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    Friday, August 31, 2001
    Arx Element of the Week 4 - Elenkis - 12:52:46 AM EST
RPGDot have put up the fourth in their series of weekly Arx elements done in collaboration with Fishtank. This week the feature focuses on the stealthy and dangerous Ratmen race.
The ratmen are extremely dangerous. They have a great dexterity in combat and they are stealthy and very fast. Some of them are the best assassins on Arx. Rather than a direct confrontation these creatures will attack the back of the victim. They will strike with their poisoned blades only if they are sure that they will inflict maximum damage. They will fight to death. If a ratman is seriously wounded he will use a smoke bomb to vanish away. Then he will hide for a few minutes just to heal his wounds a little. After that he will start to track his victim down to finish the job. The ratmen will show no mercy so make sure that you saved your last prayer when you start to mess around with these creatures.

    Wednesday, August 29, 2001
     U7 Remake Interview - Elenkis - 2:21:41 AM EST
TechDragon over on Ultima Online Stratics has done an interview with two of the guys behind the The Complete Ultima 7 remake. It's a fairly lengthy interview and answers a lot of questions about the project. Definitely worth reading!

    Monday, August 27, 2001
    Exult Alpha 5 is Here - Dan - 1:51:51 PM EST
Actually, it's here. Yup, the next version in the very good (I use it) program which allows you to run the Ultima 7 games in modern Operating Systems is here.

  • Max has implemented MIDI for the MacOS (classic and X) versions of Exult!
  • Attacking non-living items like chests and doors should now work properly
  • We have a new renderer, that should reduce the amount of glitches.
  • Literally dozens of plot-related bugs have been fixed, including: Moonshade Trial bugs, the Gargoyle's tests in Furnace, SI crystal balls, you can now resurrect Gwenno properly, the Banes-cutscene now works, and many more.

    Thanks Voodoo Extreme!

  •     Arx Delayed Until 2002 - Dan - 1:34:58 PM EST
    Fishtank gave word today, via RPGDot, that Arx Fatalis has been delayed until Q1 of 2002.

    Good news! Now they have more time to make the game a better product, and maybe I can finish BG2 before it comes out. ;P

        Thursday, August 23, 2001
         UW mod for Morrowind - Elenkis - 9:54:56 PM EST
    Taz has sent me an email to let us know that he is going to be recreating the original Underworld as a cool mod for Bethesda's upcomming RPG Morrowind! You can find all the info and some early screenshots on his site, right here.

    The page will be updated regularly with news and new screens. Looking forward to it! Cool stuff Taz!

         Arx Element of the Week 3 - Elenkis - 9:28:03 PM EST
    Yep, the guys over at RPGDot have put up part 3 of their weekly Arx Element in collaboration with Fishtank. This week focuses on the sorcerous race of snake women, the Sisters of the Edurneum.
    It seems that the Order of the Edurneum has always existed. As far as the elders can remember, the sisters have been at the king's service for ages. Since the sun died on Arx, they are the most helpful allies humans ever had. Very few is known about the sisters, even their own origin is a mystery.

    They look like half woman and half snake. Their skin is covered with scales. Are they a species of a long forgotten race or simply mutated women? Nobody knows the answer. These snake-women possess also very strong magical abilities what makes them the most powerful sorcerers on Arx.

    Thanks guys, keep the Arx info coming! :)

        Wednesday, August 22, 2001
        New Arx Preview - Elenkis - 11:20:24 PM EST
    IGN have put up a brand new preview for Arx over on their PC gaming site. The preview is quite lengthy for a change, and while it doesn't give us much new info it does contain a couple of interesting tidbits (be warned, a couple of early spoilers in there for the games start) and a bunch of very nice screenshots! The only disappointing part is the news that the release date has been pushed back to Q1 2002, some confirmation from the guys at Fishtank or Arkane would be nice (hint hint) ;-)
    Of course all of the different areas in the game will have different looks. There's the squalid sort of areas like the prison in which you awaken as well as sprawling underground cities and huge castles with some really nifty architecture and textures. There is Level of Detail so that the textures will take up less memory and the game will run a little smoother. While there were incomplete characters in the game including a headless walker that wasn't supposed to be headless, the models that are complete and in the game are looking very nice as well. A full compliment of animations is planned for each of the models to bring the world alive and give random NPCs just a bit more personality. Also, in order that you don't get lost wandering through the various dungeons and cities, you will have an automap to keep track of your progress. They're also discussing adding a note-taking feature to the map so that you can remember things a little easier.
    Check out the rest right here
    ! Thanks guys!

