I believe Tyrian was very advanced in that regard, being completely data-driven within the limits of its design.
It seems that the function JE_loadItemDat is openinig "levelFile" (which is the episode file as you know it if memory serves) and loading up the necessary information. I am not completely sure of the logic behind it. I don't even fully understand how this data is used.
It is interesting to recall that tyrian scripts do not truly have a difference between "levels", "intermissions" and "shop". They just turn a switch somewhere in the source causing different behaviour.
So, feel free to enable Zica Laser's internal subspace generator be warned however, a friend of mine experienced consistent instability at more than twice the designed power output (which a plate inside the outer casing rates about 22GW, enough to cover 85% of weapon consumption), resulting in WARP system failure. Your mileage may vary, due to difficulty in mass-reproducing Zica tech.