Prehistoric Scottish site to feature in fantasy video game

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ONE of Scotland’s most historic sites will set the scene for a computer game featuring trolls, conjurers and elves.

Skara Brae, a stone-built settlement on the west coast of Mainland in Orkney, will be brought back to life in a new fantasy video game.

The upcoming title, The Bard’s Tale IV, will use cutting-edge technology to recreate the 5,000-year-old prehistoric village.

Skara Brae is a stone-built settlement over 5,000 years old
Skara Brae is a stone-built settlement over 5,000 years old

 

Those behind the venture say they hope to celebrate Orkney folklore and Scottish culture in the game, which is a long-awaited sequel to one of the industry’s best-loved role playing series.

Originally released in 1985, Bard’s Tale was a resounding success thanks to its 3D graphics and gripping narrative fantasy.

The site sets the scene for the fantasy game
The site sets the scene for the fantasy game (Picture: InXile Entertainment)

 

However, since the release of the last sequel in 1988, the franchise has lain dormant.

Now, the trilogy’s original video game designer has secured the rights to continue the series and reboot it into the 21st century.

Creators say they hope to capture Scottish tradition in the game
Creators say they hope to capture Scottish tradition in the game (Picture: InXile Entertainment)

 

The game allows players to create their own party of adventurers to complete quests and defeat enemies who stand in their way.

The Skara Brae that will feature in the game is not an exact replica of the one on Orkney’s Bay of Skaill – its narrow passageways are peppered with various traps and monsters

The franchise has lain dormant since 1988 (Picture: InXile Entertainment)
The franchise has lain dormant since 1988 (Picture: InXile Entertainment)

 

But Brian Fargo, the chief executive of InXile, said the history of the settlement and Scotland as a whole would form an integral part of the game.

He and his team have already visited Orkney and other locations to take photographs to convert into 3d objects that appear in-game.

The team visited Orkney to take photographs of the site
The team visited Orkney to take photographs of the site

 

“One of the important aspects of The Bard’s Tale IV is its connection with Scottish heritage,” he said.

“It is very much based on Scottish culture and specifically the Orkney folklore.

“We plan to integrate Scottish architecture in the look of Skara Brae and the game’s dungeons and wilderness.”

The game features trolls, dwarves and elves (Picture: InXile Entertainment)
The game features trolls, dwarves and elves (Picture: InXile Entertainment)

 

The company, California-based InXile Entertainment, is close to meeting its funding goal for the game, and more than 26,000 people have pledged over £750,000 to date.

They have already started work on the game, which will be released initially for PC, and hope to complete it by 2017.

The game is set to be completed by 2017
The game is set to be completed by 2017 (Picture: InXile Entertainment)

Skara Brae was left undiscovered for thousands of years until 1850, when a severe storm revealed an outline of the village.

It consists of eight clustered houses, and was occupied from roughly 3180BC-2500BC.

It is older than Stonehenge and the Great Pyramids, and has been called the “Scottish Pompeii” due to its excellent preservation.

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