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Latest News

Here you will find the latest news in the world of Raymond E. Feist. It maybe the title of the next book, a new release or even a new project, but it could also be an update on an existing project. What ever it is though, we hope to present it to you as soon as we are aware of it. If you know something we don't, that relates to Raymond E. Feist, and believe it should be here, then please contact us.

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Tue Jan 12th, 1999

Intrepid 'Zine

A few kids from my school publish a nice little science-fiction/fantasy 'zine called Intrepid. Issue #2 was just released. Check out their website for more info.

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Tue Jan 12th, 1999

Return to KrondorDemo

Desslock's RPG News is reporting that the Feburary 1999 issue of Computer Games Strategy Plus will include an exclusive demo of RtK, which should contain chapter zero, fully playable.

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Tue Jan 12th, 1999

Games Domain Review

Games Domain has posted what I feel is a poorly written and unfair review of Return to Krondor. In the name of fairness, however, here's their thoughts:

The title of the load screen gives a subtitle for Return to Krondor, Book 1: The Harbinger of Shadow
, so unless I am really slow, it appears that this is only the first of a series Sierra is about to offer. Sadly, that means they will take $50 for this short paperback and then another $50 when Book 2 comes out. Actually, it would be much better to wait and get the whole story some years down the line when they come out with the Return to Krondor
Book set or go out and buy 7 of Raymond E. Feist's paperbacks for the same price.. All in all, I was disappointed, as were a few gaming fellows that I spoke with. The novelty lasts until about the 3rd chapter, and then it fades.

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Mon Jan 11th, 1999

Thoughts on Return to Krondor

I lack the time to construct a full-fledged review of RtK, but having finished the game, I want to share some of my opinions on it.

Plot
RtK has a strong plot, and Ray's touches can be seen throughout. There are moral decisions to make, and although the plot is strictly linear, it has enough variety and subplots to keep the narrative interesting. The pacing is great, and the chapter format clearly divides the action from character to character and setting to setting.

Presentation
The graphics and sound in RtK are amazing, some of the best I have seen in an RPG. The True3D engine delivers great character animations, and the pre-rendered backgrounds are all beautiful. The big problem here is with camera angles, which can be very confusing in small areas like the Krondorian streets and its sewers. The musical score is at times haunting, at others envigorating, and always of the highest quality. The voice acting is also very professional, and the lip-synching within the game adds a nice touch. The interface is very usable, and only becomes ponderous when pouring through character inventories. My only complaint in this area is the entirely stupid interface for selecting 'books' of saved games... The bookshelf graphic, complete with hunt-for-the-hotspot options, is a waste of time.

Combat
One of RtK's true strong suits is combat. The flawless transformation from normal exploration to combat is unique, and the graphics engine handles all the animation and spell effects beautifully. There is great strategic variety while in combat, which is helpful. I beat the game without ever using a bow, but relying on fire oil, James' combat prowess, and my magician's spellcasing abilities.

Miscellaneous
The extras in RtK, such as the lockpick and alchemy system, are also interesting. Lockpicking and disarming traps, while not used often after the first few chapters, is a fun challenge, and a twitch reflex test is nice after all that walking... As for the alchemy system, I must confess: I never even used it. I sold all alchemy supplies as soon as a got them, and was never really in need of extra potions until the last two chapters, when I ran uncomfortably low on healing supplies (in interesting sidenote: there is no magic spell for healing, an obvious oversight on the part of PyroTechnix. Leaving healing to the alchemist doesn't make sense when your mage should be able to cast a healing spell). However, the system is there if the player wants to pursue that course. The game was well made, and did not crash on my system a single time, although I was stuck in endless combat once or twice, when my lone character (Solon) was paralyzed by Goblins who could not actually hurt him. Also, it seemed too easy to make money, as about halfway through I had the best armor and weapons for my characters, and 60,000 gold left over! (However, should agents of the king ever have to worry about not being able to afford goods? Of course not.)

Conclusion
Return to Krondor will please all fans of Ray's books, as it offers a great immersion into the world of Midkemia. RtK suspends time and invites you into a colorful, beautiful world of intrigue and danger, and rewards the player with a fantastic plot. It is shorter than normal RPG's, and not a hardcore stat-management game, but it tells a wonderful story and should not be missed.

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Mon Jan 11th, 1999

GamePen Review

GamePen has posted its review of RtK, giving it three of five stars:

What's to like:
Good story, good combat engine, some interesting puzzles. Almost all character interactions are via spoken dialog rather than text. A chance to live in Mr. Feist's world.

What's not to like:
Unusual interface and poor manual make a surprisingly steep learning curve. Role-playing at a minimum. Very linear plot line with little freedom for the player to diverge or make meaningful choices. Game seems rather short.

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Mon Jan 11th, 1999

How to Write

Ray posted this intersting tidbit today, certainly tweaking the interests of all you wannabe writers:

It may be included in a book on writing I may get around to doing some day.

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Mon Jan 11th, 1999

Game Worlds Network Review

Game Worlds Network has posted a positive review of Return to Krondor :

And story is what it is all about. In truth this was a very, very short game. I managed to finish all three difficulty setting in little more than a weekend. But to fans of the books, the story will make it all worthwhile. A total of nine chapters defines our story, and a few of those are little more than a series of cuts scenes interspersed with a combat sequence. But those scenes just enhanced the overall feel of playing a story. And that is exactly how I felt - as though I was personally guiding these characters through one of Mr. Feist's novels.

