The Geography of Vagrant Story
Title : Vagrant Story
Developer : Squaresoft
Publisher : Square Electronic Arts L.L.C.
Date Published : 5/17/2000 (North America)
Platforms : Sony Playstation
ESRB Rating : Teen (for animated violence)
Note: this writeup contains spoilers pertaining to the geography of the game, plot points, and the nature of in-game conventions.
Vagrant Story is a complex tale of mistaken realities and medieval intrigue set in a period game universe that draws heavily from Medieval Europe. The story centers around rivaling political entities whose destinies collide in the cursed, deserted city of Lea Monde.
The Cult of the Goddess Mullenkamp, led by the charismatic Sydney Losstarot, has made the cursed city their headquarters. Lea Monde harbors a great mystical power known only as "The Dark." The entire city is a perfect circle, prime for calling forth magic. Losstarot is adept at channeling this magical energy to shape his will and alter tangible reality. He can reach into people's minds and extract their memories. He can influence others with the power of his thoughts. He can summon creatures and demons literally out of thin air. With Lea Monde as the source of his magic, Sydney Losstarot shapes reality and influences events to his liking. His ultimate goal is not clear until the endgame. He does, however, achieve his goal.
This process by which magic is sourced and extracted becomes quite key to the ambitions of Romeo Guildenstern, squadleader of the Crimson Blades. The Order of the Crimson Blade is a Christian extremist army that functions as both the political strongarm of the Cardinal and freelance inquisitors. Amongst these heresies punishable by death is the use of magic; however, it is clear before long that the Crimson Blades use all kinds of magic without penalty. This is because Guildenstern, who gives all the orders, is obsessed with the power of The Dark and harbors a secret plan to harness the entire power of The Dark and Lea Monde to transform himself into a God-like creature. He, too, achieves his goal.
The final faction in this battle for interests, the Valendia Knights of the Peace, has sent operatives to the city of Lea Monde to investigate a rather delicate court intrigue. The VKP is a medieval bureau of intelligence gatherers and secret operatives in the employ of the reigning constitutional monarchy. The protagonist and main interface through which the player experiences the story, Ashley Riot, is a sole operative in the Dangerous Criminal Task Force: codename "Riskbreaker." It is he who experiences the city of Lea Monde with no foreknowledge of the true nature or geography of the ancient city. Because the player experiences the story through Ashley's perceptions, nearly all of the game revolves around unraveling the mystery of the city and what this means to Riot's investigation (and his final destiny).
The geography of Lea Monde -- of Vagrant Story itself -- is lush and detailed. The game designers very obviously took painstaking steps to flesh out every corridor and chamber toward the goal of total gameplay immersion. To this end, every chamber and corridor has been given a name. This is such an effective design strategy that rooms begin taking on personalities of their own. They become living entities in your mind as you play through the game, particularly since through much of the game you revisit previous areas with new abilities.
For example, rather than thinking to yourself "I should revisit that intersection in Undercity West with the iron key lock," you can say "I need to get back to The Sunless Way." It's much easier to remember, and is much more immersive than the alternative.
What follows is a geographic guide to Vagrant Story: a travel pamphlet, if you will. Please be safe and smart during your travels throughout the desolate ruins of Lea Monde.
The Iocus Priesthood Catacombs
Lea Monde, once a thriving commercial and spiritual center in the Kingdom of Valendia, fell to a great earthquake 25 years ago effectively killing all 5000 citizens of the city. Great rifts, filled in with high coral and tempestuous currents, have separated Lea Monde from the mainland making all attempts to enter virtually impossible.
The only way into the city from the mainland is through the Iocus Priesthood Catacombs: a stretch of underground passage that once served as home to the devout Iocus priests loyal to High Priestess Mullenkamp.
The Wine Cellars
Connects to: The Catacombs
Iocus priests were famous for the cultivation of their fine wines, and here is where they kept the fruits of their labor. This area is full of crates and wine storage and benefits from clean, mostly unobstructed passageways. Whereas 25 years ago this was a thriving underground home to culture, it is now a desolate underground home to a giant minotaur and disembodied demon called Dullahan.
