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25th Anniversary

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Anniversary Event
Year 2020
Date From January 17
Date To January 22
Main Organisers Shadowfax
The 25th Anniversary was a event orchestrated by Shadowfax.
Welcome to the anniversary event celebrating twenty-five years of Alter
Aeon!

Alter Aeon went live to the public on January 15, 1995.  Ever wonder what
the game was like when it was first released?  Try out our 1995 version by
directing your client to port 3095 to see for yourself!

We have an event area based on two classic German fairy tales, re-imagined
Alter Aeon style.  You can visit our interpretation of these high fantasy
stories using 'event start 155'.  Choose whether to play as a noble hero, a
vile villain or an amoral mercenary.  There are three possible endings. 
You will receive a legacy quest for the first time you complete each
ending.  Your actions will affect the characters and environment within an
instance.  In certain circumstances it is possible to get stuck, and
you'll have to let your instance time out and then try again.

Our Meet-and-Greet party is scheduled to begin Saturday at 5pm, where you
can become acquainted with all of the senior staff and many of our
builders.   Then you can ply them with whatever questions you may have.  Or
just hang out.

The event will end on Wednesday, January 22nd.

Here's to 25 more years!

Pre-event

Shadowfax wrote the following regarding the background of the event:

I had a dream. Three dreams actually.

If you've played Alter Aeon for any length of time, you've likely dreamed a dream about it yourself. Generally these dreams come in one of two flavors. The first is the play dream, where you are experiencing the game as if you were playing it, although the gameplay you encounter may be strange. The rarer variety is the in-character dream, where you experience Alter Aeon as if you were character within it, being a mighty mage or fearsome fighter battling orcs and slaying dragons and whatnot.

I had my first dream regarding the event early December of last year. Now well into the Christmas season, I had been working long hours every day without any time to play Alter Aeon. I think my mind invented the dream to make up for the lack of play. Anyway, this first dream was a play dream, and within it I played as Darklord. From what I remember, I began in the dwarves' mine, where I fought a pair of badger-moles and killed them pretty handily. After a bit of searching, I found the key to the dwarves' cottage and went there, unlocked the front door and looked inside. All seven dwarves were there, guarding the way to Snow White, who I knew was upstairs. I fought them and managed to kill one or two before dying. That was it.

The second dream was IC and very short. The Evil Queen was instructing me to kill Snow White because the Huntsman had failed her. I remember the queen dressed in all black and being pale-skinned, and it was night time and partly cloudy and there was a full moon.

The third dream was a play dream with a twist. I actually dreamed myself building what would become the Snow White area, specifically the stream north of the village and the Black Forest leading up to the cave where the prince bear was.

So there you go. I obviously didn't stick all seven dwarves in one room because that encounter would have been a nightmare to balance, especially at lower levels where even very weak enemies can kill in numbers. I also ended up having the Huntsman drive the evil quest and, for a bit of irony, the evil queen governed the neutral path.

Timeline

As per the event schedule:

(Details are tentative and subject to change.)

Friday, January 17th - Event area opens.  1995 version port opens.

Saturday, January 18th - Meet and Greet, starting about 5pm system time
with a party and trivia game.

Wednesday, January 22nd - Event area and 1995 version port close in the
evening.

History

Shadowfax had this to say about the fairy tale background:

Snow White and Seven Dwarves is a pretty well-known fairy tale, but the event area also drew inspiration from a lesser known tale called Snow White and Rose Red. It shares little in common with the former story besides having a protagonist called Snow White and a narrative involving a dwarf and a prince. Here's the story how I remember it:

Once upon a time, Snow White and Rose Red lived in the forest with their mother, a poor widow. Snow White was a sober child who loved animals, while her sister Rose Red was free spirited and adventurous.

One cold winter night, there was a knock at the door. Snow White was afraid to answer, so Rose Red opened the door to reveal a bear. Before she could slam the door shut, the bear spoke and asked to come in and warm himself by the fire for a short while, promising not to harm the girls or their mother. They let him in and he laid by the fire and fell asleep. He returned every night and became friends with the girls, especially Snow White.

When spring arrives, he told them that he must go away and protect his treasure from an evil dwarf (or gnome, in some versions). Later, Snow White and Rose Red encountered a dwarf in the forest, who had felled a tree and gotten his beard caught under it. They released the dwarf by cutting his beard, but instead of being grateful, the dwarf was upset. They encounter the dwarf a few times afterward, each time saving him from a bad situation, and the dwarf was ungrateful each time.

I believe the second time the girls saw him, the dwarf was being dragged around by a big fish that he had caught but was unable to reel in, and his beard had gotten caught in the line. They cut the line and he was mad because they ruined his fishing pole and stomped away.

After the dwarf left, girls found a untended horse nearby. While Snow White went back to their cottage to fetch their mother, the horse led Rose Red to its rider, a young man. It appeared that he had fallen off the horse and was unconscious. Quickly Rose Red ran to the pond and gathered water in her apron. She revived him and used her wimple to bind a wound on his leg. The man said he was a prince and was looking for his older brother who had been lost in the woods last winter. He told Rose Red that he must resume his search, but he was enchanted by her kindness and promised to court her once he had found his brother.

The third time the girls found the dwarf, he was snatched up by a giant bird and the girls grabbed his legs before the bird could fly away with him. The extra weight forced the bird to the ground and it released him, and all he could do was complain about the pain in his legs before staggering away.

