This is the FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) about Mercenary IV.
Q: What is Mercenary IV?
A: It is the fourth chapter of the Mercenary saga.
Q: What is Mercenary?
A: It is a space exploration saga that was very popular some years ago. The
first episode used vectorial graphics and was available on 8 and 16 bit
computers. The second episode, Damocles, used an engine able to manage
surfaces, therefore it has only been written for Amiga and Atari ST. There
was also a third episode, The Dion Crisis, using the same engine of Damocles
and written for the same machines.
Q: Didn't Novagen Software go bankrupt?
A: Yes, it did. However, even though we, as former members, moved to other
software houses, continued to have contact with one another, and I have
been able to refound it in late 1997. Since then I, Mo Warden and the others
have been working at Mercenary IV.
Q: I have read something about a PC conversion of Damocles. What can you
tell me about that?
A: It will never be out. Psygnosis and us had too many troubles at the
time it started, and we never managed to finish it. But now I refounded
Novagen Software and I took back what we did; now we are improving the
engine to exploit the new technologies and programming a totally new story.
In 2 words, Mercenary IV.
Q: When will Mercenary IV be released?
A: When it is finished. Sorry, but it is too early to say when it will,
because even the engine is still very buggy.
Q: What will Mercenary IV be about?
A: It is set in the Gamma System again. A strange phenomenon occurs on
Midas: the pyramids of its alight hemisphere are emitting a radio signal
towards a specific point of space. You investigate on this phenomenon and
discover that Marduk, a planet with a very erratic orbit, has entered the
Gamma System again. There were many legends about Marduk and its inhabitants,
the Nephilim. Now the Nephilim, a very weird people (as you'll discover)
are trying to subjugate the Gamma System. Your final duty is to make the
Gamma System keep its independence.
Q: Why do you already have such a good story and the engine is not finished
A: Because we write the stories before writing the games. This prevents us
from making games that do not have any plot.
Q: You talked about new technologies. Will Mercenary IV take advantage of
accelerated graphic cards?
A: No, it will not. We decided not to implement support for accelerated
graphic cards, because otherwise we would concentrate much more on the
accelerated version than on the normal one, and this would result in an
awful unaccelerated version. We prefer concentrating our efforts on an
optimized unaccelerated version: we think the most important thing to make a
good game is good code, not good hardware to make it run on.
Q: Then, what new technologies will Mercenary IV take advantage of?
A: We are implementing MMX and AGP support. The most advanced machine
Damocles and Mercenary 3 could run on was the Amiga. We decided to implement
the support for those technologies because of that. The Amiga's custom chips
were a primitive form of multimedia extensions, and its Chip RAM was a
primitive form of accelerated graphics port. That old architecture was not
Q: Is the Novagen office in Alcester Road, Birmingham, UK?
A: The old Novagen office was there. Now we moved.
Q: Can I have your phone number/fax number/e-mail address/site URL?
A: No, otherwise hundreds of people every day would disturb me, making me
unable to concentrate my efforts on Mercenary IV. You want Mercenary IV,
The Mercenary IV FAQ ends here.