You Should Be Reading: Matul Remrit

By Quintin Smith on July 1st, 2011 at 10:49 am.

It's Dwarves Vs. Heights in the ultimate crossover battle!

What makes Matul Remrit the Dwarf Fortress diary you should be reading? So many things. The fact that it’s a collaboration between a writer, editor, artist and musician. The bleak and deeply weird tone of it that could not be more true to the game (as opposed to Tim Denee’s stuff, which makes the game comparatively accessible). The glimmering quality of it.

I meant to post about it forever ago and evidently forgot, but I’ve just been jolted into action by their posting an update containing a 36,000 pixel tall comic depicting the fortress’ most epic battle yet. All that bizarre, abstract text? That’s taken from the game’s combat logs. Go read. And then use the links to the left of it to jump back to the beginning. This one’s worth your time.

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38 Comments »

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  1. Teddy Leach says:

    That blows any DF AAR I’ve ever done clean out the water.

    • thebigJ_A says:

      Dry? DRY?

      Did you not see the “Ode to Mittens” by Exi the Poemhaver?

      You must not play DF, else you would understand the horrid things that can happen when a dwarf loses his kitty-cat. And why “Please Mittens I am alone without you. If I could fill my flask with your breath I would need ale no more.” is hilarious.

    • Dominic White says:

      Yeah, ‘dry’ is not a word I’d ever use to describe this. Sludgy and thick with pitch-black humor, maybe, but never dry.

    • Tacroy says:

      The medical room was ruined! Behem hollowed it in an unscrupulous shape and called it an octogone. I explained to her squares are the art thus to aspire for that. I fixed the medical room but the octogone still haunts me.

      If that is dry, I will eat my hat.

      The writing is a little bit stilted, but I think it is just trying to mimic the way the dwarfs in DF write things.

      Bahaha I just got to his missing cat notice, it is excellent.

    • Dominic White says:

      The writing is genius because it manages to tie the slightly demented logic of the in-game text to the slightly demented behaviour of the dwarf AI, and then give it a real voice.

      And y’know what? It works. It really bloody works.

    • slM_agnvox says:

      This guy is like the Cormac McCarthy of Dwarf Fort LP

  2. Zakkeh says:

    That is insanely big…Kudos to the writers

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    mpk says:

    I hate reading about DF as it makes me play it again and then I lose days..

    • pistolhamster says:

      Oh yes, so do I. I managed to get hooked on Dwarf Fortress for some weeks, then disentangle myself. Until THIS happens (>.<)

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      Malibu Stacey says:

      I like reading about DF because it means I can enjoy it without having to play it.

      There’s literally hundreds of known, reported bugs in the current version which screw over so many of the gameplay features & I can only put up with FPS death of a fortress so many times before I find better things to do with my gaming time.

  4. President Weasel says:

    there’s a Dwarf Fortress succession game currently rather becalmed on the Forum. If anyone wants to step up and step in, you’d be welcome.

  5. JFS says:

    Good Lord. That is a mighty work. I only wish I understood Dwarf Fortress. A lot of nice seems to come from it.

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    LowKey says:

    I have been meaning to try DF for an age and a day and that overlay (if thats the right word) has given me the push, anyone know what it is?

    • Nomaki says:

      I don’t think it’s a graphical pack, from what I can gather its Stonesense (http://code.google.com/p/stonesense/), which seems to be a standalone isometric render(er?).

      Still, pretty cool.

    • Premium User Badge

      Rinox says:

      Yeah, the game isn’t actually playable in Stonesense – but it does allow you to see everything ‘happen’ in that view.

      Unless your spatial thinking is 0, you may want to try one of the tilesets…they make the game a lot more playable/inviting to newcomers. http://mayday.w.staszic.waw.pl/df.php

      But you’ll still have to wrestle through tons of walkthroughs, wiki pages and trial and error before you’ll actually be able to play the game like you want to.

  7. Handsome Dead says:

    those wacky goons and their dwarf fortresses

  8. povu says:

    Next Dwarf Fortress update is going to be good. Full size NPC cities/towns!
    http://www.bay12games.com/dwarves/imgs/shops/passionhelm_119.png

    • MCM says:

      Yeah, I’m waiting for this update before I play again. It’s annoying to start a fort only to have a new version come out.

      Also, nothing he’s added since 40d has really improved the game. It’s mostly worse still since that huge update last April-ish and I’m afraid this one will do the same.

