequence before the main menu.
- Sam sometimes had black marks on his face (later seen in Chaos Theory).
- Sam's short sleeve outfit was seen in more missions early on, particularly in pre-beta builds. Early versions of Police Station, Severonickel, and CIA HQ all featured the short sleeves.
- The health bar was displayed horizontally in the upper right corner.
- The crosshairs were square and would turn red when on an enemy.
- Night vision and thermal vision were selected via the inventory. Thermal goggles were initially usable in the first three missions.
- The interaction box was originally displayed as a series of icons in the lower left corner. Searching bodies was also an option listed in this earlier interface. This was replaced with physical satchels later on.
- A flashlight may have been an usable item for the player.
- A Concussion Grenade was an item available for the player to use, but attempting to spawn it in the final game will fail. The game files description reads: A standard non-lethal stun grenade. The command would look like the following:
The concussion grenade does appear in the September 13 prototype build, stunning enemies in its radius the same way a ring airfoil round stuns enemies. However, it does not feature any explosion graphics or sounds in this build.
- The training level may originally have had more content.
- A GPS. Grim would be use it on Sam before basic training. Possibly as a way to introduce player to basic movement.
- The basic assault course would have you climb a rope net. (Like you would a fence.)
- A shooting section for the SC-20K may have been present.
- Sticky cams and shockers may have been used in the training.
Act three of Splinter Cell was to take place between the events of Kalinatek and Chinese Embassy 1, from November 4th through November 9th, 2004. It was to take place entirely in the Kola Peninsula in Russia, where Sam was sent to track down a secret microwave relay, first detected via Ivan's encryption key in Kalinatek. See Splinter Cell Cut Content/Data for text pulled from game's code.
Each mission section listed below features a piece of soundtrack from that mission, in order to add some level of immersion to reading this page. Severonickel is the only mission of the 4 with incomplete music, which is ironic considering it was actually officially released in some capacity. Shipyard's music was recovered from a promotional media CD from prior to 2006 (major kudos to Reynardine Fuchsfein for preserving and sharing it). Nuclear Power Plant's music was obviously ripped from the PS2 game files. Mining Town's music was strangely recovered from the EU release of the PS2 game, as it plays in the very last area of Nuclear Power Plant, but only the EU version. Half of Severonickel's music was recovered from Kola Cell, and the other parts that are known were recovered from the OPSAT tutorial videos. As such, the last portion of Severonickel's music featured below is incomplete. Notably, the OPSAT tutorial videos feature almost exclusively music from the cut missions, making the identification of said music much easier.
This level was to take place on November 4th, 2004, at the Oktyabr naval shipyard. This is where Ivan's encryption key led Third Echelon. Sam's first objective was to contact a captive sailor named Bobrov, who was detected during Echelon's initial surveillance of the location. Sam needed to figure out how he was involved with the microwave relay. After infiltrating the shipyard facility, he finds Bobrov in a small freezer room. Bobrov then tells Sam about a submarine docked in the neighboring warehouse, and that it is being used to transmit a signal north. At this point, accessing the submarine's SISSIXS became the primary objective. Sam then forces the sub up by disabling its compressor, alerting the men on-board. While evading them, he disables Oktyabr's communications center, preventing the alert from spreading to other nearby military cells. Sam makes his way to the neighboring warehouse, and into the submarine. Within the bowels of the sub, Sam accesses the SISSIXS, and traces the microwave relay to a nuclear power plant to the north, along with uncovering a video signal showing captured American soldiers. The latter piques the interest of Lambert. The submarine then surfaces outdoors at a small dock, where Sam exits, and meets Wilkes for extraction via Osprey.
As stated before, this level was likely cut during the early prototyping phase of level design. However, the limited number of existing screenshots suggest that Shipyard survived further into development. This can largely be explained by focusing on the E3 demo of Splinter Cell. In this demo, there are were number of brief gameplay challenges, presenting different core game mechanics to players at the convention. One of these short demos details sniping a guard off the top of the surfaced submarine. This explains the screenshots of the outdoor ending of the level, as this small area was likely retained for this demo, despite the rest of the level already being shelved. However, the screenshot of Sam within the submarine complicates this theory, as the demo does not reference the interior of the Vselka at all.
This level was resurrected as the two Vselka bonus missions, Vselka Infiltration and Vselka Submarine that were released as DLC for both the Xbox and the Windows versions of Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell. The Komodo Shipyard level from Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow is also based on this level, sharing almost all basic plot elements, and even sharing some exact lines of dialogue verbatim.
