Darklands FAQ v3.0


1.1 What do we know about Arnold Hendrick, designer of Darklands?

Before he designed games for Microprose, Arnold Hendrick worked in game design. Of note: Grav Armor (Dwarfstar), a tactical combat game, and Barbarian Prince (also Dwarfstar), a paragraph adventure boardgame. He was also involved in Trireme from Avalon Hill (Redesign and Development).

Arnold Hendrick worked on a number of games for Microprose:

  • Silent Service II - project leader;
  • F-19 Stealth Fighter - game design by Sid Meier (based on an original idea by Jim Synoski and Arnold Hendrick) playtesting manual writing, with Joe Morel;
  • M1 Tank Platoon - game design, playtesting, manual writing;
  • Darklands - concept, game system and project management; game design (with Sandy Petersen and others); manual writing

Darklands won the 1992 PC Special Achievement Award from Game Players Magazine. As per Microprose, Arnold Hendrick is no longer with the company.

As of 1995, Arnold was with I-Magic and served as the designer of iM1A2 Abrams, released that same year.

Arnold wrote an article which was published back in the February 1998 edition of Game Designer Magazine: "How to Hire a Phenomenal Game Designer".

Mark Kundinger had the following correspondence with Arnold Hendrick which he shares with us:

Date: Thu, 12 Dec 1996 09:03:13 -0500
To: Mark Kundinger
From: Arnold Hendrick
Subject: Re: Random nostalgic moment

At 11:19 PM 12/11/96 -0600, you wrote:
>Hello Arnold,
>Hate to intrude on your busy schedule, especially while you're
>working on iM1A2, but I was just wondering...
>You remember Darklands? I sure do. I loved that game, it was so
>different than your typical RPG (having a mob chase you into the monastery
>was great fun). It also served as a handy quick-reference to saints.
>Had you had any plans (way, way on the back burner) to do a sort of
>sequel to this? The RPG market is so barren right now I'm sure they're
>slavering for a new game :)
>Anyway, sorry to butt in, and thanks for reading.


Sorry, but no plans for any such sequel. However, thanks for the appreciative comments. I'm glad you enjoyed the game. :)


1.2 What did Microprose say about Darklands?

Microprose issued the following press release:

********** DARKLANDS **********

HUNT VALLEY, MD _ MicroProse Software, Inc., famous worldwide for its high-quality entertaining simulations of combat and adventure, will release DARKLANDS, its first true fantasy role-playing game, this fall.

Set in 15th Century Medieval Germany, DARKLANDS will be as realistic and challenging a simulation as previous MicroProse releases. "The common thread of all of our titles, from GUNSHIP to RAILROAD TYCOON, is that they have an intellectual core," said Arnold Hendrick, DARKLANDS' game designer. "DARKLANDS will be no different _ the problems and tasks the gamer will face are straight from the events and attitudes of Medieval Germany." 15th Century Germany was a time of violence and corruption and was an era with three Popes simultaneously in charge, powerless emperors, gangster nobles and venal clergymen. DARKLANDS recreates this period and emphasizes the beliefs of the time: witches worshipping the devil, people praying to saints to produce real miracles, alchemists turning lead into gold and dragons inhabiting caves.

Players will explore a vast map of Germany with a party of four adventurers created from the likes of nobles, swordsmen, mercenaries, thieves, alchemists, monks and several more. Millions of different character types will be possible by choosing from 26 attributes and skills. The ultimate goal of the game will be to achieve fame and immortality on multiple quests, many of them simultaneous. Quests will be created by an "adventure generator" for endless replayability.

DARKLANDS will be released for IBM-compatibles and will require 640K of RAM. The game will support AdLib, Roland, Tandy and IBM sounds, and EGA, MCGA/VGA and Tandy 16-color graphics. A hard disk will be required and a mouse recommended.

1.3 Where do I find Darklands now?

Ultimate Darklands is your surest bet in finding your own legitimate copy of Darklands on CD-ROM. These are the latest version you can get (v483.07) which means no upgrades required! UD even carries copies of the Official Hintbook!! They accept a variety of payment methods and ships to several countries.
NOTE: Ultimate Darklands is not directly affiliated with the Darklands Domain or the Darklands FAQ. This information is presented strictly as a service to the Darklands community.

eBay is the place to go if you are looking for an original box-set with the real manual or the supplementary Clue Book. There is almost always an active Darklands auction going on. Be prepared, however, to pay a premium for original, out of print materials. Check out these links for current auctions on ebay for the Darklands game or the Darklands cluebook. NOTE: In case you didn't know, you must register with eBay before you can place a bid on any item.

Yahoo! Auctions is another popular place for online auctions. While not quite as popular a source as eBay, original sets have been spotted by faithful watchers. Check out these links for current auctions running on Yahoo! for Darklands and the Darklands cluebook. NOTE: As with most privately-owned web services, you'll have to register before you can place a bid on any item.

If nothing comes up in the previous sources AND you can't wait to get your hands on an original set, you can see if the Game Trading Zone has any copies of Darklands available. This is a peer-to-peer site for bartering games. Seekers list what they are looking for and what they have to offer. NOTE: This is an "on your honor" system, so buyer beware!

1.4 Did I hear somebody say, "sequel"?

In the manual for Darklands, it says that the designers were planning a number of sequels to expand the game throughout medieval Europe, including Russia and other locations. This never materialized, but gamers are a persistent bunch and every now and then, the questions re-emerge.

This is what was said about a sequel (straight from the horse's mouth, as it were):

From: polar@u.washington.edu (B. Power)
Newsgroups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg
Subject: Darklands: Dead. *sigh*
Date: 3 Sep 1995 17:26:41 GMT

Several weeks ago, I sent Microprose mail about a possible sequel to Darklands. Here's what I received:


Date: Wed, 26 Jul 1995 11:05:12 -0400
From: MPS/SH On-Line
To: Brendan Power
Subject: Re: Darklands: Dead in the water?

Hi Brendan,

There are no plans for a newer version of Darklands, or to license out the source code.

Tim/Spectrum HoloByte-MicroProse

The following message from Erik Novales also reinforces the notion that Microprose does not wish to get involved with Darklands:

Subject: Darklands
Author: Erik Novales at Gateway
Date: 10/25/95 11:20 PM

To whom it may concern,

At the behest of the authors of the DARKLANDS FAQ, and also partly out of my love for that game of old, I'm writing to express my support for the effort to either a) produce Darklands sequels, as was stated in the game manual, or b) release/license the source code to concerned net.citizens to produce themselves what is so evidently desired--a good RPG using an engine whose quality is unequalled today. I urge whomever happens to be in control of these matters to give serious consideration to these two proposals, as I see a great deal of potential in the Darklands engine, especially in the light of recent, 'AVI-based' games that push bells and whistles over subtance. Thank for your attention.

Erik Novales


Date: Thu, 26 Oct 1995 14:02:34 -0400
From: MPS/SH On-Line
To: Erik Novales
Subject: Re: Darklands

Hi Erik, Thank you for your interest, however, there are no plans for a sequel (as the game's lead designer and programmer no longer is with the company) and we do not release our code into the general net community.


Tim/Spectrum Holobyte-Microprose

We here at FAQ Central have come to believe, over the last two years, that this is Microprose's unwavering position. We encourage anyone who enjoyed Darklands to write to Microprose/Infogrames to suggest they reconsider reopening the Darklands dossier. As far as I know, the e-mail address is support@microprose.com. There is also a web page at http://www.infogrames.com.


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