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Posts with tag blackthorne

Blizzard classic Blackthorne now available for free download

Blizzard classic Blackthorne now available for free download
Have you ever heard of Blackthorne? Originally released in 1994 for the SNES, this classic platformer was the one of the first titles to be released under the name Blizzard Entertainment. And now, it appears as though the game can be had for free. Head to your Battle.net account, and hit the Download Game Clients page, under the Games & Codes tab. At the bottom is a new section titled Classic Games, and Blackthorne can be downloaded for Windows absolutely free.

So what is Blackthorne? Long ago on the planet Tuul, the people of the world were divided into two kingdoms -- the good Androth, and the not-so-good Ka'dra'suul. To make a long story short, the Ka'dra'suul were eventually transformed into monsters, and one of them decided to seize power and try to take over Androth. Enter Kyle -- the son of King Vlaros, ruler of Androth. King Vlaros decides to send Kyle to Earth in order to save his life. Twenty years later, Kyle is all grown up, a military mercenary, and discovers his unusual heritage through a series of strange dreams.

Blizzard classic Blackthorne now available for free download
And then Kyle happily returns to Tuul to kick some butt and save his people while working his way through a series of typical platform levels and puzzles and blowing away his enemies with a giant pump-action shotgun. Look, it may not be the most elegant of stories, but it was a really fun SNES title back in the day. The free download version has not been updated, and lives on in its raw pixel and MIDI glory, just in time for a bit of Halloween nostalgia. If you've ever wanted to get your hands on this title, go grab the free download and immerse yourself in the 90's for a few hours. I'll be over here, playing my childhood and keeping an eye out just in case Lost Vikings happens to pop up, too.


Filed under: Blizzard, News items

BlizzCon 2008: The Retro Arcade


Diablo III, Rock 'n' Roll Racing, and The Lost Vikings 2. What do all of these things have in common? They're all made by Blizzard, and they're all playable on the floor of BlizzCon 2008. The last two, however, are hidden in the Retro Arcade area, where Blizzard has set up all of the old games from their past for visitors to experience and play. It's not a complete display (no Starcraft 64, and Justice League Task Force would have been fun to play), but there are a lot of great titles in there anyway. It's too bad I've got to play Starcraft II for a hands-on later today -- I'd kind of rather go play the original again. But that's not a bad problem to have.

Check out our gallery of the retro arcade, and revisit some old Blizzard favorites.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, Fan stuff, WoW Social Conventions, Blizzard, Humor, Screenshots, Galleries, BlizzCon

Blizzard's black ops title, and why it's a long way off


Our good friends at BigDownload have just posted a nice in-depth feature about all the "black ops" PC games being worked on -- that is, games that are being developed in secret by developers who haven't yet officially announced them. There are quite a few would-be WoW competitors on the list (BioWare's MMO is on there, which I like to think I officially uncovered, and unnamed MMOs from John Romero's Slipgate Ironworks, 38 Studios, and Bethesda's parent Zenimax Media are on there as well). But of course the biggest title on the list is also the most mysterious: we know that Blizzard is working on a "next-gen MMO," but we don't know thing one about it.

As with all of this "black ops" stuff, there's not too much to get excited about yet -- the reason these companies haven't officially announced any of these games is not only because their release is likely years off, but companies will very often develop games that they don't end up releasing at all (case in point, as Blizzard fans well know). So the reason we don't know anything about Blizzard's next MMO is because Blizzard likely doesn't know anything about it yet either -- will it be a successor to World of Warcraft, a much-awaited Starcraft MMO, or a completely new IP from the company that has conquered the MMO genre? Odds are that right now they're working on engine and code mechanics, and the final form that the project will take is just a gleam in a Blizzard employee's eye.

Still, it's fun to dream, isn't it? With the coming release of Wrath (and Diablo III and Starcraft II coming into focus), we've got plenty of Blizzard games to look forward to as it is.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Blizzard

The many MMOs of Blizzard

Our good friends at Massively have put together a feature on "the many MMOs of Blizzard," and we can hear you now: You're asking what they could mean by "many MMOs," since Blizzard only has the one. But Blizzard is working on, as you probably know, a next-gen MMO, and their writeup is all about the many possible MMOs they might have rumored to be in the works.

As much as everyone would like a Lost Vikings MMO, or even a World of Warcraft 2, or a long-rumored Universe of Starcraft, I'm going with the last answer: none of the above. Blizzard could adapt any of their worlds to the massively format (well, except for Rock N' Roll Racing, but Massively has included it anyway), but considering that Starcraft 2 and Diablo 3 are already in the works as non-MMOs, my guess is that Blizzard is going to break new ground with a brand-new IP whenever they return to the MMO format with another game.

Of course, this being Blizzard, they're not likely to give any hints until they want to give them to us, and if for some reason the next-gen MMO never does come about, we'll probably never even know what it was. But speculation is half the fun. What would a Blackthorne MMO even be like -- maybe a free-to-play sidescroller?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Blizzard

Blizzard patents "BattleChat," renews Blackthorne patent

Blizzplanet has uncovered that Blizzard has apparently filed a patent for something called "BattleChat," which purports to provide "an interface for the electronic transmission of messages and data including voice, text, and message transmission." Along with the recent news that Blizzard is seeking mobile developers, Blizzplanet supposed that this means Blizz is developing a mobile application for chatting with players either in World of Warcraft or Battle.net (their online network from previous games).

It's all speculation at this point, however-- we did hear back at BlizzCon that Blizzard was planning some really interesting updates for Battle.net, so this just could be a social networking launcher/application for Blizzard's games (chat with, and play with, your friends in multiple Blizzard games at the same time). Either way, odds are Blizzard is working on something big.

And Blizzplanet also discovered that Blizzard also recently updated their Blackthorne patent as well. So if anything is going mobile, that's another good guess (seeing as the game has already been released for a few older consoles and the Game Boy Advance). If these patents are any indication, there's going to be a lot of interesting products on tap at Blizzard Entertainment.

[Thanks, Medievaldragon!]

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items

Outland, South Carolina

Pheonix_singing found Outland... and it's in South Carolina. Doing a little searching, I also found Durotan, Nagrand, Crossroads (oh man watch out for all the Chuck Norris jokes there), and Lakeshire. Unfortunately, Azeroth doesn't appear on Google Maps anywhere-- at least until they start mapping other planets. Until then, of course, MapWoW's got the monopoly.

I have to give it to Blizzard for their place names-- they're really, really good at coming up with names that sound real, but aren't. Stranglethorn Vale is a perfect name for the southern tip of the Eastern Kingdom, and Feralas and Desolace are perfect for their ambient locations as well, but none of those names directly refer to anything on a real map. And even Azeroth is a pretty epic sounding name that Blizzard (Metzen, probably) pulled out of thin air. Well, not completely thin air-- they did kind of nab it fromone of their first games, which was based in "Androth." But still.

And my favorite name from Warcraft isn't on any real map either-- it's Thousand Needles (or 1K Needles, as I like to call it). I don't know how a designer looked at the hundreds of plateaus south of the Barrens and decided to call it that, but I'm glad they did.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Lore

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