If you're looking for a good time, may I suggest the Worker's Breakroom.
rooms include: Entrance to Darkness / Worker's Breakroom / Smokebarrel Stair / Wine Guild Hall / Wine Magnate's Chambers / Fine Vintage Vault / Chamber of Fear / Reckoning Room / A Laborer's Thirst / The Rich Drown in Wine / Room of Rotten Grapes / Blackmarket of Wines / The Gallows / Room of Cheap Red Wine / Room of Cheap White Wine / The Hero's Winehall
Connects to: The Wine Cellars, Sanctum
The core of the Iocus Priesthood Catacombs sits deep underground between the mainland and the city and has suffered some earthquake damage. Some passageways are obstructed by debris and rust, and -- to make matters worse -- it appears as though the power of The Dark is reanimating corpses with the disharmonious spirits of the dead. What was once a center for Iocus priesthood ritual is now a safehouse for the damned who walk once more.
Bandits in search of Lea Monde's fine wines and other treasures have had a limited presence in this area in the last 25 years; unfortunately for them, their presence is limited to walking the halls as zombies, ghosts, or skeletons.
Passages here are often twisted but, aside from debris and the foulness of the undying, rather accessible. Features many smaller rooms chained together. Some rest and relaxation may be found at The Withered Spring. If you are interested in weaponsmithing, there are limited accommodations at Work of Art workshop.
rooms include: Hall of Sworn Revenge / The Last Blessing / The Weeping Corridor / The Persecution Hall / The Rodent-Ridden Chamber / The Lamenting Mother / Hall of Dying Hope / Bandit's Hideout / The Bloody Hallway / The Withered Spring / Work of Art / Repent, O Ye Sinners / Last Stab of Hope / The Beast's Domain
Connects to: The Catacombs, Town Center West
Home to the Iocus Priesthood academic endeavors, the Sanctum is comprised of long corridors and breathtaking chambers. This is a small area with no evident obstructions -- unless you count the magically animated battle golem and the armor-plated dragon guarding the Stairway to the Light.
A beautiful underground river runs at Advent Ground. Caution is advised when crossing this river. In fact, the activation of magical "cloudstone" platforms is advised when crossing this river. Also watch for hidden passages in the classrooms. Those crazy student monks and their secret passageways!
rooms include: Corridor of the Clerics / The Academia Corridor / Shrine of the Martyrs / The Prisoner's Niche / Priest's Confinement / Alchemist's Laboratory / Theology Classroom / Hallowed Hope / The Hall of Sacrilege / Advent Ground / Passage of the Refugees / The Cleansing Chantry / Stairway to the Light
Downtown Lea Monde
Once the center of a radiant society, Downtown Lea Monde is now a high-risk neighborhood of dark spiritual energy and decay. The town center is the nexus for all travel within the city. The entire city is a circle, designed to augment magical energies that resonate from generations passed. At the absolute center of this concentric construction is the Great Cathedral. If you are looking for the highest concentration of The Dark, it is most likely going to be there. Be sure to protect yourself with sunscreen and a high Dark Attribute rating for your equipment.
But, Downtown Lea Monde is a hotspot for more than just goddess-worshippers and zealous Christian inquisitors! From here you can access nearly every tourist trap (and plenty of other, deadlier traps too) in the entire city. Looking for historic evidence of battle-worn rampart defense? What about the serenity of the surrounding forests? Remnants of thriving commercial and mining enterprises wait patiently in the caverns and passageways below the city. It's all here waiting for your tourism dollars!
A side note: The Order of the Crimson Blades seems to have taken up patrols here in the streets of Downtown Lea Monde. Proceed with caution, particularly if you are a heretic and/or plan on burning in a pit of eternal hellfire.
Town Center West
Connects to: Sanctum, City Walls West, City Walls South, Undercity West, Abandoned Mines B1
The West End is lush with green streets and exquisite architecture. It is by far the largest sector of the downtown area, split north-south by the deep cavernous river at Tircolas Flow. Entrance to the Iocus Priesthood Catacombs can be found on the north side of the West End.
When you are finished enjoying the serene and tranquil waters at Tircolas Flow, cross the river with a "cloudstone" platform to enjoy access to the Undercity Marketplace and the Abandoned Mines. If you are a novice weapon smith, I suggest you visit the Magic Hammer workshop in this area for all your smithing needs.
