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GamesFirst! Magazine

BLACK & WHITE GOES GOLD!

03/16/2001

One of the most highly anticipated games in recent history, Peter Molyneux's Black & White, the game where you play a god and lead your worshippers to dominance over the world - all while raising a pet - has gone gold.

In this press release, publisher Electronic Arts also appended an open letter from Molyneux, addressing fans of the game:

AN OPEN LETTER FROM PETER MOLYNEUX, CREATOR

Black & White has gone gold - everyone at Lionhead has been longing to see those words and it is with profound sense of relief that I am writing them. Black & White has been the most epic project I have ever worked on and it feels as though these past few months have been the longest of my life. Everyone here at Lionhead is very proud of what we have accomplished. I would like to pay tribute to each and every one of them for their creativity and hard work in making what started out as a two page description, become the stunning experience that is Black & White. I should also like to thank the press for their continued interest and enthusiasm for the game. Most importantly I would also like to say thanks to all the fans, it is has been their support that made the hard times worthwhile - I hope that we have repaid that support with a truly great gaming experience.

Yours faithfully,

Peter Molyneux
LIONHEAD STUDIOS

More about Black & White:

The Land of Eden is a perfect world.

Not merely a ‘green and pleasant land’, but a lush countryside blanketed in outstanding features of natural beauty. In comparison, the perfect rose garden blooming in a rainbow of colour would seem like… Well, like black and white, really.

Perhaps because their world is an idyllic land of harmony, the inhabitants of Eden are a contented bunch. Villages dotted about the landscape are populated with tribes of people happily going about their daily chores. Curiously, many of these tribes actually parallel some we may already be familiar with: Aztecs, Japanese, Tibetan, Egyptian, Greek - these are just some of the civilisations to be found in Eden. And each inhabitant treats his fellow Edean with decency, honour and respect. Inter-tribal disputes are unknown. Everything is just perfect. Until a monumental event occurs which changes everything.

YOU arrive...

Of course, gods (of which you are one) can’t really be blamed for their attitude towards mortals. Just as a human child will look down on a bustling colony of ants with fascination, so gods regard mere mortals with simple curiosity.

Say, for instance, a child spies a group of ants struggling to carry a section of fruit back to their nest. He might pluck up the fruit and deliver it to their door, saving hours of toil for the workers. Shortly afterwards, and for no reason in particular, he brings his foot down squarely on a cluster of the same ants, deliberately causing dozens of deaths. To the child’s mind, the concepts of kindness and cruelty, good and evil do not even enter his reasoning. He has simply been playing with pets.

In a similar way, any god who arrives in Eden will be fascinated by its inhabitants. One god may be kindly towards the villagers, providing miracles to protect children and heal the sick. Another god may amuse himself by wreaking havoc amongst the villagers, sending lightning storms and marauding creatures to decimate their numbers.

However, there is one thing any god needs from his subjects. A god’s power is fuelled entirely by his followers’ worship their strength of belief. When villagers worship, a god’s strength grows. If they do not, he becomes powerless. Worship provides the cosmic energy necessary for gods’ own miracles.

In the beginning, the gods who arrived in Eden believed they were alone. They were masters of all they surveyed. It was something of a rude awakening to discover that this was far from the truth. Being a proud and arrogant elite, the resulting squabbles were inevitable. These soon escalated into heated conflicts. As a result, the hapless villagers who had once lived perfect lives in peace and harmony found they had become pawns as the gods settled their differences. Whenever trouble flared up, they were summoned and required to perform elaborate rituals of worship. These rituals provided the prayer power needed to fuel the miracles which the gods would use to establish their dominance over all rivals.

If the gods regarded the human population as our earth-child regarded a colony of ants, the creatures were the equivalent of a child’s faithful dog. Created from the beasts of Eden, and under the influence of their god’s miracles, a cow, a lion or perhaps an ape would undergo awesome changes. They kept on growing. Until they were of a size which was truly gargantuan. These magnificent creatures towered over the landscape...

The gods fed and trained their creatures with tender loving care, teaching them how to behave according to their own inclinations. Some of these Titans would wreak almighty havoc as they stomped across the countryside, feasting on local populace. Others would come to the aid of Edeans, helping with constructions, seeing off marauding creatures and generally guarding over them.

Inevitably these Titans were drawn into the struggles between gods, as a loyal dog might protect its own master. A curious phenomenon emerged. These huge creatures did not rely on worship to provide power for their miracles. The energy needed was produced internally.

These creatures would become the most powerful weapons in the gods’ own personal conflicts. It was clear that these creatures would hold the key to success.

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