Daggerfall for Free!

One of my all time favorite games was released as free download few weeks ago as a celebration of 15th anniversary of Elder Scrolls series. It’s 1996 title The Elder Scrolls: Daggerfall by Bethesda. You can get 150MiB zip archive with install at BethSoft's site. Getting it working on modern OS is not easy but DosBox should help here.

There were a lot of attempts at remakes of Daggerfall but all failed so far. However, a new promising one appeared recently and it’s progressing at warp speed since then (one month from wrongly textured entrance of Privateer’s Hold dungeon to rendering city blocks). Check out development blog and downloads at the homepage of DaggerXL. You need original Daggerfall data files to run the demo – no problem now when you can get it free.

Daggerfall Workshop was recently reopened as well. It’s a home of tools that let you explore Daggerfall’s game assets (textures, models, maps, music, etc.). There’s also a new exploring tool in development that looks really good, with very interesting blog posts about various Dagger’s file formats, rendering techniques, and so on.

I did my small share of dabbling in Daggerfall’s file formats too. Image and texture loaders in Object Pascal are part of ElderImagery extension of Imaging library and I’ve got BSA archive handler somewhere too. I’m now thinking of adding SKY format (backdrop images used in game for skies and far away mountains) loader, just for fun I guess.

When writing about Daggerfall, one cannot forget mentioning its music which was really excellent. Much more atmospheric and fitting than the music in recent Elder Scrolls games (there was also a lot more tracks). Check out Robert Hood’s arrangements of Eric Heberling's original music tracks.

UPDATERobert Hood's site has been dead for years but you can find his and many other great DF music remixes here: Daggerfall music.

Castle WayrestWildreness at night

WildernessMy character

My other character

4 thoughts on “Daggerfall for Free!

  1. Hi, I stumbled on this article from a Google search just now. I thought you might be interested to know about the DungeonHack project, which grew out of the Daggerfall Workshop and was once intended to recreate Daggerfall (halted by legal issues). Today, we are creating an original open source RPG with many things inspired from Daggerfall and TES, namely a very large world, the use of procedural generation, open ended gameplay, etc.. We are even still using Robert Hood’s awesome arrangements.


    Also, upon poking around the site here a bit, I noticed that you are interested in 3D terrain. Our terrain is not nearly as fancy, but it does have the advantage of being created on the fly, and like in Daggerfall you can walk in one direction endlessly until you get bored or reach some destination (though we haven’t bothered to add any far away destinations yet).

    • Hi, I’m familiar with DungeonHack 🙂
      I was following it’s progress on old Interkarma’s forums, but lost track of it when they went offline.
      Good news that it is still under development, good luck with that guys!

      I’m courious what legal issues were there with the original DugeonHack’s concept?

      • Found this again through a (different) Google search. 😉

        Regarding legal issues, I wasn’t part of the project at the time, but here is a nice snippet from our project history page[1]:

        “Issues surrounding use of Daggerfall’s story and setting had always been in the air and never truly settled. In ReDF the plan was to create a proof-of-concept demo before approaching Bethesda and parent company ZeniMax. The various DFWorkshop projects had little if any strategy about the legal hurdle. Through unofficial channels word came of Bethesda developers “squirming” when asked about our project’s remake ambitions, leaving the impression they didn’t want to make any statement about its legality or existence. In essence, the remake effort had been allowed to live in the shadows, out of sight and out of mind.

        In 2007, lamaslany contacted Bethesda Softworks directly about “the legal question”. Forced to comment, they said what they had to say– that it was unauthorized. The announcement of this on the forums in May forced the community to search for a new identity.”

        Now I am happy to say that we have a great story and lore in the works.

        [1] http://dungeonhack.sourceforge.net/DungeonHack:Community_Portal#Community_History

      • Thanks for getting back to this comment.
        I’m looking forward to the new story and lore for DH.

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