The West End is an open, expansive residential area. Many of these houses have withstood the earthquake damage and can even be toured if you take the proper precautions. Just remember to be polite and courteous to the current residents -- unless, of course, they are lizardmen or something. If that's the case, kick the crap out of them and take their possessions. Travel isn't cheap, you know!
rooms include: Rue Vermillion / The Rene Coastroad / Magic Hammer / Rue Mal Fallde / Tircolas Flow / Rue Bouquet / Glacialdra Kirk Ruins / Rue Sant D'alsa / Dinas Walk / Villeport Way
Town Center South
Connects to: Keep, City Walls East, Abandoned Mines B2
The South End of town will satisfy all amateur military historians who happen to pass by this fortified, once-bloodied sector of the downtown area. With what evidence is available, it is easy to imagine this neighborhood's struggle for peace. Town Center South is a compacted corner of the city comprised of small, winding roads and rolling hills. It is adjacent to the Keep -- training grounds and dwelling for the (once) proud city militia. It is here where invaders have been fought off many times in the past, and property values have decreased as an unfortunate result.
However, there is much here to offer the casual tourist! The wide open slopes of Forcas Rise provide a great, enjoyable atmosphere and opportunities for travel by rooftop for those who do not shrink in terror at the idea. Be sure to visit the historic Khazabas House! In fact, you'll pretty much have to if you have any intent to finish the game.
rooms include: Forcas Rise / Rue Morgue / Rue Aliano / Rue Volnac / Rue Faltes / Zebel's Walk / The House Khazabas
Town Center East
Connects to: City Walls North, Undercity West, Undercity East, Temple of Kiltia, The Great Cathedral
The East End of town is a posh neighborhood adjacent to the city's religious centers. For the less devout, this area offers two sophistocated forges useful for smithing weaopns of great power. If your preferred material is silver or damascus, try Metal Works on Rue Fisserano. If your preferred material is, well, everything else, try Junction Point on the scenic Rue Crimnade.
Unfortunately due to a lack of funding and, well, living personnel on staff, the Lea Monde Department of Urban Development and Maintenance hasn't gotten around to repairing the two key bridges in this neighborhood. The Kesch Bridge is defiantly out of order as is the Plateia Lumitar. Both waterways can be crossed by deft jumping on the remnants of stone pillars.
Current research indicates that The Order of the Crimson Blade inhabits this area most fiercely, due to the presence of the Kildean Temple and the Great Cathedral. I suggest you bring a passport and exchangeable currency. And a giant two-handed sword.
rooms include: Rue Lejour / Kesch Bridge / Rue Crimnade / Rue Fisserano / Metal Works / Junction Point / Shasras Hill Park / Plateia Lumitar / Gharmes Walk / The House Gilgitte
Connects to: Town Center South, City Walls South, Iron Maiden B1
For you history buffs or travellers bored with hotel gyms, visit the grand and historic Keep! This area is due south of Downtown Lea Monde, connected to the City Walls and fully equipped to fend off invaders. See the remnants of war firsthand! Here you will find the remains of soldiers' barracks and training grounds. In addition, some monsters have taken up residence in the training rooms, ostensibly to help you along with your own weapon proficiency. What do they care, right? The Dark will reanimate them anyway after you pulverize them with your mad skillz. By that same token, maybe you shouldn't be so afraid either.
Other draws of the Keep involve the rather competent forge shop Keane's Crafts located on the east edge. Also, enjoy a relaxing breather at The Warrior's Rest: an open courtyard with fantastic ventilation and a nice, cool atmosphere.
It is rumored that the Keep holds deep secrets in its architecture: forgotten passageways and even a dangerous dungeon known as the Iron Maiden. Little is known about these areas, so this travel writer will omit them from this pamphlet. Besides, why would you want to go fight dangerous monsters for incredible rewards when you could instead enjoy at margarita or two at Tircolas Flow?
rooms include: The Soldier's Bedding / Wiping Blood from Blades / A Taste of the Spoils / Urge the Boy On / A Storm of Arrows / The Warrior's Rest / Keane's Crafts
Connects to: Town Center West, Town Center South, Town Center East, Abandoned Mines B1, Snowfly Forest, Snowfly Forest East, Keep, Undercity West, Undercity East
The City Walls are the final bastion between Downtown Lea Monde and the rest of the city -- and world, for that matter. These tall ramparts box in the downtown area in all four cardinal directions. It is also possible to access other areas of the city from inside the walls.
