You Should Be Watching: Matul Remrit

Almost a year ago, Quinns told you that it would be a wise idea to read Matul Remrit, a collaborative storytelling effort from deep within the demented and ridiculous realm of Dwarf Fortress. He wasn’t wrong and now it falls to me to tell you to watch the latest installment. There are still bits of word-text on the screen occasionally so do bring your reading spectacles but this is a short film detailing the dwarves greatest battle yet, a tale of death, bravery and tragedy.

It’s a wonderful glimpse behind the number-crunching and complexity that illustrates why Dwarf Fortress is such an important game – it isn’t scripted, but it generates so many possible scripts. I wish I had the talent to tell my tales so well.

You can start from the beginning of the saga here, or watch the video now and then go back to the beginning.


  1. RF says:

    <3 Matul Remrit. Truly one of the best tales told from Dwarf Fortress. The artwork is probably the best part.

    • Synesthesia says:

      the guy who did those bronzemurder and oiifurnace did amazing art too, much, much better than this one imo.
      I love the emergent storytelling of dwarf fortress, ive tried to learn it so many times to get at least a taste of these amazing events. Is there like an online podcast/video-class of some sort? A wiki is just not didactic enough.

      • Zanchito says:

        There are many video tutorials in Youtube you’d find very informative, as well as written ones. Also, look in the DF forums for a thread called lazy pack, it has everything you’ll need.

      • Belsameth says:

        I used this tutorial, which helped me a lot…
        It uses a slightly older version of DF but that doesn’t really matter when learning the ropes :)

        link to

  2. Zanchito says:

    I’m a sucker for Dwarf Fortress and EVE Online “real fiction”.

  3. Dominic White says:

    Oh yeah – while the end of the video is ambiguous, Lesh (the beast-slayer) survived. She crawled out of the beasts maw and limped home after a little nap.

    The dwarves of Matul Remrit are badasses even by dwarven standards.

  4. PleasingFungus says:

    I hadn’t read Matul Remrit in a while before this came out (probably because it hadn’t updated in a while!), so I ended up getting linked to the update by the musician who did the music for the video. He has the music for the video up on his bandcamp (for “Name Your Price”), as well as his first album, which came out on the same day – well worth checking out if you liked what you heard.

  5. Belsameth says:

    It still is. It has it’s uses, but I think it’s very limited (Like peering under the fog to see how far you can safely stripmine adamantite). A good tileset is all you need :)

  6. Davie says:

    Now I have to go back and read the entire archive.

    I love how it’s written in with the strange syntax and extreme specificity of in-game text. “Mule does not respond to the skin of its brother which I wear. Taunted with ‘it is good to have brothers’ and ‘I am the mule’ but still it eats unconcerned.” Awesome.

    • Dominic White says:

      It’s amazingly well written. It really does capture the feeling that you’re reading through diaries from a completely alien society. Sure, they might look like smaller, hairier humans, but they don’t think like humans and definitely don’t act like them.

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        gritz says:

        Ever since I started reading Bravemule, it’s become really hard not to be totally bemused by the typical Scottish-accent microViking that is every dwarf in anything else.

        • Davie says:

          And on top of that, bizarre dwarfisms like “The Planks of Striping” are starting to make a strange sort of sense…

  7. sinister agent says:

    Ooh, I was wondering when they’d update. Good, I should have a few entries to catch up on. Great stuff, well worth reading if you’ve played some DF. They capture both the weird speech patterns and the childlike, psychotic behaviour and outlook of the dwarves perfectly.

  8. Zepp says:

    I don’t play DF but that was epic…

  9. whexican says:

    What graphical mod are they using?

    • hoobajoo says:

      Stonesense. It’s an isometric viewer for DF, but you can’t play the game like that. All you can do is pause and unpause. Makes the action very easy to see, though.

      • whexican says:

        Awesome. Any suggestions on a decent graphics mod? I’ve tried the Ascii but I have a hard time with it.

  10. Phantoon says:

    Dwarf Fortress is an excellent example of the way gaming should go to evolve further.

    With unexpected results from procedural generation, I mean. Not with ASCII, that’s silly. Though having zero graphical fidelity does make it easier to update, I’m sure.

    • Belsameth says:

      I always let the lack of graphics hold me back but now I don’t really notice it anymore.
      Explaining this the other day to a colleague, I was reminded of that scene from the matrix:

      “Neo: Do you always look at it encoded?

      Cypher: Well you have to. The image translators work for the construct program. But there’s way too much information to decode the Matrix. You get used to it. I…I don’t even see the code. All I see is blonde, brunette, red-head.

  11. P7uen says:

    I wish I had the talent to tell my tales so well.

    If only you were a much-loved writer with a spot on some sort of creative internet outlet that was relevant to games, whose audience craved game diaries!

  12. Geen says:

    This, my non-dwarf friends, is why I love this game.

  13. lijenstina says:

    Reminds of this :)
    link to

  14. thebigJ_A says:

    I literally just installed the latest Lazy Newb Pack an hour ago, and am having great ‘fun’ trying to remember what I’ve forgotten since last I played, and tease out what’s changed.

    For instance, did you know you can now hold booze in rock pots?! No longer wasting precious wood on barrels in my non-forest embarks is huge!

    • Saiko Kila says:

      Sorry thebigJ_A, but this isn’t a new feature, it was added over one year ago in a major update to version 2010 (0.31.19), the same which also added honey bees.

      • thebigJ_A says:

        I don’t know why you’re sorry….

        I never knew it. It wasn’t mentioned in the 2011 cptnduck tutorials, for instance, though he made a point of mentioning them as new in the 2012 ones (just the other day). So, it’s new to me, and I’m happy to have discovered it.

        • Belsameth says:

          It’s an amazing feature. Finally something to do with the 293865926592 rocks that litter the place (even when you dump them…)

          Great for your craftsdwarfs to train as well…

  15. thebigJ_A says:

    You can’t play in it, it’s just a visualizer. The in-game scenes of the video are using it.

    It’s a cool way to see your fort, but that’s all. You still need to play with a tileset. I prefer Phoebus myself.

  16. Zombat says:

    Matul Remrit’s final chapter came out last Tuesday.