USA Games News

Nov. 10, 2008


Greetings gamers,
Welcome to the November issue of the USA Games News. Admittedly there is

not a lot of news to report this month, but what I do have to say is

good news. Especially, for those waiting for USA Games to release

Mysteries of the Ancients.
Since mid September USA Games has been exclusively been working on

Mysteries of the Ancients in every ounce of free time we can spare on

the project. As a result there is nothing to report on USA Raceway,

Final Conflict II, and other projects we are working on. So I plan to

devote this entire news letter to Mysteries of the Ancients. With that

said let's get to the news.

Tomb Hunter
Mysteries of the Ancients

In the last issue of the USA Games News we told you that we had decided

to go back to the .NET based engine with Microsoft DirectX 9.0C for the

initial release of MOTA instead of the newer Java engine we were

working on. We are happy to announce that work on the .NET based

version of the game is going very very well. Fortunately for us we

already had put several months into the .NET based engine so it was

merely a matter of picking up where we had left off. As a result we are

beginning to actually get back on schedule, and we are closing in on a

stable test release for the private testers with in the month. Assuming

that test release is stable enough to go public it is possible that a

new demo may appear before Christmas. It all depends on if the new game

is stable enough to post at that time.
One of the questions that often comes up off list is what is different

about MOTA vs Montezuma's Revenge? That is a good question. Lots

really. There are both technical changes as well as many changes in

game play. The game's story also has been completely rewritten from

scratch to give the game a new and interesting plot. Below is a

description of the game and its new story.
The story. After Dr. Angela Carter receives a long lost Greek epic

about a mysterious Orb of Wisdom, created by the Goddess Athena, Angela

travels to Greece in search of the lost Orb of Wisdom. After quite a

lot of research Angela eventually locates an under ground labyrinth

where Athena had hidden the orb. Little does Angela know that this is

the beginning of her troubles.
Inside the underground labyrinth she must over come various traps

including: poison darts, metal spikes, pits of boiling lava, and

towering walls of fire. She must fight or flee several creatures like:

fire throwing centaurs, sword wielding skeleton warriors, and flying

harpies. Inside the temple Angela will locate various dropped items

such as daggers, swords, a bow and arrow, guns and ammo packs left

behind by previous explorers, ancient reed torches, various gold coins,

and more. If Angela Carter makes it to the Hall of Wisdom alive she

must defeat a giant dragon before she can possess the Orb of Wisdom.
Besides the story the engine itself has undergone months of redesign

and work. When I had initially created Montezuma's Revenge it was

created to be a stand alone game. That is all of the game's code was

designed specifically for that single game. When I began work on MOTA I

decided to start over with the game engine. What sets this new engine

apart from the old engine is that MOTA itself is a modified version of

the Genesis 3D engine designed to support 2D side-scrollers instead of

3D FPS games. What is nice about this is it has a common game core with

our Genesis engine so what changes we make to the engine can be easily

plugged into MOTA in future updates. Here is a real life example of how

sharing a common game core works to our advantage.
About a week ago while testing the latest test build of MOTA I

discovered Angela would not pick up certain items, open doors, or kill

monsters if they were to her left. It worked fine if they were to her

right. I eventually traced the error back to the GetDirection()

function which is contained in Genesis3D.dll for calculating the

direction to monsters, items, doors, whatever. I had messed up the

formula on accident when writing that function and I was getting some

pretty off the wall results. I corrected the formula, recompiled the

dll, and suddenly everything worked fine. Since games like Raceway and

STFC also depend on the Genesis3D.dll for many in game calculations,

Sapi support, etc as soon as I fixed the error in the dll all of my

current projects were simultaneously fixed at once. I modified one

file, one formula, and since the Genesis3D.dll is in a common build

directory the next time I compile STFC, Raceway, or something else the

new changes will take effect. Pretty cool eh?

Bottom line, I've put a lot of time and energy into making Mysteries of

the Ancients very stable, error free, and making it more modular based.

With the new engine being designed as it has it will be easier to

maintain, and upgrade as needed.
aside from the many technical changes in the upgrade of MOTA there is

a lot of new things in the game itself. As stated in the description of

the story there is an all new cast of enemy monsters to fight. Instead

of skulls you are faced with an army of skeleton warriors. These undead

guardians will attempt to slay you with their bronze age swords.

Fortunately, most of them are are easy to kill and they have limited

range of attack. The centaurs are another matter. These half-man

half-horse creatures are extremely fast and are able to throw magic

fireballs at you. If hit with one of these deadly fireballs you will

suffer serious damage. The flying harpies are the stuff of nightmares

and legend. These flying half-bird half-woman creatures will try and

rip you to shreds with their claws. If they can't attack you with

their sharp claws they will throw magic lightning bolts at you. If hit

with one of these magic lightning bolts you will suffer some serious

pain. So beware of their fast and deadly attacks. Last, but not least,

is a giant dragon that guards the Hall of Wisdom. Being a magic

creature itself there is only one weapon made which can slay this

fearsome foe.
New enemies aren't Angela's one and only worry. MOTA has a host of

deadly traps and dangers you must solve and face. You must leap over

giant fires, jump over pits filled with boiling lava, cross rows of

deadly spikes, avoid poison darts, and jump over deep chasms. You must

watch out for falling rocks and rolling boulders. There are several

deadly traps and as many ways to die as you carry out your treasure

hunting adventure.
Along the way you will be able to collect bottles containing a powerful

healing potion to restore your health.Each healing potion has been made

from the tears of the great Phoenix  of legend. As in the tales of old

these Phoenix tears will quickly restore your health and strength so

that you can continue your quest.
Along the way you will discover several bags filled with gold coins.

While in arcade mode these bags of gold coins may earn you several

thousand points. So collecting them is a real treasure.
In various corridors and chambers you will discover burning torches.

These torches are made with several reeds bound by twine. Use these to

light your way and locate lost and dropped items that may be in darken

rooms and chambers.
In order to run Mysteries of the Ancients on your computer you must

meet the following system specifications. Windows XP SP2 or newer, a 1

GHZ Pentium processor or better, 256 MB of RAM or better, 50 MB of

available hard drive space, a Sapi 5.1 or 5.3 compatible TTS engine,

Microsoft .NET Framework v3.5, Microsoft DirectX March 2008 or newer, a

multi-channel soundcard, and a set of stereo headphones or speakers.

Optionally, any USB 10 button joystick or game pad.

Contacting Us

If you wish to speak to USA Games Interactive you can contact us in the following ways. For tech support, sales questions, and other general question you can reach us at
If you wish to speak to me directly I can always be reached at

Gamers mailing list __
If you want to leave the list, send E-mail to [EMAIL PROTECTED]
You can make changes or update your subscription via the web, at
All messages are archived and can be searched and read at[EMAIL PROTECTED]
If you have any questions or concerns regarding the management of the list,
please send E-mail to [EMAIL PROTECTED]

Reply via email to