Little is known about this level's original design, though the script indicates a much larger facility, featuring an elevator, an extra floor, and an entire interior warehouse housing the submarine. Screenshots of the last portion of the level, after Sam exits the submarine, depict a starry night sky, rather than the foggy sky present in Vselka Infiltration.
This level was notably retained for the Game Boy Advance port of Splinter Cell, along with Nuclear Power Plant. Interestingly, this version of the level begins indoors, and features an action sequence in which the submarine slowly floods. There are no indications of this occurring in the main version of Shipyard, though details are admittedly scarce in the latter half of the level. Aside from that, there isn't much worth noting in this GBA version of Shipyard.
This level takes place on November 6th, 2004, at the Nadezhda nuclear power plant. Sam inserts via a halo jump to a small maintenance building on the outskirts the power plant. He then infiltrates the plant looking to trace the microwave relay. In order to make it easier for Grim to find the microwave signal, Sam activates a false meltdown alert, so that all civilian operations in the plant cease. However, he discovers the plant is being occupied by the Russian military, much to the dismay of Lambert. The Russian soldiers ignore the meltdown alert. Third Echelon also detects a train outside the plant, which is heavily armored to insulate radioactive contents. Sam is tasked with not only learning why the Russian military is at the plant, but what is inside the train. From interrogating a technician, he learns that the soldiers are in fact mercenaries in disguise, working for Nikoladze and Grinko, and that the train is shipping its contents to the far east. The plant's logs indicate the shipment is Americium-239, a weapons-grade isotope. However, with no leads concerning its destination, Sam turns his attention back to the microwave relay.
Echelon becomes suspicious when they learn of the plant's broadcast, which continued in a monotonous fashion, despite the entire facility being under a state of alert. Sam taps into the plant's communication center, and Grim discovers that Philip Masse was using wavelength-division multiplexing to conceal the Georgian signal within Nadezhda's civilian broadcast. Echelon used this intel to determine a termination point for the signal: a Russian village nearby. Sam is then informed that Wilkes cannot get within 30 kilometers of the plant, due to the false meltdown alert. Sam then devises a plan: he'll stow away on the Americium train, and meet Wilkes 35 kilometers down the tracks.
Although this level is almost entirely intact on the PS2 version of Splinter Cell, a number of differences exist between the released version, and the version seen in the September 13 prototype build. [to be edited]
This prototype version of Nuclear Power Plant also leads directly into Severonickel, rather than Mining Town. This is expected, due to Shipyard and Mining Town being cut significantly before Nuclear Power Plant and Severonickel.
This level was to take place on November 8th, 2004, in the town of Simargl, Russia. Third Echelon determined that there had to be an antenna somewhere in the town, due to the Nadezhda signal terminating there. Sam is inserted by Wilkes via car, an old Lada which Wilkes grew attached to.
JR. WILKES: Hey, I'm sorry as hell about extraction back there.
FISHER: Forget about it.
JR. WILKES: I feel like a heel. But we should have a much easier time out here. We'll be using this baby.
JR. WILKES: Great little car. You trolling for another antenna?
FISHER: Yeah. This town has Grímsdóttir spooked, she says it eats microwaves.
JR. WILKES: That's really weird, man.
FISHER: You sure extraction's going to be easier this time?
JR. WILKES: Yeah, man, for sure. We're in the middle of nowhere, long as I don't get eaten by wolves and these wheels hold out, we're golden.
FISHER: And you have confidence in the wheels?
JR. WILKES: Are you kidding me? This is pure communist era quality, my man. I have stolen a lot of good cars in my time, but this one... This one's got personality.
JR. WILKES: I'll wait until you leave before I pull out, so we don't attract attention.
Wilkes waits in the car listening to the radio while Sam goes to infiltrate the town. Lambert contacts Sam saying "Good news, Fisher. This may be our last antenna hunt. Our SIGINT analysts say this city swallows up all the signals. Grímsdóttir says they will need an antenna at least half a kilometer wide". He then instructs Sam to cut off the city's power to locate the Georgian operational base by their lights, as the Georgians have their own generator. The town is heavily guarded, with sniper posts set up at various locations across the residential areas. Civilians are present in town. With rumors being spread about the breaches at the shipyard and Nadezhda, the Georgian operations in the town are kept under extreme security measures. Sam sneaks into the town and interrogates a local civilian, who reveals that the mercenaries arrived about a week ago and occupied the mine. He adds that they bribed everyone they could, and killed those they couldn't. He also reveals that the transformer is at the end of the street, and is guarded by both Georgians and Russians. They have installed an electric fence, he says, but he thinks there is a break in it. Sam heeds this intel, and disables the generator. The mercenaries in make-shift barracks notice the blackout, and send someone out to check the electrical fence. Noticing unidentified footprints in the snow, a soldier gets suspicious and calls for reinforcements.
