Digital Garden

Graal Online

Graal Online began in 1998 as "Zelda Online," a free multiplayer port of The Link to the Past developed by Stefan Knoor. The game was quickly relaunched with new graphics and levels as "Graal Online" by a Cyberjoueurs and hosted out of France by Stephane Porta (Unixmad).

The original game came with a level editor and a simple javascript-like scripting langauge called "Gscript." Most played on the free shared persistent server that Cyberjouers hosted which was managed by volunteers who quickly expanded the base game with new quests, items, levels and graphics.

Although most played on the global persistent server, up to v1.28 came bundled with a "gserver" application that allowed for multiplayer support of up to four players on their own "Player Server." The player cap was easily bypassed leading to the quick growth of many player-hosted servers hosting worlds, dungeons, and entire competing game mechanics cleverly hacked out through the limited level editor and scripting language.

In 2001, Cyberjouers pivoted towards a subscription-based model for Graal Online. Future releases of the game no longer included the "gserver" executible, and the client was tightly coupled to the Graal Online server and later Graal Online hosted "Player Worlds." Cyberjouers also agressively pursued anyone still hosting "Player Servers" or distributing the older freeware-licensed executibles. The thriving creative realm of player-run worlds either came into the fold, or closed up shop.

At some juncture, the Graal Reborn project came into being which attempted to white-room the "gserver" application. They produced a version of the server that appears to be compatible with many of the Graal clients including v1.28 and v2.2.2. This project eventually fell apart, but their source and executibles are still floating around.

Today, Graal Online appears to live on as an iOS gathca-style game. Surpisingly, the ancient executible clients still work in a Windows 10 VM! Unfortunately, they do not work under Wine.

External References

  1. Porta, Stephane. GraalOnline, GraalOnline. Retrieved 2020-10-13.

Linked References

  • damasca-history

    Damasca was started in the winter of 1999 by Kirath ([Ryan Miller][1] of Reptoid Games) as an online roleplaying event. It evolved over that winter into a [[Graal Online]] player server running v1.28 of Graal and attracting a large cohort of active players. In "[We Love Re-Tooling: The History of Damasca][2]" Dart Zaidyer wrote a more complete take on the evolution of Damasca.

  • damasca

    [Damsca][1] began in late 1999 as a mod of the little know game [[Graal Online]] -- a Zelda-esque multiplayer game that still exists for mobile. In it's original incarnation Graal came with a level editor, a scripting engine and the ability to host your own server. I would consider gscript the first programming language that I ever mastered. In the short [[History of Damasca]] it went through several incarnations and developed a rich [[Lore of Damasca]] complete with many [[Quests of Damasca]]