Long ago and far away, as any heroic tale should begin, an intrepid group of travellers set off on a perilous road. No, not us! I’m talking about the people who build the Diku MUD engine — Sebastian Hammer, Tom Madsen, Katja Nyboe, Michael Seifert, and Hans Henrik Staerfeldt from Datalogisk Institut Københavns Universitet in Denmark. Without their work, this tale would not be possible. Established long before there was a world wide web, this text based multiplayer platform created the environment in which people from all walks of life with access to modest computing power could create and establish their own worlds and wonders. Text-based adventures have their roots in such games as Zork and the Adventure in the Colossal Cave. The history of MUD (DIKU and its forebears) forms the basis for games like “World of Warcraft” and “EverQuest.” The biggest advantage — even today — of the use of MUD is that it provides access to online, social gaming even for those who cannot afford the biggest graphics cards and most serious CPUs. MUDs use only text-based information and were built for use in a world of slow modems and narrow bandwidth.
Upon the shoulders of that work Roo, Julio, and Rajhiii along with their helpers, players, and various supporters have established one of the longest running games on the Internet — The Last Outpost. Established in 1992, the same year as the World Wide Web, Last Outpost has a unique map and set of areas. Unlike the “Midgaard-classic” DIKU environment, Last Outpost has created a world from scratch based on a simple story:
Three generations ago, The Empire was overrun. The Last Outpost, a small coastal trading community located deep in the wild, was spared from most of the fighting and survived. Life in the Outpost is not easy, and many of the finer things from the old Empire are absent. The residents of the Outpost are descended from the survivors of The Fall, a tough and adventurous breed. They are well suited to the task of reclaiming the land once tamed by their forefathers.
As with any game, the world is combination puzzle, platform, and stage. The characters in the drama each have their own flair and all have unique takes on how to navigate the various problems and stories. Their actions create another thread in the tapestry that is Life in the Last Outpost.