         System Shock: A Digital Vision, Part 1 - Dan - 6:38:46 PM EST
    Maybe you heard it whispered vaguely, or blared bluntly. Either way, it's no secret that I am no fan of System Shock 2. It is, in my eyes, an unacceptable sequel to one of the best games ever. Rather then just pipe off about it, and eventually soil everyone's innocent pristine view of this flawed rock er ... gem coughs, I've done something a little more constructive! ;)

    Today's Taffer's Post is the first part of a three part series, called System Shock: A Digital Vision. In it I revise the System Shock series into a trilogy, using ideas I have put together over the years. The first part of the series deals with System Shock 2, and the game it could have been.

    So, those of you who I have not alienated yet (brace yourselves ;), stroll on over to the Taffer's Post and take a look! (You have been warned.)

    Forum flavor, so you can post replies, is here.

         Ultima 7 Remake - Elenkis - 5:32:38 AM EST
    The latest Dungeon Siege powered Ultima in development is the Complete Ultima 7 Remake. The guys are going to be remaking both The Black Gate and Serpent Isle and are currently looking for help from anyone interested.

    At this rate I'm pretty confident we'll soon see all the other games in the Ultima series being remade by the many talented teams out there. Most likely all using the increasingly popular Dungeon Siege engine too! ;-)

         Underworld Remake! - Elenkis - 5:01:37 AM EST
    Finally there is an Underworld remake in the works! But not just an Underworld 1 remake project; Twister Software are currently working on remaking both UW1 and UW2!
    Several attempt's to remake Ultima Underworld have been made in the past few years but all were abandoned. The only one that got anywhere was Ultima Underworld Viewer by Peroxide but this required the game to be installed as it simple read the map files and rendered them in 3D.

    We have found a suitable 3D engine and as you are reading this the game is being worked on. Starting with the Level design, then the NPCs and then all the rest of the stuff like music and interaction. The only difference we will make besides the improved graphics, better quality sound FX and music is that you can connect over the Internet with your friends and play as a team of 8 Avatars.

    Multiplayer Underworld? Yes please! This is some news that I know a lot of you UW fans have been wanting to here, and they even have some nice early screenshots for you right here
    . So go give the guys your support!

        Friday, August 17, 2001
         Arx Element of the Week 2 - Elenkis - 9:26:24 AM EST
    The second Arx Element of the Week is now waiting for you over at RPGDot. This weeks element details Human citizens in the world of Arx and includes an introduction to several of the Human NPCs that you will meet.
    The humans may not be the biggest race by number in the world of Arx but they are the most diverse by far. King Lunshire reigns over the human habitat trough wisdom, verity and also the power of his guards. Many different human folks have settled around the castle, may they be traders, craftsmen or just poor lads seeking for shelter. There are also humans indulging in the ancient skills of magic to help their folks as well as humans driven towards the secret cult of Akbaa.
    Coexistence with the all the other races in their small cave-like world and thereby securing the survival of the human kind stands as the common goal.
    Read the rest right here
    . Good stuff, keep the info coming guys! :-)

         Ultima 1 Reborn Plans - Elenkis - 12:44:31 AM EST
    Two of the guys over at Peroxide have put up plans describing their jobs on the team and progress on the remake. Ralph Damiani is an artist on the project and Pete Moore is the soundtrack composer. Interesting reading and some nice screenshots, go take a look!

        Wednesday, August 15, 2001
        Ultima Remake Weekly Roundup - Elenkis - 4:57:22 PM EST
    There has been a bit of action at some of the sites for the various Ultima remakes this week. Here's a quick roundup of the news (we will be making this a weekly feature from now on):
    Ultima 1: Reborn
    The site has gone through a major design change and is looking better than ever. Ralph Damiani has taken over public relations and announced that there will be much more public participation to look forward to from now on, including polls, submissions and more. The team are also advertising for a new modeller, so get over there if you can help them out!

    Ultima 5: Lazarus
    The guys have improved their front page and added a cool new progress chart where you can keep track of how close the project is to completion. PlanetDungeonSiege have also posted a new interview with lead web developer Aegis, check it out here!

    Ultima 9: Redemption
    Only a quick update to let people know that the official site is currently being constructed and will soon replace the current placeholder site. The new site will have features such as: Submit Quests/Ideas, Poll of the Week, Public Forum, Who's on the team, Spotlight of the Week, a News page and everyone's favourite; Downloads. We'll be looking forward to it!

        Tuesday, August 14, 2001
        Biageo "Bee" Biondolillo - Dan - 11:42:19 PM EST
    As many of you who have been reading the Community Chat forum know, my Grandfather passed away Sunday morning. He and I were very close, we all were, and it's been a very difficult time for my family this past weekend and this week. His Obituary was published today in the Florida Today Newspaper, and I wanted to also publish it online here at TTLG.

    I invite you all to read it here.

