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Midnight/MU

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  • Midnight/MU

    Midnight/MU

    Midnight/MU is a turn-based strategy war game largely based on Mike Singleton's classic 1980's computer games Lords of Midnight and Doomdark's Revenge. It is played by between 2-8 players who compete to be named as ruler of the land.
    Home page: http://www.midnightmu.com
    Forum: http://forum.midnightmu.com
    Wiki: http://www.midnightmu.com/wiki

    If you thought Wolfenstein3D is ancient, this is positively prehistoric!


    (Hopefully this doesn't contravene forum protocol. If it does, please feel free to remove this thread.)

  • #2
    Just to add a bit more meat on the bones, as the Midnight/MU documentation is not yet up to scratch.


    About Midnight/MU's origins

    Midnight/MU is an on-line, multi-user version of Mike Singleton's Lords of Midnight (published in 1984 by Beyond for the ZX Spectrum, C64 and Amstrad CPC home computers). Although it aims to retain the playability and atmosphere of the original actual gameplay has gradually evolved beyond that offered by a faithful conversion. The game is browser-based, so it does not require a download or a specific platform, just registration on the game site and forum.

    The project was started in 2002 by Jean-Yves Rouffiac as an exercise in PHP programming before going into beta testing late in 2003 and then to a "live" release nearly a year later. It quickly built up a small but passionate and dedicated gaming community and has been in regular use for almost five years now.

    In February 2006 Jean-Yves handed over the reins to a development team made up from the Midnight/MU gaming community.


    About the game

    Midnight/MU can be played by 2-8 players who compete to be named as ruler of the land. It is possible to make alliances with other players and fight together to defeat your enemies before turning on each other or play the game in predetermined teams, where co-operation lasts throughout the game. Each player can take part in a number of games at the same time and since turns are sequential - a player must wait for the previous one to complete his moves before he can make his - the game can be played at whatever pace suits the players. There is no need to log in at regular intervals or risk missing out on important events.

    Unlike the original, in Midnight/MU you start out with just one character - your "king" - and his army. As in the original you then need to travel the land and recruit characters and their armies who will then aid you in your fight against your enemies. Game characters come from several races (Free, Foul, Fey, Targ etc.) with each race having specific characteristics that give its members special abilities. Therefore Targ make for good horsemen and love the wide open plains, the Fey are masters of the forests and dwarves rule in the mountains (well... duh!). On your travels through Midnight you will meet familiar characters like Luxor, Morkin and Rorthron as well as some new faces. Since your adversaries are other players, your enemies will be far more devious and unpredictable than anything found in Mike's original games.

    Midnight/MU is essentially a strategy/wargame, so the adventure/quest elements of the original game have not been implemented. You won't win this by finding the Ice Crown and dropping it in a lake!


    Features:
    • Recruitable characters of different races and with different abilities.
    • Human opponents - why battle against limited AI when you can have the real thing?
    • Several scenarios of different sizes, including Midnight and Icemark.
    • Traditional sequential turn-based play - none of this RTS or tick-based nonsense.
    • Authentic graphics helping to recreate the original atmosphere - used with kind permission from Mike. Alternative coloured graphics are available for anyone put off by the monochrome nature of the original graphics.
    • Special items and creatures, all of which have their own uses - be it to help or hinder the player. There are precious scrolls, gold and even sheep!
    • Some RPG elements - characters have courage, energy and experience levels, all of which can be affected by events during a campaign. At advanced levels there are even more attributes and characters can do a lot more than just fight!
    • Make impromptu alliances with other players (complete with the possibility of betrayal) or play as a pre-defined team.
    • Can be played at your own pace.
    • Small, friendly and helpful community - a bit like a family, albeit one whose members spend all their time knocking seven bells out of each other.
    • Supplies and logistics - although Midnight/MU is not a resource management game armies need to be kept in good shape if they are to fight well, so managing supplies and getting them to where they are needed is crucial.
    • Varied landscape which affects both movement and fighting abilities.
    • Point-and-click interface. While this seems obvious in a browser game, it's quite different from the original game which was totally keyboard driven.
    • In-game maps for those who are not familiar with the terrain. Exploring is great, but most opponents know their way around, so new players will find these useful.
    • Grouped movement - allows lords and armies to be grouped under a leader and moved as one unit, reducing the need for tediously moving a number of lords over the same sequence of moves to keep them together.
    • Different levels of complexity, selected at the game creation stage.
    • Continuing development.



    The remake/retro angle

    Midnight/MU is not a faithful remake in the purist sense as it never attempted to implement all of the original features. There is no Ice Crown (yet), no Ice Fear, no quest victory, no artificial intelligence. There are no nameless hordes of Foul in the Lords of Midnight scenario (every army must have a character to lead it), and no underground tunnels in the Doomdark's Revenge one. There are numerous characters who were not in the original scenarios, small map changes, caravans for moving supplies, animals like sheep and cattle graze on the landscape and feed passing dragons and it even has fairies (don't ask!). Even so, the game is very much a tribute to Mike's original creations and adheres as much as possible to the spirit and gameplay principles of the classics.


    Links:

    The home page: http://www.midnightmu.com
    The forum: http://forum.midnightmu.com
    The very incomplete wiki: http://www.midnightmu.com/wiki


    Screenshots:

    Meeting with Lord Marakith.




    The map of Midnight (click for XHTML version which includes character and location names)




    Distant enemy shores at night.




    Enemy at the Gates.




    The character roster.

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