The Escapist Magazine
Issue 98
On a Pale Horse
Editor's Note Letters to the Editor

"For Naumov, the difference between looters and Stalkers is an important one: The Stalkers are the people who understand what has been lost and know the original inhabitants of the region took things not simply because of their monetary value, but because of what they symbolized - things such as the embossed sign above the Pripyat post office. As Naumov reported in one interview: 'It was last memory of Chernobyl. People were praying on this embossing as on an icon - waiting for letters from clean land.'"

Jim Rossignol explores the mythology and lore of the blighted Chernobyl region, as seen through the lens of S.T.A.L.K.E.R.

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"In the meantime, Interplay announced they are working on a massively multiplayer version of Fallout. Aware that the company was deep in debt to a wide array of business partners, Fallout's fanbase despaired further. Would a half-assed MMOG further disenchant RPG players who had already endured Tactics and Brotherhood of Steel? Had the apocalypse finally turned grim - for good? Apparently not."

Michael Zenke tests the fallout of Fallout.

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"If life were an RPG, and God the game master, Aftermath! would be the rule system. There are rules for eating, sleeping and walking. There are rules for defecation, rules for distilling gasoline alternatives, rules for fashioning home-made armor, reloading firearm ammunition, loading muskets, blacksmithing, bowery, cooking, cleaning, camping, dialogue, running (stopping running), shooting, shooting accurately, riding horses, amputation, first aid, foraging, farming, building houses, digging wells and ... well, everything."

Russ Pitts examines the granddaddy of post-apocalyptic paper RPGs, Aftermath!

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"'My favorite angle on the zombie apocalypse is that once all of a city's survivors are dead, it's actually quite peaceful out there. I've not pushed it too much in Urban Dead, but it's been nice to pass through the occasional suburb where every safe house has been broken open, and you've got hundreds of zombies just milling quietly around what was once their home.'"

Shannon Drake speaks to the creator of Urban Dead.

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"A man with infinite dislikes, it was a considerable surprise to both the literary world and the entertainment industry when he not only agreed to a computer game adaptation of his unpleasant, moist and squirming, yet disturbingly intriguing story, but actually took an active hand in its development. The result was the closest approximation to post apocalyptic life we've ever had to endure; designed to be repulsive, impossible to win and distressingly enthralling."
Spanner explores Harlan Ellison's dystopian vision of the future.

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