    If any of you wish to send a message, please do so on this thread in the Comm Chat forum. I plan to print out and share this thread with my Grandmother next week after things have quieted down. It should make her smile to know that so many strangers all over the world have been thinking of us. Everyone's condolences and support has been deeply appreciated, and has helped me cope in this difficult time. Again, thank you.

        Ultima 1 Reborn Preview - Dan - 12:17:58 PM EST
    Ah good, another Preview of Ultima 1 Reborn is online. I wonder if they will give Stygian Abyss a preview copy? Hmmm ... or a beta? mmmm ... :)

    It's awfully good to see these fan efforts get the publicity they deserve. Awesome in fact. :)

    Plus it gives something to report on while waiting for new Arx News. ;)

        Saturday, August 11, 2001
         Arx Element of the Week - Elenkis - 12:21:06 AM EST
    The guys over on RPGDot have started a new weekly feature in collaboration with Fishtank that details various elements of Arx Fatalis! The feature kicks off this week with a look at the Goblin race, one of the first creatures that players will meet in the world of Arx.
    There are three basic goblin NPC-characters in the game: The "goblin", the "goblin lord" and the "goblin king". The first two characters come in different shapes and looks, differentiating by size, armor equipment and general look. Due to this and the according tweaking of the 3D meshes there is actually great visual variety for the player. The goblin king by the name of Alotar is another story though. He is a unique character and appears only in his one form.
    Find out more about the goblins right here. Thanks for the info guys!

        Thursday, August 09, 2001
         Classic Underworld Interview - Elenkis - 11:01:19 PM EST
    PC Gamer have opened their new website. And much to our delight have uploaded a classic interview with Warren Spector and Doug Church about the history of the Underworld games and the future of the first person perspective. It's a beefy interview and well worth the read, not just for fans of the series.

    I won't do the interview any injustice by trying to find and cut a quote from it, just do yourselves a favour and read through it right here :-)

         Exult Update - Elenkis - 10:41:18 PM EST
    The Exult website, home of the Ultima 7 port has undergone its weekly update. The update includes two new screenshots, numerous bug fixes/new features in the port and a cleaning up of their FAQ.

    For full details hop over to their site and check the latest news!

         Arx Reaches Alpha! - Elenkis - 10:24:06 PM EST
    RPGVault have just posted their 4th development report with Arx main man Raphael Colantonio and it brings some great news - Arx Fatalis is now in alpha testing! Here's a quick quote:
    That's it, we're Alpha !!! We got delayed a little because of the overall size of the project, but now we're there, with all technical issues that are now out of the way, apart from optimizations and a lot of little improvements here and there.

    Everything is in: All the resources, the levels, animations, technical features, 3D sounds, all spells, save games, etc... The in-game speech has been recorded by the guys who recorded Thief, including the main actor, Steve Russell, who doesn't play the hero in Arx by the way ;). The speech sounds fantastic and it adds so much to the general atmosphere !!!

    The report continues with some of the cool features found in the latest build of the game and some of the difficulties the guys have encountered so far in development. Just the kind of update we've all been hoping for, so go read the whole report right here!

    Thanks for the update Raf!

        Monday, August 06, 2001
         U9 Remake in the Works - Elenkis - 10:00:28 AM EST
    Just received word from Dan that there is another new Ultima remake in the works. This time Ultima 9 is being remade in the Dungeon Siege engine (it's good to see the engine gaining so much popularity). Take a look over at the Ultima IX: Redemption website, of special note is the Team Application form. Want to help out with the project? Then take a look here to find out what the guys are looking for.

    Here's a brief snippet from their FAQ:

    Q\ What exactly is "Ultima IX: Redemption"

    A\ Ultima IX: Redemption is a fan-made, non profit retelling of EA's Ultima Ascension. It uses the Dungeon Siege engine whilst requiring an original copy of Ascension to play (For Copyright Reasons, although it will not use any of Ascension's engine or code). We're goaling for a truer, more fitting end to the Ultima series.

    Q\ Why make an alternate Ultima IX story if we already have Ascension to play?

    A\ To longtime Ultima veterans there never was an "Ultima IX". Instead there was a game called "Ultima Ascension" which was loosely based on the original Ultima IX story that never got released.

    The goal of "Redemption" is to release a classic end to the trilogy of trilogies that most Ultima fans never saw in Ascension. We believe that the quality of our product will dramatically increase sales of "Ultima Ascension" for Electronic Arts, because it's a labour of love from long time true Ultima veterans that *will* satisfy.

    We'll be keeping a close eye on this one!

        Saturday, August 04, 2001
         Ultima 6 Remake Trailer - Elenkis - 9:04:10 PM EST
    The guys behind the Dungeon Siege engine powered Ultima 6: The False Prophet remake have released a 45 second trailer movie to wet your appetites! Download the 7.5MB AVI movie directly from here and while you're waiting for the download be sure to check out the rest of their site to learn all about the project!