Sam then taps into town's communications tower, which has a sniper and a spotlight on its roof. Lambert alerts Sam that a technician was spotted descending into the mine, and that he needs to interrogate him. After Sam infiltrates the town and the communications tower, he then proceeds into the mine itself via an industrial elevator. After navigating the dark tunnels of the mine, Sam finds the technician. He tells Sam that the mine itself is the antenna, as the tunnels are lined with the antenna wire, creating its "half kilometer" length. The entire mine is functioning as a relay base. He concludes by telling Sam that the end of the antenna is by a pile of rocks just outside the mine, where the rocks are typically hauled away. Sam uses this information to locate this rock pile, and taps into the antenna. Grim positively identifies Philip Masse's signature at the receiving end of the relay. She traces the location to an abandoned nickel smelting plant in the west, where they believe Nikoladze's "war room" is. Fisher meets up with Wilkes, and the two drive to Severonickel.
This level is notable for how little has been seen or heard from it. To date, no screenshots from Mining Town have ever been recovered, and it is unlikely that any were ever released. It was never featured in any promotional material, and many traces of its existence were simply deleted from the game files, even in places where the other cut missions' data remains. It was likely the first mission to be cut, because even Shipyard has a handful of screenshots. As stated before, the texture files for Mining Town can be recovered from within Pandora Tomorrow's game data. The textures from many of the Splinter Cell 1 levels are also found there. Data from the first game was likely used for engine tweaking and early playtesting, as a guide to help acclimate the Ubisoft Shanghai to the engine and game. It is worth noting that Pandora Tomorrow was the first game Ubisoft Shanghai built from the ground up.
This level was to take place on November 9th, 2004, at a nickel smelting plant near Severomorsk, Kola Peninsula, Russia. The entire microwave relay led to this smelting plant, and Third Echelon intel could essentially confirm that Philip Masse was on-site. Rather than simply eradicating the entire facility via airstrike, Echelon sent in Fisher specifically to retrieve some of Masse's code, later known as the Masse Kernels.
In the September 13 2002 prototype build, Severonickel is a two part mission, though earlier scripts indicate that the mission was four parts upon its conception, before being reduced to three. At a later point, the entire first portion of the level, 3_4_1, was cut and reintegrated into the second part, giving Severonickel the unusual level codes of 3_4_2 and 3_4_3.
In early versions of Severonickel, Sam was dropped off by Wilkes via his car, though Wilkes does not appear at the beginning of the September 13th build of Severonickel. Wilkes informs Sam that he'd extract via Osprey on the far side, meaning he'd have to leave his car behind. After parting with Wilkes, Sam's first objective is disabling Severonickel's satellite dish, so that no transmissions could leave the cell. Because of this, no alarms can be raised before disabling the dish.
In early versions of the level, the satellite dish objective was completed in the first part, 3_4_1. However, it was later reworked into 3_4_2, meaning Sam encounters this objective almost immediately after beginning the mission. An early draft of the 3_4_1 script mentions a sky-car which Sam must ride, though no such outdoor area appears anywhere in the level. It is likely that a large outdoor segment of Severonickel was discarded when 3_4_1 was cut.
Entering the smelting plant, Sam enters a garage, where he overhears two Georgians discussing the satellite dish's UPS. Fisher interrogates Vasya, the technician in the garage, who informs him that the UPS prevents the backup generator from frying the dish. Enabling the backup generator, then disabling the UPS, would fry the entire satellite dish. Lambert and Grim then call Sam to confirm this plan. Sam then proceeds into a large warehouse, the conveyor room. At least 20 meters from floor to ceiling, the conveyor room contains four stories of intricate catwalks and foundry space. Sam first finds the backup generator in a utility room on the second level, before proceeding to the top of the conveyor room. There, he finds the satellite dish, pointed out the factory skylights, as well as a guard talking on the phone about Colonel Alekseevich's impending arrival. Sam disables the UPS, frying the dish. Coinciding with the completion of this objective, Lambert informs Fisher of Colonel Alekseevich's arrival, stating not to interfere with him at all. The Colonel then arrives via truck, into the same garage that Sam first passed through. An ex-Soviet, Alekseevich is brought in to provide leadership to the military cell, amidst worrying rumors about Simargl, Nadezhda, and the Vselka spreading through the ranks of mercenaries. Following this, Sam's attention turns to Philip Masse.
