|The 4th Coming|
|Developer(s)||Dialsoft (2006-present) |
|Release date(s)|| PC|
NA May 14, 1999
|Genre(s)||Action role-playing game, dungeon crawl, hack and slash|
|Rating(s)||Template:ESRB = T (Teens - Containing violence, And Minimal blood)|
|System requirements|| Windows|
Windows 95 or better, 60 MHz Pentium or better, 8 MB RAM (16 MB for multiplayer), SVGA-compatible graphics card, 2X CD-ROM drive
|Input methods||Keyboard, mouse|
The 4th Coming (abbreviated T4C), and also known in French as La Quatrième Prophétie, is an MMORPG (Massive multiplayer online role-playing game) originally produced by Vircom Interactive for Windows-based operating systems. Vircom opened the first server for testing before releasing server licenses. There are no known release notes for versions prior to the release of version 1.0. The 4th Coming was later purchased by Dialsoft, who now sells server licenses and continues to develop the game under the unofficial project name of T4C V2. Dialsoft hopes to upgrade The 4th Coming into a much more modern program without bugs and with many new features. The current official version released is 1.61c.
Background story and setting Edit
The game takes place in the fair world of Althea. Althea spans three islands: Arakas, Raven's Dust, and Stoneheim. In these islands, there is much commotion about the various evil deeds being committed. Beginning on Arakas island, players are eventually given the choice to choose their alignment - good or evil. At the end of the long path through the game lies the ultimate evil entity, the powerful lich Makrsh P'Tangh, the corrupt elven king. There was a time long ago when Elves wandered the world in great numbers, when their achievements outshone even the brightness of the sun, when human and dwarven civilizations were still in their infancies. There was a time of legends and heroes, of incredible accomplishments and great deeds, a time when the world knew true grandeur. That time is long gone, however, crushed under the heel of fate and decay. The Elves are gone, now, victims to their own delusions. They failed to heed the warnings of the Harbinger, the one who came to warn them. The Harbinger arrived several millennia ago, on the night the moons and the Centaur constellation were aligned. Appearance foul and nightmarish, he warned all who would listen of the impending doom that lay ahead. But the Elves had grown vain and arrogant, and heeded him not. The Harbinger left, promising to return when the time would be right again. Several generations later - a short time by Elven reckoning - the Harbinger returned, once more treading under an alignment of the moons and constellations. The Elves had all but forgotten his past warnings. As the Curse fell upon their race, they stood defenseless. Despite their arcane lore and magical skills, they could not resist the godly powers that crushed them. When the Harbinger left their lands, there was not a single building standing. It is said that the winds carried the stench of death even as far as the Dwarven villages in the north. The latter took this for a sign that evil was coming, and prepared to defend themselves. When the Harbinger came to their lands to warn them too that their turn would come, that great danger lay ahead, they grew fearful of the visitor's appearance, and shunned him. He left them, warning them that achievements alone were not the measure of a worthy people. A millennia later, the skies repeated their fateful alignment of moons and stars. The Dwarves had flourished into a society of craftsmen and artisans. They had built great cities and were dutifully worshiping their god. Prophecies from long ago warned them against a fate similar to that of the Elves, so they had taken care to properly groom themselves and prepare for the Third Coming. When the Harbinger came to them, however, they could not stand the sight and smell of him, and, mistaking him for some fiend from hell, immediately struck him down. This, historians say, was the very act that caused the downfall of the Dwarves. They also say that some humans witnessed the event, and that the Harbinger warned them as well, that he told them they too would be judged, lest their worthiness was greater than that of the Elves and the Dwarves. T4C is set in a time when the prophesied 4th Coming is to occur, the stars and moons have aligned once more. Inhabitants of Althea are not sure if the tales of old are true, and that it may just be superstitious nonsense. Rumour has it there really is a Harbinger that is walking the land.
Much like Diablo (computer game), players travel through the world unlocking quests, battling monsters in real-time, making allies, etc. The stat point system allows people to create their characters as they wish and is arguably very versatile. By being able to choose their alignment, players are able to experience two sides of the storyline. The game also contains many different visuals, a chat system, has huge areas, and contains a wide variety of weapons and spells. Vircom stated that one of their goals was to put players in fights full of monsters and make it so that players can come out victorious on most occasions. The game contains songs created by musician Erik Ashley.
Vircom Interactive Edit
Vircom Interactive, a subdivision of Vircom (specializing in e-mail protection, and previously having hands in on Major BBS), was a company that worked on online games that include, but are not limited to: Swords of Chaos, The 4th Coming, The 4th Prophecy, and Black Moon Chronicles: Winds of War. The 4th Prophecy was a customized version of The 4th Coming that Vircom ran for a couple of years until 2002. Unfortunately, due to its lack of success, it was shut down. Vircom then began working on another game surrounded by much hype called Black Moon Chronicles: Winds of War. It probably used the base engine from The 4th Coming although it was quite different. Along with more advanced features, the graphics were hand-drawn and the class system was designated. It is rumored that Vircom produced The 4th Coming version 1.25 to make money to support the new project. It is also rumoured that Vircom hired new developers to work on their Black Moon Chronicles: Winds of War project and had them create The 4th Coming version version 1.25 to get them accustomed to the engine. This could explain why critics complain that 1.25 is the worst The 4th Coming expansion ever.
Vircom Interactive's parent company went into debt, and as a result, both companies had to be shut down. Black Moon Chronicles: Winds of War was shut down shortly after due to claimed server hardware problems, though many have been led to believe that this was a lie. Neither Black Moon Chronicles: Winds of War nor The 4th Coming would see any new additions by Vircom even though licenses were still being sold. Chances of any new online games being developed by Vircom are very low seeing as how François Bourdeau (Previously Director of Marketing) stated, when asked about Vircom's future in online gaming, the following: Vircom does not plan to make any more video games in the future. Since 2002, we have focused on email security software development and we are quite successful at it. Things are going well, but we do not have any expertise in online gaming anymore. I consider it highly improbable that Vircom will ever make games again.
Marc Frega (owner of Dialsoft) acquired The 4th Coming from emailing and messaging company Vircom on July 3, 2006. Dialsoft is now in charge of selling server licenses and continues to expand the game through the V2 project available to all servers who are willing to pay for it. Dialsoft allows other server versions to exist provided they maintain their server license.
- (English) The 4th Coming - Official Website
- (English) The website of Dialsoft
- (English) T4C V2 - The 4th Coming Development
- (English) t4cbible.com, T4C Bible - Information on The 4th Coming
- ↑ the4thcoming.com
- ↑ t4cv2.com (2006). Retrieved on 2006-10-25
- ↑ http://22.214.171.124/search?q=cache:EguXQO0Ce-EJ:www.jungleii.com/fountain/t4c/Library/books/T4c/T4C_Book.html+Erik+Ashley+jungleii&hl=en&gl=ca&ct=clnk&cd=1&client=firefox-a
- ↑ http://media.thierrygagnon.com/Albertus/T4P-end.htm
- ↑ http://the4thcoming.com/News.asp
- ↑ http://dialsoft.com