It was a truly fascinating experience.

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Tue Jan 5th, 1999

Return to Krondor Thoughts

In response to the frequent criticism that RtK was too short and not challenging enough, Ray posted this:

You are not alone in your perceptions regarding RtK. I could bore you with the horror stories associated with the evolution of the game through four years of development under a dozen producers, but I won't. Suffice it to say 1) I'm astonished there is a game in the stores at all 2) I'm mostly pleased with the results 3) we're listening to as many people as we can on the various boards about RtK and we're making sure that in future, those things that are clearly 'not good' to the majority of players are addressed.

We're trying.

On a personal note, I'm nearing the end of the game, and am thoroughly enjoying it.

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Tue Jan 5th, 1999

Book Sales

Ray posted this bit, detailing how well his books sell per capita:

Oz, number 1 absolutely. I get hundreds of people turning out in places like Toowoomba, for heaven's sake. Long lines in Penreth, Paramata, and Perth (wow, Australian alliteration and it's barely 7 am!).
England next, then the US. The market seems to be growing quickly in Germany, and I understand I'm number one inFinland.

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Tue Jan 5th, 1999

Betrayal at Krondor Ranks High

The newest PC Gamer has a fan poll, ranking the top 50 games of all time. Betrayal at Krondor secured 41st place, a very good showing.

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Sun Jan 3rd, 1999

Ray Leaves Dev Board

Ray said goodbye to the RtK Development Board with this message:

First of all, thanks to those of you who took the time to share your reactions to RtK with Sinjin and myself. While we'll never make everyone happy, the feedback is valuable in planning out coming products.

And for those of you who managed to disagree with one another without resorting to name calling, thank you again, for it keeps the tone of the conversation upbeat.

As far as news, I'm working on a new novel, Krondor: the Assassins, which will be a bridging story between Krondor the Betrayal and Tear of the Gods, which is what the novel of RtK will be called.

There is also an Atlas of Midkemia in the works, authored by myself and Stephen A. Abrams, cofounder of Mikdemia

And while no official announcement is being made, plan on having another Krondor based game around before Christmas 2000.

Lastly, this is goodbye. Time doesn't permit me the luxury of continuing to visit the board to answer questions. There are enough experienced players out there now to give hints, and I think Sinjin and I have covered most of the salient points of discussion about the game. I must now turn my attention back to writing and getting on with other projects.

May the New Year be the happiest you've ever known and the worst of all those yet to come. As an old Irish blessing says, 'May the wind always be at your back, may the road rise to meet your feet, and may you be in heaven an hour before the devil knows you're dead.'

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Sun Jan 3rd, 1999

The Next Series

Ray has made several posts recently detailing the next series of novels, which he is now calling Conclave of Shadows:

Well, then you're in the majority, because when it comes to the Conclave of Shadows (Yes, that's the title of the new series; I've finally ditched the 'saga' label) I ain't talking to anyone (well, a little to Steve Abrams, but that's only natural).

The Conclave of Shadows will involved almost all new characters and those few old faces you see will be secondary or tertiary characters. As I said, this story is set in the Eastern Kingdoms and ask yourself how many times so far those characters you listed went to the Eastern Kingdoms?

Originally, I wanted to put the Conclave of Shadows 100 years after the Serpentwar, but after I decided to move the action of the story to the Eastern Kingdoms, I decided a shorter window might be in order, something on the order of 30 years.

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Sun Jan 3rd, 1999

Unofficial Atlas Update

Ralph Askren sent me this update to the Unofficial Atlas to the Worlds of Ray Feist:

Novindus has now been posted on the Unofficial Atlas. You can get there the easy way by clicking on the index page's link...or, try sailing southwest from the Bitter Sea. :-)

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Fri Jan 1st, 1999

WarZone Reviews Return to Krondor

WarZone has posted a less-than-enthusiastic review of RtK, rating it at three stars:

Return to Krondor is not a disappointment because what's there isn't good. It's a disappointment because of what isn't there. It's far too short and combining that with completely linear gameplay leads to a title that isn't even very replayable. Plus it has the added pressure of living up to Betrayal at Krondor's lofty reputation. It doesn't.

The overall gameplay is quite good. Combat is fun and addictive. The story, while it lasts, is engaging and well told. The controls are easy to get used to despite some clunky handling of inventory. What really mars the experience is a camera that switches position and angle so often you'll feel like you just got done spinning yourself in circles for sixty seconds.

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Fri Jan 1st, 1999

New Reviews

Computer Games Online has posted a review of RtK, giving it four out of five stars:

Boot up Return to Krondor and you can expect to give up sleep, food, and meaningful interactions in the real world for at least a few days (the game is so compelling that you tend to devour it in as few bites as possible, like a great thick novel). Return is a stunning return to form for the Krondor series, and bodes spectacularly well for any future installments in the on-going tale.

GamesFirst has also offered a review, giving RtK three of five stars:

Return to Krondor is a good interactive novel brought to its knees by lousy camera angles and brevity. The expansive fully-explorable map of Betrayal at Krondor is sorely missed, and even the story is lacking by comparison. The graphics, combat system and puzzles are a step in the right direction, but Return to Krondor certainly fell short of my high expectations for a Raymond E. Feist RPG. Nonetheless, I still recommend it to Feist fans and adventure gamers who want a taste of role-playing.

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