As he gets closer to Masse, Lambert informs Fisher that the Joint Chiefs approved a plan devised by Grimsdottir. Sam would force Masse to execute a program called "Pickett Gap", and Grim would sample the code before shutting it down, to prevent any harm. Sam infiltrates a massive furnace room, overhearing a handful of mercenaries discussing life at the smelting plant, as well as rumors about Colonel Alekseevich and Vyacheslav Grinko. Entering the next room, the foundry, Sam first spots Philip Masse in the control room overseeing the foundry. Masse is visibly frustrated, searching through loose piles of paper for his files on the Ark. Masse then retires to his office, with Sam following close behind. At this point, Alekseevich is alerted to Fisher's presence, making his iconic "I want his head on a spike" remark.
Entering a large ballroom, Sam closes in on Philip Masse, who is typing away at a makeshift server farm in the middle of it. He forces Masse to execute the Pickett Gap program, before killing him. However, as Grim learns that the program was shunted to a different set of servers across the plant, Sam is ambushed in the ballroom. Escaping the ambush, Fisher is instructed to disable those servers, stopping the program. Along the way to the server, Fisher is tasked with tampering with three 57E7-Y Surface to Air Missile (SAM) launchers so that they will explode, instead of firing on the Osprey upon extraction. The recorded dialogue accounts for these two objectives being completed in any order, though there is a linear order to completing them in the September 13 build of Severonickel.
Sam arrives at a three story structure housing the servers, rapelling from the roof and entering from the ground. Making his way up the stairs, he encounters a series of turrets and patrolling mercenaries, protecting the servers. Upon disabling the servers, Lambert and Grim inform Sam that Pickett Gap is safe, and that he must disable the final SAM launcher before he can be extracted. Making his way into the final building, Sam overhears a mercenary trying to inform Alekseevich of something "important", but with another mercenary standing guard for Alekseevich, turning away any disturbances. Sneaking by the mercenaries, Sam witnesses Alekseevich say "He sends the Cross, but He also sends the strength to bear it..." before shooting himself in the head. As he knew the Osprey was circling nearby, and he sensed Fisher was close, Alekseevich could not bear the thought of failing to ensure the safety of the Severonickel cell.
In this room where Alekseevich committed suicide, Fisher disables the final SAM launcher, enabling a safe extraction. He makes his way to a trainyard on the outskirts of the smelting plant, where the Osprey touches down with Wilkes. However, a handful of mercenaries emerge from a garage door, ambushing the Osprey, and fatally shooting Wilkes. Sam rushes aboard the Osprey, when it makes a swift ascent away from the Kola cell. Data retrieved from the smelting plant, and Masse's servers, helped Third Echelon pinpoint Nikoladze in Yangon, Myanmar.
Notably, a handful of documented areas do not appear in the September 13 build of Severonickel, suggesting that it saw significant alterations before finally being cut. The parking garage seen in the E3 demo does not appear, nor does the basement boiler room seen on the back cover of the Xbox case. Following the game's release, Severonickel was revisited, vastly redesigned, and became the Kola Cell DLC level. Only a handful of key areas appear in both iterations of the level, among them the ballroom, the I-shaped hallway, and the tunnel at the beginning of Kola Cell. Nearly everything else from Severonickel was discarded, including all outdoor areas. Certain assets from Severonickel were reused in completely different contexts in Kola Cell. For example, the truck that carried Alekseevich in Severonickel appears at the beginning of Kola Cell, sitting idle.
Notably, both the cutscene and the loading screen for Chinese Embassy 1 reference the Pickett Gap program. Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory also directly references this level, as Sam says that he "killed Masse outside Severomorsk". The code retrieved in this mission also became the core of Chaos Theory's story, with Zherkezhi's knowledge of Masse's algorithms falling into the wrong hands. It is theorized that a major reason why Kola Cell was even released at all was because Ubisoft already decided that Chaos Theory would feature callbacks to Philip Masse. That game would've only been in preproduction in early 2003.
The PS2 cutscenes that bookend Nuclear Power Plant seem to combine a lot of content that would've spread across the entire 4 Russia missions. This section has been created to potentially layout what the cut FNW newscasts would've looked like for each cut mission. More to come, obviously.