Lizardmen and other magical creatures seem to enjoy the darkness and protection the City Walls have to offer. If you intend to travel through the walls, be prepared with lizard food or a sharp edged polearm.
rooms include: Where the Master Fell / Students of Death / The Gabled Hall / The Weeping Boy / Swords for the Land / In Wait of the Foe / Where Weary Riders Rest / The Boy's Training Room / Train and Grow Strong / The Squire's Gathering / The Invaders are Found / The Dream-Weavers / The Cornered Savage / Traces of Invasion Past / From Squire to Knight / Be For Battle Prepared / Destruction and Rebirth / From Boy to Hero / A Welcome Invasion
Abandoned Undercity Marketplace
If you had shopping in mind, you may want to skip Lea Monde. While the Undercity Marketplace was once a home for greengrocers and fish hawkers, weaponsmithies and clothes-washers -- now it is the residence of the foulest and darkest creatures known to shamble about in the deep beneath the city streets of Lea Monde.
The Undercity Marketplace is a vast hollow paved in stone with great underground rivers carving paths through the ancient ways. Lit only by an ominous blue phosphorus glow and the occasional streetlamp, this once-proud marketplace now sells perpetual night wholesale and passes the savings onto you.
These shops are all abandoned, but you may occasionally wander into the treasure troves of marketplaces long gone. Some of the fiercest monsters ever recorded by the Lea Monde Bureau of Tourism reside here. I recommend you avoid this area entirely, unless you are interested in immense wealth, the challenge of facing terrible creatures, or actually beating the game.
Connects to: Town Center West, Town Center East, City Walls East, Escapeway, Abandoned Mines B2, Limestone Quarry, Snowfly Forest
The west sector of the Undercity is an expansive chain of corridors and large, open areas that were once thriving marketplaces. Remembering days of yore, each hawker of fine products would line the corners and passageways for the gawking shoppers who pass by. Beggars and bandits also made a decent living here in the Undercity: where there is commerce, there is inevitably theft.
If you venture down into the deep, be sure to check out The Crumbling Market. This immense cavern is a scenic nexus of waterways and passages lit by an eerie blue glow. If you are looking for rest, I suggest The Sunless Way.
Foul creatures have taken up residence here in the Undercity. You will meet all sorts of undead. You will also encounter giant crabs (and not the kind you can shampoo away), haunted suits of armor, and phantoms imbued with dark power.
This sector of the Undercity is also home to the best weapon smithing shop in the entire city: Godhands. If you manage to make it through the front doors, this forge is the key to manufacturing the highest quality equipment around.
rooms include: Way of the Mother Lode / Sewer of Ravenous Rats / Underdark Fishmarket / The Sunless Way / Remembering Days of Yore / The Crumbling Market / Sinner's Corner / The Children's Hideout / Larder for a Lean Winter / Bite the Master's Wounds / The Body Fragile Yields / Salvation for the Mother / Hope Obstructed / Corner of Prayers / The Washing-Woman's Way / Beggars of the Mouth Harp / Corner of the Wretched / Crossroads of Rest / Path to the Greengrocer / Path of the Children / Where the Hunter Climbed / Godhands
Connects to: Town Center East, City Walls North
The east sector of the Undercity is not connected to the west sector. It is accessible from the northern part of downtown Lea Monde. While it has shared the same history as its western cousin, its geography is vastly different. Undercity East is a narrow, cramped chain of chambers once home to bazaars and upscale shops. Now, without its commercial draw, it is rather unpleasant and has been known to make travelers feel ill at ease.
This area is home to a treacherous undead magic-user known as the Lich. Proceed with extreme caution, unless, of course, you're completely suicidal.
rooms include: Hall to a New World / Place of Free Words / Bazaar of the Bizarre / Noble Gold and Silk / Weapons Not Allowed / Gemsword Blackmarket / Sale of the Sword / Catspaw Blackmarket / The Greengrocer's Stair / Where Black Waters Ran / Arms Against Invaders
Connects to: Undercity West
This is a curious piece of geography. The Escapeway is a small chain of passageways that served as an escape route from The Crumbling Market to safehavens elsewhere in the Undercity. Historians are uncertain whether this escapeway was meant for shop owners or for the bandits who bled them. What is certain, though, is that the Escapeway is sealed by a magic so powerful you may have to make multiple visits to Lea Monde before you are able to enter.
rooms include: Where Body and Soul Part / Blood of the Beast / Fear and Loathing / The Darkness Drinks / Facing Your Illusions / Movement of Fear / Buried Alive / Shelter from the Quake
Hot Vacation Spots
The Snowfly Forest is a maze of paths and groves in a wooded area peculiar for its concentration of snowflies and wild beasts. It is located to the southwest of the Keep and the southern City Walls complex, nearly due south of Town Center West. It is accessible from the south walls and from the Undercity.