The final time the girls chanced upon the dwarf in the woods, they found him facing down a bear. Upon spotting them, the dwarf encouraged the bear to eat the girls instead of him. Before the girls could react, the bear seized upon the dwarf and held him down, ordering him to remove the curse he put upon him and reveal where his family's gems were. (In less kind versions, the bear simply killed the dwarf, thus ending the curse.) In either case, the bear was restored to his princely form and the glamors disguising the locations of the dwarf's stolen loot were lifted.

As one might guess, the talking bear was the same bear Snow White and Rose Red had cared for during the winter. His family's jewels had been stolen by the dwarf and he was attempting to retrieve them when the dwarf put the curse on him to become a bear. While recovering the treasure, they find the prince's younger brother who had gone looking for him. Snow White marries the older brother (and heir to the throne), and Rose Red marries the younger brother. Their mother comes to live with in their castle and they all live happily ever after.

There was also a throwaway line from the front gateguard stating how Maleficent was a better employer than Grimhilde, implying that the latter had hired the goblins from the former.

Areas

The event area consisted of a one single player autolevelling zone called "The Harz". Players started out in a village. South of the village was Castle Harz up in the mountains where the Huntsman and Queen Grimhilde dwelt. North of the village was the Black Forest and dwarven mine, where Snow White, the seven dwarves, and the cursed prince were.

The behavior of certain mobs and access to certain areas would change depending on the actions of the player in any given instance. For example, all of the castle guards became aggro once Queen Grimhilde was dead.

Quests

A player could complete the three available event quests, although only one could be completed in each instance. Players would have to start a new instance to try a different quest.

Good

The good path began with talking to the bear in a cave north of the river, who informed the player that he was a prince and had been put under a curse by Queen Grimhilde. Only by slaying the queen could the curse been broken. Since the Huntsman guarded the way to Grimhilde, he also had to be killed for this quest. Once slain, casting 'remove curse' either via the spell or using a scroll from the old hag in the village would cause the prince to revert to human form. He then asked the player to return to Castle Harz to retrieve a love potion and Snow White's personal effects, and to guide his horse from the castle stables back to him. Once this was done, the player escorted Prince Charming, now armed and mounted, to the cottage of the seven dwarves where Snow White lived. The forces of the queen made a last ditch effort to stop the prince, culminating in a final battle against Rose Red.

Neutral

The neutral and evil paths started by speaking with the Huntsman. Although the Huntsman instructs the player to kill Snow White, the player could choose to betray him. To do so successfully, the player had to kill the Huntsman to retrieve his heart and present it to Queen Grimhilde as if it were Snow White's, and also had to destroy the magic mirror so the queen could not verify whose heart it was. After doing this, Queen Grimhilde told the player to find the prince (in bear form), beat him up until he surrendered, and then escort him to a waiting cell in the Castle Harz dungeon. The Queen then gave the player instructions to find the ingredients she wanted to make the prince her love slave: an old hag's cackle that could be bought from the old hag in the village, a scream of fright which loaded on dead false treants, and black of night which could be found in the seven dwarves' mine.

Evil

The evil path was pretty straight forward. In order to reach Snow White, the player had to enter the seven dwarves' mine and fight to the very bottom to get the key to the dwarves' cottage. After Snow White was slain, her heart was presented to Huntsman, who then instructed the player to kill the prince who had been transformed into a bear by the queen after refusing her advances. Once he was dead, the Huntsman then had the player assassinate Rose Red. With the competition for Queen Grimhilde's affection eliminated and no remaining heirs alive, the way was clear for the Huntsman to court Grimhilde and become king consort.

Items

As posted on board 8:

We are awarding a special prize, a commemorative keychain, to players who completed all three paths of the 25th anniversary event. Talk to Xena in the upstairs event office, up and north from the Central Bulletin Board Hub waypoint, to receive the reward if you qualify.

The 25th anniversary keychain has a special function. You can use it on any key to prevent it from timing out or being erased on logout. The key can be stored this way indefinitely. Use the keychain again to retrieve the key. You can only keep one key, and this ability can only be used once. Use it wisely.

Even after the special ability has been used up, you can keep the keychain as a souvenir.

Item: 'anniversary keychain chain brass ring charms'  
Weight: 1  Size: 1'0"
Type: OTHER   Composition: COPPER BASED
Object is:  BIND_ON_GET QUESTLOAD NOWIELD IDENTIFIED 
Item has other effects:
Affects:  NONE by 0
Affects:  NONE by 0
Affects:  NONE by 0
Affects:  NONE by 0
Affects:  NONE by 0

Use the keychain on a key to keep it.  Use the keychain again to retrieve it.  This feature can only be used once.

Post event

Also as posted on board 8 following the event:


We hope everyone enjoyed our 25th anniversary event!  Here are the follow-up stats:

144 players completed the good path.
105 players completed the neutral path.
138 players completed the evil path.

The average player level of participants was 35.5.
23829 mobs were killed in the event area.
Players died 225 times in the event area.

Thanks to everyone who showed up for our Meet-and-Greet on the 18th.  Here are the
scores for the trivia game that followed.  Dex and Rhorae gave folks a run for
their money, but ultimately Grimreaper pulled ahead on the last handful of questions.

Angaragmn 1
Rhorae 3
Dex 3
Leos 2
Barons 1
Sandman 1
Grimreaper 4
Gandor 1
Mangler 2
Set 2
Stormwing 1
Ivey 2

See also

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