    • DD says:

      I thought it was worse aswell when it was first released but now it seems to be much better. The way burrows and the new military system works is so much better once you figure it out. Also the addition of all the new Z levels and huge underground caverns is super “fun”.

      I find myself unable to go back to 40d.

  9. Raiyan 1.0 says:

    See what happens when you fuck around, dwarves? You get harpies.

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    Hanban says:

    I was nearly in tears. God I love DF.

  11. BooleanBob says:

    Wondered if this would show up on RPS. The last update was delayed by some two and a half months, but boy, was it worth it. Bravemule is the single best thing I’ve never been able to get any of my friends to read.

    • Premium User Badge

      Rinox says:

      Thing is, just about everyone who has dabbled in DF has stories similar to these, only if you try to tell your (non-DF playing) friends about them over a beer or so, they just sit and stare and go ‘whaaa’.

      I usually lose them when I say the name ‘Dwarf Fortress’. So…yeah.

  12. thebigJ_A says:

    Oh no. No, don’t do this to me.

    I don’t have time to get back into DF! I can’t. There’s so many other games to play, and that one just swallows up your life!

    I won’t! Do you know what happened to my last fort? It was… it was awesome. I will not go back!

    I wonder what’s been added lately…..

  13. Chris D says:

    I like how it manages to be both plaintive and psychotic at the same time. I think they all need a hug, but someone else can do it as I have no intention of ever being in the same room as any of them.

    On the one hand Dwarf Fortress sounds awesome, on the other, the recommended method of play is to have two separate programs running at the same time in order to make sense of it. I can put up with horrible interfaces to an extent ( I’ve been playing both Six Gun Saga and Academagia in the last few days so I don’t think I’m particularly lightweight.) but this is still a step too far for me.

    It’s a game I’m glad other people play so I don’t have to.

    • Fondue says:

      Totally. It feels really eerie and melancholic. The dwarves seem like violent and contemplative children. The writing style reminds me a lot of the somethingawful District Bulletin series.

  14. Bhazor says:

    I miss the old Dwarf Fortress before it added the Z axis. Now you don’t need to worry about utilising every square foot of your mountain you can just build an attic or make a tunnel to a brand new cave. The old system also gave you definite goals (reach river, build bridge over river, reach magma, build iron bridge over magma, mine McGuffin, make everyone die horribly from eldritch horrors) but now its both too easy (you can just farm on the surface, no real random attacks) and too hard (I still haven’t worked out how to make an aqueduct, theres very few underground streams).

    It’s still one of my favourite games but I guess you’re not a real fan unless a new version pisses you off in some way.
    http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2010/8/23/

    • Premium User Badge

      Rinox says:

      I think underground rivers are pretty much out the door in current incarnations yeah.

  15. Ralphomon says:

    This is amazing. Crushingly bleak, blackly comic, epic. Each of the dwarves has their own voice. I love Dwarf Fortress!

  16. Torgen says:

    My brain broke after the burrows/hospital/new military system went in. I”ve played a couple games of Adventure Mode since then, but that was forever ago.

  17. Radiant says:

    Holy jesus that was good.

  18. Protagoras says:

    Matul Remrit is awesome. Really really really awesome. But while the art is quite appealing and the writing is excellent and everything clicks perfectly together, there is one thing that tops it all:

    BATTLE MULE!

    (Also, DF is a horrible time sink, don’t try it unless you have two weeks of nothing (like summer vacation) to do but sit infront of a computer watching dwarves die for 16 hours a day)

  19. BobsLawnService says:

    Hi, any idea what tileset they’re using in the first few pages for those screenshots?

    • Protagoras says:

      It’s not a tile set, but rather an outside program called stonesense (afair), that gives you a “3d” look of the map. It’s really good looking, but unfortunately you can’t play on it, only next use to look at the game (though it updates in real time).

  20. Namos says:

    Wow, that was amazing. Thanks for pointing that one out, RPS.

  21. Nim says:

    Wait, wait, stop, hold it right there!

    The dwarves build a tall tower (?) made out of solid stone which then come under attack by airborne harpies which the dwarves decide to engage on the roof of said building (?) which doesn’t have any safety railing whatsoever, instead of staying inside where the harpies cannot reach them. Additionally the dwarves come to the conclusion that melee weapons (?) are best suited against the flying harpies instead of ranged weapons and the most effective way of defeating said enemies using melee weapons is to take a leap of faith off the building against the enemies flying high above the ground (?).

    Gee, I wonder why dwarves keep going extinct in every fantasy setting they are in.