Snowflies tend to travel with the wind, and the wind tends to travel along the best paths through the wilderness. While every traveler resorts to a different method, common word-of-mouth advice is that one should follow the snowflies. If you are disoriented, look for patches of moss on the south sides of trees.
What? You're not familiar with snowflies? They're flies that look like falling snow. Next question.
Connects to: City Walls South, Undercity West
A stroll through Snowfly Forest is recommended when the daily hubbub of Downtown Lea Monde or the Abandoned Undercity Marketplace gets you down. There are many paths through Snowfly Forest, but nearly all of them get so twisted and confusing as to make rational navigation impossible. It is advised that you pay special attention to your map in this area; if you find yourself accidentally backtracking, try a different route.
The Forest River will make the trip worth your time. This grove cut by a placid river is a serene testimony to Lea Monde's natural outdoor wonder. There are small accommodations for visitors here so that they may rest and recover from the perils in the forest.
rooms include: The Faerie Circle / The Hunt Begins / Which Way Home / Golden Egg Way / They Also Feed / Traces of the Beast / Return to the Land / Where Soft Rains Fell / Forest River / Lamenting to the Moon / Running with the Wolves / You are the Prey / The Secret Path / Hewn From Nature / The Wood Gate /
Snowfly Forest East
Connects to: City Walls East
This is a small grove known as Nature's Womb located to the southeast of the Keep. It is sealed by powerful magic and may not be accessible until repeat visits to the city. What is known about Snowfly Forest East is that something terribly dangerous lives there, and probably won't appreciate tourists.
rooms include: Steady the Boar-Spears / The Boar's Revenge / Nature's Womb
A (Once) Thriving Mining Industry
Lea Monde, though a center of commercial and religious culture, developed a formidible mining operation beneath the city streets. Immense operations to recover coal and limestone from the earth beneath lasted for millennia up until the catastrophic earthquake 25 years ago. This has resulted in immense, multi-layered caverns that once thrived as mining operations.
It is recommended that tourists avoid these abandoned mines unless passage to other areas of the city are obstructed. If this is the case, bring protection with you. Wild beasts and surly goblinfolk inhabit these dark tunnels. Sometimes, the undead and dragonfolk like to hang out here too.
Connects to: Town Center West, Town Center South, City Walls West, Undercity West
The remains of an immense coal mining operation located beneath the southern center of town. There are two discernable levels to the Abandoned Mines, but they share the same characteristics: jagged precipices, immense chambers followed by narrow stuffy passageways, paths that split and weave in the darkness but ultimately lead to the same location, sharp unclimbable rock faces, and bridges over what appear to be bottomless chasms. The brown rock surface is only interrupted in color by the unforgiving black of the dark chasms below.
In otherwords, travel light and travel well. You will face a near-endless gauntlet of danger and agony here. Next time try using the city streets, genius.
rooms include: Dreamer's Entrance / The Crossing / Miners' Resting Hall / The End of the Line / The Earthquake's Mark / Coal Mine Storage / The Battle's Beginning / What Lies Ahead? / The Fruits of Friendship / The Passion of Lovers / The Dark Tunnel / Rust in Peace / The Smeltry / Clash of Hyaenas / Live Long and Prosper / Traitor's Parting / Revelation Shaft / Gambler's Passage / The Miner's End / Treaty Room / Tomb of the Reborn / Bandit's Hollow / Dining in Darkness / Subtellurian Horrors
Connects to: Undercity West, Temple of Kiltia
A much nicer destination if you are into the science of mining! The Limestone Quarry is an interconnected network of immense caverns carved from the earth adjacent to the Kildean Temple. This destination boasts tremendous, breathtaking subterranean vistas connected by tidy, upkept corridors. All this is thanks to the large population of elemental fiends, giant ogres, and oversized dragons who have taken up residence in the large caverns. If you don't mind the diversity of the natives, the Limestone Quarry just might be for you!
