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Showing posts with label Atelier. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Atelier. Show all posts

Atelier: The Dreamcast Game That Could Destroy Your PC On Christmas Day

The Atelier franchise is one of the longest running PlayStation-centric series of role-playing games and has spawned a number of manga and anime adaptations. If the name doesn't sound overly familiar, it's probably because the vast majority of the games in the series have never been released outside of Japan, or translated into English. Not that this should stop you exploring them, of course - the alchemy themed narrative that runs throughout the series is quite intriguing - but you might want to brush up on your Japanese, especially if you wish to play the two Dreamcast volumes that were released in late 2001. But this post isn't really about the quality or gameplay features of Gust Co. Ltd.'s popular RPG series. It's more about the fact that the Dreamcast version shipped with an incredibly destructive computer virus unwittingly bundled on the disc.
The Atelier title that was released on the Dreamcast is actually a sort of 'remaster' of the first two games in the series, and the full title is Atelier Marie & Elie: The Alchemists of Salburg 1-2. Played from an isometric viewpoint, the game is a fairly traditional J-RPG with a heavy reliance on the player's ability to create and upgrade items using the arcane method of alchemy. When the double disc set was released in mid-November 2001 by Kool Kizz, it was quickly discovered that the discs included some special bonus features that were accessible when placed in a computer CD-Rom drive, one of which is an Atelier-themed screensaver.
Not long after, it was also discovered that this screensaver actually delivered a payload in the form of the Kriz computer virus; a virus that was initially released in 1999 but only found real infamy in 2001. The Kriz virus that was accidentally included on the Atelier discs cannot infect a Dreamcast simply because a Dreamcast doesn't have the hardware or the makeup of a PC; but once executed by a system using the Windows 9x, NT or 2000 operating systems, would silently spread throughout the computer and lie dormant until 25th December. Then, on Christmas Day it would cause havoc by merrily turning your PC into a paperweight, while you were chowing down on far too much chocolate and throwing up the third helping of turkey you knew you shouldn't have eaten.