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