rooms include: Dream of the Holy Land / The Ore Road / The Air Stirs / Bonds of Friendship / Screams of the Wounded / The Dreamer's Climb / The Laborer's Bonfire / Stone and Sulfurous Fire / Torture Without End / Excavated Hollow / Dust Shall Eat the Days / Hall of the Wage-Paying / Tunnel of the Heartless
Mullenkamp, high Kildean priestess of ancient times, is said to have overseen the construction of Lea Monde and continues to perpetuate her magical influence over the city millennia after her passing. The perpetuation of this magical force has a lot to do with The Dark and Sydney Losstarot via the Rood Inverse, or "Blood-Sin."
The Rood Inverse is an insignia shaped like a six-pronged sword. The bearer of the Rood Inverse has this insignia magically tattooed onto his/her back, giving them ultimate control over the magical power that Mullenkamp set into effect -- The Dark.
Through the Rood Inverse, Mullenkamp continues to exercise her will as the will of The Dark. As the city appears to have been intentionally constructed as a magical circle, this makes the center of the circle the highest concentration point for any and all magical power.
It is at the Temple of Kiltia and more specifically the Great Cathedral where these magical energies coalesce into one fine point.
Tourist or not, your travels in Lea Monde will lead you here.
Temple of Kiltia
Connects to: Limestone Quarry, Town Center East
The Temple of Kiltia is an elaborate, if small, meetinghouse for the Kildean priesthood presiding over the spiritual center of the city. The interiors are covered with elegant black and tan checkerboard, throughout long sweeping hallways and chambers. It is located underground, beneath the holy grounds adjacent to the Great Cathedral. There is a "cloudstone" passage up to the surface, but all research indicates that one accesses the temple via the Limestone Quarry. This clandestine approach indicates that the Temple of Kiltia served an administrative and internally ritualistic purpose. The common citizen of Lea Monde was not permitted access to this holy place.
The good news? The city has been uninhabited for 25 years now. Step right in and experience the architectural wonder and sublime beauty of the Kildean Temple. Just... watch out for the hulking lord of minotaurs and other spectral entities powerful enough to level an already-leveled city.
rooms include: The Dark Coast / Hall of Prayer / Those Who Drink the Dark / The Chapel of Meschaunce / Chamber of Reason / Exit to City Center
The Great Cathedral
Connects to:Town Center East
At the direct center of the city, The Great Cathedral served once as spiritual center for the townsfolk. Now, it still perpetuates the power of The Dark as Mullenkamp's will is served through the bearer of the Rood Inverse. The entire structure permeates magical force and the seemingly evil will of The Dark, so expect powerful creatures beyond the scope of your imagination should you choose to visit this holiest of places in the city.
The Great Cathedral is three stories tall. It also has a basement below the first story and a grand atrium above the third story. The interiors vary from brown stone to black and blue checkerboard to stately palace decor. This structure consists of a large chapel area surrounded by smaller rooms for storage or offices. As you proceed higher, you may encounter The Heretic's Story: a breathtaking precipice from which you can view the entire sermon. Of course, that was before dragons and elementals took over the pulpit.
Should you make it to The Atrium, you may enjoy a relaxing moment basking in the light of the sun as it sets into the horizon. You may want to take special care to enjoy this sunset, as it will most likely be the last you ever see.
rooms include: Into Holy Battle / Struggle for the Soul / Order and Chaos / Truth and Lies / Sanity and Madness / The Victor's Laurels / Cracked Pleasures / Hieratic Recollections / The Flayed Confessional / Abasement from Above / The Hall of Broken Vows / He Screams for Mercy / Maelstrom of Malice / The Acolyte's Weakness / Monks Leap / An Opening of Souls / Sin and Punishment / The Poisoned Chapel / A Light in the Dark / Light and Dark Wage War / An Arrow into Darkness / Where Darkness Spreads / The Wine Lecher's Fall / The Heretics' Story / Hopes of the Idealist / The Melodics of Madness / What Ails You, Kills You / Despair of the Fallen / The Atrium
sources: Vagrant Story has a comprehensive built-in map feature. It also has a strategy guide written by enthusiastic, if often completely mistaken about battle strategy, Dan Birlew. gamefaqs.com for technical and historical detail.